TCW Manifesto: Back marriage, restore grammar schools and quit the EU

TCW publishes its own manifesto – ten policies that would restore Britain’s historic tradition of freedom under the law

The Conservative Woman is independent of any political party. But we are not independent of the political process. We believe that fundamental changes are necessary to restore the health and civility of British society. We also believe that our political parties, with the partial exception of Ukip, are all in thrall to a stultifying left-liberal view of the world . 

For the purposes of electioneering it suits the political class to highlight relatively minor differences of policy or attitude. But they fundamentally subscribe to the same relativist, non-judgemental creed. This was amply demonstrated in the leaders’ debate on ITV last week. With that in mind, TCW publishes its own manifesto – ten policies that would restore Britain’s historic tradition of freedom under the law.

1. Reduce the size of the State and set the family free

The modern British state is too big and getting bigger and more oppressive. It should be diminished for three interrelated reasons -  it is inefficient, economically dangerous and socially destructive.

Total public spending in the UK is currently about £740 billion – three times the level in real terms of the late 1960s. It absorbs about 43 per cent of GDP, down from its peaks of 49 per cent in the late 1970s and 45 per cent in the financial crash of 2008/9. Under Conservative plans (more stringent than Labour) it is set to fall to 36 per cent of national output by the end of the decade (roughly the same level as under Tony Blair in 2000).  By then total state spending will amount to about £800 billion. The State employs more than 5 million people, roughly one in five of the national workforce. The national debt has ballooned since the crash to £1.4 trillion and is not projected to start falling for a couple more years.

But all these are projections and assume steady growth and no economic shocks. They also presume a majority Conservative government. A minority Labour government propped up by the uber socialist SNP would be bound to spend, tax and borrow more. It is hard to believe it will get anywhere near George Osborne’s 36 per cent target, which itself depends on heroic welfare and departmental cuts over the next two years.

TCW believes it is time to take a long hard look at the size and scope of the State. It takes away nearly half the earnings of people once they pass the £42,385 higher rate threshold (a fairly modest salary in London and the South East), undermining the exercise of personal choice and responsibility. Despite the 1980s privatisations of industries such as energy and telecoms, the State still employs as many people today as a decade ago. The State must abandon its effective monopoly over the provision of services such as health and education.

2. Tax breaks to support marriage, motherhood and the single-earner family

Family breakdown is estimated to cost Britain £50 billion a year and we have among the highest rates of relationship breakdown, single living and single parenthood in the world. TCW believes that the family is the foundation stone of the good society and that a renewed effort must be made to rescue the family. This has to start with marriage on moral as well as pragmatic grounds. All the data suggest that married families are far more likely to stay together than cohabiting couples with children. Children brought up by both parents are immeasurably better off in terms of their physical and mental health and educational and economic outcomes.  Children from our two million lone parents are far more at risk on all these counts.

The tax system must be reformed in line with other OECD countries that support and recognise the married family. The transferable tax break just introduced – worth a maximum of £212 a year only for basic rate taxpayers – is derisory and should be increased. At this level it does nothing to address the fact that marriage is dying out among the poorer social classes and is becoming the preserve of the rich. Church leaders, opinion-formers, media and show-biz figures and politicians need to make the case for marriage and acknowledge it is a social justice issue.

3. Ease the tax burden on Middle England and scrap expensive but futile carbon reduction targets

Slimming down the State - recognising that the State is an inefficient provider of services and a bad substitute for interpersonal dependency - is the only reliable route to lower taxes. But the income tax system needs to be rebalanced to ease the pressures on the middle classes, which are forcing mothers out to work whether they like it or not (and many don’t).

David Cameron has set the goal of raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 a year by 2020. But this is feeble. If the 40p tax threshold had kept the value it had under Margaret Thatcher, it would stand at over £70,000 a year. When Nigel Lawson introduced the 40p band, it caught one in 20 workers. Today that figure is one in six and five million people pay the 40p rate or the higher 45p rate levied on earnings over £150,000 a year.

A combination of a decent married couples allowance and the restoration of the historic value of the 40p threshold would take some of the heat off Middle England. It would also go some way to introducing a level playing field for the taxation of the family. The political class (all parties) compete to dole out childcare tax breaks while doing nothing for mothers (and sometimes fathers) who want to stay at home and bring up their small children rather than subject them to the rigours of daycare. But the single-earner family is crucified, getting virtually no help bar the miserly married couple’s allowance.

The decision to scrap child benefit for couples where one partner earns more than £60,000 a year has made a bad situation even worse. No wonder than only one in ten mothers stays at home with her children. You have to be very rich or very poor to make such a choice. Independent research has established that the British tax system ( which taxes people independently rather than as households) is harsher on the single-earner family than virtually anywhere on the planet (Mexico is worse). A fully transferable tax allowance (worth about £2,000 a year at current rates) and the restoration of child benefit to the middle classes would be a start. But a return to the taxation of household income, not individuals, would be better, along with the return of child tax allowances and tax allowances for people looking after dependent relatives.

The Conservatives should  rethink their policy of raising tax allowances at the bottom of the income scale and narrowing the tax base. They are creating more and more “free-riders” inclined to vote for higher spending (Labour) safe in the knowledge that they won’t have to pay for it. They should also rethink the tax credit system inherited from Labour, which has trapped four fifths of all families  in a ‘tax and credit churn’ and which depresses aspiration.

Unachievable carbon reduction targets, requiring the closure of most fossil fuel power plants and their replacement by so-called renewable energy, will cause energy shortages in the next decade. The total cost of carbon reduction targets is over £1 trillion. They are forcing up bills for families and industry and costing jobs and prosperity. They should be scrapped and energy generation should focus on combined heat and power plants, fracking of shale gas and small-scale nuclear reactors.

4. Introduce a conscience clause to protect the expression of religious belief

Freedom of expression and freedom of worship, under the law, is another foundation stone of our society. Yet, as the feminist-inspired secularist political correctness of our times has come to fill the vacuum left by the ebbing of Christianity, it finds itself under siege. Scarcely a day passes without the moronic and brutal Twitter lynch mob decrying some poor individual for racism or for some spurious phobia because they have dared to challenge one of the taboos of our age. 

At present, we have the bizarre spectacle of a bakery in Northern Ireland being prosecuted in a civil action by a state agency for refusing to bake a cake with a slogan promoting gay marriage. In other cases, people who have opposed gay marriage have lost their jobs or been disciplined at work. In the British Airways cross case, Nadia Eweida lost her discrimination claim in the British courts but was vindicated in the European Court of Justice.

More recently, Christian schools have been penalised for allegedly failing to promote gay rights or give a platform to other religions. More generally, people know that they have to be careful about what they say, write or tweet, especially at work. The Equality Act may outlaw discrimination on the grounds of race, sexual orientation or religion, but it increasingly seems to becoming an injunction to promote minority causes.

The law needs to be changed to insert a clear conscience clause, meaning that people cannot be persecuted (as in the Ashers case) for expressing their genuinely held religious or other beliefs or acting on those beliefs. Bizarrely, while freedom of expression is legislated against, multicultural orthodoxies are imposed that threaten both democracy and the rule of the law.

5. Restore grammar schools and teach about Britain’s unique contribution to civilisation

Labour and Conservative governments have sought to break the local authority stranglehold over schools by creating academies, independent of the local council, run by heads and educational trusts and funded directly by central government. More recently, the Tories have taken this process a stage further by creating free schools, which can be set up by local groups and are funded centrally. But such freedoms, apparently seeking to replicate the autonomy of the independent sector, are greatly constrained. The fundamental freedom – freedom to select and compete – is still denied.

The surviving 163   grammar schools, which escaped the Left’s cull of excellence in state education in the 1960s and 1970s, remain, while being effectively forbidden from increasing in number. David Cameron has ruled out the creation of new grammars despite extensive opinion polling demonstrating public support. Only the private sector can select pupils on the grounds of academic ability. TCW believes that this freedom should be extended to academies and free schools. Only then will parents enjoy genuine choice and only then will schools be able to replicate the success of the private sector by enjoying similar freedoms.

TCW believes higher education should be rebalanced with universities restricted to the academically able while vocational and practical courses are expanded.

But more needs to be done. The left-liberal domination of the classroom needs to be broken. The curriculum and exam system needs to change to permit the teaching of a conservative view of the world. It should be a requirement that children be taught a thorough, balanced and chronological view of the landmark events and personalities of  their nation’s history and the unique contribution Britain has made to civilisation.

Leftist condemnation of the British Empire should be eradicated and young people should be encouraged to take pride in their country and the way it has pioneered and advanced democracy, freedom and the rule of law – and not been afraid to stand alone against tyranny. Riddled with liberal guilt, too many of our schools and universities are turning out a generation of poorly educated young people in hock to fads, such as climate change alarmism and uncomprehending of the beliefs and attitudes that have created the free society. In the wishy-washy debate about “British values” far more attention should be paid to teaching our country’s proud history and the way it brought justice to the world – a justice now under severe threat from Islamic fanaticism.

Christian ethics and morals need to be returned to their once central place in the education system - removing in time the need for PHSE teaching or sex education. This requires radical reform of teacher training institutions and courses as well as a readiness to take on the power of the teacher unions.

6. Give people vouchers to purchase health care and education

The State used to own and run car factories, shipyards, railways, telecommunications, steelworks, airlines, and coal mines, gas works and power plants – and much more. All that has gone but the State still employs more than five million people. It proved itself useless at running manufacturing plants but that has not stopped it pursuing its hunger for control and ownership. (The least said about the now defunct Soviet Union, which insisted on total control of the economy, the better). 

Today the State spends £743 billion or about £30,000 per household. The big ticket items (health £141 billion; welfare (benefits and pensions) £232 billion; and education £99 billion) account for two thirds of total public spending. These are huge amounts of money. The question is are we getting value for money? That was definitely not the case with the former nationalised industries. Everything they did was done badly. So why should we expect the State to do any better with so-called public services? Imagine that the Mid-Staffs crisis, which claimed up to 1200 lives, had happened under private management.

We need to break the state monopoly over health and education. Britain is virtually the only country in the world to insist that only the State can deliver health care for all but the rich. Vouchers, which would enable patients and parents to spend their cash allocation on hospitals and schools of their choice are one way to create a variety of providers – charities, private companies and publicly owned hospitals - and encourage more personal responsibility for health.

Tax breaks for those who opt out of state services are a simpler option that would again ensure a wider choice of schools, hospitals and clinics. Competition among these providers would drive up standards, ensure greater transparency in the notoriously secretive NHS, and reduce the risk of another Mid Staffs horror show.

7. Scrap the BBC licence fee and break up the state broadcaster

The BBC has a guaranteed income, enforced by the threat of court action against non-payers of the licence fee, of £4 billion a year.Its existence means the Corporation unnaturally swamps the sector and stifles innovation. Not surprisingly, given its dominantposition, it is comfortably the main source of news in the UK. Not surprisingly, given its public sector ethos, it is driven by left-liberal values. These pervade its output from comedy and drama to news and current affairs. It is effectively a Guardian newspaper of the airwaves. But unlike The Guardian it has guaranteed huge resources and a quasi-official place in public life.

It is overwhelmingly led and staffed by people who adhere to its ruling leftist philosophy and the BBC has become a self-perpetuating progressive elite. Reform of such an institution is impossible by definition. The only solution is to break it up, requiring the vast majority of its output to take its chances in the marketplace funded by advertising and subscription. A small public service element, such as Radio 4 and Radio 3, should be retained as a taxpayer-funded service and subject to the most rigorous interpretation of the rules requiring impartiality.

The BBC World Service, once a bastion of British culture and impartiality, has now become the broadcasting arm of the Guardianista aid agenda, and is dominated by the same militant world-government values as the EU, Greenpeace and Oxfam. It should be forced to go back to what it once was - or also be scrapped.

8. Press ahead with welfare reform to reduce the bills and restore self-respect to the jobless

Welfare reform has been one of the few success stories of the Coalition government. In cash terms, spending on working age benefits is twice the level of 2001, up from £57 billion to £115 billion. But as a percentage of national output, the figures are not so bad, up from just under 6 per cent to about 6.5 per cent with a peak of 7.5 per cent in 2010. Over this Parliament measures to incentivise work, move people off sickness benefits into work, and cap total benefit payouts have curbed a previously inexorable rise in welfare spending. A further £12 billion of cuts to the welfare budget are projected for the next Parliament if the Conservatives form the government.

TCW believes that for the able-bodied, a life on welfare should not be an option and that young people should not be allowed to go from school to the dole – as David Cameron has pledged. Welfare reform, designed to ensure that training and work are available for all who need it, must continue. Governments must work towards the restoration of the contributory principle that Beveridge based the system on. It must pull back from off benefits to first-time lone parents, including privileged access to housing.

9. Quit the EU, regain control of immigration and strengthen our defences

Britain faces an existential choice. Does it want to be ruled by a foreign power or does it want independence? It has spent 40 years slowly transferring national powers to an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels dedicated to “ever closer union”. But while some powers have been transferred, over fishing, farming, employment rights, human rights, and trade, others, others, notably the decision to retain the pound, have been retained in Whitehall.

Nonetheless, the direction of travel is clear. In the wake of the Eurozone crisis, plans for a federal European superstate may be on hold but ultimately the need to integrate fiscal as well as monetary policy will force political union. Instinctively, Britain knows it cannot go down the path to a full-blown United State of Europe, the enduring dream of the Eurocrats running the Brussels Commission.

But for the UK, it is immigration that is forcing the issue with total annual migration to the UK running at 600,000 and net immigration at 300,000 – which amounts to 3 million people in a decade: a huge burden on housing, education and other public services and a threat to the living standards of the indigenous population, especially the low skilled. Roughly half of this is from EU countries. But under free movement of labour within the EU, Britain is powerless to stop the influx. TCW believes that Britain should withdraw from the EU, establish a free trade relationship with its former partners, and reclaim control of its borders and its wider destiny in the world.

After the foreign adventures of the Blair years, Britain has turned inwards, pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan and steering clear of the bloody conflicts of the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. At the same time, as it strives to maintain spending on domestic services such as health and education, it is running down its armed forces to dangerously low levels. The commitment to spend at least 2 per cent of national output on defence should be honoured. More generally, working with allies such as the United States, Britain should again become a force for order and stability in the world.

10. Curb the Nanny State

You would have thought that with wars and terrorist insurgencies raging across the Middle East, parts of Africa and Eastern Europe, a deficit of £90 billion and debts of £1.4 trillion, low productivity, 2 million unemployed, and indifferent health and education standards, the UK Government would have enough on its plate. Far from it. The busybodies of Whitehall and Westminster never sleep. The more responsibilities the State takes over from the family, the more the ‘problems’ it discovers to instruct and regulate us on.

Smoking in public places has been banned, tobacco on sale in shops must be hidden, the branding of cigarette packs will shortly disappear and food and alcohol manufacturers are next in line. Pressure from the health lobby is growing for warnings about sugar, fat and alcohol content on the labels of everyday items. The urge to meddle, interfere and, above all regulate, is relentless, yet national health problems like obesity get worse.  Bureaucracy is rampant.

It seems as if the smaller Britain becomes on the world stage, the bigger become the ambitions of the small-minded politicians and officials who rule the minutiae of  the land. The issue is as much cultural as political. Perhaps if Britain turned outwards to the world and not increasingly inwards to Europe, petty and irritating interference might wane.

The Conservative Woman

  • stewart

    So your message is vote UKIP then?

    • warmingmyth

      Absolutely! This manifesto is basically UKIP plus ( UKIP’s manifesto plus a few extras which are also consistent with UKIP’s outlook).

    • Scaroth

      Ukip omits the emphasis on the reinvigoration of Christianity as our moral paradigm. This (to my mind) remains an issue with the party,

  • Bill Kane

    10 out of ten

  • Kingbingo

    A thoroughly sensible set of policies. The only one I take slight issue with is number four. As an Atheist I also think I’m entitled to freedom of expression and should not have to be constantly concerned about breaching some lefty shibboleth.

    But its striking is it not that these ten policies are all things that just about any conservative woman (or man) would happily endorse. And yet the Conservative party under Cameron falls short on all of those 10 policies where they are not flatly in opposition.

    The problem being of course that Cameron thinks that he can spend five years insulting and ignoring his base, then a few weeks out from an election urge us all to vote for him on the basis that Labour would be slightly worse. Well I for one won’t, and I know that runs the risk of a 5 year Labour/SNP government, but frankly I would rather see that, and then a return to a proper Conservative leader [perhaps Javid?] then electorally reward Cameron for trashing what used to be the electoral recourse of people like us.

    It is clear that the only way left to influence the Conservative party is to leave it. Perhaps while Miliband is floundering around making a mockery of himself and discrediting Labour as PM, then Tory MPs can do the decent thing and get rid of Cameron. Then never again repeat the mistake of electing PR trainee with no experience of running a business or even a family on a tight budget. Someone who never learnt for themselves why conservative principles are vital and matter, who is prepared to toss them aside while trying to win favourable BBC/Guardian coverage for the current news cycle.

  • Alan R

    Without tackling the absurd cost of housing in the UK, about which this manifesto makes no mention, you are not going to incentivise single earner families or deal with the welfare bill, or address the steady erosion of opportunity and aspiration that a society increasingly dependent on inherited wealth displays.
    The best thing conservatives could do is to argue for driving the cost of housing down in order to give people the flexibility to keep more of their own money. It’s all very well talking about tax breaks here and there which might be worth a couple of thousand quid per annum in extremis, but when housing can easily cost several times this figure per annum one is entitled to ask why conservatives are so afraid of mentioning the elephant in the room. The reason is, of course, that Osborne has used housing policy as a weapon against people by driving up costs and therefore forcing people into GDP-pumping work to repay debts, the interest on which benefits chums in the city.
    Margaret Thatcher must be spinning in her grave when she hears Cameron and Osborne talking about the importance of home ownership whilst simultaneously deliberately pursuing policies which push prices up.

  • Reconstruct

    Only one I’d add: open the books on the TTIP negotiations and make any subsequent treaty dependent on ratification by Parliament.

  • bugalugs2

    Looks like the Conservative Woman is now closer to Farage than Cameron!

  • JS

    The education policies are simply attempts to impose a different orthodoxy and should similarly be resisted by people who value freedom of speech, expression and thought. A much better
    thing to do with education would be to take it out of politics entirely.
    We could try something radical, like, say, reducing the role of the
    State in setting curricula. It is not the State’s role to set (conservative, left or otherwise) values or instil national pride – pride is earned, not demanded.

    Like it or not, there is room to dispute about the role of the Empire (is the suggestion that absolutely everything the British did in Empire was a Good Thing?), about the desirability of democracy, about whether the British constitution does more to advance the rule of law than others.

    And as for: “Christian ethics and morals” in the education system – which ones? Post-Tridentine Catholicism, the various Societies of St Pius, methodists, current CofE or something else? On quite a few important questions these groups disagree. Presumably the answer would be to have the State determine what the Christian view is, whcih is hardly compatible with reducing the role of the State.

    • Dawn Young

      How about more free schools then if a parent wants a traditional education, a Catholic one, a child-centered crappy one, a Methodist one, ect they can campaign for it and help obtain what they think is the best education for their children.

    • Little Black Censored

      “…is the suggestion that absolutely everything the British did in Empire was a Good Thing?”
      Clearly not. If it were you would not be asking the question.

  • Scaroth

    Marvellous. A political party I can vote for. Oh, hang on a mo’…

    Effectively this is Ukip with a dash of Christian morality added. It behoves Conservative Woman (and the rest of us) to push such a programme. Independent Conservatives, anyone?

  • amac

    A sensible manifesto pretty much solidly behind UKIPs aims as others have written.

  • Dawn Young

    Ideally the child benefit should not be reinstated but all child benefit scrapped and replaced by a marriage and child allowance. (Those who fall on hard times and are out of work would recieve a type of Child Benefit.) This would help encourage marriage and reduce state dependency.

  • Nockian

    Get rid of the Government and state completely. It’s pointless to fiddle with the system when it’s morally and ethically bankrupt. You can hold the sea back for a while, but eventually it will roll back in.

    I don’t disagree with much of what has been said, but it’s too little, too late.

  • VacantPossession

    Well, you’ve got my vote.

    In the meantime, what are we going to do about a rampant SNP who are getting the softly softly from both main parties because they might need them for their own ends – it is what is known in engineering as positive feedback and in most cases it is ‘not a good thing‘.

    The Nicola Sturgeon master plan of increasing the deficit (no mention of reducing the national debt!) should be setting off alarm bells in the minds of every young person who will be expected to pick up the tab for her profligate plans long after she has retired on her generous pension. Has Nicola Sturgeon ever had a successful responsible career outside politics? No. She is very, very good at stating how much taxpayers money she would spend – and what she couldn’t raise in taxes, she’d borrow hence the deficit rise. She is more like like Miliband, Cameron & Clegg than she’d care to admit; Her policies are more lumpfish roe than caviar.

    Where are the free thinking Scots who believe in free trade, free speech, personal responsibility & enlightenment instead of hysterical & vicious nationalism? The SNP make UKIP look like the boy scouts. Where are the enlightened patriots? It seems Scotland is in permanent internecine war; If you don’t support the SNP you are a traitor. There isn’t much choice!

    Whilst damaging SNP policies go unchallenged, those north of the border that let others do their thinking for them are flocking to the SNP – which means the SNP may well set the stage & debate post election – SEXIT from the UK and a sharp left turn, left of Miliband.

    Those politicians not challenging the anti Adam Smith fiscal nonsense coming from the SNP will be directly responsible for the coming SEXIT; Ergo those politicians are not acting in the interests of the UK or the Scots. Quelle surprise? Are you listening, Cameron? I thought not.

  • david_kendrick

    This is so close to the UKIP position, I assume it is a wind-up? The only topic not covered is immigration—I hope not because it is too difficult a subject?

    For those few who agree with these points, and who have not already decided to vote UKIP, I detail UKIP’s position on immigration.

    Immigration is benficial for the host community, and is positive for the immigrants themselves. It is good for economic growth. So why not have unlimited immigration (which is more or less what we have)?

    The problems are not primarily economic, but social. There is deemed to be a shortage of housing. Every square foot of all the towns and villages have been, and are being, built upon. The Green Belt as under pressure as never before. See for yourselves. Go somewhere you haven’t been for 20/30 years. The extra housing is amazing, isn’t it? For sure, we could build more houses—there are loads of acres available. But I don’t want that done on my behalf. If you’re not bothered…..well, don’t vote UKIP. All the other parties will be pleased to have your vote.

    Pressure on the NHS can be solved with the extra money immigrants generate. If you think that that the extra resouces needed by say midwifery is merely a financial issue, support immigration. Lots of us think that the young mobile and fertile immigrants are steering our country in the wrong direction. We are not anti-immigrant per se, though we are very much against the scale.

    An old slogan summarises it well: “We think the country is full”.

    • Mez

      “Immigration is benficial for the host community, and is positive for the immigrants themselves. It is good for economic growth. So why not have unlimited immigration (which is more or less what we have)?”

      It’s only good for economic growth because we fail to train our own people adequately. 8/10 small business failures in the first two years, economic , financial and entrepreneurial skills are not core subjects, along with Brussels regulation all deters business expansion. What is good for immigrants themselves is irrelevant, ‘good’ can be found elsewhere. Some 30% of immigrants arrive on a student visa and are lost in the population, yet 60% of post graduates cannot find work in the subjects they were educated in, = major bad deal for tax payers who may never recoup their investment..

  • This is not the Ukip manifesto, as others have stated below. I am a Ukip member, but lament the loss of serious, practical workable policies such as the voucher system in health and education (the policy that attracted me to Ukip in the first place) which have been culled from Ukip’s slate in recent years.

    It seems that, as the party becomes more popular, it feels that it too has to converge on the Westminster position in order to stand a decent chance of success at the election. It didn’t work for the other parties, so why do Ukip’s leaders think it will work for them? Or are they simply allowing themselves to be bullied by the Twitterati?

    Come on Ukip, grow some backbone. Your country needs you too.

    By the way, i agree with every single one of these points wholeheartedly. A pity that none of the parties now do.

    • Little Black Censored

      Hear, hear, to all of this!

  • misomiso

    Well done Conersvative woman. Really good article.

    What I would add – on marriage, argue for a fully transferable tax allowance, ie allow men or women who choose to stay at home while their spouse works to transfer their tax allowance to them.

    The problem with the system is that the state doesn’t recognise the value of parenting, so demands everybody at work all of the time, and wants couples to pay for childcare which it can then tax. By allowing couples to be taxed as a unit the State would be forced to accept the economic contribution of parents staying at home.

    I would finally also add an explicit pledged to boost the brithrate, as its better for a society to grow its population naturally than through immigration.

    • Mez

      actually I think a more stable population is better than a continually expanding one, the need for it economically has been about paying for pensions because that has been paid for in taxes rather than adequate insurance, there’s already been a baby boom in England over the last five years or more courtesy of Eastern Europe, another why schools and hospitals are so stretched

  • pyotr leflegin

    That sounds just about right to me — thank you for a fascinating and thought-provoking piece. I wish you every success with this wonderful blog, the most sensible to be found on the entire Internet.

    Sadly, I feel you are preaching to the converted and, while people expect ‘the rich’ to fund their idle lifestyles the left-wing will always be successful; I say always, but of course, all things, bad as well as good, come to an end. Perhaps it isn’t too late to give this country a government for the people rather than for career politicians who wouldn’t know an honest day’s work if they fell over one in the street

  • mauricen11@gmail.com

    When did the Koch Brothers buy this organisation ? Is the Catholic Church in the UK aware of its links with this bunch of crypto fascists ?

    • Little Black Censored

      Please enlarge on your utterly mystifying comment.

  • exSecondaryModernTeacher

    Parents don’t choose a grammar school place – the grammar school chooses the children it takes. Selective education increases the effect of socio-economic background (perhaps TCW thinks this might be a good thing – to disadvantage further the already disadvantaged so they won’t be in competition with the children of ‘Middle England’). And the OECD found the top-performing school systems in PISA tests tend to be those which do not segregate children according to academic ability.

    Love the section about the Labour party ‘cull’ of grammar schools. It was Mrs Thatcher who signed the closure of more grammar schools than any other education secretary when she held that post.

  • exSecondaryModernTeacher

    The ‘success’ of the private sector in education is because of the schools’ intake not because of better education. The OECD found UK state schools outperformed UK private schools when socio-economic background was considered (‘Viewing the UK School System through the Prism of PISA’ December 2010).

    If all academies and free schools were given the ‘freedom’ to select the top 25%, at what point would there be not enough schools for the 75%?

    • Tensor

      In other words, once a gigantic fiddle factor is included (say, counting a GCSE ‘D’ in woodwork at a state dump as worth more than an A level A* in Latin or Further maths at a private school), you can get the results you decided to find before the research.

      State education in Britain is as bad as the dreadful health system. Both are run by and for their employees, and both deliver an expensive and scandalously harmful “service” which no one with the resources to avoid them would even consider using.

  • exSecondaryModernTeacher

    I am pleased smoking in public places has been banned – it means I have the freedom to enjoy a meal, or a film, or a drink without being subjected to someone else’s noxious exhalations.

    • Little Black Censored

      Or a stroll in the prairie-like grounds of a hospital, or a wait on a gale-stricken railway platform, etc, etc..
      And do you support the vindictive denial to smokers of separate rooms where the proprietors can allow them to smoke?

  • Thomas

    Well done TCW, that is an excellent manifesto. I think you are rather too indulgent towards UKIP in your opening words given how they have turned in to Red UKIP in the last couple of years, but thereafter you deliver a surefooted exposition of common sense liberty and Thatcherite ideas. Would that we had a conservative party with the authenticity and bravery to embrace even some of your programme.

    Keep up the good work!

  • rick hamilton

    At last a group who want almost exactly what I and most of my friends are looking for. I had almost given up, thinking gloomily that the lefties had won through their lying propaganda and we were all doomed.
    But why is it aimed at women? You should let your views be known to more UKIP supporters, male and female, because between the two of you there is the basis for revival of common sense, economic prudence and the restoration of national pride.

  • Anti_Femastasis

    The tax system must be reformed in line with other OECD countries that
    support and recognise the married family. …. Church leaders, opinion-formers, media and show-biz figures and politicians need to make the case for marriage and acknowledge it is a social justice issue.

    Instead of whining whining whining demanding demanding demanding, how about rolling back any and all feminist and Christian influence that has destroyed marriage?

    Here’s how marriage could be saved:

    * No more alimony
    * Abolishment of marital rape legislation
    * Absolutely no child support from the ex-spouse or the government. Parents share equal responsibility even after divorce, therefore each one shares equal time and equal money.
    * Single mothers have to be recognized for what they are: A crime production facility
    * Mothers who kidnap/withhold children go instantly to prison
    * Abolishment of 99% of family courts
    * Automatic paternity testing

    Such things would be the first steps into the right direction, not more money and more demands.

    Marriage is dead, no sane men will marry a woman in the misandrist society we live in, just read the 3000 comments at www cnsnews dot com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/bachelor-nation-70-men-aged-20-34-are-not-married

  • John Clegg

    How I wish that you were the Conservative Party instead of Cameron and his “sound bite” and conviction free politics.

  • DiscoveredJoys

    A good start but I disagree with the wording of no. 4 “Introduce a conscience clause to protect the expression of religious belief”. Unless of course you have no problem with people promoting Islam or Judaism or Scientology or whatever. Those people who are particularly motivated by their beliefs would use this policy to crowbar their specific beliefs into public life, and there is no certainty that Christianity would benefit..

    • Little Black Censored

      Where have you ever been troubled by Judaism “promoting” itself?

  • the ghost

    Non judgemental the actions you wish to undertaken shows your lack of judgement knowledge of your own bigotry
    Splitting the BBC for one whilst not forcing regulation to be balanced & truth on the private sectors spells out,if the bbc are biased it is because they alone have to fulfil there charter of being balance & the more the rest lie & are out of balance the more important & factual it has to be to fulfil is’t charter

    • Gen d’Eau

      “if the bbc are biased it is because they alone have to fulfil there charter of being balance ”

      Going to need to see some evidence of that. I think it’s just packed to the rafters with lefties, their output just reflects their outlook from the PC left.

      “forcing regulation to be balanced & truth”

      Whose ‘truth and balance’ would that be? Sounds remarkably Orwellian to me. I’m sure that the propaganda the beeb is pushing out now is exactly your idea of ++goodthink.

      Just cancel the telly tax and let the beeb do as it wishes.

    • Tensor

      I am not entirely sure, but this does sound like the authentic incoherent and deranged voice of the left.

    • Garbie

      Your `avin A larf and its their not there

  • Gen d’Eau

    Hey, I’d vote for that. Well done. Until the manifesto looks like that (and Dave and his bien pensant best-est buddies are gone) I’ll be voting Purple.

  • Tensor

    Well, no it wouldn’t, because the Times, BBC, Sky and the rest of the media would ensure that it was not mentioned anywhere.