Labour’s rivals also have legacy of dodgy financial record

From: HA Roberts, Penny Pot Gardens, Harrogate.

ACCORDING to Bernard Ingham (The Yorkshire Post, December 10), those intending to vote Labour in the coming election are “thick... idiots” for whom the “penny (hasn’t yet) dropped” and by voting Labour they would be hurting the nation because Labour has a “dodgy (financial) record”.

It is as though those mature Labour politicians Atlee and Bevan never existed. Although Britain was in deep post-war debt they borrowed to build: houses, education, social welfare and the NHS. All of this now being trashed by mere Bullingdon bullyboys Cameron and Osborne: housing too expensive for first time buyers pushing rents too high, education both centralised and fragmented, the NHS increasingly privatised for the benefit of fat cats and dividends and welfare destined for pre-war levels of austerity according to informed opinion.

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When you have said Rab Butler you have the sum total of the Tories’ beneficial social (education) reform (although Harold Macmillan did build a lot of houses).

During Gordon Brown’s 10 years as Chancellor of the Exchequer, there was continuous uninterrupted economic growth with an average annual increase in GDP of the order of 2.7 per cent.

This period of steady growth is in stark contrast with Mrs Thatcher’s previous boom and bust years (1980s – early 1990s): one minute four per cent growth and the next back into recession making it difficult for business to plan long term. Ten years of steady growth under Labour ended in the hiatus of bank bailouts and the subsequent global financial crisis.

Even so there was a residual one per cent growth in the British economy before Osborne flat-lined it.

To imagine that Labour’s 2010 pre-election bribe, a technique perfected by the Tories, induced UK and global economic collapse is to believe the moon is indeed a chunk of cheese.

There is even a Tory precedent for Labour’s Liam Byrne’s note informing his Lib Dem successor at the Treasury (David Laws) that all the money has gone. Many years previous to this, Tory Chancellor Reggie Maudling left a similar note on his desk for the incoming Labour Minister.

What has always puzzled me is why so many ordinary working people vote Conservative.

Is it a form of snobbery that survives the privacy of the voting booth or is it something to be expected given the political and economic fiction written by the predominantly right wing