TWELVE years ago, Britain was crying out for change from a divided, exhausted Government. Today we are there again.
In 1997, “New” Labour, shorn of its destructive hard-Left doctrines and with an energetic and charismatic leader, seemed the answer. Tony Blair said things could only get better, and few doubted him. But did they get better? Well, you could point to investment in schools and shorter hospital waiting lists and say yes, some things did – a little.
But the real story of the Labour years is one of under-achievement, rank failure and a vast expansion of wasteful government interference in everyone’s lives.
Labour can no longer disguise the failures of Labour in Government over the last 12 years.
Who do YOU want to lead the country?
Blair took office with bulging coffers, an invincible majority and weak opposition, and he and Gordon Brown could and SHOULD have worked miracles. Instead we are billions in debt with major failings in every sector where there should have been major progress and success stories.
They FAILED on law and order, their mantra “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” becoming a national joke. Knife murders are soaring. Smirking criminals routinely walk free in the name of political correctness, while decent people live in a virtual police state of snooping cameras and petty officials empowered to spy and to punish.
Labour FAILED on schools. Yes, facilities improved – but four in 10 kids leave those shiny classrooms still unable to read, write or add up properly. We are plummeting down international league tables for maths and literacy, but every year “grade inflation” ensures record GCSE and A-level passes to fuel Government propaganda.
Labour FAILED on health – spending billions on clipboard-ticking target managers instead of on frontline care.
Labour FAILED on immigration, opening our borders without any regard to the consequences. Illegal migrants and bogus asylum seekers poured in.
Labour FAILED the children they claimed to have made their priority. After 12 years of Blair and Brown, Britain is officially the WORST country in the developed world in which to grow up.
Most disgracefully of all, Labour FAILED our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving them to die through chronic under-funding and the shambolic leadership of dismal Defence Secretaries like Bob Ainsworth.
As our forces in two war zones suffered, the scale of Government waste at home was mind-boggling and tragic:
Billions blown employing a useless layer of public service middle-managers like those who condemned Baby P to die.
Billions more spent, insanely, making benefits more lucrative than a pay cheque – creating a huge, idle underclass for whom work is a dirty word. And all along the Government has had one overriding concern: Itself.
Blair and Brown’s puerile feud has long been a cancer at the heart of New Labour, their divisions often paralysing the country.
Labour’s driving ambition has not been to improve Britain. It has been to retain power at all costs – with no lie judged too great in its ruthless and relentless self-promotion.
They promised a referendum on Europe. They claimed they had ended “boom and bust”. They tried to con the public with promises of endless investment, when they knew they would have to cut.
At the 2005 election, we believed Labour had many failings but gave them one last chance over a lacklustre Tory party.
They have had that chance and failed.Yes it’s old news but the reality what the hell would we get today? a divided party led by a 70s left-wing throwback.