What does Labour’s manifesto mean for you?

Jeremy Corbyn stood, holding aloft his party’s manifesto to the applause of his supporters Tuesday. Some of it was, of course, not surprising after last week’s leaked draft but there are many more points that need to be discussed.

Here we look at the biggest points of the manifesto.


Jeremy Corbyn has set out his views for the Britain’s tax future. He, and his party, have decided that to help the many the rich must once again bear the brunt of any heavy taxes. An estimated 1.2 million people earning over £80,000 will now be asked to cough up extra as a 45p rate of income tax will be installed.

This is a big change as the only people paying that amount of tax right now are those earning over £150,000 a year. Those who earn over £123,000 per year will be paying 50% in income tax.

The corporate world will also be told to pay more tax – 26%. This massive increase will result in a reported £19.4bn being raised but this number seems too low to account for corporations paying back taxes that they have fraudulently or ‘cleverly’ not paid over the years.


Labour have made no commitment to reduce the amount of immigration into the UK and have said that they will not resort to “bogus” immigration targets. They will also scrap any thresholds for spouses of migrants who want to enter the UK and live. This means that many people will be able to be joined by their partners in the UK.

The Railways

Jeremy Corbyn has always been a staunch advocate for public services that included the railways. As many see their rail fairs increase yearly, to appease private company shareholders, Labour want to re-nationalise the nations railways. The plan is to wait for the franchises to expire before bringing them back, thus avoiding any fees.

This policy will see real accountability for problems to do with the railway as well as capped fares and free WIFI introduced throughout. HS2, once completed, will link with the ‘Crossrail of the North’ and be spoken about as a Labour victory for many years to come.


The energy market will, partially, be brought back into public ownership in order to break up certain firm’s monopoly on the sector. This will mean that at least one public energy company will be created in every region of the UK with bills capped at £1,000 a year.

Health and Care

The NHS will receive an extra £30bn in funding raised from taxing the top 5% of earners and those who choose to have private medical insurance.
NHS workers from the EU will have their jobs protected while carer’s allowance will be increased in line with Jobseekers Allowance.

Housing and Welfare

Labour have pledged to build one million more homes which will include 100,000 more council homes in the next 5 years. They have also promised to provide homes for the 4,000 for people who have a history of rough sleeping and to cap rent rises to the inflation rate.


Pensioners will still receive free bus passes and winter fuel allowance under their universal benefits as well as a triple lock system for their pension payments.


Students who attend university will see their tuition fess abolished completed meaning that it will once again be free to attend higher education. The age to vote will also be lowered from 18 to 16 years old.

Crime and Defence

The introduction of 10,000 more police officers to patrol communities will be provided under this government as well as supporting the renewal of Trident and the commitment of 2% GDP towards defence spending under the NATO agreement.


Labour have accepted the result of the referendum and will move forward to build a new, much closer, relationship with Europe as partners instead of members.

They will negotiate a deal that includes being a member of the single market and the customer’s union while guaranteeing the rights of any EU nationals living in the UK. This will be part of a plan to secure the rights of UK citizens who live outside of Britain.

If you would like to read the full manifesto please click here.


First published here:


The weekly political round up

After a long week of politics, here is the weekly round-up and main stories to know about.


Emmanuel Macron was inaugurated Sunday as France’s president. Macron won the French presidential election last week, seeing off far-right leader Marine Le Pen with ease.

The centrist politician who was relatively unknown and did not belong to a main party won more than 60% of the vote. In the coming days, he reinstated his belief in climate change controls and the need for a stronger EU saying that Brexit is a ‘crime’ and will not be an easy negotiation for Britain to leave.


Theresa May took questions from the public live on LBC this week. Hosted by Nick Ferrari, the Prime Minister received calls from many angry and annoyed NHS staff who felt that the health service was being neglected and was not receiving enough funding from the government. May subsequently avoided much the anger by replying with the fact that the conservatives have provided billions in extra funding.

She spent much of the broadcast slamming Labour’s proposals for universal housing and higher taxes on the rich.


On a lighter note for the Tories, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it will not be making any charges against candidates who were alleged to have broken election spending rules at the last election.


This week President Trump fired head of the FBI James Comey, the very man who is investigating him for his supposed ties to the Kremlin.

Trump also implied obstruction of justice in a tweet and admitted that it was not the Attorney General and his deputy’s recommendation that made him fire Comey but instead said that he was going to do it anyway.

Trump met with the Russian Foreign Minister and Ambassador the same day he let Comey go creating more suspicion.


Jeremy Corbyn was on the campaign trail trying to raise awareness that his party is still a leading force in British politics but also have the strength to lead the country after the election.

On Thursday drafts of the Labour manifesto were leaked through the Mirror and Telegraph newspapers. Unsurprisingly, it shows that under a Labour government, the railways and Royal Mail would be nationalised and the energy sector would be broken up so it is not dominated by a hand full of companies, much like the model in Germany.

Labour have received a lot of criticism since the leak from right-wing newspapers. The Daily Mail’s main headline was “Labour’s manifesto to drag us back to the 1970s” whilst simultaneously saying that “Girl jobs and boy jobs ARE the secret to lasting love.”


First published here:


A bad week for the Trump Administration

Donald Trump’s week has, it must be said, not been great. From the firing of FBI chief James Comey to a potential obstruction of justice, things have moved very quickly, in the wrong direction, at the White House.

After over 100 days of Trump as the leader of the free world, there is still huge coverage of his ties to Russia. A man who receives that kind of unwanted attention would distance himself from anything that could seem incriminating or raise further questions. Not the Donald though.

This week the President fired James Comey, the very man who is investigating him for his supposed ties to the Kremlin. His staff and the official letter, released by press secretary Sean Spicer, said that under the recommendation of the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and his deputy Rod Rosenstein, his position at the Bureau had been terminated.

A question of leadership

The decision asked more questions than it answered, primarily why would Trump fire a man who was investigating his collusion with Russia if he had nothing to hide? The firing of such a high-profile member of the intelligence community came the very same day that Trump met with Russia’s ambassador to the US as well as their foreign minister.

C_fVWE9XkAUoTe4American media were banned from the Oval Office, but Russian state media was granted access and released pictures of handshakes and talks hours later. The official statement from the White House also did not include Ambassador Kislyak. Former Deputy Director of the CIA, David Cohen, agreed that it was not a good idea to allow a Russian government photographer and all their equipment into the Oval Office.

Kislyak had conversations with former security advisor Michael Flynn after the election win, but prior to the inauguration. This lead to the latter resigning over allegations of sanctions discussions which were not disclosed during his confirmation hearing.

This came after current Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigation into ties and also failed to disclose any conversations he had with Kislyak during his confirmation. Inviting ministers from the very government that you are under investigation for colluding with, is not a good idea.

Calls for impeachment

Come Friday Donald had two massive moments. One was during an interview with the broadcaster NBC, and the other coming in the form of a tweet.

In the interview, Trump told Lester Holt that he made the decision to fire Comey regardless of the recommendation. “And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘you know this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election they should’ve won.”

This got many calling for impeachment for obstructing justice – something that is still ongoing.

It is fair to say that Trump has not had the greatest of weeks since taking office. It’s also fair to say he has not helped himself or his staff one bit. Time will tell if he has lied to the American people and be removed from office or if he’ll stay on and see out the rest of his term.

Underneath is a video from the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and his take on the different explanations that have come from the White House about Comey’s firing.


First published here


The first 100 days

Donald Trump has been in office just over 100 days and as of yet, has not, like many thought, started WW3. The 45th POTUS has however, had a tumultuous time so far. Here are his biggest wins and even bigger failures.

The victories:

Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

Trump pledged to remove the U.S. from the TPP after years of it not having a positive impact. The partnership which, prior to removal, was described as a dead, was seen to be a big win for the new President and a good start in office.

Supreme court nominee:

Neil Gorsuch was put forward as the new Supreme Court nominee. Many opposed Gorsuch and felt that his views were far too conservative, reflecting the few, not the many.

With democrats still against his appointment, they decided to filibuster the nomination meaning he would need a super majority of 60/100 votes to win.

Knowing this wasn’t possible, the Republicans changed the rules to end filibustering on Supreme Court nominees and confirmed Gorsuch with a simple majority.

National security:

While sitting with Chinese President Xi, America fired over 50 missiles into Syria as retaliation for a chemical weapon attack on civilians by the Assad regime.

Since then America has dropped its’ biggest non-nuclear bomb ‘MOAB‘ on an ISIS tunnel system in Afghanistan. Tunnel systems that WikiLeaks says were built by the CIA to help the Mujahideen, and Osama Bin Laden, fight the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Trump has also said that North Korea is a problem which needs to be dealt with. Pyongyang has hit back at Trump threatening a nuclear war but the hardline approach has amassed support.

Paul Ryan with the Republican health care plan – image Courtesy of NBC News
The Failures:

The Muslim Ban:

A tighter border, was a key part of his campaign and was introduced with an executive order permitting travel from seven, predominantly Muslim, countries. The ban was blocked by a judge just hours later though.

The order was re-drafted a month later with Iraq left off the list but was once again blocked by a judge making both orders failures.

Repeal and replace Obamacare:

Another campaign promise was to repeal and replace Obamacare. When the Republican’s published their plan it showed that upwards of 14 million people would lose their healthcare coverage and premiums would also rise. This created a huge backlash.

Just before the vote was cast House Speaker Paul Ryan told the President that the bill would fall short by up to a dozen votes, rendering it another loss.

Generic lies:

In the first 100 days Trump has continually mis-spoken and contradicted himself making him a fact-checkers dream. These are just a few.

“Politicians prospered but the jobs left and factories closed” – President Obama oversaw a record 75 months of job growth.

“The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years right? Did you know that? 47 years.” – The murder rate for 2015, the latest available, is among the lowest on record.

“There was a very large infrastructure bill that was approved during the Obama administration, a trillion dollars. Nobody ever saw anything being built.” -2,700 bridges, 42,000 miles of improved roads and 12,000 new buses were built.

When politicians lie, especially Donald Trump, facts would be a great item to use.


Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

First published on Kettle mag:



The Le Pen rebrand

Marine Le Pen announced on Monday that she would be temporarily stepping down as the leader of the far-right National Front party. The decision came one day after the run off vote which saw Emmanuel Macron beat Le Pen by 2.7%.

Le Pen’s extraordinary decision to ditch her party in the name of ‘unity’ as she puts it, has puzzled many. Someone who has always fought with such a hard-line in so many aspects has produced a huge U-turn in an attempt to woo the electorate.

An electorate, it must be said, that in the light of the terror attacks dating back to Charlie Hebdo, have warmed to Marine and her policy which promises to do all it can to keep France safe in the face of Islamic terrorism.

Picture courtesy of Closer

To combat the centrist Macron and his moderate policies Le Pen knows that she must level the playing field. Her father before her failed in a presidential bid under the same political banner, she knows if she is going to reach the run off voters she must change.

She must diversify and present a united front to the French population. An estimated 7-9% of the population are Muslim and there is a need to make those citizens feel welcome under the Le Pen umbrella and not outside on the fringes.

Keeping that demographic of people at a distant pushes them further towards Macron and another Presidential loss for a National Front leader.

Le Pen is smart, meticulous, articulate and politically savvy, she is not to be underestimated as this move shows.

People were scared and anxious when her father pushed for the Presidency because of his support, but he did not understand the need to adjust his position in order to gain the votes needed – she does.

The final vote will be held on May 7th with Macron pushing his moderate views and Le Pen now focussing on unity and security, two things that the electorate will always get behind.

Picture: Franck Pennant/AFP via Getty Images

article first published on:





MOAB and Trump’s authorization

The U.S. has dropped its’ biggest bomb, that is not a nuclear weapon, for the first time in combat. The GBU-43B known as MOAB, Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or as it has also been nicknamed the ‘Mother of all Bombs’ was launched by the American Air Force in Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan.

The bomb is 30ft in length, weighs more than 10,000kg, carries over 8,000 kilograms of explosives and costs over $300m. It was targeting an underground tunnel system created and operated by ISIS in the Achin district.

The bomb has a blast radius of one mile in every direction and detonates just above the ground. Once discharged the device sucks all of the oxygen out of the area and turns the air to fire, making it quite the destructive device.

The weapon was tested as early as 2003 at a Florida air base and was then moved to Iraq to use as part of the ‘shock and awe’ strategy deployed by the Bush administration. The theory that Saddam Hussein’s army would be so scared of the American fire power that they would surrender.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer briefed the press corps about the attack but did not answer if President Trump had actually signed off on the order. He instead said that if any further details are needed, that reporters should be referred to the department of defence.

When POTUS was also asked about authorizing the attack he said that he was “very proud” of his military. When pushed about the authorization he mumbled “errr everybody knows exactly what happened so and what I do is I authorize my military” once again not actually answering the question.

Trump playing golf – picture: Patrick Semansky
It seems that Trump has left any sort of authorization that would normally fall to him, to the military. Perhaps he doesn’t want to be bothered on the back nine.

Any sort of diplomatic fall-out would be left to be handled by an administration, that is hell-bent on sorting the worlds political tensions through military maneuvers and direct threats.

If Trump is allowing his military to carry out bombing raids and use weapons nicknamed the ‘mother of all bombs’ without Presidential permission, then how far does military freedom go?

The NSA were given the freedom for daily operations and carried out out illegal surveillance on American citizens prior to being whistle blown by Edward Snowden.

It showed that a lack of oversight and regulation resulted in a direct overreach by a major government agency. Something that we may have seen the start of in the military.

If we have, many more people, especially civilians, could be killed.


article first published on –

Sean Spicer’s slip-ups

Sean Spicer has been in the White House just a matter of months but has found it hard to come to terms with the gravity of his job. A man whose one job is to communicate concisely and clearly the inner workings of the administration, Spicer has consistently flapped and floundered in the face of the press.

Here are just a few of his biggest ‘gaffs’ since he took the reins as White House press secretary.


After the inauguration in January Spicer caused a stir on twitter by saying that those who attended the ceremony were part of the largest audience in history.

This led to the hashtag Spicerfacts after the claims, from the President and other Aides, were disproved by TV ratings, the Washington Metro network, crowd experts and photos.

This evidence however, has not deterred the President, nor Spicer, from believing this.

The Travel ban, that wasn’t a ban

Spicer continuously defended Trump’s Muslim Ban whilst saying that the new measures were, in fact, not a Muslim ban or any other ban in general.

These claims came as a huge source of amusement to twitter and the White House press corps. President Trump had used the term ‘ban’ previously and when called out on the term Spicer, looking rather nervous, said “He’s (Trump) using the words that the media is using.”

s[icer twiter
Spicer’s reply on Twitter – Courtesy of Twitter @seanspicer
The Onion incident

On the 29th of January Spicer retweeted the satirical, spoof news outlet, The Onion.

The site had posted a video of Spicer with the caption “@SeanSpicer’s role in the Trump administration will be to provide the American public with robust and clearly articulated misinformation” to which Spicer then retweeted and added “You nailed it. Period!”

To say Twitter and many others got a good laugh out of the situation is an understatement. It led to many questioning his integrity and if he even proofreads/checks what he’s endorsing.

Seeing as POTUS watches Fox and believes the content they broadcast, it would not be a stretch to believe that a member of his staff also doesn’t fact check.

Bassar al-Ashar?

Time and time again the man with his lips pressed against the White House mic has spluttered over the name of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. The names have included Bassar al-Ashar, Bassad al-Ashar, Basha-Assad and Bashad al-Ashir.

Pronouncing the names of foreign leaders/diplomats is not always easy but a name that must be continuously tossed around the Mar-a-Lago lounge is Assad’s.

The Holocaust blur

Whilst continuing to talk about America’s recent bombings of a Syrian air base, where it is alleged that the chemical attack on civilians was launched from, Spicer said that “Hitler didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”

A reporter then asked for clarification and traction on his comments to which Spicer replied with an explanation that only helped him dig deeper.

He said that Hitler did not drop his chemicals into towns but instead brought the people to the ‘Holocaust centre’ whilst, once again, mispronouncing Assad this time calling him Ashard.

He went as far to say that Hitler did not use gas on his own people. Clearly forgetting the estimated 160,000-180,000 German Jews that were rounded up and murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust.

The concluding fact

Every time Sean Spicer takes to the podium I make sure I’m around to watch. He bumbles across his words and stutters the key points that he’s there to communicate to the rest of the world.

As the face of communication for the Trump administration he continuously highlights exactly what’s wrong with it. An inexperienced, ill-equipped, lacklustre and inept regime.

First Published on Kettlemag –


Feature image courtesy of UK Business Insider

The Death Care System

In 2010 President Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This action meant that upwards of twenty million extra Americans would receive healthcare who previously did not have it or could not afford it.

President Trump announced during his first speech to congress that his team had planned a full-scale repeal of the Affordable Care Act, while replacing it with something that was better for everyone. Republicans stood and applauded the decision that will directly lead to the deaths of thousands.

In 2012 a familiesUSA study found that 130,000 Americans died between 2005 and 2010 because of their lack of health insurance. This equates to three lives lost per hour.

House Speaker Paul Ryan: “If we did nothing, the law would collapse and leave everybody without affordable healthcare”.

POTUS and the Republicans believe that giving every American healthcare at an affordable price is bad. They believe that a wider selection of less care should be provided at a substantially higher cost, to remove the expenditure  from the federal budget.

Obviously the biggest problem on the surface is that those who could not afford health insurance before Obamacare now have it will go back to having nothing at all.

Paul Ryan – Image Courtesy of NBC News

The administration also want to introduce tax credits reflecting the age of the people instead of their income. This means someone like new, 64 year old, Secretary of State and billionaire Rex Tillerson, would be afforded the same amount of tax credits as an older citizen living in poverty.

The plan also penalizes citizens for opting out of healthcare when they are healthy and then returning when they are sick. Their premiums would increase upwards of 30%.

Through Obamacare everyone was afforded healthcare which meant that premiums were kept subsidized. This is because there were both healthy and unhealthy people with insurance under one umbrella.

The UK Breaking Bad

Under Trump’s healthcare plan, the umbrella would be removed. There will be more sick people than there are healthy which will push everyone’s premiums up, regardless of their medical situation.

This disparity between a healthcare act that covers all and the new ‘Trumpcare’ is staggering. Using this template they will accomplish two things;

One, helping out the richer citizens which include the families of Trump’s cabinet and all of his business partners. Two, it will literally kill off the poor who, a lot of the time, vote democrat.

But when a country and its’ leader holds the right to owning an automatic machine gun above free healthcare for the citizens, is it a country that anyone should be following?

The Lacklustre Budget

Yesterday Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his governments ‘last Spring’ budget. He set out plans for higher spending and higher taxes whilst trying to reduce the deficit.

Hammond opened on a good note stating that The Office for Budget Responsibility had upgraded its’ forecast for growth from 1.4% to 2%. This figure would in fact then drop the following year before rising the year after.

The biggest news of the budget came in terms of a higher national insurance rate towards self employers. Currently, self employers pay 9p of every pound towards national insurance while those not-self employed pay twelve pence 12p. The increase will be 2p on every pound which will increase the amount from 9p to 11p.

The reason self employers have been singled out is because they accounted for 45% of the countries “jobs miracle” growth after the financial crises. The Chancellor is looking to earn more in tax out of this growth by posting a reported £2bn extra. This increase is supposed to pay for health and social care. Sectors that have been heavily cut to the tune of more than 80% over a decade by the Tory governments.

Hammond spent little time skirting around school funding and the continuous push for Tory grammar school funding.

He did not promote one of his parties biggest victories though. The Conservative house building increase has helped the growth of the country and was definitely something that was expected to be presented to resounding cheers.

The Chancellor did not approach Brexit once or the economic consequences on the public. The measures to be undertaken will be presented at the autumn budget and are likely to involve more heavy cuts to public sectors. It will hold the true reflection of what course he and Teresa May want to steer a sinking ship in.

The lacklustre performance was more attractive than the George Osborne gimmick, headline era but still contained enough jokes to once again show the disparity between politicians and the everyday person.

“I am committing additional grant funding of £2bn to social care in England over the next three years”

What we definitely know about the autumn budget is this.

Corporations, who refuse to pay the correct amount of tax, will also be given a higher tax relief to keep their business in the UK post-Brexit. The opposite to what people who voted to leave believed when they went to the polls.

Hammond is also carrying forward his plan to provide a £1bn inheritance tax cut for its core supporters in the south-east. This loss will be counteracted with more cuts to benefits in order to level the books. Books that are always somehow tipped in the favour of the rich.

Hammond must do more next time around to inspire people and show that his tactics to relive the UK from the mire are right. The biggest problem is that due to Brexit more cuts are needed to cope with the amount that the country will lose. Corporation tax will be reduced further and cuts made more harshly against the weakest in our society.

Yesterday was merely a ceremonial exchange of pleasantries. A tipple if you will. A nothing insight into what lies ahead before a historical plunge into uncertainty is taken.

I just hope not too many disabled people are thrown overboard to lighten the load of a burning ship.



Finally Presidential?

Donald Trump gave his first speech to Congress yesterday as he opened up on his vision for America.

He drummed up support from his Republican colleagues and received concerned looks from Democrats.

These are the important quotes with my reflection.

“Dying industries will come roaring back to life”

When Joe Biden left office he said that the biggest problem with Trump’s plan to bring jobs back to America is the use of artificial intelligence. The U.S. was not bleeding jobs because corporations were leaving and relocating, it was purely a technology advancement problem.

“Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve”

Trump is rumoured to be ready to pledge upwards of $60bn towards defence spending. This would take the annual budget of the armed forces to over $650bn, which is just shy of the next 11 nations combined. At least nine of which are allies.

“Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and will ultimately stop”

It is common knowledge that for years different U.S. agencies worked with drug cartels and allowed the import of Class A drugs into the USA. Stopping such deals could lead to a worldwide, public embarrassment and not something that the President would allow to happen.

Trump Speech
Democrats sit as Republicans applaud Credit:AP

“We will soon start the construction of a great great wall along our southern border”

40% of undocumented migrants are said to have entered the country by air, bypassing the ‘great great wall’ and will continue to do so. In 2014 six states accounted for 59% of unauthorized migrants with only one sharing a border with Mexico.

It seemed strange that he had to clarify that the wall would be along the southern border as opposed to the northern one with Canada.

Trump also is lost on the notion of ‘show me a 10ft wall and I’ll show you an 11ft ladder’.

“Tonight I am also calling on this congress to repeal and replace Obamacare”

This statement was met with resounding cheers and a standing ovation from Republicans while most, if not all, democrats sat looking on in disbelief.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has helped give healthcare to over 20 million Americans. It has literally saved thousands of lives.

Republicans literally stood, applauded and cheered for repealing an act that will lead to the deaths of thousands.

“We’re also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism…. working with out friends and allies in the Muslim world to extinguish this vile enemy (ISIS) from our planet”

The fact that Trump did not even mention other domestic, white, terrorists like Dylan Roof and others shows how narrow-minded his, and Americas view is, on who is committing terror attacks.

“We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William ‘Ryan’ Owens,”

Carryn Owens – Credit ABC News

Special Operator Owens was killed whilst raiding a suspected Al Qaeda branch in Yemen.

The raid was approved by the President and led to the death of one Navy Seal, injuries to others and the failure of a V22 Osprey which was destroyed at the cost of $75m.

The American raid also resulted in the deaths of innocent women and children.

The decision to have the widow of the Seal is a huge exploitation of patriotism and grief. It was used to garner more support for defence spending and unnecessary counter-terrorism tactics.


At the end of all of it Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Trump had become ‘presidential’ during the speech. Good to see one of the President’s closest colleagues finally saying he’s ‘presidential’ after 38 days in office.


*Things Trump did not mention in his speech.

Social Security, Medicare, Wealth inequality, Minimum wage, The corrupt campaign finance system, Voter suppression, Climate change, Criminal justice reform, Reducing college costs.