When will Labour start whacking Tories over their economic policy failures? – Michael Meacher MP


The general public had a field day with the Conservative Pary’s first election campaign poster; now Labour MP Michael Meacher asks, why has the Labour Party been quiet?

The Tories’ first election poster depicts a road wending its way through the countryside till far in the distance, with the motif below: continue with the Tory-led recovery of the economy which the Labour party wrecked, writes Michael Meacher MP.

It’s a theme which will be repeated endlessly up till the election which Labour, astonishingly, has made no attempt to refute – astonishing when it’s not only damaging but completely untrue. Labour has so far confined its presentation of economic policy to demonstrating at great length that whilst the Tories have been offering £7bn [of] unfunded giveaways, Labour is scrupulously sticking to its pledge that it will only promise expenditure that is fully funded. That may well impress the right-wing Tory media (not that they’ll ever give us any credit for it!), but it’s a self-imposed ordinance that will not persuade many voters in the Labour heartlands, who feel fed up and abandoned, to turn out against UKIP.

So why doesn’t Labour hit out against the Tories where it could so easily secure some significant breakthroughs? Take the Tories’ favourite motto of the road to recovery. What the Tories say is flat wrong, big time, on at least three counts. Labour didn’t cause the economic mess, the bankers did – the Tories’ closest friends. Labour wasn’t profligate with the nation’s accounts, the Tories were – the biggest deficit in Labour’s 11 pre-crash years (1997-2008) was 3.3% of GDP whereas the Thatcher-Major governments racked up deficits bigger than that in 10 out of their 18 years. And once the bankers had created the deficit, Labour chose the right way to reduce it; the Tories chose the wrong way. Alastair Darling, the last Labour Chancellor, brought in two stimulus budgets in 2009-10 which dramatically cut the deficit by £40bn in two years; Osborne’s austerity budgets then slowed deficit reduction to a trickle which has now, in this fiscal year, come to a dead stop… To cap it all, the deficit, which is supposed to justify the last 6 awful years of austerity and now the 5 next years when Osborne has declared he will make £30bn more spending cuts, is actually increasing!

Read the full article on Michael Meacher‘s blog.

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10 thoughts on “When will Labour start whacking Tories over their economic policy failures? – Michael Meacher MP

  1. hugosmum70

    just to point out that people are not proclaiming themselves to be self employed VOLUNTARILY.they are exploited by the dss and being put in a position where they feel they have no choice. ESA WRAG group claimants especially. cant speak for unemployed JSA claimants but suspect same thing going on there. my son who is disabled was told he either applies for a loan to help set him up in his own business or be sent to work in a charity shop which he knows he could not do on a day to day basis as his bad days outnumber his good ones. he likes photography but has no transport other than an electric biker which he now has real problems getting down the flight of steps from his first floor flat, yet cant get a bungalow..housing say hes not eligible for one, or ground floor flat. his condition is such that he suffers periodically from brain fog when he cant get his head around the slightest problem so doing business books, keeping to appointments will be very difficult, but if he does the self employed thing he knows they will leave him alone. the loan is another big thing.how is he supposed to pay it back when it takes him all his time to manage on the money he does get.i help where i can but increasingly my money is being stretched to the point that i no longer get out for leisure purposes,i have no social life. i go shopping when i can .my daughter goes with me. but mostly i do it online. but i pay the council tax for both my kids. my daughter is my carer.on income support. i pay £20 a month each.my son has his 20yr old daughter living with him which ups his council tax to £44 a month,so they pay 12quid each towards it. when my granddaughter got a job, they landed up having to find an extra 64 quid a fortnight for rent as they lost some housing benefit. wheres the incentive to work in that? she worked only 16 hrs a week so not full time.its all rigged to make things as impossible as it can be for those on benefits.i also help with gas.electric and food when necessary.works out at around another 20-30 quid 1-2 times a month. i rarely get any back .i don’t ask for it. would only make things worse in the long run.

  2. Niki

    Why don’t (most of) labour not tell the truth about the crisis? The facts are there, they’ve never challenged it, I am utterly bemused and confused about it. Anyone explain?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Those aren’t the facts, Niki.
      The economic crisis has been continually challenged by most Labour members, but it seems very hard to get front-benchers to join in. Peter Hain came out with the facts on the BBC’s Any Questions and then resigned from the shadow cabinet – make of that what you will.
      An explanation from the Labour leadership would be welcome.

      1. Niki

        I’ve only heard a few mutterings. It’s bonkers. I’m so bemused by it and can’t vote Labour until or if they grow a pair, it’s so fundamental a point I can only assume that not challenging it is deliberate and for some plan of theirs and that’s sinister to me. To me. I want to believe I can make things better voting Labour, but they make it very hard even though I am warming to Ed, if he can be allowed to make it what he wants it to be….

    2. ,arjorie arnold

      i too feel that they should be hammering the tory government regarding their blatant lies about the economy. why are they not doing this. the previous labour government plan to reduce the deficit was working and other countries adopted the method. and why do they keep allowing them to say that they caused the recession. they all know that it was caused by the banks because it was worldwide.

  3. hugosmum70

    hmm did someone think he had said something he shouldn’t and get him to resign?or did he plan on saying what he felt/thought THEN resigning?makes you wonder,.

  4. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    That poster of the Road to Recovery is really a stupid bit of propaganda. Propaganda of this sort may have its uses if it portrays a useful image.

    This poster simply shows a pretty road leading NOWHERE which is where we are with this government. Labour should have a similar road with some concrete evidence of fairness and prosperity at the END of it.

  5. A-brightfuture

    IMO.. the Labour Party do not want to pick up the toxic baton and take a run with it.
    To much water has gone under Tower Bridge to strike a fair balance.

    Tipping point has come…and gone!!

    Sometimes a boil on the ass has to grow before it bursts.
    The nasty party will at some point turn in on its self, and explode.
    And if we are lucky, the universe will let us watch the whole sorry episode.

  6. AM-FM

    Most people are no longer paid enough to keep the consumer economy alive.
    I’m expecting many businesses that have held on for christmas to announce cuts during the coming months, just look at Tesco.

    https://fullfact.org says:

    “760,000 more businesses”
    That’s right too. The government have used the Business Population Estimates produced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which show that from the start of 2010 to the start of 2014, the number of private sector businesses in the UK increased by 760,000.

    But the BIS figures include a 707,000 increase in businesses that have no employees—mainly self-employed workers.

  7. Chris

    The road shows an empty road out in the countryside with no houses, businesses or cows grazing in the fields and the harvest of hay nowhere near. That’s prosperity? Pullt he other one.

    There is a forecast in some doom-laden film of a plague that wipes out man, so that you walk over a mile to see one other human being. Today we call it Austerity.

    Labour could be better served opening up pop-up charity shops that are free cafes to people with benefit sanction letters and/or on workfare slavery left to starve, and Labour aiding Fareshare, the supplier to all foodbanks, to gain some of the 400,000 tonnes of food thrown away yet still edible from the food industry for said free cafes offering free hot cooked meal and hot drink.

    As Gandhi observed, People’s Politics Are Their Daily Bread.

    15 million did not vote in 2010. Today this is the number of the poorest 20 per cent income down to zero from babies to grannies.

Comments are closed.