Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 24, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Comment The 2024 manifestos – a summary and translation

The 2024 manifestos – a summary and translation

Satire Editor Caspian Davies provides insight into the Manifesto's of each of the major party's running in the upcoming General Election.
5 mins read
Written by
(Image: Matt Brown via Flickr)

This week, The UK’s top political parties have released their manifestos for the upcoming General Election on July 4th.  Now, for those like myself who are slightly unsure of which way they’ll cast their ballots in three weeks’ time, but also don’t want to read through each party’s somewhat lengthy and at times misleading pledges; look no further. The following will hopefully provide a helpful synopsis of each of the major parties running in England, to shed light on what each party is standing for, and what it means for you.

The Conservative party

The incumbent majority party have produced a somewhat predictable manifesto. But with their current approval rating at just 21%, its not hard to see why.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been promising a reduction in the record high tax rate the country currently faces for weeks, even cutting national insurance by 8%. But last week’s manifesto saw the party’s largest tax reform with the abolition of the duty for homes to £425,000. Whilst a win for the Thatcherites in the party, it is far from the tax reduction the country is so desperately craving. But not wanting to have a repeat of Liz Truss’s mini budget, its perhaps as much as The Conservatives think they can afford.

Not surprising is the continued pledge of the Rwanda Policy. The Tories have promised that flights to Rwanda for asylum seekers who have entered the country illegally will be leaving by the end of July. Sunak knows that despite multiple questions over the legality of this action, including from our own Supreme Court, admitting that this policy may not be possible would be the final nail in the coffin for the party’s hopes of re-election.

But perhaps the policy that’s caused the largest national debate is the implementation of National Service for those aged 18. It’s had mixed views among public opinion, but aside from it costing an estimated £2.5 billion, there are genuine practicality concerns. Whilst other European countries, such as Austria and Sweden, have had success in implementing such a policy on their youth, it does not mean that a carbon copy would be applicable to the UK. Unlike some of its European allies, Britain has much stronger military obligations outside of its own national defence. As NATO’s second largest spender, the UK’s Armed forces need highly trained soldiers, airmen and sailors to operate in active theatres such as the Red Sea, not just a squadron of poorly trained 18-year-olds.

This all leads to a somewhat stark reality: it may be too little too late for Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives.

Admitting that this policy may not be possible would be the final nail in the coffin for the party’s hopes of re-election.

The Labour Party

Having an overwhelming lead in the polls, one might expect Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour to be somewhat experimental in their manifesto. But what they’ve produced is somewhat…bland. 

Starting with education, Labour have they will add the 20% VAT to school fees that private schools had previously been exempt for in order to pay for 6,500 new teachers in the public sector. Great idea! Except this will only see a reduction in private school applications and a growth in public schools, despite teachers already warning that many state schools are at full capacity. This policy isn’t remedying any problems in education, rather it’s a quick headline for Labour to woo hardliners within their own party without thinking of the additional consequences and extra strain this will put on the education system in the long run. 

This, all while the most vulnerable members of society, the members Labour have sworn to protect, will suffer the most. It is truly, moronic

Interestingly, very little has been said about Defence, despite the obvious geopolitical tensions in the east. Whilst Labour have said they will remain committed to NATO and continue support to Ukraine, they remain suspiciously vague on whether they will continue to commit to spending of 2% of GDP on defence, as is obligated by all NATO members, or if they will continue to financially or military aid Ukraine’s fight against Russia. All that Labour have to announced is that it will build 3 new nuclear submarines in Scotland, but these submarines are already being built and are set to replace the current Vanguard class fleet by 2030. No doubt this commitment was just another way of shaking off the legacy of Jeremy Corbyn, who was famously anti Britain maintaining a nuclear deterrent.

But what’s most striking is Labour’s proposal to stop any new oil and gas contracts on British shores and establish a national ‘GB Energy’. To put is lightly this idea is, moronic. At the first televised debate, Sir Keir Starmer pointed out to viewers that inflation was going to rise in the autumn due to increased energy bills and an opposition Tory bench would profit from them inheriting such a problem. Knowing this he has then robbed the country of a cheap and local source of energy in order to win the approval of several climate activists who would have otherwise voted for the Green Party. Labour have added that they will double the nations wind power and triple its solar power by 2030, but for the six years in between the reduction of national output and the construction of these renewable energy sources, there is yet to be a plan as to how they will keep energy bills down. This, all while the most vulnerable members of society, the members Labour have sworn to protect, will suffer the most. It is truly, moronic.

The Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey looks like he’s having an absolute whale of a time on the campaign trail as he’s been show to do on interviews in theme parks, to the tennis court, and even on a paddle board. And in between all of this, his party have dropped a pretty decent manifesto.

Their proposal to add a tax to any private jets entering the country seems sensible and will get support not just from climate activists, but those wanting to see less wealth inequality. Similarly, their proposal of a sewage tax will help bring in some much-needed regulation to help fix the country’s ongoing water crisis, without having to nationalise the system, which would be seen as highly radical and expensive for their standards. And of course there is their proposal to legalise cannabis across the nation, something Sadiq Khan has been trying to do for years as mayor of London. Aside from being highly popular amongst the youth voters, would allow our overstretched police to tackle much more dangerous and addictive drugs amongst our communities.

The only truly divisive policy the Lib Dems want to implement is the return to the European Single market. By doing this, they have halved their voter appeal between Remainers and Brexiteers. Even then, most hard-line Remainers in either Labour of the Tories would touch this policy with a stick, we spent 4 years trying to sort out the mess that was Brexit, do we really want give that all up?

The Green Party

Imagine locking Greta Thunberg, Bob Marley and Karl Marx in a room, and ask them to draw up a manifesto, that’s essentially what the Greens have done. 

I’ll spare most of the utopian mumbo jumbo, but all you need to know is that their proposals are either too expensive, too drastic, or downright daft. How can we fund the entire all undergrad’s university tuition when we can barely afford our own police force? Tax the super wealthy? Hate to break it you but the super wealthy will leave the country before you could get the chance.

The Greens have picked up votes in previous elections from voters between the ages of 18-30 who rightly care about the climate, but don’t feel that the other major parties are doing enough to prevent climate change. Its understandable, and their proposal to stop all new nuclear power projects and fossil fuels would is meant to reflect that. But as we’ve seen with Labour’s proposal, heating bills will go up this winter, and these proposals will leave us completely vulnerable to insurmountable bills that will trash the economy. So one must ask themselves before voting Green, how much are you willing to pay to help save the climate? 

Reform

At time of writing Reform UK are yet to put out a manifesto, but with its party leader Nigel Farage already calling it ‘The Immigration Election’, it doesn’t look pretty.

How much are you willing to pay to help save the climate? 

It will likely consist of a policy so radical in tackling illegal immigration that it will probably make the Rwanda policy look like a light bureaucratic processing regulation. Whatever they do put out, they know that their target audience is those who previously voted for Conservative but don’t feel the strong lurch to the left, so find themselves being dragged even further to the Right, so reform’s policies must mirror this. To their credit though this has been successful as they are polling higher than the Tories, and Sunak has had to rethink the direction of his party’s election campaign. I’m not sure what is more terrifying, Starmer in No.10, or Farage at the opposition box. 

You may also like

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign Up for Our Newsletter