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28 April 2009

More on "New Labour" .. some credit?

Yesterday I was pretty churlish about the present Labour Government, and I do not detract from anything I said. But in my enthusiasm to criticise I had forgotten that there have been two or three good aspects to the Labour era.

Looking back at a number of governments and Prime Ministers it seems to me that each one can only be remembered favourably on one or two counts, whilst everything else they did was either neutral or negative in effect. For example, Winston Churchill was a great war leader, and his ability to inspire not just us, but those who were persuaded to join the fight against the German Nazis, cannot be disputed. And yet his record as a peace-time Prime Minister was distinctly underwhelming.

The Post-war Labour government of Clement Attlee can be remembered with pride for the creation of the National Health Service. It is still with us, and God help anyone who has the temerity to suggest that it should be dismantled.

The Conservative Administration of Margaret Thatcher or (as the late great Clement Freud called her) Attila the Hen can be remembered as the government that destroyed the tyranny of the Trade Unions and democratized them. Having done that she might as well have packed her bags, because in my opinion she did nothing else memorable except to cause misery and divisiveness: she was an arrogant, self-opinionated fanatic who (together with her buddy Ronal Reagan) sowed the seeds for the financial disaster that we are now experiencing.

Some governments are memorable for having nothing good to be memorable for, such as the Conservative Administrations of Ted Heath and John Major, and the Labour Administrations of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan.

And so we come to our present Labour Government: yes, they have done one or two good things and should be given credit. One was the National Minimum Wage, something the Conservatives fought tooth and nail against and would never have introduced such a thing. Another was devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (though only 8 our 10 for this because there was no devolution for England). Then there have been the annual Winter Fuel Payments for senior citizens, and also free bus travel for them, again a couple of measures the Tories would never have introduced.

So, one and a half cheers for New Labour. But alas, it will still be farewell some time next year.


Anonymous said...

The Labour goverment,a rogues gallery, rob the poor to keep the rich.

This Labour government will go down in history, your grandchildren and your great, great, great grandchildren have something to talk about for years to come. (so have we) They will be forever known has Gordon Brown and his band of thieves. Just the opposite of the legend Robin Hood, for he gave to the poor not robbed them….

Robin. Notts.

Anonymous said...

Give this government some credit! You ask a lot sir. England expects and all that, but that is one duty not many British people feel like doing at the moment. Winter Fuel Payments for senior citizens, and also free bus travel for them. Is it not their duty to look after theses people. Sorry, no cheers from me, only time you will you hear me doing that is when they are issued with their eviction notice.

Politicians have been lining their own pockets for years. When a system allows a person to claim back more than one third of his wages in expenses, Wow! MPs wage £65 grand per year, expenses £23 grand per year. Anyone worked this out, these people are not paying any TAX.
posted by Marion, Leicester

Anonymous said...

Labour not worth voting for , Conservative not worth voting for, Liberals when were they last in power 1945? BNP and UKIP, not tainted with expense fraud, never had the opportunity,never been in power have they.