It’s time Labour learned how to land a punch.
Lights, camera, action. In a snazzy hall at Birmingham City University brimming with hope and promise, Jeremy Corbyn finally took to the stage to reveal his long-awaited new manifesto with the strap line “It’s time for real change”. And what a show it was.
With sweeping tax rises for wealthy oil companies, a life-saving cash boost for the NHS, and a green revolution, to say it’s the most radical manifesto in decades would be a gross understatement. It’ll be like saying it’s a tad nippy outside these days, and that you mi-ght need a coat.
The Labour manifesto – or, to give it its proper name: the Behemoth Cash-strapped Armageddon – promises £75 billion for new homes, 5% pay rises for EVERY public sector worker, and an £11 BILLION windfall tax on the wealthy. To put that last one into perspective, the Treasury expect to only raise £1.1 Billion this year from gas and oil. The mind boggles.
There’s also the long-standing flagship pledges of scrapping tuition fees and ending universal credit once and for all. Significantly, Labour also promises a second EU referendum within six months.
… And definitely not here. Which brings us to…
The smear machine
Within hours of publishing their manifesto, Conservatives HQ published a site with the name of labourmanifesto.co.uk. Its sole aim was misleading the public who, no doubt, would be googling “Labour manifesto” all day, as well as “Are Rachel Riley and Katie Hopkins related?”
This disgusting ploy joins the ever-growing list of dirty Tory smear tactics. So far they include the Keir Starmer video edit from last month, and the very recent @factcheckUK farce – where the official Tory Twitter handle was converted to a smear machine for the length of the ITV debate.
What else do they have planned? I reckon it’ll be along the lines of someone dressing up as Corbyn telling us that Marxism is the future for Britain. James Cleverly and his nefarious tricksters will clearly spare no expense to ensure that Labour are smeared at every opportunity. Meanwhile the Tories get off scot-free.
Time to fight back
It’s completely mental that Priti Patel can get away with saying that the crippling and endemic poverty across the UK isn’t down to the “people in Westminster”. Rather, she’s blaming cash-slashed councils who’ve been subject to a decade of brutal and cynical Westminster cuts. How dare she.
Likewise, I can’t have been the only person screaming at the television during the debate for someone – even the cameraman – to call out Boris’s ridiculous lie of 40 new hospitals. It’s been debunked more times than the flat-earth theory!
What this election really needs is clarity and truth without all the background noise and playground tactics. But if a Tory defeat requires a few unconventional manoeuvres, Labour HQ should oblige. A “Jennifer Acuri” comment there , a “Garden Bridge” jibe there. I reckon the public needs to know there’s plenty of smears to go round. If the Tories are willing to play, so should Labour.
Mikail Javaid is London Student’s political editor.
Photo credit: User:Rwendland, under Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0), with modifications.
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