Eleven wasted years

Hunter wanted to do a general letter to the locals on Labour's 11 wasted years. In the end, the letter was far too long an non-local for them to even consider publishing it, so here it is - as my latest blog entery. Feel free to say whether or not you agree with my analysis. Here goes:

In 1997, people from across Haringey, indeed the country, were rejoicing in Labour’s historic landslide. People, rightly, had high expectations of their new government.

Their first acts were to loot people’s pension funds and sell off our gold reserves, but people didn’t seem to care. They were new. They would make mistakes. They needed more time. That’s what people said.

Then Blair, aided by Gordon Brown, introduced stealth taxes. The tax burden went up and new policies were introduced to make the economy less flexible. Borrowing, too, went up leading Brown to be dubbed “the credit card chancellor”.

Record amounts of money went into our unreformed public services, especially the NHS, yet waiting lists remained high and clinical outcomes static. There were endless re-organisations of the NHS – leading staff demoralised.

The gap between rich and poor grew. In certain parts of Glasgow, age expectancy is just 54 – below those of the Gaza Strip and Angola. Locally, you can expect to live for an extra seven years if you are lucky enough to reside in Muswell Hill than Northumberland Park.

Educationally, we have slipped back in the world league tables. More and more students are leaving school unable to read or write, without a single GCSE. Meanwhile, Labour’s only two ideas on education were to scrap student grants and swamp teachers with paperwork. Ditto the police, whilst crime got out of control. Gun and violent crimes have doubled.

Now the economy is spiralling out of control. Prices for everyday essentials – bread, butter, and milk – are on the up. And petrol prices are at a record high. A bus journey for a single stop now stands at £2.

House prices are set to crash and mortgage take-ups are the lowest for three decades. If you’re lucky enough to have a home, the council tax has gone through the roof under Labour.

Did I mention that immigration is out of control (althoughless so than the Daily Mail would have you believe)?

People have been let down by Labour. They could have spent the last eleven years improving and reforming our public services, keeping money aside for 'rainy days' and fighting poverty through empowering the voluntary and charity sectors.

People want their government to be honest about the challenges that we all face. To not flinch from making difficult – but necessary – decisions.

People want Gordon Brown to call that General Election and be able to hit them where it hurts most: in the ballot box.


bexie said...

Don't forget the shredding of the 1698 bill of rights, and the shredding of magna carter.

Make nasty comments about the Junta and you can be whisked away to camp Belmarsh for re-education. No trial, no charges, no questions asked.

And we critise to Chinese...

B said...

Well well well, Hunter- whos been a naughty boy!!
You talk of '11 wasted years'- can I ask what you think of the 18 wasted years of conservative Govt? Yes, you dont want to mention that, do you? I didnt think so. How very selective of you dear boy!

Anonymous said...

Immigration policy is out of control - but not in the way Justin says- it is out of control in that it has been taken over by Nazi scum. Despite the £4 billion that immigrants pour into the British economy yearly, the fact that without migrants we would be experienceing a severe skills shortage in key areas and the fact that without immigrants our ageing population are frankly utterly up the spout this government has brought in some of the most harsh, immoral, inhuman, evil, racist, counterproductive anti-immigration laws in history.

No wonder our economy is up the spout when Brown seems so keen to block the hard working migrants who are the only thing that keeps our economy going.

This is a country that thinks it is acceptable to deport Darfuris to Khartoum. This is a government that was fighting the high court for the right to deport MDC members to Zimbabwe throughout the last election there. This is a government that deported a diabetic to a country with no dialysis machine in the certain knowlege that he would be dead within 48 hours. This is a country which forces Asylum seekers to feed their family on £47 worth of Morrison's vouchers per week, forbids them from working, charges them for emergency heathcare and them takes their children ito care when they cannot pay despite the fact that paying would be legally impossible.

Our immigration policy is in the hands of facist pigs and we are all suffering as a result.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

I agree with much of what the last poster has written. Thank you for your comments - perhaps you could do a reader's letter to your local newspaper?

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

I don't, anon, think the Conservatives wasted their 18 years in government. When we came into office in 1979, the number of people going to university was 1 in 8 - when we left it was 1 in 3. We transformed our economy from being the "sick man of Europe" to the envy of Europe. We liberated millions of council tenants by allowing them to buy their own homes and giving them richly-deserved independence from the state. We curbed the excessive powers of the trades unions and we privatised many of our failing industries which has proved, on the whole, to have been a success. And, of course, we restored our standing and influence on the international stage. People often forget or were too young to remember the last Labour government.

Anonymous said...

"People often forget or were too young to remember the last Labour government"

Including yourself, Justin. You weren't even born, for heaven's sake. And you are too young to have been politically aware during Mrs Thatcher's premiership, which probably accounts for your rose-tinted view of it.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

True, I wasn't born when Mrs T came into power in 1979. What's your point? When were you born, anon? If, for example, you were born in 1970 does that mean you are not able to comment on governments before that time? You ever heard of books?

Anonymous said...

Well if you can read books about the past, so can all the other people who aren't old enough to remember the last Labour or Tory governments. So why do you have such a special insight that they don't have?

I was born in 1976, too young to remember the last Labour government but I remember the early 80s recession and the miners strike very well. It's blatently obvious that it is not possible to fully understand a period of history unless you have lived through it, and as I say your account of Thatcherism is devalued as you were not old enough to remember most of it.

asquith said...

"It's blatently obvious that it is not possible to fully understand a period of history unless you have lived through it"

It isn't "blatent" to me, & you might like to get a dictionary before writing any further anonymong posts. Are you saying that no one should bother studying the past because they can't properly understand it? Are you by any chance Charles Clarke?

Justin is largely correct in his depiction of the Thatcher years: we had got ourselves into a state due to 34 years of socialist government, which is why it was necessary for her to behave in a way which seemed harsh.

The heavy industries were clearly on the way out, and we shouldn't have relied on them so heavily. Also, the mass building of council estates, especially in the 50s, was very poorly thought out.

I think Thatcher erred in centralising government power and taking too many powers from local government, that she wasn't socially liberal, and that she didn't invest in training etc, thus condemning the ex-miners to misery and wasting their talents.

But again, whose fault is that ultimately? The pre-1979 governments' short-sightedness in leaving people uneducated and dependent on unsustainable jobs which they thought would be for life, even though that system was hobbling the country.

And it isn't a "rose-tinted" view that he expresses, nor do I, it's just that vilifying her without reference to the context is not remotely helpful.

As for immigration, I largely agree with you, especially that the treatment of asylum seekers is despicable and they should be allowed to work. I'm not sure about economic migration though, because the numbers are potentially limitless & we surely don't want that.

Anonymous said...

Asquith - at age 23 you weren't even born for the first 6 years of Thatcher's government. You don't know what you are talking about.

asquith said...

Ah, I see. So all historians should resign immediately, because an anonymous blog commentator deems that they don't know what they're talking about.

FYI I grew up on a council estate in Stoke, about as solid a Labour/BNP stronghold as the world has ever seen. And I've evolved these views because I've studied the evidence, as any historian would.

asquith said...

Also, my grandad was a miner, who thoroughly hated his work, whose worst fear was that my uncle would have to have a job like his.

Bexie said...

I did live through th 70's and remember such gems and the three day week, and the bodies in my dad's church. It was not funny.

Mrs Thatcher was a breath of fresh air after 10 years of socialsim under Wilson, Callaghan and yes, Heath. By letting people keep more of their money, and attacking red tape on commerce the economy was thriving again within 3 years.