The Party Manifestos 2015: The Conservatives.

Politics First things first with the Tory manifesto. It has a better cover than last time. George Osborne has his back to us for one thing, but the text is also slightly better balanced even if it's arguably missing some commas and a conjunction. As it stands:


because of the comma in the final line looks like a run on sentence. Though I appreciate that the more logical,


is less aesthetically pleasing.  Maybe next time, eh Tories?

But what about the policies?

"A free media is the bedrock of an open society. We will deliver a comprehensive review of the BBC Royal Charter, ensuring it delivers value for money for the licence fee payer, while maintaining a world class service and supporting our creative industries. That is why we froze the BBC licence fee and will keep it frozen, pending Charter renewal. And we will continue to ‘topslice’ the licence fee for digital infrastructure to support superfast broadband across the country."
BBC still fucked then. Less money to make programmes that sort of thing.  Top-slicing from the licence fee for something which arguably, iPlayer accepted, has nothing to do with the licence fee.  Certain other media companies will be very pleased with all this.  The section is called We will support our media.  It should actually be We will support certain media because they agree with us politically.

Global Emissions
"We have been the greenest government ever, setting up the world’s first Green Investment Bank, signing a deal to build the first new nuclear plant in a generation, trebling renewable energy generation to 19 per cent, bringing energy efficiency measures to over one million homes, and committing £1 billion for carbon capture and storage. We are the largest offshore wind market in the world. We will push for a strong global climate deal later this year – one that keeps the goal of limiting global warming to two-degrees firmly in reach. At home, we will continue to support the UK Climate Change Act. We will cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible, and will not support additional distorting and
expensive power sector targets."
Keeping commitments but everything elsewhere is disastrous.  Commitments to fracking, investment in oil and nuclear power, "halting the spread of offshore wind farms" because they're unpopular.  There is investment to renewables but support only significant if they offer "value for money" rather than you know, keeping a habitable planet available for us to live on.  Across the two pages about the environment everything is about the business aspects of it rather than what it means for the planet.

"We will help public libraries to support local communities by providing free wi-fi. And we will assist them in embracing the digital age by working with them to ensure remote access to e-books, without charge and with appropriate compensation for authors that enhances the Public Lending Right scheme."
Libraries still fucked too then. If they really, as the title of this sections says, "continue to support local libraries", they'd reduce the cuts to local councils who're then closing the buildings and putting staff out of work or replacing them with volunteers in donated spaces.  Free wi-fi in libraries has nothing to do with libraries. Offering remote access to e-books doesn't help either. It's suggests a move towards removing a comprehensive service in favour of directing people to a website.

Film Industry
"The creative industries have become our fastest-growing economic sector, contributing nearly £77 billion to the UK economy – driven in part by the tax incentives for films, theatre, video games, animation and orchestras we introduced. Our support for the film industry has resulted in great British films and encouraged Hollywood’s finest to flock to the UK. We will continue these reliefs, with a tax credit for children’s television next year, and expand them when possible. We will protect intellectual property by continuing to require internet service providers to block sites that carry large amounts of illegal content, including their proxies. And we will build on progress made under our voluntary anti-piracy projects to warn internet users when they are breaching copyright. We will work to ensure that search engines do not link to the worst-offending sites."
Except the "support" is through the National Lottery funnelled through the BFI, so there's a bit of a grey area on that though there are the tax breaks, I'll give them that, even if they're not as generous as some.  But overall the cuts to the across the board pretty much invalidate anything written here since the film industry is at its strongest when its part of an cultural ecosystem.  There's much talk of how they're keeping museums and galleries free to enter whilst quietly glossing over the damage done to back offices because of the cuts.

Gender Equality
"We now have more women-led businesses than ever before, more women in work than ever before and more women on FTSE 100 boards than ever before. We want to see full, genuine gender equality. The gender pay gap is the lowest on record, but we want to reduce it further and will push business to do so: we will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish the difference between the average pay of their male and female employees. Under Labour, women accounted for only one in eight FTSE 100 board members. They represent a quarter of board members today and we want to see this rise further in the next Parliament. We also want to increase the proportion of public appointments going to women in the next Parliament, as well as the number of female MPs."
Why not all businesses? Why do they have to be over 250 employees? All looks a bit weak I'm afraid and nothing as definite as is could and should be. Women's issues (for want of a better phrase) (sorry) are mentioned throughout the manifesto but in a lot of cases its in the realm of "We don't do this already?" When they say things like "We have made protecting women and girls from violence and supporting victims and survivors of sexual violence a key priority" all I can think is, "and why wouldn't you?"

Anyway, here's a direct link to the manifesto:

Still wouldn't vote for them though.

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