Op-Ed: Nigel Farage and his party UKIP are unveiling their 'serious' election manifesto Wednesday and voters are now swimming in election promises and policies from the right, left, centre and extreme.
After a couple of weeks of ever wilder election promises by most of the main players in the 2015 General Election this week they have been revealing their manifestos.
2015 will go down in British history as one of the strangest and dirtiest UK elections. Those new to voting should note that manifestos for some parties are not worth the material they are written on.
UKIP destroyed earlier manifestos as they tried to appeal to a wider audience of voters. The Tories pre-election promises of 2010 quickly vanished as VAT was increased to 20% becoming the first of many broken promises. Later the Conservatives tried to erase their online footprint as it was littered with so many U Turns, broken promises and perhaps lies. Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats was forced to play the apologist after promising to slash University fees before teaming up with the Tories in a coalition, the party that then raised University fees through the roof.
So what are UKIP offering?
The key policies according to BBC News are;
The Tories were quick to respond to UKIPs manifesto claiming there was a "£37bn black hole" in UKIP's proposals which is ironic as they have failed to address what is described as "£12 billion unexplained cuts and £7 billion uncosted tax giveaways, in the Tory manifesto"
Earlier this week Farage was reported advising UKIP supporters to vote Conservative in constituencies where the party hasn't a hope in hell of winning.
A coalition between the Tories and UKIP post the May 7 General Election is more than a possibility. Such a coalition would be necessary if both parties had enough of a minority vote to enable them to form a government. They are natural political allies and after all UKIP has plenty of previous Tory MPS who defected to UKIP mainly over EU issues.
So a vote for UKIP, the so-called people's army could result as politics as normal with the Tories remaining in office for five more years but this time with a more extreme right-wing party.
In the final analysis manifestos are only as honest and trustworthy as those delivering them.
In the case of UKIP and the Tories that means they are not reliable.
Personal opinion: Out fox political pundits, get out there and vote, and aim for a majority government rather than a dodgy coalition and make it a left-leaning one.
BBC: Election 2015: Nigel Farage pledges 'a low tax revolution'
Farage tells kippers vote Tory where we cannot win
Written in April 2015 this post is as true as ever ahead of the General Election 2017;
In the same way you have to be in the Lottery to win it you must be registered to vote in order to do so; the way we register to vote has undergone some changes and sadly huge numbers of the electorate have simply dropped off the radar.
Sometimes that is by choice as voters feel that politics has nothing to offer them but at other times it is just a failure to realise they are not registered.
Students away from home at University in another town are a prime example.
Whatever your politics if you are not registered to vote you have no say in who may form a government to run the country. You will live with the policies a new government makes like it or lump it.
So get out there and vote on May 7 2015 [June 8 2017] but more importantly make sure you are registered to vote and do that and do so now.
Register My Vote has some useful information about how to register and more.
That website offers a link to Gov UK for you to register.
The process is very simple.
You will need to provide a few details which include your name, previous names, national insurance number, postcode and address.
Once you have completed the form, it is easy and quick to do so, you should receive an email confirmation.
Gov UK will contact your local council for you. If the council need any information they will contact you by your preferred choice telephone, email or post.
But if all the information you have provided is accurate you will be registered to vote.
Simple, quick and painless. It is not linked to any benefits or council taxes as some fear. It is simply a process to get registered to vote.
Opinion: Those of us hoping to remove the Tories from office in May [June 2017] know that all votes matter. It could be a tight race leading to a coalition government but if people turn out to vote it may not be.
As homelessness increases in the UK due to Tory policies such as welfare cuts and the infamous Bedroom or spare room tax numbers of potential Labour voters fall out of the system. They become an under-class with no political voice.
These are the very people who by experience know that the Tories and Lib Dems must be ousted from office.
Be their voice and make sure you are registered to vote then use that vote and wisely.
If not it could be you joining the under-class of British society.
There is still time to register but it is running out - you have until Monday April 20 so get a move one.
Register to vote here
Op-Ed: What is viewed as strength of character in politics by one person may be called a ruthless streak by another. Does the definition depend on the person making the assumption and their politics plus if they want to scare the electorate?
If the Tories have such a good record after being in office for the last five years how come they resort quickly to dirty tricks and smears?
The latest comes from Tory Defense Minister Michael Fallon who opted to use the Labour election leadership contest which involved Ed Miliband and his brother David to highlight what he perceives as back-stabbing qualities.
Fallon stands by what he says claiming it is only right the electorate know what sort of man they may be electing to run the country but it is all low blows, waffles and British politics at its most ridiculous and pathetic.
Ed Miliband won the Labour leader election after a close run with other candidates including elder brother David who was tipped to win.
Such is life in politics.
If it were a battle for the Tory leadership then Ed would be described by people such as Fallon as showing strength of character and a strong focused leader rather than a man with a ruthless streak. Darling of the Conservatives Maggie Thatcher, who died two-years ago this month leading to celebrations in parts of the UK, trampled on the British public as well as cabinet colleagues in order to push through her agenda which included radical privatisation of UK resources.
As BBC News reports Ed Miliband fighting back and accusing the Tories of a desperate smear campaign they say "Mr Fallon said Mr Miliband had "stabbed his own brother in the back" to lead Labour and was now "willing to stab the UK in the back" by doing a deal on Trident with the SNP "to become PM". Mr Miliband said the defense secretary had demeaned himself and his office. David Cameron said he stood behind his colleague's comments."
So there you have a good assessment of the character of Mr Miliband, Mr Fallon and Mr Cameron.
Mr Miliband is trying to fight a fair election against a bunch of old Etonian hoodlums. Cameron stands by Fallon which shows he has no backbone and no election policies to persuade the public to vote for him. Mr Fallon is a Tory hypocrite condemning characteristics he and other Tories would applaud in their ranks.
Once again the Tories who are likely to do a deal with right-wing UKIP if necessary to stay in government are pretending to know and understand the Labour party, its policies, MPs and its voters.
In fact as we say here in Yorkshire " They know nowt!"
News that "The Conservatives' manifesto will have a commitment to build four new nuclear missile-armed submarines, Michael Fallon has said" will not reassure huge sections of the British public for scare the hell out of them.
But whether the promise will end up meaningless is any person's guess. The Tory manifesto of 2010 is littered with broken promises and U Turns; UKIPs 2010 manifesto has been destroyed.
Tory austerity measures slashed the armed forces left, right and centre.
They are running scared of Labour and especially a Labour majority.
If Ed Miliband can take his party to election success with the majority of the vote the Tories have had it and they know it.
So the so-called Nasty Party prefers to return to form and sling mud around rather than use their alleged good track record in office.
That's because when it comes to it the Tories know the British people aren't as stupid as they like to believe.
Op-Ed: Election campaign outspending does not guarantee victory at the polls but it gives your political party the edge.
President Barack Obama was elected for a second term out-foxing political pundits and the GOP's expensive election campaign. To be fair across the Pond the Democrats and Republicans have a share of wealthy backers but the Republicans beat the Democrats hands down on wealth.
As the UK counts down to May 7 and a General Election we note a Tory fundraising campaign that has been underway for some time.
Summer 2013 Tory Party fundraiser leaks
News that a Tory summer party in the UK drew super-rich supporters with a total wealth of £11bn should be no surprise. It was held in June 2013 and we guessed right that the Tories would have similar summer events scheduled for 2014 and beyond.
These people have a vested interest in returning a Tory majority government in 2015 but do you?
This writer has previously grumbled about American former campaign manager for team Obama, David Axelrod, who is now working for the Labour election team. My gripe is that he uses some techniques that may have worked in the USA but will not work on the great British public, especially we Labour voters. However if Labour want to win against a well-funded Tory election campaign they need donations.
The Tories are very English in holding summer parties except that in reality they are constantly running an election fund raising campaign that looks along the lines of the American GOP and that party's Super PAC rallies and it is all about raising big money.
British Conservatives will always outstrip Labour and other parties for donations; the front bench of the Tory led coalition was full of millionaires, most of whom have never held a proper job. Tory Policies are made to suck up to the elite and fat cats of Britain and that has always been the case.
Summer party seating plan - the Guardian - The prime minister's table Sponsored by Howard Shore (£1000 per head). At least £1,545,470,588 in combined wealth at the table. There were 450 attendees in total.
Why some hard-up working class Brits feel drawn to the Tories always escapes me. Is it a feeling of being a little higher up the pecking order if you are at Tory? Is it that they simply swallow Tory spin hook-line-and-sinker?
Tory supporting mainstream media keeps pushing the UK economic woes down the throats of the electorate attaching blame to welfare claimants rather than bankers and economists. It now also blames an increasingly ageing population for the NHS funding crisis when in fact the blame lies squarely with the Tory led government. The continued privatisation of the NHS by the backdoor strips the nation's healthcare of its wealth and sets it up to fail.
The Guardian blew the whistle on the bankers, lobbyists and business men and women all trying to help the Tories win in 2015.
Read the full Guardian report for all the sleazy details which include: "Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, shared a table with Andrei Borodin, an exiled Russian banker who is wanted by the Kremlin to face charges of “aggravated swindling” over an alleged £220m bank fraud, which he denies and claims are politically driven. Borodin said: “I participated in no conversation on policy or party funding issues, nor did I make any donation at the event.”
But he will have paid for the privilege of attending and helped swell Tory coffers.
Press were banned from the 2013 event and so were volunteers who might spill the beans. But the good news, at least for the electorate, is that details of the event were exposed by the Guardian.
The fact that the Tories wanted details of who attended and more kept a secret says it all.
So, the next time you hear a politician, perhaps a Tory, harping on about Labour getting any funding, maybe from a Trade Union, think again.
That is nothing but Tory spin and without funding Labour like most political parties is doomed. Supporters of Labour are often the poorest in the nation and no matter how deep they dig into their pockets they will only find fluff. That means the Labour party need every donation however small.
The Tories are swimming in money and the elite are busily ensuring that if they lose in 2015 it will not because of funding. What happened to ethical political funding?
In 2015 nothing has changed and the fund raising continues on a grand scale. In February 2015 Alexander Temerko, a former Russian businessman, attended a similar bash and it was shocking to see the power he wields with the Tories. Temerko made his fortune in oil before fleeing Russia and gaining British citizenship in 2011, and his energy firm OGN has donated £690,000 to the Conservative party. He joked and goaded at one point "“All MPs which I support, which is 37 MPs … You know for change [of] prime minister you need 20, I have 37. Much more than half.”
Details of this event were made public by an undercover reporter - Tory secret ball auctioneer derides benefit claimants.
More: Tory donations: Secretive members’ clubs have given party £5m in five years