All the achievements of New Labour

In a moment of weakness I am going to comment on the Labour party leadership election.

This is candidate Liz Kendall explaining why people should not vote for the most popular candidate:

I love my party too much to see us lose again and if we think of all the great achievements we’ve made as a party, all of those we achieved when we won elections and got into government [1]

Well. Last time they got into government they took the country into an illegal war, killing tens of thousands of ordinary Iraqis. A war which resulted in an up tick in extremist Islamic groups in Iraq – as predicted at the time by British intelligence. [2] And they increased public spending as a share of GDP from 39.9% to 47.9% [3] – with huge splurges on the school system and the NHS. [4] With the result that when the next major downturn in the business cycle occurred (“the financial crisis”) and tax revenues fell the deficit rose. [5] Since a country cannot maintain a budget deficit year on year indefinitely someone has had to prune back their excesses; which is inevitably a painful process for some. (The other party may well be using the occasion to put in some extra cuts of their own; but that the public finances spiralled out of control is squarely down to the last Labour government). And they launched a massive increase in policing: Anti-Social behaviour orders, parenting orders, penalty notices of various kinds etc. All of this increased the extent of power and further eroded civil society. In doing this they imposed on Britain a more extensively policed society than perhaps even Foucault himself could have imagined. They also abandoned any kind of socialism in favour of individualised psychological explanations for poverty and disadvantage. The noble aspiration of clause IV was replaced with pop psychology. It is difficult to see how they could have done the country more harm.

When candidate Liz Kendall says of the most popular candidate:

I don’t think that his policies are right for Britain in 2015, let alone in 2020 and 2025.

and suggests more early years interventions to make sure everyone has the “best shot at life” we should be very concerned.

The lunatic in this is not Jeremy Corbyn. The lunatics are the ones who messed up the country last time and still haven’t realised it.

Finally; the fact that hundreds of thousands of people (real Labour members or not) are apparently willing to vote for Corbyn is also a vote against the political class.

Notes

1. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/kendall-attacks-corbyns-wrong-policies-124438733.html#M5Mq2sV

2. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/oct/16/politics.alqaida

3. https://thenewobserver.co.uk/is-austerity-a-myth/

4. http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn92.pdf

5. http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn93.pdf

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer