Understandably, considering this week’s atrocities in Manchester , politics and the general election in particular has been put firmly in its place. That place being a self-serving sideshow – most usually played out in the gutter.
Et Tu, Frankie?
Talking of which we note this week that Birkenhead MP Frank Field took some time out from writing for his usual safe havens ( The S*n, The Daily Mail) to get a letter printed on enemy territory in The Grauniad (aka The Guardian).
Note how Frankenfield stabs the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn , ever so politely, in the back:
‘In the event of a defeat on 8 June, Jeremy’s manifesto must be the point from which a new PLP alone chooses a parliamentary leader who is able to build trust and legitimacy with the electorate. For the new parliamentary leader not to start from here, and to revert to Blairism, would miss the point of just how much Jeremy has changed centre-left politics. The test which must be passed in the new parliament is to combine a popular programme with a leader who possesses prime ministerial qualities.’
So basically, having apparently already conceded defeat , the bitter and twisted poverty tourist says he likes Jezza’s policies but he thinks his main failing is that he lacks the gravitas of his late heroine, Margaret Thatcher . With the narrowing gap in the opinion polls we’re left wondering whether Frankenfield has made a very rare political mis-step or is he just being spectacularly disloyal and duplicitous as usual?
Quite rightly ,one of last week’s commentators took us to task about whether we’d actually read each political parties manifestos for the forthcoming general election. To which we could only reply – ain’t nobody got time for that!
So following on from our commentary about the Resolution Foundation’s analysis of the manifestos of the two major political parties and the similarity between their welfare policies we move on to expert opinion on the manifesto pledges dealing with finance and crime ( is there a difference we hear you cry !).
Financial think tank, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) , tells us that neither the Conservative or Labour Party party’s general election manifestos sets out an honest set of choices :
And so it would appear that you pays your money and you’re stuffed either way you vote!
Meanwhile the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies published their assessment of the key manifesto pledges by the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats.
With the appalling events which took place in Manchester this week their analysis takes on greater significance. Interestingly they reject the notion that , given the lack of strong evidence that more police cut crime, a policy to increase police numbers is not desirable. This points to a broader challenge, as Will McMahon argues in a comment piece on the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies website in May 2017
The resourcing of mental health workers and social workers to manage demand presently met by police officers should be a high priority. This would necessarily mean an overall shift in government budgets away from policing and towards the training and employment of social work and mental health professionals. This approach could lead to a radically downsized and less publicly visible police force, shorn of its social work responsibilities and instead, focusing on the estimated 16 per cent of incoming calls to command and control centres that are actually about law-breaking.
As we’ve said before – the information is out there to make your electoral choice. All we ask is that you make it an informed one!