Blogs

Why all the apologies, Ed?

27 September 2011

27 September 2011

The Labour Conference 2011 has turned into a horrible misery-fest. What a daft idea to
make the theme of the conference: “We’re really sorry, we won’t do it again”. At least it’s not the slogan, although it would have been more honest than
“Fulfilling the Promise of Britain”. I agree with Steve Richards in the Independent that the pessimism is
self-fulfilling. This does not feel like a platform for re-election

I spent most of the New Labour era criticising Tony Blair and his government. I thought he was too cosy with the ultra-rich, cynical about criminal justice policy, disingenuous about the use of the
private sector in providing public services and over-cautious about redistribution.

Subscribe from £1 per week


But I recognise the achievements of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and so do the people around David Cameron, which is why Philip Gould’s Unfinished Revolution is their bible. The national
minimum wage, the smoking ban, reform of the House of Lords, devolution in Scotland and Wales, civil partnerships – these things just would not have happened under Conservative
administrations. It is also true that the Coalition’s reforms in health, education and welfare to work are based on solid Blairite foundations.

Labour lost the last election. That much is undeniable. But the Tories didn’t win it either. A surprising number of people voted Labour even with Gordon Brown as leader and I would wager that
most of the people who voted Lib Dem did not want a Tory government. Many will never vote that way again.

What possessed Ed Miliband to believe that the British people wanted a series of apologies? The only thing the Labour Party should be apologising for is not replacing Gordon Brown as leader when it
had the chance. Labour politicians should face the truth: despite all the mistakes of the New Labour years it is quite possible that they would still be in government, had they steeled themselves
for a coup when they had the chance. If they truly believe their own rhetoric about the damage the Coalition is doing then they have only themselves to blame.


More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.

Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Good think.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 8.57am

    You’ve got a tongue in your head, haven’t you? If you don’t like people smoking in your presence then ask them to desist. If they refuse to desist then get up and go somewhere else. What right do you think you have to whine to the government that they should ban something because you find it unpleasant? Among the things I find unpleasant are being told I’m not allowed to wear a tie because it’s “dress-down Friday”, adult human beings having earnest discussions about football, as though it actually matters, hearing, parrot-fashion, that every less-than-ideal happening in the natural world is the result of global warming, and just about every aspect of dogmatic left-wingery – should I petition the government to make these illegal?

  • Ridcully

    arnoldo87: So the smoking ban but hospital workers and undertakers out of work?
    Seriously?

  • arnoldo87

    @ Richard of Moscow

    “…touchy-feely nonsense like the smoking ban, which put thousands out of work.”

    True…..mostly people who worked at dry-cleaners, mouthwash and mint manufacturers, skin lotion producers, hospitals and undertakers.

  • Richard of Moscow

    arnoldo87

    “Freedom of Information Bill”

    Very true. A genuine achievement, because our low-quality politicians, be they Lib, Lab, or Con, prefer to keep the populace in the dark, and it was no mean feat getting this through.

    The ONLY achievement, mind you. The others are either nothing to do with Labour (demographics ensured relative peace in N Ireland and lower crime, for example, but most journos are too ignorant to know that) or just touchy-feely nonsense like the smoking ban, which put thousands out of work.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 11.22am

    Freedom of Information Act – Yes, in principle a very welcome addition – in practice, not as effective as it should be, either in the availability of information, or in allowing to be kept quiet some things which need to be kept quiet. Will undoubtedly have led to policy errors due to personally-hazardous, but essential, communication having to be camouflaged and nuanced. So goods and bads, but the principle of the idea is a good one, particularly in view of the almost religious fixation with secrecy which went before.

    Uncertain as to the motivation of the government which introduced it. Maybe they thought that they were too smart for it to affect them much directly, but that it would put a firecracker under the more ponderous civil service which they thought would obstruct them.

    It would certainly be unwise to read too much into New Labour’s ideas and intentions from the apparent liberalism of the FOI Act. In fact, in so far as it is contrary to the expansion of State power and interference, it would be better seen as an atypical example of their behaviour while in power.

    Have you had enough of picking cherries? About the general thrust of New Labour, do you have anything of any substance to re-direct those of us who were repelled by its approach of government by nannying and its apparent belief that it had a right to dragoon even those with the most independent of thought into a herd which was obedient and responsive to State instructions? What you’re doing is akin to challenging a generally held view that Hitler was a monster by saying he was kind to animals, friendly to children and that he treated his personal staff very well.

  • arnoldo87

    Freedom of Information Bill

    Forgot that one.

    Typical dictatorial, authoritarian, machiavellian, anti-Capitalist measure.

    Wonder how that fits into the grand plan?

    I’m sure someone will tell us.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 3.26pm

    Are you happy about all these social achievements purely in terms of the pluses that you can see in them? Or have to set off the pluses against the minuses and concluded that you should be happy with the nett good?

    Take the Minimum Wage, for example. It’s undoubtedly true that this has forced some unscrupulous employers to be less exploitative towards their employees, and if this were the only consequence of the legislation, then I think most people would think it was a good thing. But it isn’t the only consequence, is it. For other employees, it has meant that they lost their job entirely, as employers at the margin have concluded that their economic activity is non-viable at the de minimus wage level they are required to pay. How many of the currently unemployed would actually be employed if there were no minimum wage? How much more national economic activity (GDP) would actually be taking place if this were the case? Isn’t there an argument that State compensation of low-paid employees via the tax/benefits system would work far better for society as a whole than setting artificial, and over-high hurdles for businesses at the margin?

    Then take the Smoking Ban. If more people saw the downsides of smoking, and decided not to do it, this would be a good thing – accepted. But the same is true of riding motor-cycles, climbing rock faces, lying out in sun, eating fatty foods and any one of a thousand more human activities where we would be less at risk if we refrained from doing them. What principle should we adopt about these things? Should we say that there is a defect in individuals’ thought processes which needs to be addressed? That there are certain areas where it’s not good enough to allow people to make up their own minds about what they do to their own bodies? This is a dangerous principle to adopt, surely, because where do you stop? Are we the owners of our own bodies, or are they merely on hire from the State?

    And don’t feed me the guff about passive smoking – anyone with his brain in the right place knows that passive smoking is no more than a minuscule health hazard to the general public, and that the false scare stories that were built up about it, and the villainising of smokers that went with it, were no more than a Trojan Horse to drive through legislation that would never have received popular approval without it.

    And finally from your list, the Foxhunting ban. What possible justification is there for this? So, people make a sport out of controlling vermin – it doesn’t appeal much to me, either, but in all honesty, so what! What goes through the mind of people who think it’s an appropriate use of vast amounts of parliamentary time, at colossal expense, in an attempt to stop people doing waht they like doing, and as far as the foxes are concerned will make no difference? Do the ban enthusiasts really think that it advances social progress to take a class of people who are “different”, and then at the first available opportunity pass a bit of spiteful legislation for no real purpose than to show that they can? Utterly infantile, displaying if nothing else that there’s a large group of child-adults to whom it’s unwise to give power.

  • arnoldo87

    S.S.S.

    Ah, yes, I clean forgot the social achievements:-

    Minimum Wage
    Paternity Leave
    Peace in Northern Ireland
    Crime down substantially
    Massive reductions in hospital waiting lists
    Smoking Ban
    Fox Hunting Ban
    Sure Start
    Big reductions in Heart Disease and Cancer deaths
    Civil partnerships…

    …..to name just a few

    Thanks once again for the reminder

  • Stuart Seacole Smith

    Arnoldo 28th Sept, I thought hardly anyone had noticed Bright’s little wishful thinking spiel here, but now I return and there are no less than 30 comments! Wow. I’m slightly sorry you felt slightly wounded by my comments.

    The main points have already been made – basically, in a generally positive global economic climate, combined with the artificial bubble of pretend money conjured by the financial whizz-kids (that’s why they get the big bucks!), any half-witted muppet could have bumbled along spending all the proceeds and borrowing some more on top for good measure. So yes, I’m sure you undersold Labour’s magnificent performance and it’s certainly worthy of proud celebration – well on some planets anyway.

    But surely your real pride must be reserved for the spectacular social achievements under Labour? For example that magnificent “burgeoning underclass” that has grown up in families that have never so much as sniffed a job, and probably never will. Superb.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87

    But on the other hand I prefer this:-

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100108299/labour-party-conference-like-it-or-not-ed-miliband-has-redefined-the-future-of-politics/

    and I would echo Oborne’s praise of Miliband’s speech if only I could bring myself to believe that it was genuine, and not just the New, New Labour construction of a Trojan Horse through which to bring about Big-State socialism. The trouble with Labour, for me, is not so much that they challenge the assumptions of the non-Left, it’s that I can’t get it out of my mind that they challenge them with an alternative which has no part in their own ambitions. I’d rather support a philosophy which goes some way towards satisfying my idea of what should be done, than risk being a “useful idiot” to those who project an attractive alternative, but who in reality are seeking to bring about everything which I abominate.

    Labour’s six million or so guaranteed votes are just too much of a honey-pot for the far-left to be kept from stealth infiltration of the Party. Nothing really has changed in this respect since the sixties and seventies, but if Labour’s medium-state humanists really want to win the support of the like-minded across the political spectrum, they must put the far-left back in its cage, and ensure that it doesn’t wield power in the Party at a level than is proportionately greater than its numbers warrant.

    A Party which accepts that strong humans will both exploit and benefit weak humans, and recognises (a) that it can fairly effectively counter the exploitation without adversely affecting the benefit, and should do so, (b) that it cannot effectively replace eradicated private benefit with State substitution, and (c) these principles must determine the way it proceeds – this is a Party that I would vote for.

  • Simon Stephenson.
  • Baron

    arnoldo87, Simon makes the point brilliantly, the one for which you’ve slapped the poorly educated Slav.

    and this:

    Baron would have some sympathy, not much only abit, with your praising of the golden years of Labour, but for one thing, the dour Scot’s spending the massive tax receipts in the years up to 2007, also borrowing over £150bn, disbursing the cash, too. This folly, this totally inexcusable act of fugging the country’s finances up does it for Baron, the Norwegians did the opposite, instead of blowing away their tax receipts (mostly from oil), they had saved few quid, are laughing today, we would have been in an immeasurably better shape if Brown did the same, saved £150bn over the years of aplenty when receipts to the Treasury from the corporate sector alone (mostly from the banks) topped one year £500bn, he didn’t, should be pilloried for it until he puts on monk’s habiliments, buries himself in a monastery in the deep wilderness of the Scottish highlands, and that’s just for starters.

    Simon, merci beaucoup, sir.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 6.23pm

    to Baron

    “In your chronology, you missed out the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.”

    To which Labour policy made no contribution, I suppose, and which was completely unanticipated by anyone serious, so excusing Labour’s Titanic-style running of the economy in the period leading up to it.

    The key is the word “serious”. Labour’s policy justification involved introducing a logic-loop – “of course we’ll take the advice of serious commentators, but no one who gives advice that’s contrary to where we want to go is serious, so it would be wrong to take their advice”

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 4.53pm

    So, which part of my post could only be the product of a delusional conspiracy crank?

    * that we’re in a situation where our private economy is under great stress?

    * that people can keep their intentions secret?

    * that socialist ideology is incompatible with a substantial private economy?

    * that there are doctrinaire socialists who are members of the Labour Party?

    * that it’s possible for the Labour leadership’s aspirations to be closer to doctrinaire socialism than they broadcast for public consumption?

    * that it’s possible there is a cognitive bias which makes it difficult for people to see bad in people whose intentions they support?

    Or is “delusional conspiracy crank” just 21st Century Left-speak for “anyone who may make a salient point which threatens my belief structure”

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 4.53pm

    “I can see that you must have been worried that the copious underlining might have suggested that you are some sort of delusional conspiracy crank.”

    Very sly. Almost BBC-sly. Are you an employee of that revered corporation?

  • arnoldo87

    Baron,

    Nice try, but I spotted your deliberate mistake.

    In your chronology, you missed out the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

    You rascal, you.

  • arnoldo87

    @ Raffles

    Spot the difference:-

    a. South Africa won the last Rugby World
    and:-
    b. South Africa will win the next Rugby World Cup

    Although the phrases look familiar, a. is a fact, which can be proven by looking at the record.

    b. on the other hand, is a prediction, and may turn out to be wrong.

    Kaletsky, in his article, was dealing with historical record. All of which can be checked.

    He may be a lousy seer, but we are not talking about the future here.

  • arnoldo87

    Simon,

    Apology accepted.

    I can see that you must have been worried that the copious underlining might have suggested that you are some sort of delusional conspiracy crank.

  • Taxpayer2010

    Ed Balls repeated their tired “too far and too fast” deficit reduction mantra.

    It terrifies me that the fact that reducing a £155bn deficit over 10 years instead of 5 actually adds £500bn extra to the national debt – and no one ever makes this point!

    Ed Balls is economically blinded by politics.

  • Baron

    arnoldo87’s summary of the golden age: “This was ..the longest period of uninterrupted growth, rising living standards, unprecedented small-business entrepreneurship, expanding home ownership and full employment in the 200 years of Britain’s recorded economic history.”

    Followed by the longest period of uninterrupted low growth, falling living standards…..”

    Baron prefers the occasional slow-down, an inherent feature of capitalism, a must to weed out unproductive use of capital, it redirecting into new, wealth creating businesses, an unemployment that ain’t structural merely the result of such directional changes….

    as things are we’re going to be lucky if the golden age of the tossers you admire doesn’t end in a societal collapse, my blogging friend.

  • Raffles

    Kaletsky’s call over the last few years has been nothing short of catastrophic and i am incredulous that he retains his column let alone his self respect. From thesingle currency to Lehmans he has been utterly wrong in his predictions so please dont quote him to justify anything other than nonsense.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87

    Apologies for the long underline at the end – it should be of the first word “is” only.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 ; 9.12am

    I don’t expect any of them are factually incorrect, but you know as well as I do that in any situation it’s possible to produce factual information which both supports and demolishes assertions about that situation. If Kaletsky’s analysis was more analysis than eulogy, I should have thought he would have qualified his praise of Labour’s achievements by noting that just about every country was ostensibly benefiting at this time from the expansion of world trade brought about by globalisation. You know, that there were influences leading to these movements in the economic indicators which were nothing to do with Labour, and for which it’s both misleading and morally incorrect for Labour or its supporters to claim credit.

    But on the central point you raise about the possibility of Labour’s policies 1997-2010 being deliberately provocative and destabilising to the continued wellbeing of the private economy, you do have to accept, surely, that the situation now, in 2011, is one in which the future of the private economy is threatened?

    You must also accept, surely, that it is possible that an ideological political group could work in government towards achieving a goal which they consider inappropriate to make open?

    Also, you’re not going to deny, surely, that there is a political ideology that holds that the existence of a substantial private economy is incompatible with a social system of economic and political justice?

    Moreover, you’ll surely find it undeniable that some members of the Labour hierarchy have, since they were in short trousers, been steeped in a socialist ideology where the mixed economy is seen as no more than a temporary strategic expediency – not in any way an objective for when the radicalism has been concluded?

    Finally, you’ll also perhaps accept that there can be a popular bias towards assuming the goodwill and good faith of human beings. In general, we find it too emotionally taxing to accept the possibility that politicians are actually like everyone else – they incorporate both good and bad – and that it is possible for the democratic system of which we’re so proud to be taken over and corrupted both by men not wholly constrained by the strictures of goodwill and good faith, and by those who believe that following their faith legitimises the pursuance of a goal for which they haven’t obtained public approval. In general, we can’t design from scratch a system that removes these malign influences, so we give ourselves comfort that what we’ve got actually does this.

    I believe that I look at the position neutrally, and that you are biassed to seeing more good and less bad than there actually is. Therefore, I am able to look at what has happened and to see that it may be the desired and calculated result of bad bahaviour. I don’t think you are able to see it this way, not because you see the possibility as being so slim as to be dismissed as impossible, but because the construct of your mind won’t even allow it to be thought of as a possibility at all. I expect that you see yourself as the neutral one, and that I am biassed into seeing everything from the point of view of demonology.

    So we’ll never see eye to eye, I fear.

  • arnoldo87

    @ Polonius

    I’d clean forgotten your contention that New Labour were actually trying to destroy the Capitalist system.

    So, first of all, please find me a serious economist that agrees with you on that one.

    Then let’s take the facts claimed by Kaletsky one by one:-

    1. “This was ..the longest period of uninterrupted growth, rising living standards, unprecedented small-business entrepreneurship, expanding home ownership and full employment in the 200 years of Britain’s recorded economic history.”

    2. “It was also a decade of exemplary monetary and fiscal management, with inflation low and steady, interest rates affordable, government debt declining steadily in relation to national income and Britain consistently outpacing other advanced economies for the first time since the late 19th century.”

    3. “In Labour’s first ten years, government debt fell faster relative to national income than in any other decade of British history, including the Thatcher period”

    4.”Britain’s total borrowing from overseas averaged just 2.5 per cent of national income during this period; substantially smaller than the average of 3.5 per cent during the Thatcher-Major years.”

    So – which of these four claims is factually incorrect, Simon?

    Even if you can find figures to refute Kaletsky’s claims, I think that you would agree that, for an outfit that was apparently hell bent on destroying the Capitalist system, they did a damn fine job of boosting it.

  • jazz606

    “……….. The national minimum wage, the smoking ban, reform of the House of Lords, devolution in Scotland and Wales, civil partnerships – ……………”

    The only good thing in this list is the smoking ban, the rest is crap. The national minimum wage just makes people uniformly poor….that is the ones who are working legally. And devolution will just accelerate the break up of the UK, just at the time when the shenanigans in the EU make it sensible for us to stick together.

  • Richard of Moscow

    Well said, Ricky.

    They made deluded journalists, a legion of trough-guzzlers, pimps, perverts, ethnic cleansers, terrorists, swivel-eyed conspiracy loons, anti-science AGW crackpots, and incompetent bankers feel all warm and fuzzy, while sending education, law and order, our reputation abroad and our economy all hurtle back to the dark ages.

    The USSR without the good bits.

    The only thing remotely genuine about Tony Blair was his embarrassing and irrational cowardice in the wake of the September 11th attacks.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87

    No, but seriously, did you scour the musings of serious economists, and then pick Kaletsky’s out of the numerous fulsome tributes to Labour’s magnificence in office? Or was he the first (and only?) one you found? Or weren’t you really looking at all, and just tripped over the Kaletsky article as the first thing you’ld read in 5 years that hadn’t lambasted Labour for its incompetence and misjudgement (provided that they were actually trying to run a successful mixed economy, that is)?

  • arnoldo87

    @ Polonius

    Yes indeed.

    Why take any notice of a respected economic commentator on matters of numerical fact and record when we can read your incisive and totally rational, cliche-free and unbiased opinions?

  • Simon Stephenson.

    arnoldo87 : 3.18pm

    Kaletsky! Only Mystic Mogg has a greater reputation for getting things wrong.

    I should have thought you’ld have found someone more credible to sing the praises of New Labour 1997-2010 – but I suppose there isn’t anyone with any credibility who’s actually gone so far as to do this.

  • arnoldo87

    Stuart Seacole Smith,

    Feeling slightly wounded by your rather unkind critique of my comment, I was about to ask you what was wrong with the first section.

    But suddenly, there was no need. I had just read Anatole Kaletsky’s column in “The Times” today, which covered the same topic as Martin’s post, and your criticism made sense. Here is the relevant part of Anatole’s article:-

    “The beginning of the story ought to be an account of what really happened in the 13 years of Labour government. This should not be an apology, but a proud celebration of the economic and social achievements from May 1997 until the summer of 2008. This was not only the longest period of uninterrupted growth, rising living standards, unprecedented small-business entrepreneurship, expanding home ownership and full employment in the 200 years of Britain’s recorded economic history. It was also a decade of exemplary monetary and fiscal management, with inflation low and steady, interest rates affordable, government debt declining steadily in relation to national income and Britain consistently outpacing other advanced economies for the first time since the late 19th century.

    Contrary to the rewriting of history by the coalition parties, the pre-crisis decade was not a period of profligate borrowing and gross financial negligence — at least not by the Government. In Labour’s first ten years, government debt fell faster relative to national income than in any other decade of British history, including the Thatcher period. And Britain’s total borrowing from overseas averaged just 2.5 per cent of national income during this period; substantially smaller than the average of 3.5 per cent during the Thatcher-Major years.”

    So – yes S.S.S. point taken – I totally undersold Labour’s success story from 1997 to 2007.

    Apologies to New Labour and thanks to you for correcting me.

  • In2minds

    “The only thing the Labour Party should be apologising for is………….”

    So just the one mistake in all those years, amazing!

  • Edward McLaughlin

    “The only thing the Labour Party should be apologising for is not replacing Gordon Brown as leader when it had the chance.”

    So you would have been happy to extend the 13 year catastrophic megaspend of money we did not have the means to repay, would you?

  • Stuart Seacole Smith

    Arnoldo, your opinions are like the curate’s egg, good in parts. The last part being good, and the first part being rather on the pongy side, I hope you know why. If not, please do go ahead and ask!

  • Moraymint

    Ricky

    Outstanding.

  • arnoldo87

    Martin is quite right. New Labour has little to apologise for. Their financial performance up to the banking crisis was superior to the disastrous 18 years of Tory government and how the Tories hated it.

    All except Dave and chums who recognised that, by and large, Blair had successfully opened a path that they wished to follow. This was why Dave encouraged his party to give Tony Blair a standing ovation when Blair left office in 2007. Not exactly something you would do if you felt that a terrible economic legacy was being handed over to Gordon Brown.

    Blair’s political legacy is in safe hands provided Dave can keep his right wing at bay. Unfortunately, he does, and will continue to, depend upon the Lib-Dems assistance in this task.

    The coalition even offer an improvement over Blairism with their Euroscepticism, but need to drop the silly libertarian nonsense in opposing the DNA database retention.

    Labour, on the other hand, are totally lost. When you hear Neil Kinnock express smug satisfaction that he has “got his party back” you know the game is up for the foreseeable future.

    When Blair needed support in 2005-6 over Iraq, the brothers and M.P.’s just couldn’t bring themselves to be loyal to a brilliant politician who had delivered 3 consecutive victories.

    Now, they certainly have got their party back – the party without any vision, the party that can’t come to terms with the reality of globalisation, the party that would vote for trade barriers if it saved British jobs, the party without any sort of leadership and destined to settle into their traditional role of election losers.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    Ricky : 6.03pm

    I take my hat off to you. In a mere 275 words you sum up all that needs to be said about Labour and its relevance to the people of this country. Magnificent.

  • Ricky

    Yet another delusional article by a cheerleader for the Regressive Alliance.

    The tribalism of the comrades is so vindictive and confrontational. They seem incapable of accepting that other people in our country do actually have good ideas or are clever or honest or inspirational or are even people of goodwill.

    The arrogance, entitlement and certainty of the Left is quite chilling. Harman’s creepy story about shielding her baby from Margaret Thatcher’s gaze shows how demented and hateful socialists really are.

    Most are people haters and their loathing for mankind drives their command and control mentality. For a decade they tried to lock us into a politically correct “intellectual gulag”, so fearful are they of open ideas and challenging debate.

    Their control over the judiciary, education, the police, the BBC, the public sector, the MSM is almost total and that’s why the alternative message is rarely heard. They used huge borrowings from China and Brazil to bribe a third of the electorate. They created a massive public sector that became addicted to unearned subsidies. They flooded the country with voting fodder and educated a dependent generation schooled in Marxist dogma. No wonder the addicts still yearn for the simple world view they were promised.

    They prefer to assume rights of ideas over the rest of us and are fuelled by loathing and contempt. They are frozen into a kind of late nineteenth century world view – based upon syndicalism, Marxism, Fabianism & Chartism and are yet to move on into our century.

    Yesterday’s bruvvers & sistas – all.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    “The only thing the Labour Party should be apologising for is not replacing Gordon Brown as leader when it had the chance.”

    If you, and Labour, seriously think this then you have no place in determining the future of this country.

    “Labour politicians should face the truth: despite all the mistakes of the New Labour years it is quite possible that they would still be in government, had they steeled themselves for a coup when they had the chance.”

    But with what agenda, Martin? Keep on increasing spending? Having no fall-back position at all to the possibility that the Keynesian theorists are wrong, and that there is actually more to stimulating aggregate demand than creating short-term fiscal deficits? Not understanding that perhaps it is the uncertainties created by Brown/Labour’s knife-edge economic policy which are causing the stodginess of private demand? Not appreciating that none of the British public, industry, and the international investors have much faith in either the intention, or the ability, of a Labour government to deliver its stated intentions?

    To anyone serious, Labour 1997-2010 was not only governmental mediocrity, it was also a vivid demonstration of how threatened democracy is, when the major UK political party of the Left can choose to be led, successively, by two such inadequate people.

    “If they truly believe their own rhetoric about the damage the Coalition is doing then they have only themselves to blame.”

    The damage was already done, Martin. The coalition are just seeking to repair it – to the best of their abilities.

  • Stuart Seacole Smith

    Hmm, decided to go for a bit of straightforward provocation with this little piece then?

    What a spectacularly rose-tinted view of Labour in general and New Labour in particular!

    And you “recognise the achievements of Blair and Brown”, eh? Many would look at the (questionable) little list you’ve come up with and, in the greater context of things, file them under “worthy deckchair re-arrangement” (which is a Labour and liberal left speciality by the way).

    The wider context that you conveniently ignore is the rather thick file labelled “catastrophic ideology-driven failure to serve the fundamental interests and needs of the British people”. You’re probably scratching your head and wondering what I’m getting at, here are a few key words to help you along: financial profligacy, welfare dependence, dishonesty, war, spin, immigration and multiculturalism, politics of envy… I could go on but the list is too depressing, and you know them all already and have no doubt somehow torturously rationalised them in your own mind.

    Anyway, one thing you’re right about, the series of weaselly non-apologies aren’t wanted by anybody, as they are entirely inadequate. I’m sure that’s what you meant.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here