Today’s Lancashire Post has a wrap-around advertisement for the Labour Party. It’s an attack on the Tories. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has said they think it shouldn’t be allowed. I’m not sure I agree. I don’t like it, of course, especially as it means that complacent old parties with deep pockets can get their shallow message out more easily than those of us who rely on volunteer help to deliver leaflets and work on social media, but I don’t like the alternative, of more controls on campaigning, either.
I suppose this attack ad is aimed at Preston and South Ribble constituencies. Labour have no chance elsewhere in the Evening Post’s area (Fylde, Wyre and Preston North, Ribble Valley). I don’t think they have much chance in South Ribble, either, although they did hold it for a while during the Blair regime. During the last parliament their only MP in the area was my main opponent in this election, the bored and complacent Mark Hendrick who, I suppose, is happy to have his bosses fund this advertising for him, as it saves him having to speak for himself.
What do Labour have to say? Three things, basically:
- “The Tories are threatening our schools” Well, unlike any of my opponents I went to school locally, as did, and do, my family. And I’ve worked in education locally for many years, as have friends and family members. I think I’m well placed to judge. My observation is that the Tories “could do better”, especially for Lancashire’s schoolchildren, but Labour are “bottom of the class”. Top of the class, of course, are UKIP. Hear more about our outstanding education policies in this video.
- “The NHS is in critical condition under the Tories” That’s rich, coming from the party whose policy of wasting £billions on Private Finance Initiative projects has been aptly described as “buy one hospital, pay for six”. UKIP is the party that really cares for the health of the British people, with realistic plans to revitalise the NHS and integrate social care. Hear more about UKIP’s plans for health and social care in this video.
- There should be more free stuff. That’s what Labour’s famous for, of course. That, and not having any money left after 13 years of “prudence”.
They promise no student tuition fees, at a cost of about £25 billion a year (their figures), an extra £45 billion a year for the NHS and social care – that’s £70 billion so far. They think an extra 10,000 policemen is small change – they can’t add up, it would cost about another billion. And there’s more. They don’t need a magic money tree, but a magic money forest. UKIP shares some of the same aspirations, but ours are tempered with realism, such that our programme will pay for itself within two years without increasing taxes, largely due to a Brexit bonus of just under £10 billion, and is truly prudent.
I have noticed before (although hadn’t had time to blog about it) that the policies of which Labour are most proud, for example those listed on their election communication (delivered by Royal Mail) and in this anti-Tory ad, are often UKIP policies, too. But UKIP do them better, of course. We understand the real world, and have properly costed, prudent plans. We believe in Britain, and you should, too. Vote UKIP on June the 8th. In Preston, vote for me, Simon Platt, your local UKIP candidate.