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Never thought I would say it: Blair tells it like it is. Labour needs to go back to the 90s

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  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    Arklight said:
    The Blair years were awful, unless you compare them to every government before and since. Britain was prosperous, relatively unified, and moving forwards. Not perfectly, but forwards. The misery of Brexit, the increasingly certain breakup of the UK, the mean minded nationalism. None of that was even on anyone's radar during New Labour. 
    If The Labour Party actually were proper lefties they would be listening to Dennis Skinner, John Mann and the old arguments of Tony Benn, etc who pointed out that an endless supply of cheap labour just pushes down wages, creates a system were employers can ignore skills training and workers just get in left in low paid jobs with no prospects. Then, the LP would be on the same side as the working classes. Instead, they’ve become the party of the bosses who just want an endless supply of cheap labour. Until the LP figure that out I think they’re doomed.
    Very true. That’s why construction workers' pay is no higher in real terms since free movement started.
    Minimum wage has resulted in lots of people receiving the same level of remuneration. Whether they do their job well, badly or indifferently. 
    “An investor who has all the answers doesn’t even understand all the questions.” - John Templeton
  • John_John_ Forumite
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    I’m right-leaning, politically, but voted for Blair in 1997. By the end of New Labour’s time in government I was pretty disillusioned about their economic policies (keeping debt off the books via PFI, not running a balanced budget across an entire economic cycle, believing that they had ended boom and bust etc.) but I’m certainly not blind to all of the good things that they achieved, as listed above.
    I can’t imagine ever voting for Corbin or one of his chosen successors, but absolutely could vote Labour again if I thought that they cared about the issues that matter.
  • SailtheworldSailtheworld Forumite
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    Arklight said:
    The Blair years were awful, unless you compare them to every government before and since. Britain was prosperous, relatively unified, and moving forwards. Not perfectly, but forwards. The misery of Brexit, the increasingly certain breakup of the UK, the mean minded nationalism. None of that was even on anyone's radar during New Labour. 
    If The Labour Party actually were proper lefties they would be listening to Dennis Skinner, John Mann and the old arguments of Tony Benn, etc who pointed out that an endless supply of cheap labour just pushes down wages, creates a system were employers can ignore skills training and workers just get in left in low paid jobs with no prospects. Then, the LP would be on the same side as the working classes. Instead, they’ve become the party of the bosses who just want an endless supply of cheap labour. Until the LP figure that out I think they’re doomed.
    Very true. That’s why construction workers' pay is no higher in real terms since free movement started.
    I had a look on the ONS site. I didn't have the inclination to try and find construction workers pay but overall average wages rose from 1992 to 2003 and then declined. I'm not sure the rise or fall has much to do with free movement and the last 10 years have been GFC affected anyway.

    Another area to look at would be nurses pay. Interesting because the NHS employs many EU & third country citizens - I bet wages are well up on 1992. 
  • coachman12coachman12 Forumite
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    I suppose this thread was bound to get heated as soon as Arklight opened it. But I have to say that I fully agree with what he says, as do a lot of MSE members who have pressed the  "Agree" button on that O/P.
    Tony Blair took the ground that, IMHO, is the natural place where most of our population always want to be  ie. very slightly left of centre; or , if you want to, describe it as centrist with a social conscience. It works in most of Europe and it worked here. The Labour Party , whenever the lefties get a strong foothold, are always more interested in what goes on in their National Executive and what is going on in the Labour Party, instead of the country and getting elected as a Govt. Thanks for the memories, Tony, of a happier time with a stable government and the type of policies that most British people view as "home".
    Thx Arklight.
    “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”― Dalai Lama 
  • BobQBobQ Forumite
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    Arklight said:
    The Blair years were awful, unless you compare them to every government before and since. Britain was prosperous, relatively unified, and moving forwards. Not perfectly, but forwards. The misery of Brexit, the increasingly certain breakup of the UK, the mean minded nationalism. None of that was even on anyone's radar during New Labour. 
    As James O'Brien might say : Why?
    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
  • BobQBobQ Forumite
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    shaggydoo said:
    TB's government's achievements.

    1. Longest period of sustained low inflation since the 60s.
    2. Low mortgage rates.
    3. Introduced the National Minimum Wage and raised it to £5.52 per hour.
    4. Over 14,000 more police in England and Wales.
    5. Cut overall crime by 32 per cent.
    6. Record levels of literacy and numeracy in schools.
    7. Young people achieving some of the best ever results at 14, 16, and 18.
    8. Funding for every pupil in England has doubled.
    9. Employment is at its highest level ever.
    10. 3,700 rebuilt and significantly refurbished schools; including new and improved classrooms, laboratories and kitchens. 
    11. 85,000 more nurses.
    12. 32,000 more doctors.
    13. Brought back matrons to hospital wards.
    14. Devolved power to the Scottish Parliament.
    15. Devolved power to the Welsh Assembly.
    16. Dads now get paternity leave of 2 weeks for the first time.
    17. NHS Direct offering free convenient patient advice.
    18. Gift aid was worth £828 million to charities last year.
    19. Restored city-wide government to London.
    20. Record number of students in higher education.
    21. Child benefit up 26 per cent since 1997.
    22. Delivered 2,200 Sure Start Children’s Centres.
    23. Introduced the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
    24. £200 winter fuel payment to pensioners & up to £300 for over-80s.
    25. On course to exceed our Kyoto target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
    26. Restored devolved government to Northern Ireland.
    27. Over 36,000 more teachers in England and 274,000 more support staff and teaching assistants.
    28. All full time workers now have a right to 24 days paid holiday.
    29. A million pensioners lifted out of poverty.
    30. The Child Poverty Act – 600,000 children lifted out of relative poverty.
    31. Introduced child tax credit giving more money to parents.
    32. Scrapped Section 28 and introduced Civil Partnerships.
    33. Brought over 1 million social homes up to standard.
    34. Inpatient waiting lists down by over half a million since 1997: the shortest waiting times since NHS records began.
    35. Banned fox hunting.
    36. Cleanest rivers, beaches, drinking water and air since before the industrial revolution.
    37. Free TV licences for over-75s.
    38. Banned fur farming and the testing of cosmetics on animals.
    39. Free breast cancer screening for all women aged between 50-70.
    40. Free off peak local bus travel for over-60s and disabled people.
    41. New Deal – helped over 1.8 million people into work.
    42. Over 3 million child trust funds started.
    43. Free eye test for over 60s.
    44. More than doubled the number of apprenticeships.
    45. Free entry to national museums and galleries.
    46. Overseas aid budget more than doubled.
    47. Heart disease deaths down by 150,000 and cancer deaths down by 50,000.
    48. Cut long-term youth unemployment by 75 per cent.
    49. Free nursery places for every three and four-year-olds.
    50. Free fruit for most four to six-year-olds at school. 
    51. Gender Recognition Act 2004/5
    52. Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.
    53. Walk-in Health Centres and GP out of hours Service.
    54. Digital hearing aids, through the NHS.
    55. Children’s Act 2004, 2008 – Every Child Matters.
    56. Introduced Smoke–Free legislation, 2007 – child health improving continually since.
    57. Retail Distribution Review – ending commission for financial advisers
    58. Introduced legislation to make company ‘blacklisting’ unlawful.
    59. The Equality Act.
    60. Established the Disability Rights Commission in 1999.
    61. The Human Rights Act.
    62. Signed the European Social Chapter.
    63. Launched £1.5 billion Housing Pledge of new affordable housing.
    64. The Autism Act 2009.
    65. New Deal for Communities Regeneration Programme.
    66. All prescriptions free for people being treated for cancer or the effects of cancer.
    67. Introduced vaccination to be offered to teenage girls to protect against cervical cancer.
    68. Rough sleeping dropped by two thirds and homelessness at its lowest level since the early 1980s
    69. 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act.
    70. Increased Britain’s offshore wind capacity than any country in the world, to provide enough electricity to power 2 million homes.
    71. Led the campaign to win the 2012 Olympics for London.
    72. Introduced the first ever British Armed Forces and Veterans Day to honour past and present achievements of our armed forces.
    73. Created a new right of pedestrian access, so that every family has equal opportunity to access the national coastline.
    74. Led the campaign to agree a new international convention banning all cluster munitions.
    75. Launched the Swimming Challenge Fund to support free swimming for over 60s and under 16s.
    76. Sustainable Communities Actcreated community safety partnerships.
    77. Set up a dedicated Department for International Development.
    78. Cancelled approximately 100 per cent of debt for the world’s poorest countries.
    79. Helped lift 3 million people out of poverty each year, globally.
    80. Helped to get 40 million more children into school, globally.
    81. Worked to ensure polio is on the verge of being eradicated, globally.
    82. Ensured 3 million people are now able to access life-preserving drugs for HIV and AIDS.
    83. Improved water/sanitation services for over 1.5 million people.
    84. Launched a Governance and Transparency Fund to improve governance and increase accountability in poor countries.
    85. The Neighbourhood Renewal programme – introduced funding for neighbourhood improvements.
    86. The Extending Schools Program – included Breakfast and Homework clubs to improved levels of educational achievement and the longer term life chances of disadvantaged children.
    87. Launched the Connexions  Service – provided valuable careers advice and support to young people seeking employment.
    88. Introduced Working Family Tax credits to support low paid parents in work and to pay for childcare.
    89. Introduced the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
    90. Established The Future Jobs Fund to provide all young people access to a job, training or education.
    91. Introduced Warm Front –  helped 2.3 million vulnerable households, those in fuel poverty, with energy efficiency improvements.
    92. Guaranteed paid holidays – introduced a law to ensure that everyone who works is entitled to a minimum paid holiday of 5.6 weeks,
    93. Introduced the right to request flexible working.
    94. Introduced improved work hours – introduced a law so employers cannot force employees to work more than 48 hours a week.
    95. Protection against unfair dismissal – introduced protections for workers and increased the maximum compensation from £12,000 to around £63,000.
    96. Introduced Rights for Part-time workers – the right to equal pay rates, pension rights, pro-rata holidays and sick pay.
    97. Introduced the Right to breaks at work
    98. Introduced the Right to representation  – every worker can be a member of a trade union and be represented in grievance and disciplinary hearings.
    99. Rights for parents and carers – introduced the right to time off to deal with unexpected problems for their dependants, such as illness.
    100. Introduced literacy and numeracy hours in schools and extended diversity to the curriculum.
    101. Reduced class sizes to 30 for 5-7 year old children.
    102. Introduced a public interest test, allowing governments to block international business takeovers on three specific grounds: media plurality, national security or financial stability.
    103. Introduced the (anti-)Bribery Act 2010
    104. Established the Standards Board for England under Labour’s Local Government Act 2000 for promoting and ensuring high ethical standards and code of conduct in local government.
    105. Introduced the first ever Climate Change Act 2008.


    Yeah but apart from that what did the Blair Government ever do for ordinary people!
    The sad thing is that really good ex ministers from that era took one look at the Corbyn Grand Plan and decided that it made sense to develop a career elsewhere for 10 years. It never occurred to them that it might take 25 years. Meanwhile the Corbyn apologists soldier on condemning Blair and aspiring to deliver Corbynism. The country is not buying it beyond the fanatics in the Labour Party who would rather be in opposition than in power.


    Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions.
  • edited 23 February at 12:13PM
    ArklightArklight Forumite
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    edited 23 February at 12:13PM
    It looks like Starmer is odds on to win the leadership election. My fellow socialists are fuming. He's a Sir, he's a man, he doesn't have a Palestinian flag stuck on the back of his Bimmer.  He's not promising Jeremy Corbyn a place in the shadow cabinet like RLB (because the nation is gagging to see more of him).

    He will, at least, be able to counter Johnson in PMQs, although the PLP can do nothing to counter his majority for five years at least. 

    No, I don't think he is especially committed to radical socialism like he says. I hope he isn't because that's the next election lost if he is.
  • edited 23 February at 1:04PM
    MobyMoby Forumite
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    edited 23 February at 1:04PM
    Arklight said:
    It looks like Starmer is odds on to win the leadership election. My fellow socialists are fuming. He's a Sir, he's a man, he doesn't have a Palestinian flag stuck on the back of his Bimmer.  He's not promising Jeremy Corbyn a place in the shadow cabinet like RLB (because the nation is gagging to see more of him).

    He will, at least, be able to counter Johnson in PMQs, although the PLP can do nothing to counter his majority for five years at least. 

    No, I don't think he is especially committed to radical socialism like he says. I hope he isn't because that's the next election lost if he is.
    Mate you've changed a lot in recent weeks? I'm voting for Keir.
    Brexit: Voting to take back what we had never lost in order to lose everything we had.
    Madness!
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    Arklight said:
    It looks like Starmer is odds on to win the leadership election. My fellow socialists are fuming. He's a Sir, he's a man, he doesn't have a Palestinian flag stuck on the back of his Bimmer.  He's not promising Jeremy Corbyn a place in the shadow cabinet like RLB (because the nation is gagging to see more of him).

    He will, at least, be able to counter Johnson in PMQs, although the PLP can do nothing to counter his majority for five years at least. 

    No, I don't think he is especially committed to radical socialism like he says. I hope he isn't because that's the next election lost if he is.
    Will this cause a split in the party? Momentum's influence spreads far and wide. 
    “An investor who has all the answers doesn’t even understand all the questions.” - John Templeton
  • coachman12coachman12 Forumite
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    Arklight said:
    It looks like Starmer is odds on to win the leadership election. My fellow socialists are fuming. He's a Sir, he's a man, he doesn't have a Palestinian flag stuck on the back of his Bimmer.  He's not promising Jeremy Corbyn a place in the shadow cabinet like RLB (because the nation is gagging to see more of him).

    He will, at least, be able to counter Johnson in PMQs, although the PLP can do nothing to counter his majority for five years at least. 

    No, I don't think he is especially committed to radical socialism like he says. I hope he isn't because that's the next election lost if he is.
    Like his views about Tony Blair, I also share Arklight's views about Keir Starmer. Let's find something to disagree about Mr Arklight  ;)
    “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”― Dalai Lama 
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