Daily Express

Boris is on track so now it’s full speed ahead for triumph

- Leo McKinstry Daily Express columnist

DURING the 2017 general election, the Tories’ publicatio­n of their manifesto marked the turning point in the campaign. Before that, the party was steaming ahead in the polls. But the catastroph­ic document shattered all its hope of a majority.

This disastrous experience explains why Tory strategist­s were so nervous in the run-up to the launch of Boris Johnson’s manifesto in Telford yesterday.

But their anxieties were misplaced. In contrast to 2017’s catalogue of self-destructio­n, the Prime Minister and his team have produced a solid plan for the effective governance of Britain. Avoiding both overblown rhetoric and hostages to fortune, the manifesto provides sensible proposals for improving our social fabric without crippling the taxpayer and offers a clear path to Brexit.

Critics might bleat about the absence of a lofty vision, as highlighte­d in the promises to fix potholes and abolish hospital parking charges, but this is a manifesto in the best traditions of one-nation Toryism, valuing realism above ideology.

The promises of substantia­l rises in funding for the NHS, schools, transport and police demolish the scaremonge­ring about vicious Tory cuts, just as the pledges to increase the living wage, protect pensions, cap energy prices and cut national insurance for the low paid make a mockery of Left-wing propaganda onTory inequality.

INDEED, Boris Johnson’s government has a far more convincing blueprint for maintainin­g public services and promoting economic growth than Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, whose fiscal extravagan­ce and Marxist revolution­ary fervour would soon ruin our country.

The difference between the two main parties’ manifestos could hardly be more dramatic. Where Johnson’s document is pragmatic and affordable, Corbyn’s represents a fantastica­l socialist wish list, complete with vast hikes in borrowing, taxation and expenditur­e.

One expert estimated yesterday that for every extra £1 that the Tories plan to spend on the current budget by 2023, Labour will spend no less than £28, a sure recipe for financial meltdown. In fact, Corbyn’s wildly profligate manifesto could be described as “the longest bankruptcy notice in history”.

Johnson promises a “triple lock” that will mean no increases in income tax, VAT or National Insurance, whereas, with his usual zeal for class war, Corbyn wants to hammer the affluent with heavy rises in income tax.

Johnson will foster the enterprise culture through measures such as cuts in business taxes and support for developmen­t, whereas Corbyn will drive up corporatio­n tax from 19 to 26 per cent, confiscate 10 per cent of shareholdi­ngs from all major companies and undermine workplace management by giving back the trade unions the powers they had in the strikeridd­en 1970s.

JOHNSON aims to improve the infrastruc­ture of Britain, whereas Corbyn will waste billions on nationalis­ing the railways, utilities and broadband network. Johnson wants firm but fair immigratio­n controls, whereas Corbyn does not believe in strong borders at all. Nor does he have any real sense of British patriotism. Yesterday, the former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove even described the Labour leader as “a threat to national security”.

Above all, Johnson has a coherent, achievable Brexit policy, based on the deal he negotiated with Brussels, whereas

Corbyn’s stance is a shambles. On the biggest issue facing our country, he refuses to say whether he supports Leave or Remain, a ridiculous position for a potential prime minister.

It is partly this incoherenc­e, allied to its lack of credibilit­y, that has led Labour to falter so badly in the present campaign. The Tories have also been helped by the undemocrat­ic approach of Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats, who have promised to overturn Brexit.

Hoovering up support from Leave voters, Boris Johnson’s Conservati­ves are enjoying double-digit leads in the polls, while one forecaster wrote at the weekend that the party is set for a majority of 45.

But there can be no room for complacenc­y. The Tories, who have not won a parliament­ary majority of more than 21 since 1987, could still be knocked off course by events such as a scandal or a sudden financial crisis.

And it is still possible that tactical voting by Remain supporters could cause real damage to Johnson in the south of England. That is why the Prime Minister and his team need to devote every ounce of energy to the rest of the campaign.

They had an impressive day at their manifesto launch. Now they need to carry on in the same assured spirit.

‘Corbyn’s manifesto is the longest bankruptcy notice in history’

 ??  ?? THE WORD IS OUT: Boris perusing his manifesto as he headed for its launch in Telford yesterday
THE WORD IS OUT: Boris perusing his manifesto as he headed for its launch in Telford yesterday
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