My old economics teacher used to say that regardless of what other big issues might be surrounding a General Election the thing that really sticks in the back of people’s minds when they head to the polling stations is whether they can put food on the table.
Labour’s chances of winning this election have been predicted at slim to none by the pollsters, a factor largely based on their muddled approach to Brexit which is seen to be a decisive issue for people so fresh out of the referendum last year. The Tories have a clear line and they’re sticking to it, the Liberal Democrats have an opposing view and they’re sticking to it, hence approval ratings for both parties has rocketed.
But the economy is a card that could trump Brexit. Today’s economic figures showing the cooling effect inflation and stagnating wage growth is having on our economy is the news we have all been waiting for and the figures the Tories were hoping to avoid until after the General Election. Up until now our economic growth has been based on surprisingly unwavering consumer appetite, but with currency controls wearing off it was only a matter of time before the effects of price increases took it’s toll on a country that ain’t getting paid.
— Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) April 28, 2017
It is a sign of things to come under a potentially commanding Conservative government which prioritises lining the pockets of large corporations and wealthy individuals over the other 99 per cent of people. Under their Brexit whitepaper Britain will go it alone from 2019 in looking to secure trade deals elsewhere in the World whilst maintaining close ties to Europe, an approach that was laughed out parliament by German MPs as Angela Merkel poked fun at May’s misguided plans.
Thankfully, this is one area where Labour does have a clear policy. The party’s shadow secretary of state for leaving the European Union Keir Starmer has placed the focus of Brexit on mitigating the economic consequences of the divorce, highlighting his strategy to stay within the single market and the customs union as “Labour know that is vital to protecting jobs and the economy.”
Roughly translated, Starmer knows that you play with people’s jobs and livelihoods at your own peril, whereas the Tories have no qualms trading off worker’s rights for a fat majority in Parliament. They’ll peddle populist rhetoric all day long for that privilege and misguide voters for fun. As we exposed here, Theresa May is hardly a women we can trust on integrity.
So when do we wake up?
We look at the Tories and we see safety, when all they have delivered is a nation living from pay cheque to pay cheque with a safety net that has the structural integrity of a spider’s web. They are the party to embrace the Gig economy, they are the ones who have put almost a million people on zero hour contracts, they are the ones who have created queues outside food banks and they are the ones who are about to be given a huge mandate to re-write UK laws outside of the European Union.
As today’s figures show the economic time bomb is ticking, and we’re about to vote in the party who has their hands on the explosives.