Decent and fair manifestos from both Labour and the Greens, but Labour continues to be economic with the truth

Both Greens and Labour have launched their election manifestos in the last week. The Green’s ‘A fresh start for a fair city’ offers “Brighton and Have a fresh start after four years of Tory mismanagement”. The manifesto is “fuelled by fairness and driven by a desire to produce a sustainable city and narrow the gap between rich and poor”. The Greens “realise many of our Manifesto plans cannot be implemented immediately because the city is starved of cash” but present an alternative which “offer practical solutions to the challenges the city faces”.

The Greens advocate more walking and use of public transport (a direct opposite to the Tory obsession with cars), maximise opportunities offered by the new South Downs National Park to broaden the economic base of the city, and introduce renewable energy to create jobs, make homes healthier and warmer, cut fuel bills and reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

The Greens offer a ‘lucky’ thirteen point programme that also includes a 20mph speed limit for residential roads and a programme that will see at least 1,000 new affordable homes.

Labour’s manifesto also includes the ‘F’ word in its title, ‘Plan for a successful and fairer city’. The manifesto highlights the need to get Brighton & Hove “thriving again,” attracting more investment and developing stronger communities. Labour will work to reduce the gap between rich and poor in Brighton & Hove, as well as calling for a more co-operative city, in which the council works closely with other public services, trade unions and the voluntary sector. Labour attacks the Tory’s four-year reign in the city as a failure and slams them for wasting local taxpayers’ money on consultants, marketing and communications, glossy publications and sham consultations.

Labour also proposes to “bring back popular ‘Grime Fighter’ days, which saw co-ordinated clampdowns against crime and grime in local neighbourhoods”. A smart-card for residents to access cultural and sports events in the city at a reduced price, or for free, is also amongst Labour pledges.

Labour activists have criticised the Greens manifesto for stating that some of its commitments “cannot be implemented immediately”. I would have assumed that any party would wish to have this caveat in its manifesto.  While Labour says its programme is fully costed, it would be reckless in the current climate for any party to claim that its entire programme is costed and can be delivered. 

One last thing, on its website, Labour persists with misleading the public with its twisted ‘reporting’ of the results from last year’s elections.  I am at a loss to know why so many decent Labour activists and candidates are remaining silent while the Party is being economic with the truth.