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Theresa May today delivers an extraordinary appeal to wavering Labour supporters to switch to the Conservatives as she attempts to portray her party as the only option for moderate and patriotic voters.
Writing exclusively in today’s Observer the prime minister says that if people who have previously backed Labour look again at her government’s programme, including pledges to increase house building and manage markets where necessary, they will find that it is not driven by ideology, but by beliefs and values that the vast majority could support.
Seeking to reclaim the One Nation mantle for the Tories, May writes: “I want voters who may previously have thought of themselves as Labour supporters to look at my government afresh. They will find a decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of their support.”
She argues that in an era in which traditional political allegiances count for less, the Tories now have a responsibility “on our shoulders” to offer a home to millions of former Labour voters who are unhappy with the party’s move left under Jeremy Corbyn. May’s pitch for the centre ground will enrage many Labour supporters who see her as a supporter of eight years of Tory austerity and the architect of the hostile environment for immigrants.
It comes amid rumours in Westminster that disgruntled groups of Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs could try to form a new party on the centre ground to appeal to voters who regard the Tories as too pro-Brexit and right wing, and dislike the leftwing agenda of Corbyn.
Adapting Labour’s slogan at the last general election (“For the many not the few”), May says: “This presents an opportunity Conservatives must seize – to be a party not for the few, not even for the many, but for everyone in our country who works hard and plays by the rules.”
After a party conference in which she announced plans to free councils from borrowing rules that have prevented them building more homes, May now embarks on a crucial fortnight in her Brexit negotiations with the EU. Senior government sources close to May said she is, however, determined to start looking beyond Brexit, to devise a domestic programme by which she will be remembered after she leaves Downing Street.
On Saturday Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the European Commission, said the chances of a Brexit deal had risen in the last few days, and it could be finalised next month. However, the EU is expected to publish proposals this week that fall short of the frictionless trade deal that May envisaged under her Chequers plan.
May’s One Nation pitch is bound to be ridiculed by Labour as a desperate tactic by the leader of a party in which rightwing ideologues are in control and driving Brexit policy. Reacting to her initial pitch for centre ground voters in her conference speech last Wednesday, former Labour home secretary David Blunkett said May was clearly laying a trap for his party.
“This is a well tried tactic, attempting to achieve two things at the same time,” Blunkett said. “The first is to appear to move sufficiently on to Labour territory to seem reasonable and moderate while at the same time trying to push Labour further from the mainstream. We must avoid this trap, because it is a trap.
“We need to be much more sure-footed in demonstrating where the Conservatives have stolen our clothes. And we need to reassure people that we won’t allow these blatant Conservative tactics to push Labour into adopting policies even more extreme and outside the mainstream.”
In her article May returns to many of themes she outlined in July 2016 when she became prime minister. She reiterates that the end of austerity “is in sight” and says while in the past “economic change has left some communities behind,” this time Conservative policies will deliver benefits for “every town and city”.
Deborah Mattinson, Gordon Brown’s former pollster and founder of the polling company Britain Thinks, said May was making a “direct appeal to the 80% of British people who want the country to come together.”
She said: “Persuading these voters to consider the Tories is not an easy task. In decades of voter research, the Tory party ‘brand’ (unlike Labour’s) has barely changed. Posh and professional, it falls short on empathy and fails to pass the test of being ‘the party for working-class people’, or, crucially, ‘the party for me’.”
She added: “Our recent studies explore how the Conservatives might widen their appeal. They find that, while moving to the right has a negative impact (-18%), moving to the centre shifts the dial positively with more than 9% saying they would be more likely to vote for a centrist Tory party.”
Responding to May’s Observer op-ed, Labour party chair Ian Lavery said: “With the government about to impose some of their most brutal cuts yet on working people, Theresa May’s claim that austerity is over is a con.
“The Tories have spent their entire time in power running down our schools, local services and NHS, while gifting huge tax breaks to big business. The prime minister is clearly spooked, so is resorting to desperate pleas in an attempt revive her failing administration. The British public won’t be fooled.”
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain with 16% of EU GDP and 13% of the EU’s population yet having only 8% (if united) say, whilst holding less than 3% of the various offices within the EU Do note The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy despite its protestations!Do note that many senior apparatchicks and even elected politicians speak openly of the ‘Post Democratic era’ with no sense of shame or irony and in complete contempt of the so called electorate – yet The EU & many of its vassal States/Regions are all too willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States, to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
Now as President Junker announced in his ‘State of the union’ speech 2017 the aim is to create an EU military force and centralise ever more of the decision making and control!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
Just follow the recent EU display of so called ‘Democracy’:
France and the Netherlands voted against the proposed EU constitution in 2005, only to have those votes ignored.
Ireland voted against ratifying the Lisbon treaty in 2008, but then later under pressure & threats had to change its mind.
Greece for me was the final straw. It became clear in 2015 that it didn’t matter which way the Greek people voted. The birthplace of democracy had become its tomb. That was enough. I was going to vote to leave the EU when the chance came.
No political party of any significance in Britain took active steps to achieve a Referendum – the task was eventually taken by an Indipendent West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire who personally launched and funded the gathering of a petition of 225,000 signatures delivered to Parliament via Downing Street, thus forcing a debate in the House of Commons on an IN/OUT Referendum, which led to David Cameron’s first consequential rebellion.
It was due to winning that debate, officially opposed by every party including Ukip that David Cameron was forced to include a promise of an IN/OUT Referendum in the Tory Manifesto at the next General Election. The rest is history & despite no Parliamentary Party backing the OUT vote & Government spending Millions of Pounds of public money leafletting & promoting ‘Project Fear’ to try to persuade the British people to Remain just as they had at the first Referendum in 1975 – This time their lies and threats were not heeded and in the largest vote in British history Britain voted by a clear majority to Leave.
Nikki Sinclaire’s OUT result left Cameron & his co conspirator Osborne with no option but to resign, sadly some of the other traitors have remained to try to hinder progress to BreXit, aided by their corrupt allies in the EU and \eu funding and bribes!
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, if we leave the EU, using a better negotiated, customised & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.
This is of course dependent on a modicum of intelligence on the part of Britain’s politicians and negotiators but it also requires the integrity of Parliament to uphod democracy and the integrity of EU politicuians & apparchicks to act ethically and without their normal vindictive mallice.
I believe Leaving the EU will be turned into something of a rough ride by the ignorant and the corrupt but I have no doubt that in the long run Leaving the EU will prove conclusively to be in the best interests of Britain and our true allies. I also believe that Britain leaving the EU will prove to be the catalyst to great changes within the EU and hopefully its democratisation as without great changes it is indubitably doomed.
Do not overlook the fact that politicians have plotted and schemmed since the 1950s and we have actually been vassals of the EU, when it was still using the aesopian linguistics and calling itself The Common Market in the early 1970s, a name the bureaucrats arbitrarily changed to EUropean Union in the early 1990s as they worked towards their long term goals of an ever closer centrally controlled Political and economic Union with its own anthem, currency, flag and rigid central control by its self appointed bureacrats towards a new Empirate –
It will take many years to rectify the mess our political class got us into and we have no other peacefull means by which to extricate ourselves than to depend on that self same self styled elite, who all too often forget they work for us!
One huge benefit of BreXit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly, in our own interest and that of our partners around the world, in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and terms imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their interpretation of the rules handed down, as if they were some great achievement of the EU’s!The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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