Compare the feeling of the nation today to that in 1997 when Labour first came to power – in 97 there was joy – a national outpouring of happiness that a cruel and damaging Tory regime of 18 years had been ousted – today the feeling is of fear – where will the cuts begin? I think it is generally accepted that maybe it was time for some kind of a change – and Gordon Brown realised that – but the election results clearly show that the public did not want a Conservative Government – neither did they want the Lib Dems – yet that is what we now have.
My view is that the last Labour Government will only truly be appreciated after a period of Conservative rule – and it will be remembered as a government that did good things for this country – it wasn’t perfect but then no government is. Under Blair’s leadership and Brown’s chancellorship this country prospered and returned once again to being a great international power. We invested in both the physical and the social infrastructure of Britain – schools, hospitals, transport, housing – have all seen massive investment – the first public housing programme since the last time we had a Labour Government – more police, more doctors and nurses, more teachers, the minimum wage, tax credits, more equality laws, childcare payments, support for the elderly. The Labour Government believed in investing in our whole society because we believe that everyone deserves fairness and every person should have an equal chance in life.
And on the economy – we made the right calls – nationalising the banks to prevent economic meltdown and massive job losses. We’re out of recession now but you can bet your bottom dollar we’d still be in it if the Tories had been in (and with more unemployed).
The Tories have not changed and will never change – they opposed virtually all of Labour’s progressive legislation – they bang on about cutting taxes but you can’t have a healthy, educated forward thinking competitive nation if you don’t invest in it and the more you invest the more people have jobs so the more people are paying tax.
The Labour Party was established to give a voice for the working class who were oppressed by the old establishment of this country – the public school educated upper classes who believed they had a given right to govern – the sad thing is David Cameron and Nick Clegg come from exactly that ‘establishment’ background.
People may over the coming months come to realise the consequences of not supporting Labour – I hope so. One thing’s clear to me though – neither Cameron nor Clegg have any more mandate to run this country than Labour – they might cobble together a coalition and run the country for a while but the decent thing would be to go back to the country and let the people have their say again within the next 12 months.