The Conservative Party are spending millions of pounds advertising on social media, in particular, Facebook. It is a great way to connect with the electorate because it is interactive. It also reaches a huge amount of people. For example, a recent video attacking Jeremy Corbyn’s relationship with the IRA:
A persuasive video. However, it is yet another example of misrepresentation.
When Corbyn is asked, “But you’re condemning all bombing, can you condemn the IRA without equating it to.” The video is cut when Corbyn said: “No.”
However, the full quote was: “No, I think what you have to say is all bombing has to be condemned and you have to bring about a peace process. Listen, in the 1980s Britain was looking for a military solution, it clearly was never going to work. Ask anyone in the British army at the time … I condemn all the bombing by the loyalists and the IRA.”
You may have read that the Metropolitan police (London) has recorded a 40% increase in gun and knife crime – this is obviously causing real concern.
Some have argued that the reason for this increase has something to do with the decrease in police numbers (implemented by Teresa May when she was Home Secretary – 143,770 officers – 2009 compared to 122,859 in 2016. This is why Labour have pledged 10,000 extra officers as part of their campaign pledge.
However, as usual, a little digging beneath the headlines reveals a less shocking reality:
– The gun crime stats are still much lower than in 2004 for example – in 2004, gun crime stood at 24,094 incidents a year, the figure was 5,864 in 2016.
Indeed, the Office for National Statistics states that the crime levels are largely steady in much of England and Wales
There is an estimated 10 million people in the UK over 65
YouGov has estimated that:
- for every 10 years older people get, the chance of them voting Tory increases 8%
- one in five voters aged 65 to 75 vote Labour
- less than one in 10 over-75s identify as Labour.
Perhaps policies such as universal (everyone over 65) benefits such as the winter fuel bonus, free bus passes and free TV licences have helped secure this vote…
Free schools are a good example of a recent educational policy:
What are free schools?
Free schools are funded by the government but aren’t run by the local council. They have more control over how they do things.
They’re ‘all-ability’ schools, so can’t use academic selection processes like a grammar school.
Free schools can:
- set their own pay and conditions for staff
- change the length of school terms and the school day
They don’t have to follow the national curriculum.
Who can set them up?
Free schools are run on a not-for-profit basis and can be set up by groups like:
- independent schools
- community and faith groups
Why were they set up?
- greater choice for parents
- it is hoped that the schools will reflect the needs of a modern day student
- greater flexibility in learning
- increases competition and drives up standards
Why are they criticised?
A recent Public Accounts report has stated:
“While the department is spending significant funds in creating 500 more free schools, even in areas with no shortage of places, existing schools struggle to live within their budgets and carry out routine maintenance,” .
- they are being built in areas where they are not needed
- they are costing much more than previously estimated
- current schools need lots of funding but free schools are taking away this money
Simon Woolley is the director and one of the founders of Operation Black Vote and a commissioner for race on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and he argues that the lack of diversity and subsequent lack of representation for women and ethnic minorities is very damaging for our democracy:
“Among our MPs, elected by the people for the people, there are only 191 women – 29% – nearly 150 women short of equal representation. In 2015 only 41 black and minority ethnic MPs – 6% – were elected, when there should be nearer 100 for a more equitable representation.
I hardly need to argue why representative democracy is vitally important. We know it’s morally right, but often forget that the greatest argument for a government to look like the people it seeks to serve – and that includes class and disability too – is that it gives us a better chance of effective and dynamic government. If you’re making big decisions about people’s lives, it’s better to have a variety of people, backgrounds and experience around the table.
No one’s suggesting a man cannot speak on gender equality issues – they could and they should. But most of the time? I don’t think so. Equally, not every black or minority ethnic MP wants to speak about race equality: they may be more inclined to talk about the environment or health. But there are others who do, and the issues affecting, for example, young black workers have to be dealt with”.
Hundreds of thousands of UK families will be affected by cuts of £12bn in the UK’s welfare budget announced by the chancellor.
- The benefit cap will be reduced from £26,000 a year to £23,000 a year in London, and £20,000 in the rest of the country.
- Any family which has a third or subsequent child born after April 2017 will not qualify for Child Tax Credit, which amounts to up to £2,780 a year per child.
- Most working age benefits will be frozen for four years from April 2016 (The measure is expected to save £3.9bn a year).
- From April 2017, those out of work between the ages of 18 and 21 will not be automatically entitled to claim housing benefit.
Benefit changes ‘could push 200,000 children into poverty