Broken Promises

Why Not to Trust Tory Promises


The Conservatives have broken so many promises, in Wokingham and nationally; how can they be trusted now?

As 3rd May, polling day in the local elections, draws every closer, reasons not to trust the promises that the Conservatives make seem paramount. Just how many of them have they broken? They must be competing with Nick Clegg about now.

So far, we’ve seen:

  • A massive, widescale reform of the NHS, despite a promise that there would be no more top-down reforms.
  • An attempt to sell off the country’s forests to the highest bidder, having promising to care better for the countryside.
  • Despite pr0mising to fix the economy and cut the deficit, they’re borrowing more and the country is back in recession.
  • A promise to be the “greenest government ever” met by…well, nothing.
  • Scrapping EMA for poorer students, despite promises not to before the election from both David Cameron and Michael Gove.

And those are just the ones off the top of my head.

Additionally, those who read the Conservatives’ 2010 manifesto might remember this line:

…we will not allow the poorest people in Britain to pay an unfair price for the mistakes of some of the richest.

And yet since being in government, they have hiked VAT (which hits the poorest hardest), and increased tax on pensioners to fund a tax break for millionaires. That seems like a broken promise to me.

Of course, this being a local election local issues will be rightfully taking centre stage. But to think that the Conservatives in Wokingham borough are more trustworthy would be a mistake.

This blog, from November 2010, by local resident Richard Peat shows up just how conniving they are. Essentially, they promised in advance of the 2010 general election that a Tory government would reduce housing quotas, allowing the council to reduce the number that they would be building. The Tories got votes, as a result, in both national and local elections, and unsurprisingly the quota reduction didn’t happen.

So essentially, they lied in order to win votes at election time. Not exactly shocking, you may be tempted to think.

Look, also, at the library privatisation plan. It was announced last May, conspicuously just after a local election in which a third of councillors faced the public vote. So you’d expect it to have been a major issue in the campaign for that election.

But you’d be wrong. No mention was made, and the idea was not put to the public. A cynic might suggest that this was because the Conservatives knew it would be a vote loser, and decided that it was easier for them to subvert the democratic process and do it in secret. But I’ll let you make up your own mind.

My point is this: the Conservatives cannot be trusted to stand by their campaign pledges. They promise that they’ll iron out the “teething problems” with the new rubbish collection scheme, but you weren’t asked or consulted with about it. They promise the libraries are safe, but they’ve broken their promises many times before. And how can we know that Monday 7th May won’t see the announcement of some new policy we’ve heard nothing about before?

This Day…We March!


Marching for the rights of future students

Tomorrow, we march on the capital.

Tomorrow, thousands of angry students will descend on Parliament to protest the crippling cuts and fee rises proposed by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. Thousands of voices will be heard crying out for our politicians to hear our voices and listen to them. And for the Lib Dems especially, to remember what they promised in the election.

I will be there. So will over three hundred students from the University of Sussex. I have no idea how many people will be there from other universities, but I know this is going to be something spectacular.

I’d like to point out something in particular: we are not doing this for us. The tuition fee rise will not affect present students. The cuts to the Higher Education budget will, for some of us. But not for me, and not for thousands of other final year students who will be there. We are not marching for ourselves. We’re marching for the generations of students who will bear the brunt of this.

The rises are not progressive. They will dissuade the very poorest members of society from going to university, and transform Higher Education into something reserved for a rich elite. And the massive cuts to the Higher Education budget will decimate universities, resulting in students paying massively more for massively less.

This is why I’m going to London tomorrow. This is why thousands of others are doing the same. This is why I’m asking you to come.

Whether you’re a student or not doesn’t matter. You could be someone who will be applying to university in the next couple of years. You could be the parent of someone who will be applying. Or you could just care about the state of education in this country. Whoever you are, come along and show your support. If you’re interested, take a look at the NUS website for details, and get involved.

Thank you