Point the finger of blame at the guilty, Iain

BEFORE and since the Glasgow East by-election, a great deal of self-righteous and, frankly, dishonest, claptrap has emanated from various Tory politicians and blogs concerning poverty and its legacy. To wit, the now famous comment by Iain Duncan Smith on visiting Easterhouse a few years back and being told by a resident, “We’re all Labour here,” followed by IDS’s legendary (or should that be “mythical”?) retort: “Yes, and look where it’s got you.”

Now Tara Hamilton-Miller, “Call Me” Dave’s apologist at the New Statesman, has written a piece which continues the Tory campaign to rewrite the history of the last Conservative government and the calamity they deliberately inflicted on many of our communities.

Take this, for example:

The recent spotlight on welfare is relevant to the forthcoming by-election in Glasgow. A Tory MP visiting the Scottish city this past week was uncharacteristically passionate. “Every member of my party should have been in Glasgow East today to see what a broken society looks like,” he said. “These people have had a Labour government for a hundred years, and look where it’s got them. David should have insisted everyone walks the streets of Easterhouse to witness what the ‘left’ produces.

I suppose a lie repeated often enough, etc…

For let us not forget, the wholesale shift of manual workers in our industrial heartlands from work to incapacity benefits was a deliberate and intentional ploy by the Tories to keep the headline unemployment figure at three million (which, of course, “Call Me” Dave’s boss’s at the time, described as “a price well worth paying”). The government knew it was piling up huge social and economic problems for the future, but chose to do nothing to ameliorate the damage it had caused. After all, if these people voted at all, they would only vote Labour, so why bother?

Dave’s new caring, sharing Tories would succeed in fooling more people if, instead of blaming Labour for “the broken society” (congratulations to the focus group, by the way), they accepted their own responsibility and actually (whisper it) criticised John Major and Baroness Thatcher for their destructive, heartless and cynical short-termism.

If they refuse to point the finger of blame where it belongs, voters can assume that today’s Tory Party (a) doesn’t think Major and Thatcher were wrong in what they did; and (b) thinks it can get away with more of the same in the future.

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8 Comments

Filed under Conservative Party, David Cameron, Economy, Labour, Media, Politics, Society

8 responses to “Point the finger of blame at the guilty, Iain

  1. Chris Gale

    The Tories will only ever be for the few and not the many. They are being assisted by the media which refuses to look at what the Tories really stand for.
    We should take the battle to them and rally to Gordon Brown.

  2. El Toro

    I agree entirely that the Tories took Scotland down a route that increased poverty and dependency but given that the Labour Party has been in power now for 11 years the responsibility for the continuing situation now lies firmly with the Westminster Government.

    In the by-election the cost of living has been attributed as being a major factor – but not the only one – affecting the result.

    The result has been wailing and gnashing of teeth by Labour activists and elected members about global economics which, I accept, adds to the problem, however I cannot believe that a Labour Government – yes a LABOUR Government – has taken away the lowest tax band causing the million lowest paid to pay more tax while the same change has resulted in MPs and anyone else on higher earnings getting a major tax reduction.

    Just adding some perspective to the debate. The Tories may have been the cause but Labour are far from offering anything in the way of solution!

  3. Chris Gale

    El Toro

    I find it quite staggering that people mock the Labour government under Gordon Brown, one that has put in more inward investment in education, health and so on than any other in modern times.

    None of this would have happened under the Tories who opposed it all.
    I was at secondary school in the early 1980s when we had crumbling classrooms, no textbooks, little chance of a job and child support that people have now could only be dreamed of.

    Now we have a media machine, dominated by Tories, which is engaging in a vicious witch hunt against Gordon Brown, because they have decided Labour will not have a fourth term.
    They are determined to reduce political debate though their media to the level of Big Brother, repeating the mantra ‘Labour bad, Brown bad’ every day like a commercial of daz washing powder. They want people to believe their lies.

    The media refuses to examine what it is the Tories stand for .

    Cameron stands for is re-legalising barbaric bloodsports for his Countryside Alliance cronies who installed him as Tory leader and he stands for plunging this country backwards.

    Labour MPs, Ministers and activists should rally to Gordon Brown, cut the self indulgent, cowardly sniping from the shadows and get out and fight the Tories for every inch of ground.

  4. Youre quite right that Maggie massaged the dole queue figures with IB claimants disappearing. There’s no doubt that the Thatcher years saw the rise of the UK underclass. But if you’ve known that, why have Labour done nothing about it ? Why sack Frank Field when he thought the unthinkable ? And why are half of Labour activists arguing that everyone on IB is a vulnerable saint ?

    (and while the Tories are to be blamed for taking away the physical underpinning – the jobs and factories – in the 80s, who took away the moral underpinning ? I won’t say it was Labour, but the 60s/70s cultural revolution, Roy Jenkins ‘civilised society’ and the decline of Christianity had a lot to do with it. My grandfather was out of work for years in the 30s, like a lot of people in South Wales – but the place, while dirt poor, didn’t turn into a high-crime, smack ridden disaster zone.

    A lot of my friends went into social services after uni in the late 70s. They took with them the world view that ‘ripping off the state’, or even committing crime, was an acceptable response to the capitalist system. They scoffed at the ‘respectable’ working class and romanticised the bad boys (from a safe distance) as if robbing your (equally poor) neighbours was some kind of political act against the hated Thatcher regime.)

  5. I don’t doubt the Tories continue to have more Thatcherite values than New Labour. They squandered the oil wealth, whoever it belongs to, on propping up the country whilst destroying the jobs and industries of those who opposed the government. But it’s the SNP who you’ll lose to in Scotland from now on. A divided unionist vote is very fragile against a strongly united nationalist vote, and it will be New Labour’s undoing, north of the border at the very least. Ask yourself seriously, what strange political gravity should stop the number of Labour MPs collapsing to a ludicrous low at the next general election?
    It was notable that of the seven vox-pops on BBC Reporting Scotland on Friday night, no fewer than three mentioned Iraq. Those who felt powerless to influence our foreign policy and who remain angry about it will naturally seek the only option open to them to bring such decisions closer and more accountable to them, independence.

  6. One of the key political lessons of New Labour was that the Conservatives did not have a monopoly on the issues which concern the middle classes. You need to accept that Labour does not have (and some would say, never has had) a monopoly on dealing with the issues facing the poorest in society.

    The classic analysis is that Labour has always stood up for the unionist at the expense of the non-unionist working man. That is clearly in the past (although we shall see what Warwick 2 brings), but there is still the suspicion that the working man is preferred above those on benefit, of which there are apparently a lot of in Glasgow East.

    To paraphrase Purnell – there is nothing right wing about leaving people on the dole.

  7. Johnny Norfolk

    Well you will find out who the voters will believe at the next General Election.

    Labour have made a complete mess far worse than any Tory government has done. Thats why you have had it.

    You want to stop blaming the Tories and explain to me what you have done in the past 11 years.

  8. When will everyone in Labour stop blaming everything on the “18 years of Tory misrule”? Labour have been in Government since 1997 and were in Government in Scotland between 1999 and 2007 yet Glasgow East benefited very little. The seat was taken for granted with Labour doing very little to improve the area.

    I’d like your thoughts on these two stories I heard from someone in Labour.

    1) David Marshall had no polling data whatsoever on the constituency.

    2) Margaret Curran didn’t even know where the Glasgow East Labour office was despite her entire Baillieston constituency falling within Glasgow East.

    Surely it’s about time that Labour stopped blaming the previous (and next) Government and used it’s remaining days in Government to tackle the problems in some of its (former) heartlands.

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