September came, the nights drew in, and three political parties met separately in the hope that they would be able to defeat winter and make the world light again, or something like that. Here is an overview of what happened arranged and presented in a biased fashion.
The Lib Dems started off the season with the slogan (which is a hashtag, but in the real world) ‘Stronger Economy … Fairer Society’ and you cannot say better than that really can you? This, coupled with policies such as free school meals for primary school children, and a commitment to further the increase of the income tax threshold even more than they have done already.
These policies are sweet. Too sweet, a cynical man might say, considering what we know about Lib Dems and promises. However, the Lib Dems are obviously, as Nick Clegg laid out in his speech, trying to say that they are the nice to the Tories’ nasty. That they have and will go on to exclude the worse of the Tory policy and indeed will go on to sanitise any future Coalition, be it with Labour or the Conservatives. And I think they mean and believe it.
Now, to Brighton and we have Ed Miliband screaming the chosen slogan: “Britain can do better than this!”, and you cannot help but agree with the audiences ferocious nodding. Policies in pursuit of this include the two year price freeze on fuel, a tax on big business which will fund tax breaks for small businesses, and a new plan to get Britain building 200,000 new homes every year by 2020.
Miliband also began decrying the divide and rule politics of the Conservatives, pitting old against young and those in work against those out of work as he put, and I feel in that he struck a chord with the electorate.
And that brings us on to the Conservative Conference in Manchester. The slogans here were ‘Land of Opportunity For All’ and ‘For Hardworking People’. So we have one that alludes to every good Conservative’s deep desire to be American and create opportunity through ruthless capitalism, while the other slogan tells us that far from being the party of ‘all’ they are only the party of the people they deem ‘hardworking’ enough. Hey, I said it would be biased.
Honestly, the Conservative conference sent chills down my spine. This is because, just as Labour have lurched to the left to some extent, I would say the Tories have lurched to the right. They want to encourage people into work or education by taking the benefits away from under 25’s, which follows the ethos that if you take away the ladder they can build one themselves. Not always possible if your family do not have money or your education has been poor. A second example is the commitment to get rid of the Human Rights Act. Theresa May ridiculously stated that it puts the law on the side of the criminals. Rather, it puts the law on the side of the individual and makes sure the state treats every human being with the dignity they inherently deserve.
Anyway, those are a few thoughts on the conferences. If the conferences show one thing for sure it is that there is going to be a real choice between right and left in 2015.