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Buried in the 84-page document, you’ll find a number of nasty surprises on the way from the Tories that you might not have spotted.
Here’s what you’ll find if you check the small print.
1. You’re going to need ID to vote
In a bid to combat in-person voter fraud the Tories are going to change the law so you have to take ID with you when you vote.
The problem is, there’s little evidence that in-person voter fraud actually happens.
Of 51.5 million votes cast in elections in 2015, there were 481 cases of alleged electoral fraud.
Of these, the vast majority were not voting offences. More than half were campaigning offences – such as complaints about candidates making false statements about opponents, expenses offences or issues to do with campaign posters or flyers.
Just 123 alleged cases related to voter fraud, with 26 cases of impersonating another voter, 27 cases of improper postal voting and 25 cases of ‘undue influence’ over a voter.
Of these 123, all but 22 were dismissed – mostly because it was clear no offence had been committed or due to lack of evidence.
Of the remaining 22 cases, six resulted in police cautions.
It’s a solution that doesn’t have a problem.
On the other hand, 3.5 million voters don’t have photo ID – and they tend to be women, people from ethnic minorities and young people.
2. The Vote Leave bus pledge is officially not happening
Before the referendum, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove toured the country in a big red bus, emblazoned on which was the claim: “We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead”
Theresa May has other ideas.
Buried in the manifesto is a reference to a “Shared Prosperity Fund” which will “redistribute money coming back as we leave the EU to the four nations.”
So no, the NHS won’t be getting £350 million a week extra under the Tories.
3. They’ve left the door open to more welfare cuts
Note “..we will continue to strive for full employment.” shrugging their shoulders over those they’ve pushed to death (ref the statements from three separate coroners). If they get into power you can expect more Tory voters complaining when they fall ill. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
A subtle change in language in Theresa May’s manifesto, launched this morning, opens the door for more cuts to benefits for the sick, disabled and working poor.
Former Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb said in March 2016: “We have no further plans to make welfare savings”
And his replacement, Damian Green, said in February: “We are not going to have any new welfare cuts in this Parliament apart from those that have already been legislated for.”
But here’s what it says in today’s manifesto – buried on page 54
“We have no plans for further radical welfare reform in this parliament and will continue the roll-out of Universal Credit, to ensure that it always pays to be in work.”
See the difference?
4. Remember all those civil service jobs David Cameron moved to London? They’re moving out again
5. The Commitment to halve the disability employment gap has been scrapped
The 2015 manifesto promised to cut the difference in employment figures between disabled and non-disabled people in half.
That’s been replaced by a commitment to getting a million more disabled people into employment, which the Social Market Foundation say is “weaker”.
6. There might be a hard border with Northern Ireland after all
Theresa May has previously insisted there would be “no return to the hard borders of the past” between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit .
But today’s document says they’re aiming for “as frictionless a border as possible.”
7. The Immigration health surcharge is going to TRIPLE
Migrant workers who use the NHS are currently charged £200. That’s going up to £600.
International students still get a discount, but their charges are tripling too, from £150 to £450.
8. They’re going to ‘modernise’ the voting system by making it less fair
The Tories love the First Past the Post (FPTP) system. It’s outdated, unfair and benefits them massively in elections.
So they’ve decided to ‘modernise’ the voting system by replacing the current Single Transferable Vote (STV) system used in mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections with FPTP.
Because voters can cast a ‘second choice’ vote in STV, it ensures vastly fewer votes are wasted. It also remove some of the advantages big parties get from FPTP. Which is why the Tories don’t like it.
Theresa May claims there’s no connection between the Tories being in power since 2010 and NURSES having to use foodbanks!
It seems Theresa May’s rudeness and arrogance extends to members of her own constituency. This piece is about an encounter of a middle aged lifetime Tory voter with the nasty PM. We appreciate you may not agree with the opinion of this Tory voter but it’s the rudeness and arrogance from Theresa May we wish to focus on.
“I am a middle-aged family woman and lifetime Conservative voter – I have no history of political activism or agitation. Although after our meeting, I suspect I may find myself on some kind of blacklist. What is for certain is that I will not be voting for Theresa May ever again.
Things all started when I sent an initial email to her constituency office, expressing my concerns about Brexit. I received a reply from her which said: We’re going to bang the drum for Britain!
Yes, it really did say that. I wrote back to say that I considered this a somewhat unsatisfactory response. It was then that she invited me to meet her at her constituency surgery for a quarter of an hour, face-to-face meeting, during her constituency surgery. This is where it all kicked off.
Before our meeting, I did my research and gathered as much evidence as I could. After all, I was to have 15 minutes with the most powerful woman in Britain. For me, it was an excellent opportunity to put all my fears. I expected a strong debate. I thought I might get some answers, some clues as to what might happen next. I didn’t think she would be able to make me change my mind – as you can tell, I am pretty passionate on this subject. But I did expect her to try, and I did expect her to present some strong arguments that would counter my own.
I was shown into a room at her Maidenhead constituency office where she was already seated behind a small table. She did not smile or say “hello” – it felt like she was holding court. We did not even shake hands and the whole thing was a bit awkward.
I thanked her for seeing me and then asked if she had seen my email or whether she would like me to make my points again. She said she would like to hear what I had to say.
To make a point about how narrow the referendum question was I produced a copy of the ballot paper. “Where on here does it say we were voting to reduce the number of EU citizens in the UK?” I asked.
“Well it doesn’t,” she replied. “But the government has reports that the level of immigration is a concern.” I asked for proof which she couldn’t provide.
I swiftly moved on producing an info-graphic showing that EU workers added more to the economy than they cost. She didn’t like this and I could feel her start to get agitated. The mood changed quite quickly – there was an added aggression.
She emphasised, not just strongly but crossly, that “the British people have voted for Brexit and the government is committed to making it happen”. Then she started pointing at my face across the narrow desk.
I moved backwards slightly and to be honest, I was shocked. I had set out to tackle the Prime Minister but I hadn’t expected she would lose her temper and jab her finger at me.
Although taken aback I calmly asked her to stop pointing at my face because I considered it rude. I didn’t feel threatened. I was just astonished that she got so rattled, so quickly. She was very defensive.
I asked her again to stop and after that she put her hands beneath the desk – maybe to stop her from pointing again.
I was determined to carry on asking my questions and pressing her for answers so I showed her a pie chart with voting numbers showing that only 37% of the electorate voted for Brexit, which was not the majority of British people. She didn’t really have an answer for that in my opinion. She simply began to spout agreed media soundbites which say very little.
At one point I said “you’re not listening to me” and she replied: “I am listening, but I am just not saying what you want to hear.” It wasn’t long before she was looking over my shoulder and hoping for the next person I think.
We did then speak about my personal concerns around the vote to leave the EU. I emphasised my concerns about the increased costs of food and wine for my bistro following the fall in the value of the pound. She started talking about exports, but I replied that I couldn’t export our steak and frites. I needed assurances from the Prime Minister, “we will ensure a strong economy” was all she could say.
She did offer me some more spin though: “We’re going to get the best deal.” I replied: “That’s a hope, not an action.”
I gave the analogy that the Brexit “best deal” rhetoric was like me saying I want the “best holiday” without knowing where I was going, how much it would cost, how I’d get there or where I’d stay. Guess what? She replied that the government would not give details of their negotiations.
I reminded her that Donald Tusk, President of the EU Council, said there would be either “hard Brexit or no Brexit” and I was inclined to agree. Mrs May’s response: “I am sure I have more experience in negotiating in Europe than you do!” Mine: “I don’t think arrogance is helpful.”
By this point I knew we’d probably never be friends. I asked her that given Maidenhead had voted overwhelmingly for Remain, would she vote against Brexit should she lose in the Supreme Court case? She replied that she was a representative and not a “delegate” and was not obliged to be the voice of her constituents.
I told her the people of Maidenhead may find this interesting in the next election. She said anyone who didn’t understand this didn’t understand the role of an MP. I said I thought there were many who didn’t understand this.
Time was up. I finished by telling her there was a huge groundswell of opposition to Brexit. But I don’t think she’s listening.
The meeting did not leave me feeling any better about the process – in fact I am far more concerned now. If the Prime Minister is so easily angered how on earth is she going to be the best negotiator for Brexit? I fear she will lose her temper and start jabbing her finger at people.
She seemed petulant, defensive, tired and rattled.
What is so frustrating is that she has so little to say in response.”
Theresa May’s secret plans to replace NHS England with private US healthcare system Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is a private healthcare organisation based in California.
But unlike many other private healthcare companies in the US, Kaiser provides a complete model of integrated pre-paid insurance along with healthcare which is supposedly provided free at the point of need.
This is a system much like our own NHS but with three major differences – Kaiser’s healthcare provision is much more expensive than the NHS, the healthcare provision side is run for profit and unlike the NHS its cover isn’t comprehensive – it only covers those people who are in work.
Despite that, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt seems to love Kaiser. He and other ministers have personally visited the company at its California headquarters – several times in fact:
And Kaiser’s own website lists other recent visitors from the UK, including many NHS hospitals and NHS trusts as well as HM Treasury and the Ministry of Health itself:
In text format those UK participants are:
Advancing Quality Alliance
Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Ashton, Leigh & Wigan Community Healthcare
Benenden Healthcare Society
Black Country Family Practice
Blackburn Borough Council
Blackheath Medical Centre
Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Birmingham and Solihull NHS Cluster
Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Birmingham Heartlands Hospital
Bramhall Park Medical Centre
Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Bupa Health and Wellbeing UK
Calibre Clinical Commissioning Group
Central Manchester GP Commissioning Consortium
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership
Cornwall Care Ltd.
Countess of Chester Hospital
Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group
Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust
Department of Health
East Cheshire Commissioning Consortium
East Cheshire NHS Trust
East Lancashire Hospitals Trust
East Midlands Leadership Academy
Eastern Birmingham Primary Care Trust
Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust
Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
H3Plus Commissioning Group
Health and Social Care Board
Health for London CSL
HealthWorks Commissioning Consortium
Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust
Holly Bank Surgery
James Paget University Hospitals
Jarvis Medical Practice
John Radcliffe Hospital
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Leodis Pathfinder Consortia
Liverpool Community Health
Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
Mersey Care NHS Trust
Mid Hampshire Primary Care Trust
Ministry of Health
NHS Blackburn with Darwen
NHS East Lancashire
NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Lancashire Care
NHS North Somerset
NHS North West
NHS North West Leadership Academy
NHS Trafford Primary Care Trust
North Lancashire PCT
North of England NHS Commissioning Board
Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust
Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
Pathfinder Healthcare Development
Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Portsmouth City Primary Care Trust
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Quayside Medical Practice
Queen Square Medical Practice
Robin Lane Medical Centre
Royal Bolton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Royal College of Physicians of England
Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
South Central Strategic Health Authority
South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group
South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust
South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group
South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Stanford School of Medicine
StHealth Clinical Commissioning Consortium
Stockport Managed Care
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust
Stonepoint & Partners
Sussex Cancer Network
The King’s Fund
Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust
Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust
Trafford Provider Services
University of Birmingham
University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust
Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group
Weston Area Health Trust
Wirral GP Commissioning Consortium
Wirral NHS Alliance
Wirral Primary Care Trust
Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust
We have already seen that US firms are looking to capitalise as the NHS becomes increasingly privatised, including Kaiser Permanente Foundation‘s senior vice president Hal Wolf who has openly called for the NHS to become “more like Kaiser Permanente“.
Alarmingly, Theresa May has specifically refused to guarantee she will not open up the NHS to US firms in a post-Brexit trade deal across the Atlantic.
Understanding the plans to replace the NHS with the Kaiser Permanente system explains why there has been a recent speeding up of the ongoing marketisation and privatisation of the NHS.
It also explains why the Tories were so desperate to push through their disastrous NHS reforms in the first place. A central plank of the NHS reforms was the formation of Clinical Commissioning Groups – which were openly based on Kaiser’s Permanente Medical Groups and which also happen to be a central plank of Kaiser’s healthcare system.
And understanding the plans to replace the NHS across England with the Kaiser Permanente system goes a long way to explaining why Theresa May has done nothing to resolve the worsening NHS crisis, which she is gambling will only make the public more keen to see changes to a system that is being deliberately broken.
So if the Tories win in June – say goodbye to the NHS in England and hello to Kaiser Permanente …
This is what Graham Mills, 73, discovered when he confronted the Prime Minister before her speech at Netherton Conservative Club on Saturday.
He quizzed her on privatisation, her refusal to take part in leadership debates and her ‘poor’ record as home secretary.
But despite his barrage of questions, Mr Mills claims he never got straight answers.
“I started by asking her why she would not debate the other leaders on the TV and she said ‘well we meet every Wednesday’ and I said that is hardly an answer and asked if she thought she owed it to the public. Again I did not really get an answer.
“I asked her why she was running the exact same campaign as David Cameron did with Lynton Crosby and employing the same scare tactics by suggesting Labour would form a coalition with the SNP, which she knows they wouldn’t. It is scare tactics.
“I was amazed at how nervous she was. She spoke about Europe saying we had to get things back so I asked her why doesn’t she start at home?
“She kept giving me stock answers every time. I was really disappointed.”
Let’s have a recap of Theresa May truths as Home Secretary: