Following on from last month’s election there will be a huge amount of debate as to why Labour lost. I do not have an answer to that question. There are lots and lots of factors and there will be plenty of commentators with their ‘wisdom’ offering views. One thing I am sure of though is that I haven’t changed my mind.
On May 6th I firmly believed that the Conservative manifesto contained a series of measures which both individually and collectively were bad for my country. I haven’t changed my mind. The fact that the Conservatives won more votes than any other party does not mean they are right and I think it is vital that the Labour party does not run away from itself (even more than it has done) in response.
I am not sure what a successful electoral strategy would look like. But I am sure that Tory policies are wrong in several key areas. I will write later about the Lobbying Act 2014 and the proposed repeal of the Human Rights Act. There is a lot to say about both of these. For now I just wanted to reflect on economic policy.
Tory economic policy has been a disaster over the past 5 years and it is incredible to me that they are able to get away with this. Although I do understand the reasons why. (see here). What is interesting is how they propose to repeat those mistakes. Assuming the ‘emergency budget’ looks anything like what has been hinted we are almost certainly looking at a couple of years of stagnant growth or worse. It will be a source of black humour to me as to what excuses Osborne comes up with. In the meantime the poor and the vulnerable will be squeezed further. I am increasingly convinced that these are the silent ones in our society – it is appalling what has already happened to disabled people. The mythical ‘silent majority’ never stop shouting but the public’s consciousness does not seem to have been touched by what is happening to the truly silent. I am going to write more soon about the huge overstatement of moral hazard and the problems that causes but in the meantime, I wish to point you in these directions:
I wouldn’t mind so much if this injustice was actually achieving something but it really isn’t. We are in a worse economic position in 2015 than we were in 2010. (Key indicators include the almost eradication of government capital investment, increased household debt and falling productivity).
As I said, I remain absolutely convinced that David Cameron’s government will do a lot of damage to my country. The fight is not over. As the next few (painful) years roll on, we need a coherent argument. And then we need to win it. We must win the argument. Being right is one thing, but it is not enough. If I am wrong then I will say so, but I will also claim the right to point out over the next few years where I am vindicated in my assessments. It’s not about I told you so it’s about winning the argument so we can begin the rebuilding process.