It was with some interest that I read the Tory wrap-around which came with last weeks Shuttle. However, I was sent running for my old school dictionary to look up the meaning of “waste” when I read the phrase describing the last Labour government as “13 wasted years”.
It seems on this point Mark Garnier is even at odds with his own Prime Minister who grudgingly admitted that “not everything Labour did was wrong”. As ever, Mark trots out the same old tune about “the crisis under Labour” ignoring the bold action taken to save the banks in an unprecedented global financial crisis and return the UK to growth by 2010.
Without descending into a history lesson under the last Labour government we got the minimum wage, the smoking ban, record investment in schools and hospitals, Sure Start, Children’s Centres, EMA, the ban on fox hunting, civil partnerships, the Human Rights Act, Freedom of Information, tax credits, a record fall in pensioner and child poverty, 48,000 extra teachers, primary class sizes to below 30 pupils, more young people in colleges and universities, a reduction in infant mortality, rising employment and many, many more which improved the lives of the people in this country. That, apparently constitutes a ‘waste’.
In contrast under this Coalition government we have had massive cuts, ATOS, ministers with their fingers in the till, Tory revolts over gay marriage and the EU, the Bedroom Tax, a millionaires tax cut from a millionaire Cabinet, a 20% increase in unqualified teachers educating our kids, a record balance of payments deficit, longer waiting times in hospitals, flogging off the Post Office, food banks, record fuel bills and so on. The Tories have to propagate the myth of the last Labour government to justify their own destructive policies. I think the people of Wyre Forest are smarter than that.
Dr Matt Lamb Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wyre Forest.