The draft Manifesto contains landmark promises on the NHS, social care, education and housing
The one common theme, particularly in the more hostile coverage, is the usual questioning of the ability of the Labour party to finance it programme. For as long as I can remember, certainly since I first became involved in politics, the manifesto has always been subjected to the same comments and criticisms from the conservatives and those hostile to the Labour party, particularly from the media and television where over recent years, especially since Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader, the level of criticism has become vehement.
In this election campaign, the conservatives and their supporters in the media, are becoming desperate in their quest to stem the growing support for Labour and its policies for the many and not just a few. In this desperation, their reliance on the age old cliche of "the costings do not add up" is indicative of a party and a political philosophy which has nothing to offer the people of this country other than a rehashed more of the same old programme. The conservatives and media are now totally reliant on smear and demeaning of the Labour party leadership and distortion, misrepresentation and lies directed at the Labour party programme.
The fact is that the policies are fully funded and costed as John McDonnell has tried repeatedly to explain in the face of hostile interruptions from many of the television presenters who were clearly briefed to give McDonnell as uncomfortable a ride as possible The Labour party programme will be funded by changes to the level of Corporation tax, changes to the rates of income tax for those earning over £80,000 per year, a new rate of private health insurance tax and yes a modest level of borrowing, a proposal which has been criticised by media and a conservative government which incidentally over the course of the last 7 years, has itself increased government borrowing by more than £50 billion year on year and increased the National debt to record levels of over £1.5 trillion.
It is conspicuously obvious that the conservatives and their media supporters have no positive arguments or counter proposals to offer as an alternative to the Labour party programme, other than the tired old cliche of "the costings do not add up". A party which has run out of ideas and arguments retreats to the shelter of negative campaigning as a refuge from scrutiny and criticism.
The Labour policies which the conservatives and the media so fear, have a great deal of support amongst the British people, some businesses and and many charity organisations.
These popular measures include an end to the privatisation of our NHS and a reversal in those sectors already privatised, an expansion of social and welfare care, abolition of cuts to school budgets and an end to tuition fees, an expansion of British infrastructure, a house building programme to produce 1 million new homes over the course of a parliament, taking back into public ownership the Royal Mail and the energy companies and railways who have been ripping off the people of this country for far too long. These policies are known to be popular with the public, and the conservatives have no answer.
The result of this election is not a foregone conclusion and Theresa May, the conservative party and the media and television are well aware of this fact. The daily assault on the Labour party and its leadership, becomes more hysterical with each passing hour. We may expect that over the course of the remaining 27 days the level of venom from the conservative machine will become even more vitriolic as they realise that their days in government are numbered.
We in the Labour party must remain firm in our resolve to continue putting forward our policies and explain the way in which those policies are funded. It is an election which we must fight on our terms and on our agenda and we must not be diverted into sterile debate with those who seek to avoid the issues while concentrating on personalities. We must continue to press for a fair and just society where no groups or individuals are excluded and left behind. We have the policies and we have a strong leadership.
Now, we must campaign together to create a society for the many not the the few.