25 December 2012

Labour's Legacy

In a nutshell: more turns than a ballroom dancer.

Oh, the irony of running a campaign with the song "Things Can Only Get Better" (which is, coincidentally, one of only three songs I have on iTunes - "That Sounds Good to Me" and "It's Christmas Time Again" being the other ones)...

Ed Miliband says, although I disagree with him, that he's "New Labour". But we'll give him the benefit (and he wants plenty of those!) of the doubt.

I think it's better to have this as a list:

Gordon Brown: "To vote for New Labour is to vote for a new type of politics." I thought I'd put this in to show that not everything Labour did was bad.

New Labour had 13 years in power.

This is their record:

Tony Blair famously said this: "Ask me my three main priorities for government, and I tell you: education, education, and education." But under Labour schools fell to 24th place in the world for Maths, lower than any time under Thatcher or Major. The Guardian revealed that more than half of all primary schools were failing to teach pupils the basics, with less than half reaching SATs level 4 (out of 5).

Crime shot up under Labour, and Gordon Brown said this: "Join us! Join with Labour! Together, we can build the Great British society and end the shame of child poverty in Britain." This was distressing. Crime raised dramatically under Labour, and, in 2009, 4 million UK children were living in poverty. A Unicef list of "Child well-being in OCED countries had the UK (under Labour) stone dead last. For the record, the Netherlands topped the table from Sweden. The US was one above Britain.

Gordon Brown: "We should do more for those who have the greatest needs." When Brown removed the 10p tax rate, it hit millions of the lowest paid workers, and then Miliband still opposes removing it from 50p.

Gordon Brown: "Never again will we allow the retirement plans of tens of thousands of Britain's working people to be ruined." Yet when he was Chancellor, his raid on pensions in 2006 cost Britain £100bn.

Gordon Brown, just after being "elected" as Labour leader: "My immediate priority is the NHS." Outbreaks of dreadful diseases ripped through the NHS and the subsequent report was dubbed as "another government whitewash".

Moving on to foreign policy, Tony Blair on the Iraq move: "Their mission [is] [....] to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction." He made a claim in a leaked document that Iraq could deploy chemical weapons within 45 minutes, but this was made on unsubstantiated evidence, and was described as a "dodgy [sic]" claim by the Daily Mirror. To this day, no WMDs were found. Gordon Brown landed himself in a world of politically toxic waters.

10 March 2010: "Defence budget has been rising every year."

17 March 2010: "I do accept that in one or two years, defence spenditure [sic] did not rise in real terms."

Yet, despite this, troops were killed due to a lack of "basic equipment" and denied the Gurkhas residency despite putting their lives on the line for the United Kingdom.

I have explained about ID cards in an earlier post. They had cost the taxpayer millions, and the government were ignorant to things such as driving licenses, as well as the fact that Jacqui Smith and Harriet Harman stood with forced smiles outside the Home Office. And Ed Balls cost the taxpayer £3m when he refurbished the Schools Department with a contemplation suite and a massage room. This man could be the next Chancellor.

It was the worst recession in 60 years. So much for Gordon Brown saying that he "want[ed] to get rid of boom and bust." It brought the curtain down on Woolworths. For expert advice on "how to manage a boom", contact Kenneth Clarke, former Conservative Chancellor and MP for Rushcliffe. Brown also promised to "never let the deficit get out of control", and... bang - look what happened. The largest deficit in Europe, even bigger than Greece. Diagram just to the right. I think I can count this as two U-turns in this paragraph. He also was looking for "zero unemployment" yet he left record levels of unemployment at the election. "Labour is working" is what he said. Yes, I know "labour" means "to work", but how paradoxical is that? Labour wasn't working, and Alastair Darling admitted that Number 10 unleashed forces of hell over the economy.

Tony Blair: "No more sleaze!". Two words: Bernie Ecclestone. "No more lies!" Two words: Alastair Campbell. 

Oh, and when David Blunkett and Peter Mandelson resigned (separately), Tony Blair promised to never let them back in to government. Yet they re-entered and they both resigned (separately). Again.

New Labour were also, shockingly, morally wrong. Tony Blair once said that "it shall be a government rooted in strong values". Damian MacBride was arrested after planning to run a vicious smear campaign against Conservative MPs and their families, and, whichever party you are, that's morally wrong. The Transport Secretary's Special Advisor, Jo Moore (please correct me on the spelling if I am wrong), suggested that 9/11 was a good day to bury bad news. That's despicable.

New Labour almost tore themselves apart, with Brown shouting at Blair that "you ruined my life", a senior Labour member resigning just after the polls closed in the 2009 European Parliament Elections, and just 120 days before the General Election, there was an attempted coup within the Labour party.

Tony Blair described Gordon Brown as "strong, sound in his convictions, and true to his values", but an incident with one of his colleagues where he grabbed her, swore, and "lost his temper", as well as "bigotgate" in Rochdale, whereupon he called lifelong Labour voter Gillian Duffy a "sort of bigoted woman".

Ed Miliband says he's New Labour.

After 13 years of New Labour...

Can we afford five more?

Only a vote for the Conservatives in 2015 will stop Labour.

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