In praise of Labour government

UNFASHIONABLE though it may seem, it’s time someone pointed out a fact that most commentators – and certainly most of the blogosphere – have been avoiding: the government has done a good job in the last 11 years and Britain is a far better place as a result.

As Nick Raynsford said in his New Statesman article last week:

Compared with the position we inherited in 1997, today’s Britain is a better, fairer, more successful, more confident and more tolerant society.

He’s right. We’ve been kicked around so much, and so severely, recently that it’s almost easy to forget that we don’t have to take it.

Remember the sky-high inflation under the Tories? The record mass unemployment that was “a price well worth paying” for questionable economic returns? Remember the TWO Tory-built recessions? Remember the millions of workers encouraged to claim incapacity benefits by the Tories as a way of massaging the unemployment statistics? Remember the days before the minimum wage, when employers could pay their workers peanuts, and do it with the government’s blessing? Remember the legions of school-leavers put on the scrap heap instead of being offered training and further education? Remember the double-digit interest rates? Remember the scrapping of the pensions-earnings link without anything put in place to raise pensioners’ living standards?

‘Dave’ likes to gloss over the fact that he is a (whisper it) Tory, because he doesn’t want us to remember his own party’s record, nor the part he played in advising the worst Chancellor in modern history.

Every government faces difficult challenges, as do our own citizens.

But Britain is far better off with Labour than it could ever be with the Tories. Their smug complacency and arrogance – evidenced by some of their members’ comments on this and other sites – helped to shatter our society and our economy before. It would be a tragedy if they were to be allowed to do so again.

It’s been a bruising year so far for Labour. Government is difficult. Life is difficult for many people.

But Labour can win a fourth term.

We can win a fourth term if we believe we are up to the challenge, if we start making the case for Labour afresh, acknowledging where we need to make changes while avoiding sounding defensive about our record in government, which is something we can and should be proud of.

The next election has yet to be won or lost. The people, not the commentariat, will decide its outcome. The prize for Labour as a party is a fourth term in office. The prize for Britain as a nation is growth, prosperity and security, and its deliverance from a victorious Tory Party which has yet to learn from its mistakes in office, and so is doomed to repeat them if it is ever allowed back.

UPDATE at 3.25 pm on Friday: My, I seem to have upset somebody’s applecart today, don’t I? I can just see the headlines: “Labour minister thinks the government deserves re-election – shock!” It seems there are a few people out there who don’t like these Labour types actually defending themselves, or pointing out that the Tory Party is utterly unfit to govern. Get used to it folks – there’s plenty more where this came from.

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58 Comments

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

58 responses to “In praise of Labour government

  1. You have no chance of winning a fourth election, I voted Labour in two elections and I would never vote for you again. Reasons: Iraq, underfunding of the UK armed forces, ID cards, troughing MP’s, NHS IT fiasco, idiots like Miliband and Balls promoted far beyond their capabilities and of course a PM who has about as much in common with ordinary people as the Duke of Westminster. Your record is shocking and ordinary people know it, prepare for electoral oblivion.

  2. Johnny Norfolk

    I have never read such brain washed propaganda. Its where a government leads us that matters. Labour has made mistake after mistake, and you are guilty of believing your own spin. Look where we are now, you have taken our money and pensions with tax, you have brankrupted the country with borrowing and selling our gold. You have commited our grandchildren to pay off your depts. Taken us into wars we are losing. You are deluded and this is the problem with Labour, you believe you have done a good job.You are the only people that believe you have. You were able to con the people for years by comming up with this sort of spin, but not any more.

  3. Jeremy Poynton

    Civil Liberties. Destroyed by New Stasi.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/aug/15/labour.idcards

    Labour warned over limits to free expression
    UN report says terror and libel laws are interfering with human rights

    * Duncan Campbell
    * The Guardian,
    * Friday August 15 2008
    * Article history

    The government has been accused of creating laws that have a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the UK in a sharply critical report from the United Nations’ committee on human rights. The report calls for the reform of Britain’s libel laws and controls introduced under recent terrorism laws”

    That’s your legacy, and New Stasi will go down at the next election. For ever, hopefully

  4. Jeremy Poynton

    Nick Raynsford

    Labour MP. Good, neutral source to quote.

  5. Jeremy Poynton

    More abuse of power by New Stasi. Note the last line of the excerpt. How exactly will the Stasi effect this?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4518226.ece

    From The Times
    August 13, 2008
    Councils get power to ‘spy’ on your e-mail and net use
    Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

    Councils and health authorities are to be given the right to access e-mail and internet records under surveillance powers to be introduced next year, the Home Office said yesterday.

    Although first proposed to tackle terrorism and serious crime, powers have been extended to cover other criminal activity, public health, threats to public safety and even prevention of self-harm

  6. Jeremy Poynton

    Still, at least you are winning the “War On Drugs”. Jacqui’s “Big Conversation” on drugs is certainly showing results, eh?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/

    Cocaine use trebles in a decade

    Drug Nation: Official investigation discovers 2m Britons take illegal drugs each month; 1 in 3 adults has tried banned substances; 1 in 4 school-aged children has used drugs

  7. Jeremy Poynton

    Oh, this doesn’t look to good, either, does it, after 11 years …

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

    A-level results show education gap widening

    The education gap is widening under Labour as students from fee-paying schools pull ahead of those from the state sector

  8. Jeremy Poynton

    So, Tom, why then, after 10 years of boom, is the country having to borrow to pay interest payments on existing borrowing?

    Where, exactly, did it all go?

    Quangos – £100 billion+ per annum
    PFI – Off account disaster, bill c £170 billion for the taxpayers of the future to swallow.

    Public Sector pensions – off accounts MEGA-DISASTER. IEA reports the bill is now over £1 TRILLION

    http://www.iea.org.uk/record.jsp?type=release&ID=136

    Who’s going to pay for that, then?

    Anyway, you’re alright, Jack, aren’t you. We’ve sorted your pension out, so you don’t need to worry, do you?

  9. Richard

    So, no self-delusion going on here then…

    From the look of the polls the best outcome that Labour can hope for is a hung parliament (very unlikely) or a slim Tory majority (still pretty unlikely).

  10. James

    Aren’t the people already deciding your fate?
    Have you conveniently forgotten the recent by-elections and opinion poll after opinion poll putting you way behind.
    However brilliant you may think Gordon is, the people have decided otherwise.

    This country is getting into a dire state and yet I see no action from Labour.
    Dither, dither at the top.

  11. Letters From A Tory

    You are joking, right?

    Falling down international league tables on education and well-being, record levels of drug use, rising poverty, rising unemployment, an economy on the brink of recession, massive negative equity on the horizon as house prices plummet, a return to nationalisation, government spending out of control, national debt at £1,000 billion and rising, trust in politics at an all-time low, the EU in turmoil, a Prime Minister with the lowest poll ratings for decades, increasingly dangerous attacks on civil liberties, terrorist threats, zero social mobility under a Labour government….

    I’ll stop there as this becoming embarrassing for you.

    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  12. James -first of all, welcome to Britain; I trust you’ll enjoy your visit. You might be interested in knowing that in this country we change government at general elections and not as a result of polls or by-elections. I’m sure that system works well in your own country, however.

  13. Madasafish

    Lots of “remembers ” in your post Tom..
    Far fewer facts of the numbers under Labour: from a Party that lives tractor production why not?
    Maybe because your article implies things are better – but are not..

    Well I have news for you. No-one with half a brain belives anything that the Government says. You unfortunately have made yourselves unbelievable and lack all credibility due to spin and lies.

    Lets have some remembers:
    No more boom and bust
    No more housing price bubbles.
    Education education education
    Tackle crime and the causes of crime..
    A referendum on the Lisnon Treaty.
    45 minutes to launch missiles on British troops.
    No unfunded Government spending.
    Whiter than white politics.

    All Labour Lies…

    Yes: we remember all right: and we’ll still remember in 2010 or whenever you give us a chance to show what we think of a bunch of manipulative cynical promise breakers.

  14. Of course we can win, Labour has a positive set of achievements to demonstrate and a positive, coherent programme for the future; the opposition parties have neither. And, when you scratch beneath the surface of the Tories’ current opinion poll ratings, even their committed supporters feel uneasy about David Cameron’s PR-based shallowness and the inconsistencies in his party’s utterings.

    All that’s happening now is a return to normal British politics with the party in government being hammered in local and by-elections. We got a bit too used to being always ahead in the polls, hence the alleged mild panic in some quarters – but even that seems to be largely stoked up by the media. 10 million people still support us, they’ll be joined by millions more at the general election…

  15. Nice one Tom, you’ve brought the ideologues out in force with that I see. Not one of them do seem to remember what the Tories were like in power, I see though.

    Let’s take ‘Letters from a Tory’ as a guide, shall we?

    Record levels of drug use: Maybe, but the Tory solution? None.

    Rising poverty: Now you’re joking – 600,000 children lifted out of poverty and working towards even more. Tory solution? None.

    Rising unemployment – nothing compared to Tory unemployment and we’ve record levels in work to boot. Tory solution? None (probably even more unemployment).

    Economy on the brink of recession – 11 years of consecutive growth and still no recession. Tory solution? You’re joking!

    Negative equity – still way off the Tory record after they doubled interest rates in a day, and of course record house price increases have been ignored. Tory solution? None.

    Return to nationalisation – Er, you must mean Northern Rock. Tory solution – pump money into the failing banks or let them fail (and the economy with them), depending on which Tory you ask.

    Government spending out of control – NHS saved, education improved, city regeneration, etc. etc. Tory solution: If you can believe Cameron, then even more spending and higher taxes. We can’t believe Cameron though, can we?

    National debt – actually lower with Labour than under the Tories. We paid money back, the Tories had it at 50%+ of GDP.

    Trust in politics at an all time low – you and your kind are really helping this, right?

    EU in turmoil – where? Lisbon is a set-back not turmoil. Now, how was the Tory Party with Maastricht, oh yes, turmoil would be a good word.

    A PM with lowest poll ratings – not for long Tory, not for long! You know when ‘Dave’ says that you’re not complacent? He’s lying isn’t he?

    Attacks on civil liberties – conversely freedom from crime (which continues to fall) and terrorism. Tory solution? Police powers to infra-red and x-ray spy you in your homes without even any paperwork to ensure that they need to.

    Terrorist threats – Remember Brighton (or are you too young)? Northern Ireland at peace thanks to Labour. New threats being risen to. Tory solution? None.

    Social mobility – A PM who declares it a “national crusade” and backs up words with cash and policies. Tory solution? Leave the North and come fill up the South. Wait, that’s not policy! Tory solution. None.

    I’ll stop there as this becoming embarrassing for you.

  16. I wasn’t going to comment until I read LabourMatters’ reply to a Tory.

    The problem with comparing this government with the last Conservative one is like comparing Morrison’s cheapest own brand lager with Tesco’s equivalent.

    More people are waking up and desiring champagne politics – and I don’t mean champagne socialism – I mean politicians who bubble with the desire to serve the country with integrity and righteousness and bring the best out of the people…

    Politicians who have honour and wisdom and so can rightly claim the moral high ground.

    The false left/right paradigm that gives the illusion of choice invokes a tribal instinct where common sense flies into the jungle like a demented parrot and we end up arguing about who has the worse record on health and the worse record on education and the worse record on crime… ad infinitum.

    Meanwhile, the global banking cartels and transnational military/industrial giants are laughing at us while their lobbyists control both camps.

    Stale lager anyone?

  17. Zorro

    It must be nice in cloud cuckoo land Tom, any spare places?

    “From the look of the polls the best outcome that Labour can hope for is a hung parliament (very unlikely) or a slim Tory majority (still pretty unlikely).”

    Actually I think the best outcome they can hope for is making it to the next election alive…

    Tom do you remember the Tory ERM issue which led to half of the problems you mention? Do you? Do you remember Gordon and his team at the shadow treasury’s attitude to the ERM?

    I’ll save you the bother of trying to remember. Gordon and the shadow treasury supported British membership enthusiastically.

    Which rather makes Gordon (and you) a huge hypocrite in my book as he’s always bringing this up as a bad thing the Tories did. If I were Dave every time he did that I’d bash his head with that big golden stick… No Gordon. Bad Gordon.

    “Remember the millions of workers encouraged to claim incapacity benefits by the Tories as a way of massaging the unemployment statistics?”

    And YOU. Seriously? You have the bare faced cheek to say this? I thought this was an interesting blog. It appears I was wrong. Just more tractor production. Back to the serious blogs then I guess…

  18. I wonder if Stewart Cowan is old enough to have perpetrated the graffito I saw in Mitcham in about 1967. It read “Tory Labour just the same, only pawns in the bosses’ game” or something like that. Untrue then and untrue now – but it had a seductive ring to it. Especially appealing perhaps for those easily influenced by nicely turned words rather than by evidence…

  19. Madasafish

    Labourmatters

    All words..
    Lets quote “Social mobility”
    It’s actually fallen .. that means reduced .. under Labour..

    But don’t let facts get in the way. After all if you want “trust in politics” then you can start by telling….. the truth.

    I know that this may come as a surprise..but we actually are not as dumb as you imply in your post… nor are other voters.

    And Tom talks of “Tory arrogance and smugness”.

    Say no more…..

  20. Jeremy Poynton

    “Remember the millions of workers encouraged to claim incapacity benefits by the Tories as a way of massaging the unemployment statistics?”

    Actually, job centres has targets for this. I know, as my ex worked in one at the time. New Labour (New Stasi), knew about this at the time, and now – 11 years on – they have done nothing about it. The true unemployment figures, and this was quoted on the Beeb site (not doubt to the fury of their masters), which means – those not working or “unable” to work and claiming benefits, is 4.5 million.

    Is it any wonder they want to force young people to stay in (the wasteland of modern) education until they are 18, and then get them into “University” (formerly known as Wherever College of Further Education), for another 3 years. And then the CBI tells us hald of them can’t spell, or add up.

    Great.

    All Hail The Dear Leader.

    ps – newcomers here, fair play to TH in that he publishes criticism, but do not expect an answer. At best you will be sneered at, at worst, he will call you a Tory (which now means, anyone who doesn’t like Labour).

    Dear me.

  21. Huh! Typical Tory! (Sneer…)

  22. Madasafish

    To be fair to Tom, he does publish criticism..

    But then , his blog would be virtually empty of # comments if he did not.

    # I was going to add “intelligent ” before comments but decided that was too Tory:-)

  23. Peter

    I am not a Labour voter (nor a Tory for that matter). However, I do find it refreshing to see a member of the government coming out fighting on their record and I think they ought to be doing a lot more of that.

    Of course, I still think Labour will lose the election.

  24. I think you need to have a lie down…

  25. I would have been four at the time you saw the graffito, Brian, but it is even more appropriate now than then.

    Your reply to Letters From A Tory proves what I said. It offers no solutions, just the big game thrill of hunting Tories.

    For example, you said, “Record levels of drug use: Maybe, but the Tory solution? None.”

    You didn’t say what Labour’s solution is. Maybe you mean this craziness of going round schools showing kids the various drugs and explaining how they are used and being surprised when it encourages more drug use.

    You didn’t mention the record amounts of heroin coming out of Afghanistan since it was occupied by the US/UK.

    You said, “Rising poverty: Now you’re joking – 600,000 children lifted out of poverty and working towards even more. Tory solution? None.”

    Partly true. Official poverty figures fell, but are on the rise again.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says that child poverty is now only 15% lower than in 1998-99.

    It also reports that income inequality is “at a level higher than that which Labour inherited and equal to its highest level seen since the start of a consistent time series in 1961.”

    Both parties’ faithful like to reproduce portions of truth and ignore all the nasty bits.

    “education improved”

    True on the surface due to making A Levels practically impossible to fail.

    The fact that even McDonalds have to send their new staff on basic numeracy and literacy courses shows how much basic standards in education have declined.

    “Trust in politics at an all time low – you and your kind [Tories] are really helping this, right?”

    And finally…we are in agreement.

  26. Johnny Norfolk

    I see today we are actually going backwards in education with the schools that Labour does not want ( Private & grammer ) doing far better each year its just class war from Labour at the price of our childrens education

  27. Hi Tom,

    Labour does have some things to be proud of. Independence of the BoE, liberalisation of social norms such as civil partnerships and the banning of smoking.

    You can’t get away, however, with your comments about the economy. True there were two recessions under the Tories, the first was necessary due to the dire state of the British Economy – Labour had no proposals to reverse our malaise and there needed to be a seismic shift in policy. You talk about tough decisions, now that really was one – but absolutely necessary.

    The second came due an easing of interest rates after the stock market crash leading to a boom – something that we also did after 9/11 and the dotcom boom. The correction which brought the recession came through the ERM – at a rate that Labour had agreed with, but which crippled the economy.

    Following our necessary pull-out from the ERM, the policy changed to the low inflation policy we have had ever since. The change to the labour laws and free market economics in the 80’s, and the inflation policy from the early 90’s, coupled with cheap imports from growing oversee economies set the framework for the last 15 years of growth – of which Labour has claimed 11 years of credit.

    If Gordon Brown had left it be, we would have a wealth of surplus to cope with the downsides of the inevitable economic cycle. But he taxed, taxed and taxed again leaving very little room for manoeuvre, he let the credit boom and housing boom go unchecked – and now the chickens have come home to roost. Never will you be able to say again that you have got rid of boom and bust.

    On other issues, some of the tax increases were necessary, for improving the NHS for instance, but if Labour had not got rid of the internal market to then bring it back again four years later – we may have seen some more benefit for our money.

    No one believes the crime figures, because of the change to the BCS – just like they didn’t believe them under the Tories. Initiative after initiative have come and gone, laws passed with little effect.
    So much for tackling the causes of crime.

    IT systems contracts have been a shambles, and data protection a joke – and now you want to put all our details in one big database. You’ll never learn!

    And as for twisting and turning of Iraq and the EU Lisbon treaty – shame on the party. It’s time that a party stood up and gave people under the age of 50 a chance to have their say on the direction of the EU.

    Finally, the last two budgets have been a disaster. So many U-turns, and the briefing about a possible stamp duty holiday. Surely, someone should know the effect of such briefing. You’ve become complete amateurs, and now the time has come for you to leave.

    Squiffy.

  28. So the Tories are in favour of more grammar schools again, eh? Actually, no, they’re not.

  29. Richard

    My understanding is that the Conservatives policy is to give parents the fullest possible right to choose the method of schooling (whether state, grammar, private or religious schooling), or even whether to set up on their own.

    What I fail to understand is why Labour are still trying to force children into a “one-size-fits-all comprehensive” approach when similar multi-choice schemes in Scandinavia have resulted in higher educational standards and lower running costs.

  30. In my last comment, I should have made it clear that from the second paragraph onwards I was replying to LabourMatters comments who was replying to comments left by Letters From A Tory.

    I think. Sorry for any confusion.

  31. Auntie Flo'

    Remember the sky-high inflation under the Tories?”

    Nulabour initially transferred that into sky high house price inflation, the effect is worse. We now have soaring inflation rates, part hidden thanks to govt manipulation of the true level of inflation.

    “The record mass unemployment that was “a price well worth paying” for questionable economic returns?”

    All the newly redundant people applying to my company for work and UK’s rising unemployment levels under nulabour are just scotch mist then?

    Andrew Marr Interview of James Purnell:

    “Marr: You’ve still got 4.7 million people taking benefits, or unemployed, which given the fact that the economy has been doing well for ten years, is extraordinary.”

    “Purnell: Well actually what happened was in the 80s and 90s that went up from 1.2 million to 2.6 million. We’ve turned the corner.” (BBC)

    Right.

    “Remember the TWO Tory-built recessions?”

    Remember Labour’s Sunny Jim Callaghan (‘Crisis, what crisis?’) and his winter of discontent, food rationing, strikes, rubbish piled in the streets, power cuts, bodies piled in mortuaries, hospitals closed, working by candle light? And the economic crisis under Wilson?

    “Remember the millions of workers encouraged to claim incapacity benefits by the Tories as a way of massaging the unemployment statistics?”

    Andy Marr’s interview of James Purnell:

    “Marr: You said a very interesting …You said that governments had been using Incapacity Benefit to massage the unemployment figures.

    PURNELL: Actually what I said was that the Conservatives did that in the eighties when they created…

    MARR: You didn’t say Conservatives you said governments.”

    “Remember the days before the minimum wage, when employers could pay their workers peanuts, and do it with the government’s blessing?”

    Remind, Tom, me how many illegals are said to be working illegally in UK and horribly exploited, paid below the statutory minimum because they lack the platform of rights other workers have?

    “Remember the double-digit interest rates?”

    Nulabour have simply transferred these into 5 digit house price increases. However, I remember that double digit interest rates were short term. The effect of continuing sky high house prices is ongoing house repossessions and being unable to afford a home of your own – ever.

    “Remember the scrapping of the pensions-earnings link without anything put in place to raise pensioners’ living standards?”

    Try telling the pensioners I know they are better off now and they’ll laugh their heads off.

    Nulabour’s pensions policies are an outrage. We now have three classes of pensioner: Elitist politicians, elitist public sector and penalised private sector who pay for the elite above us.

    Many pensioners are forced to work to survive, many are robbed of their pensions and we’ve rising pension age to look forward to – if we are ever able to retire.

  32. Stephen Sullivan

    I will tell you something we didnt have 11 years ago. We didnt have to put up with inconsiderate neighbours. Many houses on our street are now privately rented and we have the great misfortune to have a property rented by NACRO, the crime reduction charity. Over the years we have had to put up with loud music, drugs related issues (including the smell of skunk coming through the adjoining wall) and the smell of unemptied bins, when they are too lazy to put them out. It says on NACRO’s website “Nacro’s vision is a safer society where everyone belongs, human rights are respected and preventing crime means tackling social exclusion and re-integrating those who offend. ” None of the people they have housed respected our human rights in the slightest. Worksop, the town I was born in and have lived in all my life is now full of these vile people. The organisations that support them are NACRO, Framework and Hope for the Homeless(Hopeless ?? sic). They have taken over many decent properties that families could ahve bought and made them into either bedsits or shared accomodation. I am sick to death of these scum, for want of a better word spoiling our town with their drunkeness, drugs and anti-social behaviour.
    All the do-gooders should have these people living next door to them. They wouldn’t be so happy then.

  33. It’s a pity the electorate don’t seem to agree with that analysis.

  34. Jeremy Poynton

    Hello Tom, hello Tom, ground control to MP Tom – again, a few snide/sneering comments – and again. NO answers.

    Exactly who do you represent? To whom is your allegiance as an MP?

  35. Madasafish

    I see Tom Blames the Conservatives for “shattering our soiciety”..

    And he is correct. Much that the Conservatives did was divisive.

    So when are Labour going to apologise for allowing 2million plus immigrants into Britain- uncontrolled – and allow a local breed of terrorists to bomb us?

    You cannot complain about one set of divisive actions by your opponents and then expect your own to escape without censure.. It’s called arrogance … no that’s wrong .. it’s called hypocrisy..

  36. Johnny Norfolk

    What do you have to say about the UN report then Tom.

    “The government’s use of the Official Secrets Act to prevent issues of public interest being published is also condemned in an intervention from the UN which warns that public servants are being gagged even where national security is not at risk.”

    It in the Guardian today.

    No answer from you i expect.Proves what David Davies has been saying

  37. Remind me when the Tories introduced the Freedom of Information Act? Oh, that’s right, they didn’t – it was Labour.

  38. Zorro

    “Remind me when the Tories introduced the Freedom of Information Act?”

    Bugger me Tom, it would be pretty amazing if in 11 years you lot hadn’t managed to do one decent thing?!

    What are your thoughts on the (Labour) speaker using taxpayers money to fight against the release of MPs expenses under the FOI act?

    We thought independence for the BoE was a good thing, until we realised last year that even that was an ill thought through, half assed botch…

  39. Jeremy Poynton

    Tom,

    Hmmm. That same FOI that the Labour Govt keeps trying to block? That the UNSPEAKABLE Speaker Martin tried to invoke to stop us knowing how much you guys are troughing at our tax? The same Labour Government that made an utter horlicks of Human Rights, so that a bloke who disciplined his out of order 13 year old girl now has a criminal record?

    Perlease.

    And when do you answer us on Civil Liberties and the snooper’s charter?

    Oh – and when do we get the referendum on the European Union Constitution (you know, the one which Valerie D’Estaing said the “Treaty” to be one and the same. The one who should know, as he wrote much of it?).

    I call you liars.

    I do tell you – if you hold on to Brown for another 2 years, you wil be gone for good. Mind you, what will be left of this fine country won’t be much either.

  40. Jeremy Poynton

    Zorro,

    Thanks – you beat me to it.

    Tom – over to you.

  41. Deep breaths, Jeremy, deep breaths…

  42. Johnny Norfolk

    Tom Its no good passing acts in the House that do then not work or you pass another that restricts thing even more as the UN has pointed out.

    Passing an act is easy its carrying it out that matters, and look dont keep harping on about the Tories. They had plenty of stick when they needed it at the time. We have a Labour government so stop hiding behind the Tories and start putting right what your government has done wrong. Give us our money back and our pensions for a start. Educate our children for another. You have had more than enough time and you have been messing about on side issues of the class war.

  43. Brian

    Come on Tom, Labour have done 3 good things in 11 years…

    Minimum Wage
    Freedom of Information Act
    Scottish/Welsh Devolution

    Shame you lot managed to horlics that up.

    Freedom of Information Act, blocked by the Labour Speaker of the House.
    Minimum Wage, not tied to inflation
    Scottish/Welsh Devolution, actually a result of the Late John Smith of Monklands fame else Labour would never have fathomed it and rather cynically intended to bring about an unending Labour dynasty in Scotland/Wales.

    The problem with Labour is that it sees everything Labour as good and everything else as bad. Why doesn’t Labour turn around and say,

    We gobbed up selling the countries gold
    We flushed your liberties down a dirty toilet
    We completely botched up the NHS/Services DESPITE pouring vast quantities of cash in
    We dragged the country into never ending wars.

    And then, fix it. You have 3 years.

  44. Human Rights Act and the Freedom of Information Act, Tom. 😉

  45. Martin Cullip

    Why does everyone who thinks Labour are poor have to automatically be a Tory? That really does make me smile. I will be voting Tory next election but only as a protest vote against Labour, it could have been SNP, LibDem or anyone else for that matter that can stop Labour winning, it just depends on where I happen to live at the time.

    Minimum wage is one good thing labour have done, FoI Act perhaps except you don’t seem to be altogether on that one. Apart from that, your spin and dodgy stats have destroyed the social fabric of the country and destroyed community much more than Thatcher ever did (and Jeez, I thought I detested her before your lot began your nasty micro-management of our daily lives).

    You don’t seem to be stopping either, just accelerating.

    Hold a referendum on Lisbon, pass NO more new restrictive laws, and amend the excesses and unfairness of the ones you have already passed, and you may have a chance but even then it would be no more than a 1 in 10. The simple truth is that no-one trusts you anymore.

    More likely is that you will push on with ID Cards, further ‘de-normalise’ smokers, move toward bringing in alcohol rationing, and start weighing kids before they are allowed to enter McDonalds … the last one was facetious but I wouldn’t put it past you. 😉

  46. You are absolutely right of course Tom. But it was eleven and more years ago. Many of the 30 year olds who now have families and worry about paying the bills were in their teens and twenties when the Tories were last in power. I would have thought those of us old enough to remember the unemployment, the crime, Britain as the poor man of Europe, being told we had to be more like the Japanese, or Germans every time we picked a paper up … would be different. We, I would have thought, would never even countenance a Tory party that didn’t have very clear, costed policies to put before us, that did have the same paymasters, thet supported the same narrow interest groups and so on.
    But people forget. They need reminding. Labour supporters can help do that via letters to the local papers, postings on them bloggery things, in conversations and so on. But they need reminding too – and they need to be able to quote authoritative sources in their arguments – not newspapers or LP statements (directly. They need a list of references to support and remind them. Somewhere they can go that will point them at appropriate UN, OECD, National Statistics … whatever, so that they in turn can tell the doubters to ‘don’t take my word – go check for yourself’.

    Pete B

  47. Tom,

    I’ve read through most of the comments here … it all gets a bit repetitive beyond a point. However, you must have realised that you would be onto a bit of a ‘hiding to nowhere’ for this post?

    Anyway, I’ve just deleted a lengthy and pointless comment (aren’t they all?), you’re right! Your party does need to acknowledge it’s mistakes, preferabley under new leadership. However, it also needs to move in a new direction, behaving like a different party and prepared to fight an election as if they were an opposition party.

    It’s not an easy task, but I’m sure that both Labour activists will be up for the challenge …

  48. Jeremy Poynton

    Tom Harris
    August 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Deep breaths, Jeremy, deep breaths…
    ——————————————————

    I rest my case. Two points

    1. You refuse to answer many of the very salient points people are making. Again and again. So why bother with the blog? I find it insulting to be sneered at when I – as do all the others posting here – bring up genuine concerns. Esp re matters regarding Civil Liberties and the thrashing you bastards have given our hard-fought for freedoms.

    2. If (collective) you don’t acknowledge just how angry people are about this government, then you are going to get an even bigger caning than the one that is being lined up for you in 2010.

  49. Madasafish

    It’s surely telling that a Labour MPs blog in defence of his party attracts some 47 posts – and the vast majority are either by Tories or critical of Labour.. or both.

    Says something for the mood of the bloggers.

  50. Madasafish – Well, obviously you’re right and the people who leave comments on this blog are ENTIRELY representative of the general public.

  51. It does suggest, Tom, that Labour supporters are so bleeped off with, well everything that’s already been said about being over-taxed, micromanaged, and our blessed sovereignty thrown to the dogs…… and of course ignored when after every election defeat the Party mouthpieces say things like, “the message from Glasgow East is that we have to listen to what the people want”…then still don’t … that they don’t feel like coming here and praising you.

    The fact is that MPs ARE supposed to be “representative of the general public”.

    Just attacking the Tories is not an answer to anything. It is your party that has been at the helm for over eleven years. YOUR party has been steering the good ship GREAT BRITAIN through fairly calm seas, yet still managing to hit every rock and lighthouse along the way.

    It would be wonderfully refreshing and a fabulous use of your time if you could spend even just an hour answering some of the questions and concerns directed your way on your blog.

    Why not start a new blog entry called something like – “OK, I’m going to answer your questions and concerns now without mentioning what the Tories did/might do/would do/wouldn’t do/said they wouldn’t do….”

    Please think of a snappy title and get to.

    My mouth is watering with anticipation.

  52. Malcolm

    Its because there are so few Labour supporters left and of those that are , most are too embarassed to come on and tell lies trying to support Tom’s ludicrous position. This government to the core are rotten , a bunch of freeloaders who are filling their pockets while they can. They are on their way out big time and the old saying “you cannot make a sil purse out of a sows ear” is very apt. We have had enough of lies, spin and tractor production figures, almost everyone now understands that its all lies and that the government are incompetent , they could not run a whelk stand. They will continue to trash the country for as long as they can.

  53. Stewart Cowan is absolutely correct in every thing he says, the only thing I would say in defence of Tom is that at least he allows these comments to be aired, if you look around the blogosphere there are hardly any MP’s who put up comments. Look at Nadine Dorries, no comments allowed. I think deep down Tom must know that the game is well and truly up for Labour.

  54. Stephen Sullivan

    My grandfather was a miner for 50 years and a life long Labour supporter. I hate to think what he would say about the current party if he was alive as he never minced his words. They do nothing for anyone but themselves.
    Nottinghamshire, the local authority I work for is a labour run council. I am not sure about the rest of the country, but I know the vast majority of our councillors, whatever party they are, earn between £15,ooo and £40,000 in “expenses”. As an employee earning £14,500, this makes me sick!!
    As far as I can see all politicians, be the local or national are just out to line their own pockets.

  55. Terry

    I have to say i agree with you, Tom.

    The problem with blogging is that you tend to get a lot of other bloggers commenting on other bloggers’ posts. Most of the people who post on here aren’t representative of the general public.

    The fight does need to be taken to the Tories and it is people like you who need to keep doing it. Their education plans, for example, spell DISASTER for Britain. Despite what they say, we all know a Tory government means cuts in key public services.

    At the same time, i think our attack needs to be better than “Cameron is a shallow salesman”.

    We need to stop talking along the lines of “what if we lose the next election” and take the fight to the tories. There are far too many Labour MPs who are being negative and need to get on board. We also need someone to rally the troops. The likes of Clarke and Milburn need a stern talking to from the chief whip, too.

    Unfortunately, i don’t feel out deputy leader, who promised to re-build the grassroots, is doing this. As party members, we are being “treated” to the occassional party conference and the odd letter asking for a donation. Many of us want to get out there and take on the fight, but we aren’t being given the encouragement to do so.

  56. I think you are a little naive Terry if you think that bloggers aren’t representative of the general public, of course we are and in addition every time the Labour party is in contact with the electorate Crewe, Glasgow East etc you are getting hammered. You need to wake up and smell the coffee otherwise Labour is going to get mauled just like the Canadian conservatives a few years back.
    You say that education will be a disaster under the Conservatives, its been a disaster with Labour. Cuts in public services, just how much money is wasted by local councils and look at the cost of council tax under Labour.

    Seriously, I believe that Labour have become despised by the public, unless you come up with some radical policies you are finished. Here’s two;
    1.scrap ID cards
    2.get out of Afghanistan

  57. Madasafish

    I agree with Terry.
    He said “There are far too many Labour MPs “

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