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Labour must rebut ‘the mess we inherited’ to expose the mess the Tories are making

Posted on 13 August 2013 | 11:08am

Just before the summer break, I did a fundraiser for Labour Welsh Assembly member Leighton Andrews, and during the q and a was asked if it was too late for Labour to fight back against the coalition mantra about ‘the mess we inherited.’ My reply, which seemed to meet with broad approval, was a very firm ‘no, it is not too late, and it has to be done.’ I have been something of a stuck record on this, but the fact is that during the long months it took Labour to elect a new leader after Gordon Brown stepped down, the Party paid insufficient attention to the mantra being put down with clear strategic intent. Added to which,Labour having just lost an election, there was a desire among all of the candidates to be seen as a break from the past. The unintended consequence of this, however – unintended by Labour that is, though not the Conservatives – is that the very good record of the last Labour government has been blunted if not lost as a political weapon. Steve Richards is absolutely right to be arguing in the FT today that Labour must be more robust in defending the record, including the GB/Alistair Darling handling of the global financial crisis. Britain is, I think, the only country in the world whose politics has somehow conspired to pile the blame for the crisis not on those who caused it but on those who led the world in solving it. Labour have played into Tory hands on this, and there needs to be an admission of that, so that even at this late stage, a proper debate and a proper reckoning of the record can be had. The right wing press and its broadcasting echo chamber will not be easy to turn around on this, and the coalition will scream ‘mess we inherited’ even louder. But it can and must be done. Britain had ten good years of growth and prosperity under Labour which is one of the many reasons we won three elections and stopped David Cameron winning a majority.

  • LondonStatto

    “Very good record”. Yeah, right.

    • Gabrielle

      What an ignorant comment.

  • Felix

    It’s not as if it’s difficult to make a succinct argument. 18 years of Tory management of the economy included 3 harsh recessions whereas the longest sustained post-war period of economic growth under Labour resulted in just one recession.

    • twoforcunard

      And boy what a recession it was.

    • RaymondDance

      But what a recession!

      • Michele

        Have we seen anything since like the recession of the early 90s after a dozen years of Thatcher & Co?

        Were you in possession of a mortgage at that time?
        Have you endured 18+% interest rate on a 50% mortgage (ie: not an unsecured one)? I have.

        Hundreds of thousands lost their homes during that time along with any growth that it had made.
        Nope, it’s not good for homes to be treated like gold for trade but as they are these things matter.
        It’s also not good for council property to be used for vote buying and we know how that happened (and some pretend not to know how an infamous ex-council leader evades justice – as well as tax – to this day).

        • Gillian C.

          Quite right Michele and the eighties wasn’t much better either. I remember much talk of a lost generation, when youth unemployment was very high. Estate agents were laying off staff and many of them went out of business.
          Which brings me on to my next point which I have written about elsewhere. This Help to Buy Scheme will bring about another disaster. This scheme is a copy of the Fanny May, Freddie Mac Scheme! It’s already been proven not to work. Max Keiser said on his ‘Keiser Report’ this week that all it does is take money from the ordinary people and give it to the speculators. Ordinary people will end up with no home and no money.
          Regarding your final paragraph M. are you referring to Dame SP? My husband still goes ballistic at the mention of her name (which takes a lot, because he’s quite laid back 98% of the time) we don’t hear that name mentioned much anymore. All neatly swept under the rug of course, like many other things.

          • Michele

            Hi Gbc 🙂

            Yep, she’s the criminal I’m on about. A tax evader and an ex-pat for utterly disingenuous reasons (why people rhapsodise about any of her pre-tax charity donations I’ll never know, given that they all go to nationalist chauvinist organs that are also in Israel……….

            reaguns :-s
            Some of us are not entirely without numeracy and so we understand how easily figures can be manipulated dependent only on what they are compared to. Some of us even note that when such figures are spouted there is never a qualification from the relevant reportist along the lines of ‘expressed as a part or percentage of this whereas if we compare it to that’ …… perhaps the reportists should have new duties, as in to give various definitions rather than just the one preferred by their paymasters.

        • reaguns

          More twaddle. Gordon Brown would have bit your arm off for a 90s level recession instead. We can go through all the metrics if you like.

          • Michele

            Do it (and somehow let me know when you have as I rcvd no advice of this pathetic and typically pseudo-butch pirouette of a ‘reply’).

          • reaguns

            I received no notification of yours either, until the ones I got today. Pick a metric, wages, inflation, deficit, pick anything you like really and the 2008 recession dwarfs this one. The only comparable periods in the past 100 years are in the 20s and 30s, the two wars obviously and the 1970s on some measures. 80s and 90s recessions don’t really compare, apart from in terms of employment, which is very important so I accept you could argue on that basis.

          • Michele

            I’m not sure where it is but in clicking your icon to find a different post I found one you’ve put somewhere else, where you declare that Cameron ‘let the Commons decide’ re Syria.

            Total garbage.
            He knew info would become available over the weekend that could make Parliament’s decision completely different to what it was.

            The whole pantomime of recalling people two working days before they’d be back anyway was exactly to avoid that new circumstance. Hence all the bullish statements now about no second vote.

            He manipulated for the Parliamentary vote that he got (just as covertly as Justine Greening has not admitted HOW she’d have voted by stating it would not have altered the outcome anyway).
            Her constituents have the right to know and the responsibility to demand knowing.

            Why else such ample use by Camsham re what was still mere ‘judgement’ and ‘opinion’ when nouse was on the horizon?

            I’m not sure I want possible terrorists helped any more than they have been after two years of ‘us’ arming them against Syria’s foul leader but I do want Camsham to be honest and he is not, but is certainly an arch manipulator.

          • reaguns

            Yes I believe Cameron did let the commons decide, and I believe this was a good thing in this instance, but that is not to say no leader should go to war without telling the commons – sometimes the element of surprise is necessary.
            I would have been pro-intervention incidentally, on the terms put forward, ie our boys out of harms way but putting a few cruise missile shaped dents in Assads arsenal.

    • Gus

      This reminds me of the Alan Partridge: “What people forget about the Titanic is that there were four days of VERY pleasurable cruising before it hit the iceberg!”

    • Michele

      ………. and a recession that could have been prevented if Dubbya had not stood around for days on end looking just plain gormless till Lehman Bros sank.
      That is what caused the snowball of negativity.

      • reaguns

        Absolute twaddle. Far too late by then. Lack of negativity was the problem.
        Also, did Gordon Brown “save the world” or didn’t he. You cant have it both ways.

        • Michele

          I think you must have missed the end of his sentence (or be as sly an opportunist as Camsham’s mates).

          He claimed to have saved the world’s banks.

          If you think they’d have been better off without his example to follow, you simply need to skedaddle.

          • reaguns

            Questions stands, did Brown save them or not? The answer is he did not. Bush and his advisers actually fixed the american banks quicker and more safely than we fixed ours (even now so Cam and Osbo take the blame too) and in relative terms their collapse was smaller than ours. Our collapse was inevitable with or without americas trigger.

    • reaguns

      2007 crisis dwarfs all those as you well know. Pick a metric?

  • Maureen Henry

    Thank you for this! The ICM poll in today’s Guardian must be a wake up call for Labour. As a Labour councillor in a fairly prosperous part of Scotland, I am meeting many families who are suffering because of the ConDems policies and I am deeply concerned that, come next year’s referendum, SNP will be the winners if Labour does not stand up now and defend its record in office. I am immensely proud of the achievements of the Blair/Brown years and I want our leaders to be equally proud. Keep up the good work!

  • Dave Simons

    LibDem leaders like Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander have been entirely complicit in the crude opportunism of this Tory mantra and it’s to be hoped that some of the LibDem rank-and-file know what to do about it after their party’s coming electoral decimation. Vince Cable was singing from a different hymn sheet when I saw him at Buxton Opera House three years ago – praising Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling – but unfortunately the seductions of power seem to have got to him as well.
    The response of the Conservative Party to the financial crisis of 2007/8 has been to blame the outcome on the Labour government which copped it, as the Conservatives would have copped it if they’d won the 2005 election, but subsequently they have leaped to conserve the ideology from which the financial crisis stemmed. If they’d won in 2005 they would have thrown even more public money at the banks than Labour did, and they know it. They just don’t want the electorate to know it, so they keep up the mantra. It would be nice if Labour were more robust in reminding us about what George Osborne and his cronies were saying up to the financial crisis – not exactly clamouring for more controls – but with less than two years to go and the illusion of ‘turning the corner’ I’m pessimistic and braced for another five years of crap.

  • scooke7

    “Britain had ten good years of growth and prosperity under Labour which is one of the many reasons we won three elections”
    Hahaha – By all means keep repeating that line. The public are not that stupid to see that it was achieved with mass, uncontrolled immigration, the hand-over-fist borrowing & the failure of regulating banks BEFORE having to bail them out. And as for Iraq….

    I understand that you are Labour through & through. But you’re just making yourself look silly by repeating that the country was not in a mess when Labour lost the 2010 election. Yes, the Tories did not win a majority. But as the incumbent party, Labour actually lost the election. You cannot apply 1 rule for 1997 where the elections went your way & a different one for 2010 where the elections didn’t go your way.

    BTW, is Chris Bryant getting any advice from you? It didn’t look like it yesterday.

    • Gabrielle

      What a load of misinformed rubbish. Try thinking for yourself instead of believing everything the right wing media shove down our collective throats. We had a GLOBAL financial crisis. Brown and Darling’s handling of the crisis was praised by the governments of the US and Europe. Only in the UK did the Tories and LibDems repeatedly lie about this, for their own political gain, and of course there’s always loads of stupid people to believe the lies.

      • Victor_Meldrew

        And of course Gabrielle, the Labour Party has done nothing but tell us all the truth throughout its term in government.

    • Michele

      scooke – euphemism for spooky?
      Been loitering for a while? Lol

  • Gillian C.

    If the Labour party were to get themselves a half decent leader it would help. But having said that it’s not impossible that Labour will win the next general election. The thought of the younger Militw*t becoming Prime Minister is grotesque.
    Cameron and the Tory led government are bad and are unopposed. The LibLabCon game is clear for everyone to see now. We have a one party state.
    We do not and have never had democracy in this country. Only a fool would believe that voting one way or another makes a damn bit of difference in the long term. I’m not playing their stupid game any longer and I’m not alone in my views either. To hell with the lot of them. Non compliance may be the way for us plebs to go, though I recognize this is easier said than done.

    • Gabrielle

      You could do with reading a blog by a lady called Kitty Jones, where she makes an exhaustive list of all the reasons why Labour ISN’T just the same as the Tories and LibDems.

      This idea that all political parties are just the same just shows how you’ve been manipulated into disenfranchising yourself.

      • Janet Edwards

        Excellent info on the blog Gabrielle. Not only listing the many achievements of the Labour Government but also warning what happens when Labour supporters just don’t turn out to vote.

        The ‘they’re all the same’ message is part of a wider anti-politics mood and does far more damage to the progressive cause, so it’s particularly disappointing that many on the left have fallen for it.

        • Michele

          Here here …. great lists and as for the pic at the top of it, LOL how very true (and they still are doing).

      • Dave Simons

        Thanks Gabrielle. Kitty Jones missed out a big one that is typically taken for granted – The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000′. Exercise, fresh air and the freedom to roam in beautiful countryside should not be taken for granted, especially with an ageing population.

        • Sue Jones

          I did get round to adding that! I’ve gathered 102 achievements now 🙂

  • Chris

    Here here, Mr Campbell.

  • William Harris

    “Labour have played into Tory hands on this… ”
    The opposition front bench haven’t specifically said ‘Labour got it wrong’ over the global crisis, but they say it often enough about most other things that it makes no difference(there are some honourable exceptions, but too few).

    ” I have been something of a stuck record on this.”
    Keep going until they listen.

  • MikeBrighton

    “Britain is, I think, the only country in the world whose politics has somehow conspired to pile the blame for the crisis not on those who caused it but on those who led the world in solving it”
    The crisis was caused my cheap money and excessive debt wrapped in complex financial products both of which the Labour government was utterly complicit in. I was aware of the negotiations around the TARP program in the NY and Washington Fed. The British (Labour) government had zero role in this and was barely even consulted – Darling was merely informed by Geithner. To say Labour “Led” the world in solving the problem is simply untrue. In fact it’s a blatant lie.

    • Michele

      Are you saying that the actions our Govt took to stop our banks actually collapsing were actually neutral in effect?

      Oh my giddy aunt.

    • reaguns

      Indeed. The idea of an American Government listening to a British one. They barely did when Churchill was in command, when the balance of power was a lot more tilted in our favour, they certainly didn’t when MacMillan was in power. Thatcher supposedly had Reagan’s ear but that didn’t stop him opposing the falklands, invading grenada, agreeing far more nuclear weapons cuts than she wanted, and backing SDI (star wars) which she opposed.
      The idea that they would listen to Gordon Brown is laughable. I don’t know if Cheney and Bush could get Brown’s name right if it was a quiz question.
      And how can Britain at once be “Bush’s poodle” then start ordering him around on the economy? And I thought it was only right wingers who had an inflated sense of Britain’s power!

  • Chatterclass

    Tory-led coalition are making everything worse: debt soaring, deficit barely moving, schools back to >30 in class, NHS being sold off and A&E crisis, no housing, food banks, courts collapsing, everything worse. Such incompetence to wreak such destruction in such a short space of time!

  • Janet Edwards

    You’re right about the need to defend Labour’s record. Conservatives and their LibDem mini-me’s have repeated the lie so often it’s become acceptable for everyone, including broadcasters, to state the Labour’s mess mantra as fact. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be big enough to accept where we made mistakes and where we would do things differently in future.

    It seems to me that when we get the chance to argue directly with Government spokesmen on air we can robustly defend our policies and our record. But we are usually denied that opportunity and so must be more direct with broadcast journalists instead, most of whom think their role is to peddle the Tory line at every opportunity.

    Maybe it’s a middle class politeness thing, a reluctance to appear angry or emotional, but whatever it is, our frontbench spokesmen are rolling over too easily. It’s time to challenge the lies, challenge journalists’ preference for putting the Government line and hit them with facts figures and evidence, bluntly if necessary.

    When Andy Burnham came under attack some week’s ago he came out fighting. He challenged Hunt and journalists who were maligning him unfairly. He was right to do it and they backed off. I hope other shadow spokesmen follow suit.

    • Gabrielle

      You’re so right. And Andy Burnham does show exactly the way Labour should be fighting back. The Tories (blue and yellow) were, beforehand, utterly convinced that they were going to force Burnham to resign. They were wrong.

  • Dodo56

    This is Labour’s biggest mistake, because it’s a simple message that sticks in the minds of voters. But it can be turned round. Labour needs to admit its mistake was not to monitor the banks strictly enough following the Tory deregulation, leading directly to the crisis. By showing they have learned from their mistakes they can acknowledge the good work they did and distance themselves from the mistakes of the past. Re-regulate the banks, Vickers is too little and way too late. The Tories won’t dare follow as the banks are the ones bankrolling them.

  • Ehtch

    Labour did well, all considering, 1997-2010, Alastair. Especially when compared when so many things are going out control in the last three years within Westminster public office control.

    Peculiar factors are going on in the background at the moment, as if we are being governed by an US Republican Party minus, on our 64 million folks. same blind tactics of obvious debt, sending people into poverty. Can Labour get themselves sorted to send the actual message what state the country is in and going?

    Well Alastair, it doesn’t seem to be happening yet. The same rot I and you saw in the 1980s is occurring again. Hull story today that a charity there that looks after “ladies that work the streets” has seen a sharp rise of ladies on the streets, and when they ask them, it is because of benefit cuts and need to feed their children.

    We are becoming rotten, more and more, and no one is speaking out, or are suppressed.

  • JJ

    I completely agree – always got so sick of their endlessly repeated mantra: ‘inherited from Labour’ which they were all so obviously told to reiterate – why didnt Labour fight back?

  • Gerard McShera

    Good to see you back on to politics in today’s Guardian report of your Blog.

    You delicately avoid the real reason why the two Ed’s cannot rebutt the Tory/LIb Dem mantra; because it would entail acknowledging, embracing and accepting the phenomenal electoral and economic success of the Blair years.

    One of the Ed’s is so incompetently politically inept(like his flawed hero/mentor Gordon Brown) that he is alleged to have tried to remove Britain’s most successful Labour leader of all time from office in a political coup.

    (Unlike that other great champion of democratic accountability of the left,Tom Watson, I suppose we should be grateful that he didn’t clandestinely arrange a poison pen letter of labour MPs but his intentions seem to have been the same,)

    The other Ed is reaping the rewards of a pact with the Devil. He pretended to the Union leaders and the left that he was the anti-Blair candidate so as to mop up their second preferences and ;’stich-up’ a third of the Electoral College votes crucial to his victory. He can’t now detach himself in the eyes of the public and right wing media from the impression that he’s not his own man.

    How the Tories and Lib/Dems must pinch themselves. A guy that they couldn’t lay a hand on was brought down by his own side. With friends like these, the Labour Party doesn’t need enemies

  • reaguns

    Just as it is too late once you have created a credit bubble, to find a painless exit (you only have short sharp shock pain of capitalism or long drawn out pain of socialism as your answers), likewise once you have created the boom and bust it is too late to avoid blame for it.
    – It was labour who ran a deficit during an economic boom.
    – It was labour who expanded the public sector to a level that was a strain during the boom, but totally unsustainable when the economy reverted back to normal.
    – It was labour who added 1 million to the public sector.
    – It was labour who added 3 million immigrants
    – It was labour who bailed out the banks, without setting up a new regime, or punishing any of those it bailed out.
    – It was labour who oversaw artificially low interest rates during a boom. (see next point before you cry “2%”)
    – It was labour who decided that property prices should not be included in inflation statistics. Its not as if anyone spends money on that eh Gordon.
    Does anyone think that excluding prices from inflation calculations might, just might, have masked the fact that we did have high inflation after all, and that we did have a property bubble, which it was within labour’s gift to prick?

    Most of all, if it was a global financial crisis, then why did it hit us harder than america, and hit both of us far harder than it hit new zealand, canada, australia, china, germany, singapore, sweden, finland, denmark, hong kong, switzerland. Can Iceland and Greece also use the “But it was a global financial crisis” excuse?
    And as for the “No one saw it coming” can anyone explain then why I have books on my desk written in 2005 predicting the crash, and an article from 2006, both from left wing economists, ie the ones labour might actually listen to, Robert Schiller and Ann Pettifor. As well as a slew of stuff from right wing and centrist economists.

    • Dave Simons

      At the risk of being called a pedant can I first of all take you up on ‘reverted back’? ‘Reverted’, surely? Use of the superfluous word ‘back’ just gets grammarians’ backs up. Sorry to make this point but you do sound a bit like somebody who makes a big thing about ‘correct English’. Did Labour add 1 million to the public sector? Good for them! Don’t keep parroting that crap about the private sector being the real ‘Alpha Male’ of the economy – some of us have worked in the private sector and we know how much waste, corruption and sheer criminality is rampant there. The private sector milks the public sector – not vice versa. Did Labour bring in 3 million immigrants? Do you realise there are something like 5 million ex-pats working and owning property abroad? Should they all resign, sell up and return to the UK? Did Labour bale out the banks? What would you have done – have people queueing up at cash machines for nothing and then rioting? I think you’d have been the first to squeal.

      • reaguns

        The alternative action to bailing out the banks has been documented by many economists, and we also have the evidence of history to support us. Nevertheless, the consensus of economists I admit supported the bailout, and I accept the problem was caused before the bailout and that Gordon Brown had an incredibly difficult decision, which I can forgive him for. What I can’t forgive him for is not fixing the problems that caused it for him, or delivering financial or penal punishment to those men who caused it, which is what Reagan did when he bailed out S&Ls then jailed a couple of thousand bankers.
        Your point about the brits abroad is juvenile. If countries abroad have decided they need immigrants for good reasons, and been democratic about it, such as Finland, Canada, Australia, Switzerland then thats up to them. If they decide to be democratic and manage problems without immigrants, such as Japan, thats fine too. Some other countries with smaller welfare states and stronger economies may be able to support immigration. Brits do not go abroad to compete for low wage labour. I guess you are a bit left of Blair, Brown, Miliband etc so you must know there are very good reasons why Real Labour (Benn and co) opposed immigration?
        Dave I shan’t use the “wealth creators versus public sector workers” argument so hopefully you’ll see I am fairer than you think. Public sector workers can create wealth directly too, and of course they can help others create it by providing infrastructure. However someone must generate the wealth, and just as you are right that there are people in private sector companies who do not generate wealth, god knows I’ve seen enough of them, likewise with the public sector. Do you think the additional 1 million public sector workers have created the extra wealth needed to pay for themselves, or that they have helped others do so? I do not, and in fact I think they merely mean that the pension pot and the share of the tax take for wages and so on, remains the same but must be diluted to spread it between an extra 1 million workers.
        As for reverted/reverted back, you are right about that, but wrong about me being a pedant, however I did have a little chuckle as I hope you will yourself when I noticed that in the same post you thought we did a bank “bale” out!

    • Michele

      Can you explain why a tool similar to that available for individuals from competing banks has not been made available to bigger bodies and especially to Govts?
      ie: Paying off lending debt from one provider with a cheaper loan from another.

      I’d imagine most of our population have done that in recent years by doing balance transfers.

      Interest rates in most parts of the world are at their lowest for at least a century, why is the IMF not controlling the costs of state debts (international bank regulation if you like, a bigger version of what nations are expected to do within their own borders but which they cannot really do in the world of t’net or across borders).

      How do the IMF have the nerve to swan round the world opining about Govt plans (and as we’ve seen, all too often applying little more than PR gloss) rather than actually DOing something? Mme Lagarde’s Chanel budget alone must be enough to rescue Greece and others :-s, bizarre that even they are paying towards it.

      • reaguns

        The IMF do not have the ability to control interest rates. Arguably, neither do the central banks, ie they can plug the interest rate leak, but not without causing a hole somewhere else, such as in currency devaluation, capital flight, etc.

        • Michele

          I think that that is acknowledged in my post —– hence the statement (or question) about what is the reason for the IMF even just being?

          Such authority and regard and media coverage but never have to prove what they opine on.

          Dropping in here and there for a couple of days, do a press conference and leave …. were they in a position to have averted what has happened in the EU with Greece and others that inflated their currencies when linking in?

          It seems that their own currency is little more than hindsight.

          • reaguns

            The IMF do provide a good source of economic data, and balanced set of orthodox economic policy positions, an aggregation of the prominent economic thought, for better or worse. They have put good rescue packages together for countries many times.

            However obviously they were as toothless as most in the build up to the 2008 crash, though many of their individual members have been published before that time predicting the crash. The fantastic Raghuram Rajan is one, who warned Summers, Greenspan etc in 2005, but was laughed out of the place by the US treasury, and found no support from IMF colleagues. He is one of those who gives a lie to labour’s “No one saw it coming” schtick.

  • Gus

    You want a proper debate? Let’s have one: do you think that increasing public spending by 50% in a five-year period was prudent economic management? Do you think running a deficit at the zenith of the economic cycle in 2007 made sense? Do you accept the government in 2008 should have made quicker moves to reduce public spending incrementally to tackle the deficit earlier? Do you accept the government’s attitude to bank regulation was too lax under Brown/Blair contributed to the ‘casino banking’ the Labour Party has been braying about since the collapse – gambling that took part ON THEIR WATCH? Do you now admit longstanding Labour Party policy to join the euro would have been a disaster? Whatever you say about the Coalition, at least they have stabilised the economy. Four years on, parts of the Labour Party are still in denial.

    • Michele

      Isn’t it a tad silly to use the term ‘proper debate’ when your input is full of generalisations?

      For instance ‘increasing public spending by 50%’ without bothering to mention how low and inadequate it had been after 18yrs of Tory cuts (and their own several recessions and economic scandals) and therefore how desperately important the increases were is disingenuous of you. I’m not someone that has needed the safety bets but am damn glad they WERE there and wish they still were.

      It’s a kind of self-fulfilling certainty is it not that when the conliton is kicked out public spending will HAVE to rise again (as well as that you and your type will be braying in the wings about it).

      Actual national debt in 2010 was £750 Bn, it is estimated to be £1400 Bn by 2015 despite all the cuts. Would you like to explain that, given you demand sense from others and have the nerve to pretend the conlition has ‘stabilised the economy’?

    • Sue Jones

      Thatcher deregulated the banks, and under the labour government, the tories voted against regulation…and they still haven’t regulated them.

      Brown steered us out of recession, and we didn’t feel the effects oft he GLOBAL crash until the coalition introduced ‘austerity’ –

      We have a recession EVERY time we have a Tory government: Thatcher, Major and Cameron. Anyone would think it’s deliberate, a front to redistibute public wealth to private pockets..-

      As for ‘stabilising’ the economy, what poppycock! They lie and and the public KNOW tories lie, because they have been rebuke for those lies by the ONS and the OBR – here –

  • Michele

    If it comes up top of the google results it must be true eh?

    What a gormless idiot.

  • Michele

    I’m afraid that for the first time in my life I might not vote in 2015.

    I canNOT support EM.
    He cannot rid himself of his ‘younger son’ resentment and it makes me sick.
    He ‘spat on’ DM in public during the R4 interviews pre-Conference in the most revolting, unnecessary and gratuitous display ever heard.

    He is doing he same now with the unions; yes he is right that the leaders need to keep their distance and members should have the autonomy to contribute or not BUT he knew all that in 2010 when he used the status quo and pretended he felt differently.

    I can’t trust him.

    • Liberalreform

      Go on….steel yourself….vote UKIP!

      • Dave Simons

        Voting for UKIP is a bit like voting for Jeremy Clarkson – in other words voting for an individual or organisation which makes an easy career or business out of spouting rubbish to people who apparently like rubbish.

  • Janet Edwards

    Fabian Society: The myth of Labour’s excessive borriwing: why it’s time to fight back:

    • Ehtch

      Fabians? Mee arse they are now! I should be there, and I would kick some fecking arses about. Shame the Labour bastards into action.

  • Ehtch

    Alastair, and all, chunkymark/artist taxi driver did a brilliant interview in his car with The Independent newspaper today, so should be on their chip paper/web site within the next day.

    Brilliant it is, and he youtubed the interview, as per, as he does,

    edit: WHOOPS! could have been Friday, or yesterday morning. Enjoyed that, really did. My kind of stuff.

  • Cheri Lanka

    Just what Tony would have said!

  • volcanopete

    For the future Ed Balls is right to ask for scrutiny of Labour’s economic policy by the independent OBR to check the fiscal prudence.The Tories are wrong to oppose it as it would apply to them in opposition too.They prefer ideology to evidence.

  • Labour spells danger

    This is the most biased load of garbage I have ever read

  • John Smith

    I have never understood why Labour got the blame for the recession when it started with the collapse of the housing market in the US, I also remember Maggie de-regulating lending in the 80s and house prices going up at a silly rate, and all of a sudden women couldn’t afford to stay at home with their children. We were lucky, we got on the housing ladder before Maggie struck.