Theresa May’s claim that the Conservatives offer a “strong and stable” government is an attempt to redefine the chaos inflicted on the British people by Tory rule for the last seven years.
Conservative leadership has brought chaos to the NHS where doctors have felt forced to launch industrial action as a last gasp attempt to protect patient safety from continued cuts and privatisation. Nurses are also now discussing strikes for the first time in their history as the government pushes their wages further behind inflation, and accident and emergency departments continue to fall further behind their admissions targets.
When the Conservatives came into power in 2010, A&E departments in England were meeting their targets of 95 percent of patients being seen within four hours. Last year that figure slipped below 85 percent for the first time in well over a decade and the worst level since the target was introduced.
The housing crisis is also the result of Tory-inflicted chaos, after the Thatcher government chose to sell off council houses but never invest in building enough new homes to make up for the loss. Rather than address the need for new affordable homes, seven years of Conservative rule has resulted in the construction of affordable homes at a 24 year low, with the gap between need and construction growing to 50,000 homes per year.
On energy policy, the Conservatives mocked Ed Miliband two years ago for proposing a policy that would limit energy price rises, and said the plan would cause “chaos” in the energy industry. Now, with voters continuing to see their bills rise as energy company profits hit record levels, that exact Labour plan in Tory hands will suddenly result in “stability” and a better outcome for the British public.
On the economic front the situation is no different. David Cameron promised that the Conservatives would deliver stability and economic growth that would mean the UK would have a budget surplus by 2020. None of these economic targets were hit and instead the UK’s public sector debt stands at £1.5 trillion, 50 percent higher than the figure it was in 2010 when the Conservatives came into power. And then in 2016, when the UK was only just finally starting to pull out of recession, the instability of the divisive Brexit vote put the country’s finances back another decade.
It was a Conservative promise to hold a referendum on EU membership in an effort to quell disquiet in his own party, but without setting out what would happen if the Leave campaign won the vote. It was Conservative negligence that has plunged the country into the unknown, where at the first sign of a difficult future the Conservative prime minister David Cameron resigned, leaving the country rudderless at a time when stability was most needed.
In the wake of Cameron’s resignation Theresa May became Tory leader and de facto prime minister. Despite breaking Conservative campaign promises in her first budget, Theresa May repeatedly dismissed calls for a fresh election by saying that they would cause “chaos” an “instability”. However, once the opinion polls showed her with a sufficient lead over the opposition, she now expects the public to believe that this election will result in greater stability – the exact opposite of what she argued last month.