Nick Wood: A horror story that has yet to be told. The full facts on how Labour wrecked the economy

If someone crashed your car, would you give him back the keys and take the risk on it happening again?

It is not as if our boy racers have been on a speed awareness course or passed an advanced driving test. No, a bit like a certain former Cabinet minister we can think of, our men with the string-backed gloves and the goggles do not want to take the speeding points. They keep on insisting there wasn't a crash – or if there was, it was all caused by rapacious American banks and a global recession that was certainly nothing to do with them.

That, at least, is the line peddled by the Mr Toads of the Labour Party, aka as the two Eds, Miliband and Balls. Both were in the cockpit of the biggest financial crash of the last 80 years. And both are in denial about their responsibility.

They are itching to get behind the wheel again, insisting that things will be different this time. They won't accelerate at every corner and they won't go spinning off the track. In fact, they are accusing the men, Cameron and Osborne, who have nursed the British economy back on track of having created a new pile-up, grandly entitled the cost of living crisis.

Ed Miliband was at it again on Sunday's Marr Show with a barmy plan for 1970s-style rent controls. His appalling driving record, which would get him and his sidekick Balls banned for life in a sane world, didn't get a mention.

True, the public rate Cameron and Osborne over Miliband and Balls when it comes to economic competence. But at the same time, they are just about inclined to think the Labour duo would do more to boost their living standards.

The economy should be a one-way street for the Tories, guaranteeing them victory over a discredited Labour Party in the general election  next year. But, despite mounting signs of economic recovery and growth projected to hit at least 3 per cent this year, Labour's wrecking crew stand a fair chance of being given another spin round the track.

Why is this? One reason has to be that the Conservatives have never fully communicated the scale of Labour's economic mismanagement. And nor have they played the blame game with sufficient vigour. Too many voters are left thinking that may be it was not that awful – and in any case the bankers were as much responsible as the Balls and Miliband-inspired  last Labour government.

A new analysis privately drawn up by City economists seeks to set the record straight, highlighting in simple factual terms the scale of the Labour debacle from 1997-2010. Harold Wilson used to decry the 1951-1964 Tory governments as 13 wasted years. 1997-2010 were 13 wasteful years, wasteful on an industrial scale.

Some highlights:

  • Labour collected £5 trillion in taxes and borrowed half a trillion more.
  • Labour more than doubled the national debt to over £1 trillion.
  • Labour left the UK with the highest budget deficit in the world barring Greece and Ireland.
  • Labour increased UK public spending over 1997-2010 faster than any country on earth.
  • In 1997 Britain was ranked 22nd in the world for public spending as a percentage of national output; by 2010 it was up to sixth.
  • The annual welfare bill doubled to £186 billion at a cost of £6,400 a year for the average worker.
  • Immigration soared. Total net migration under the Conservatives from 1979 to 1997 was 265,000; under Labour is was ten times bigger – 2.5 million

But despite this spending boom (in fact because of this spending boom), things only got worse:

  • Unemployment increased by 444,000.
  • Public sector productivity fell nearly 4 per cent.
  • Value for money in the public sector fell 13 per cent (nearly 25 per cent in education).
  • 2.5 million jobs were created under Labour of which 1.9 million went to foreigners.
  • Unemployment among young people rose by 285,000.
  • One in five young people were left without a job.
  • More than five million people of working age lived in workless households.
  • Numbers in poverty rose by nearly 400,000 and numbers in severe poverty rose by nearly 800,000.

The Tory high command have their hands full with combating UKIP at present. But when the European and local elections are over, a summer campaign aimed at bringing home to the electorate the sheer scale of Labour's demolition job and the insanity of inviting them back behind the wheel of the national economy would not go amiss.

Nick Wood

  • Youbian

    UKIP wouldn’t exist if the Conservatives had communicated this. It is Cameron’s great failing that he doesn’t sound as if he dislikes Labour or Socialism and that has what has caused the party spilt. You sound like a Conservative. Cameron sounds like Blair.

    • Dovette

      Cameron is a socialist that’s why he doesn’t mention it. Also he gets reminded that his party voted with Labour on nearly everything.

  • Greychatter

    No comments so far?
    No one learns from history.
    Having worked through three disastrous Labour Governments, my only Advise to the younger generations is: “please for your own sakes, and that of your children never let Labour politicians near Government of this country again”
    Look at the Co-op, Look at the Teaching Unions, Look at anything Left Wing Zealots touch and they bring disaster.

    Your Childrens’ and our Great grand childrens futures are at stake.
    Vote Conservative and hope we get a Conservative (Not a Liberal/Conservative) as P.M.

  • The_Average_Joe_UK

    Nick,

    The tone and language you have used puts people off. Just the simple facts.

  • Gold Bug

    You’re saying that Britain’s economy is healthy again? Your duo has continued the expansion of the national debt to the point where we owe more than any other country than Japan in percentage terms. The only reason the whole ponzi scheme hasn’t collapsed is the gigantic amount of borrowing on a daily basis. The economy has been so bad it has taken tens of billions of money printing by the Bank of England to goose it up for a pre election “boom”. We have wasted billions of this borrowed cash on the Olympics and seem set to do the same on HS2. We are controlled by enormous bureaucracies that impoverish our bank accounts and hinder business. We have lost two wars, helped to create several failed states (Libya, Syria, Ukraine) and are largely run from Brussels.
    This is the Conservative party blueprint of success is it?

    • David Prentice

      Gold bug, is that to remind yourself of the time Gordon Brown hived off most of the UK’s gold reserves for a ludicrously low $256 an ounce?

      • Vera

        He was just transferring it quietly to the EU as demanded by them.

        • Dovette

          He was actually trying to lower the value of it by dumping a load on the market. He did it so as to disguise the fact that there was a coming crisis, so things could carry on a usual a little longer.

          • Vera

            And bought euros and yen.

    • davidraynes

      If you read it carefully, Nick Wood does not say Britain’s economy is entirely healthy. Only a fool would not realise it is still fragile

      BUT it is heading in the right direction.

      If you are advocating a return to the incompetent Balls & Milliband, that is like giving your newly repaired car to a couple of boy racers in baseball caps, to do handbrake turns in the supermarket car park.

      Nick Wood is right, Labour have never taken responsibility for anything, especially Brown & Blair.

      Brown was economically illiterate, Blair was dishonest, as Chilcot is about to tell us.

      and the truth about those corrupt gold sales has still not come out.

  • John McEvoy

    And of course, Windmill Dave doubled energy prices to fund his Green Fantasy Religion, George Osbrown carried on borrowing at the same rate and failed to cut public spending, they both desperately want to carry on sending £50 per week to Brussels and splurge £70bn-and-rising on a new train with more borrowed money, they haven’t cut taxes, they raised VAT to the highest level ever, they haven’t instituted a single conservative policy that they promised they would and they’re doing their level best to avoid /deny/fiddle a referendum.
    .
    Vote UKIP.

  • henrychristian

    So Gold Bug as your you are so clever tell us your solution.The two Eds’?

  • lojolondon

    1. UKIP ARE largely Tories. You do not battle UKIP, you realise that if the Conservative party exhibited Conservative policies then UKIP wouldn’t exist.
    2. The Biased BBC is absolutely complicit in covering up Labour’s dreadful record. They are not impartial, and spin pro-Labour/anti-Conservative at every turn. We need to end the “TV-Tax” which entirely facilitates their anti-British stance.

  • George

    The car crash thing is not a good analogy. Please stop using it. When I crashed my parent’s car many years ago at 17 years old they got me right back in the driving seat because they didn’t want me to lose confidence so quickly for an accident that wasn’t entirely my fault. Don’t let the Labour Party off with weak stuff like this. They fuck the economy every time they are in power. Ram that message home, every day, without question – the Labour Party cannot be trusted with the economy. Only then will the masses finally realise they should stop voting for what thier parents did. At least in Scotland we realise this now. The Labour Party are finished. We vote for the SNP, not because we want independence but because they make a decent attempt at running the country, and, surprisingly (especially if you’re English and reading this) , they balance the books (and have done 5 years on the trot, admittedly to show us they are responsible in power and not just in opposition). When all is said we need to fix the economy. Everything else follows from that. Only the Conservative Party can really make that happen. George XX