With just twenty days to go to the General Election, it was the turn of Nigel Farage to unveil his Brexit Party manifesto, I mean Contract With The People.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
"This is not a manifesto," said Nigel Farage as he held up his slimline policy document at its launch, "because." he continued, "a word association test with manifesto gave us the word 'lie'!"
And he went on to say that this is unsurprising given the many broken manifesto promises made by political parties that we've seen over the years.
And he pressed home his point by saying that political parties have used manifestoes to tell people what they want to hear, without ever having the genuine desire to implement the policies contained within them.
And he pointed to his document and said that this was a contract between what he called his party of 'new radicals' and the people – and that fundamentally changing UK politics would be the basis of this contract and his party's campaigning, not just for this general election but also for the 'years to come'.
He also said that his party was in it for the long haul and that the aim was genuinely to change politics for good.
Now, the first stated aim of the contract is to leave the EU, but this it says is just the first step in a political revolution.
"We want fundamental democratic reforms to fix our broken political system and make Parliament serve the People." It says.
And other headline policies are to cancel the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project and slice 50% off the foreign aid budget.
And that, together with keeping the £13 billion that we annually give to the EU, would it says:
"…form part of a Brexit dividend to invest billions in Britain’s Regions, cut the cost of living, and build a better future for millions of our people."
On democracy the contract looks to make the voting system 'more representative'.
As well as abolishing the House of Lords.
And make MPs who switch parties subject to recall petitions – now that will be popular given the recent musical chairs played by some MPs.
The postal voting system will be completely overhauled to combat electoral fraud and abuse.
and they will "Reform the Supreme Court," saying that,
Then there's the promise to make the civil service more accountable to the public.
And require universities to protect free speech.
There will also be a system for holding referendums if 5 million people call for one, but with a time limit on holding another referendum on the same subject.
Now, it also says that the BBC licence fee would be phased out and Nigel Farage in his speech said it would happen over time.
But surprisingly there's no direct mention of actually shutting it down, or making it a fully private outfit or making it self funding through advertising.
The party also says it will stop charging interest on student loans, scrap the 50% target for everyone to go to university and abolish Inheritance Tax (IHT).
And its green policy is to plant millions of trees and recycle waste here in the UK and not export it to be burnt or dumped at sea.
And on the NHS it says:
"The NHS must remain a publically-owned, comprehensive service that is free at the point of use. Your postcode should not determine your care or health."
and also that:
"There should be no privatisation of the NHS; where existing private initiatives have failed to deliver we will return them to public ownership."
They will also look to remove the requirement for a degree to become a nurse, as well as introduce 24 hour GP services so as to reduce the strain on Hospital Accident and Emergency departments.
There is more and I've left a link to it in the descriptions box below the video.
And now we only have the Conservative Manifesto launch left this coming Sunday.
So no doubt Farage and his team will be scouring it for any hint that Boris Johnson will be back-tracking on any aspect of his promises to definitely leave the EU on the 31st of January, definitely strive for a non EU aligned free trade deal and definitely come out of the Withdrawal Agreement transition period by the 31st of December 2020, deal or no deal.
Now, you might remember that I talked a few days ago about Brussels demanding that we front up with a name for a fresh EU Commissioner, preferably female, to get approved to start work with Ursula von der Leyen's new Commission on the 1st of December.
And, having already started treaty infringement proceeding against us over this, we were given the deadline of today to comply with the order.
But it seems we haven't yet done so.
But the EU says it will soldier on anyway and that our non-compliance "Cannot undermine the regular functioning of the Union and its institutions and thus cannot constitute an obstacle to the appointment of the next Commission."
Well there are only 70 days to go to Brexit Day anyway.
Now, if you've ever wondered about how splintered politics is becoming in the UK, I had a quick look at the Electoral Commission website today at recently registered political parties.
Now, just for a comparison, the first parties were registered with the Electoral Commission on the 14th of January 1999.
And they were the Social Democrat and Labour Party (SDLP), the DUP, the SNP, the Tories, the Ulster Unionist Party, the Lib Dems, Sinn Fein, the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru.
Then came a flurry of other parties on the 25th of February, leading me to think that they were being authorised in batches.
And in all, 34 party registrations took place that year, but bear in mind many were dual registrations for the separate Great Britain register and the Northern Ireland register.
And most of them were the traditional parties obtaining their legal status.
Then in 2001 only 14 parties registered and in 2002 that was only 9.
And since then a handful of parties registered every year.
But this changed markedly in 2015, when 30 new party registrations were made.
24 in 2016, 30 in 2017, 42 in 2018 and 47 so far this year.
Many are local parties, some look to only operate within one of the UK countries and a few are registered in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Now there are also applications in the background and the one that caught my eye was for what seems to be from the campaign group Leave Means Leave.
Now Leave Means Leave was set up by John Longworth and Richard Tice, who are both heavily involved at present in The Brexit Party.
Both are Brexit Party MEPs and Tice is the party chairman, so it seems strange that they would bother to dilute their efforts by also registering Leave Means Leave.
I'm wondering if a chancer has leapt in.
Let's see if John Longworth answers my Tweet.
Now for some news that will reinforce what we already know.
YouGov conducted a poll on peoples' attitudes to the left and right of politics by age bracket – and found that older voters went for the Tories, but younger voters flocked to the left wing.
Looking at the 18 to 29 year olds, 51% would vote for Labour and only 20% for the Tories with the Lib Dems on 14%.
But where the over 70s are concerned, it's 10% for labour and 66% for the Tories. with the Lib Dems on 13%.
And the numbers changed in a very uniform manner right the way through the age brackets.
And there was also a small but measurable decline for the Greens and the SNP as you go up the age scale.
But interestingly the one party that seems to maintain its level of support throughout, was the Lib Dems.
So, as you get older you get more Blue – or does that just mean more realistic?