How to rewrite political history

From: Patrick Jenkins

Sheffield S10

I was appalled by the letter from the Secretary of the Hallam Labour Party (January 20) who whilst accusing others of ‘indulging in Tory propaganda’ attempts to rewrite history himself.

Geoff Smith correctly identifies that the financial crisis was caused by the ‘reckless and greedy activities of the banks’. What bothers me and many others is Mr Smith’s attempt to absolve the Labour Government of any responsibility for this collapse. This financial collapse happened on Labour’s watch! The Labour Government presided over an era of under-regulated banking, reckless lending, unprecedented levels of private debt and abhorrent bankers’ bonuses. The Labour Government turned a blind eye to this dangerous behaviour because they saw the banks as their Golden Egg. Despite the warnings of economists and the clouds gathering over the City of London, Labour continued to sleepwalk into a crisis. The financial services collapsed and the British economy was brought to the brink of bankruptcy and now Labour have the cheek to wipe their hands and say ‘Nothing to do with me Guv’.”

Nonsense! Gordon Brown even has the gall in his historically revisionist book to claim that he was deceived by the bankers. However, Vince Cable made a name for himself by giving Brown consistent warnings of the impending crisis. Yet Brown chose not to listen and buried their hands in the sand. When Labour eventually did bail out the banks, they wrote them a blank cheque allowing them to carry on paying out their reckless bonuses at the taxpayers’ expense! Labour let the bankers off the hook and now it’s the taxpayers who are left paying to clear up the mess.

As for Labour’s spending record the jury is open. Labour clearly did invest in public services but by the end of 13 years people recognised that Labour’s dictate from the centre wasn’t delivering results. For all the money poured into public services inequality still rose during Labour’s period of government.

From 2001 Labour did spend recklessly. Once again Geoff Smith confuses debt with deficit; two distinct concepts and his inability to distinguish the two goes some way to explaining why Labour got the country into this mess. In his final days Brown spent money like it was going out of fashion. Who can forget his VAT move, a publicity stunt that backfired, costing the public purse 12 billion, and only worthwhile in giving millionaires tax cuts on buying TVs? This is money that could have been invested in jobs or helping young people.

The worst part is that now we have a Labour leadership packed full of Brown’s personal cronies. Like Geoff Smith they refuse to accept the role that Labour played in bringing this country to brink of economic abyss. Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown have never apologised for their part in creating the cuts that are now being imposed. It’s a typical Labour response; they want all of the power and none of the responsibility.