VOTERS throughout England have a chance tomorrow to deliver their verdict on Theresa May’s Tories.
The elections are for 150 local authorities and six directly elected mayors, but the Tory candidates put up for these posts reflect the inhuman attitudes the May government shows every day.
Since the Tories took office in 2010, with the Liberal Democrats in their pocket, they have imposed cuts in living standards for working-class people.
As well as reducing the value of wages and benefits by freezing or reducing them, the conservative parties also slashed the social wage — investment in essential services that make daily life more civilised.
These essential services comprise our NHS, social care, state education, policing, nurseries and pre-school facilities, council housing, community security, health and safety provisions, equality observance, refuse collection, trading standards, libraries, local swimming pools, sports and recreation provision, locally funded charities and many more areas.
Under the Cameron and May-led governments, the order of the day has been to cut public funding while giving tax breaks to big business and the rich elite.
The Grenfell Tower tragedy, which focused attention on the deadly cost-cutting tricks of Tory Kensington & Chelsea council, revealed that the authority was so awash with cash that it refunded council tax to its most wealthy residents.
This is not because Kensington & Chelsea is more efficient than other councils, especially Labour. Nor is it about the value of property in the borough or the general wealth of residents.
The Tories and their Liberal Democrat allies discriminated against Labour councils for years, cutting the block grant to those most in need, while cosseting administrations in their own heartlands.
Liverpool city council, for instance, will have lost £460 million, 68 per cent of its block grant, in the period 2010-20.
Many other Labour councils have suffered similar block grant cuts, which can only be read as a government warning to residents not to repeat the mistake of voting Labour.
As Jeremy Corbyn charged in the Commons yesterday, the sum result of Tory policies is a slowing economy, rising homelessness, more children living in poverty, a chaotic Home Office and shambolic Brexit negotiations.
Chaos is a polite way to describe the state of the Home Office where May stamped her imprint of xenophobia and racism during her six years there.
Crocodile tears interspersed with jolly smiles as she told Parliament that Windrush children are British citizens with equal rights are intended to hide the reality that it was on her watch that the rules were changed to undermine thousands of people’s capacity to enjoy those rights.
Neither she nor her successor Amber Rudd could hazard a guess as to how many citizens who came to Britain as children were affected.
They didn’t know whether anyone had been deported and had no information about people being denied jobs, critical healthcare or the right to travel, despite having been made aware of problems in recent years when MPs raised individual cases.
No efforts were made to reverse government policy because May hoped that problems would blow over or, if they didn’t, she would garner votes because of her “strong and stable” clampdown on migration — even for people with every right to be here.
May’s obsession with migration numbers persists, as her incredible veto imposed on a temporary lifting of the visa quota — as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt proposed — to allow 100 doctors from India to work in the overstretched NHS vividly illustrates.
Anyone tempted to vote Tory today should consider three words before doing so — Grenfell, Windrush, NHS.
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