THE 1930s hold a special place in labour movement history: a dark period, full of slump and unemployment. Well, the Labour government has contrived to trump the 1930s, producing a fall in GDP worse than in any year of that decade: 4.75 per cent.
This is what the Blair–Brown project has led to. It started in 1997 with giving independence to the Bank of England, and it’s ending with Britain teetering on the edge of being declared bankrupt. Our industries are decimated, our mines museums, our lives dictated by self-seeking and unelected quangos, our powers given away to the European Union, and one million people under the age of 25 officially seeking work. Along the way, they have led us to illegal war in Iraq, countless violent adventures elsewhere in the world, and now the quagmire in Afghanistan. All we have, it seems, is a parcel of debt-ridden banks, and for the privilege of owning them we must pay and pay again even unto our children’s children.
As workers we have sat on the sidelines too long, observed the slide and hoped it would stop. Or worse still, borrowed instead of fighting for more pay (see page 6). What masochist would say Vote Labour now?