So Mr. Milliband Junior has been suggesting that dissident Lib Dems should work with Labour. So far so good. I’m a dissident Lib Dem (I’ve been one for years actually) and I am very content to work with Labour at a local level. There I find thousands of men and women with whom I share common views and can define common actions. Even in Liverpool where Labour and I have fought for almost 4 decades we have always really cooperated on most issues and even as I write are working on a joint council budget.
But that, I am, afraid is where it ends. Your approaches at a national level are about as welcome as a cupful of cold sick. I have too good a memory of your 13 years in power to contemplate working with you or even more unlikely joining you nationally. Let me remind you of five areas (there are more) where you failed the people of this Country:
- You carried on Tory housing polices. When you left government there were 37,500 less social homes than when you entered it. You did not allow us to use the receipts from council house sales to build new houses. You did try and vie with the Tories to push up owner occupation rates to unsustainable levels.
- You let down manufacturing industry. When you entered power manufacturing accounted for 20% of GDP when you left power it accounted for 13%
- You crawled to the Banks. The Tories had de regulated banks but you did nothing to re-regulate them. That meant inadequate controls which led to massive debts in the banking sector allied – uniquely in the UK – to massive debts in peoples’ personal budgets. Yes there was an international finance crisis but much of it was manufactured here in the City on your watch
- You were Stalinist in your approach to civil liberties. Data bases for everything in sight, CCTV everywhere and the dreaded proposed national ID cards were a disgrace to any Party claiming to be from a left wing persuasion.
- You left record amounts of debt within the central government system which before the election you said needed to be paid back but for which you have refused to supply remedies since you went into opposition.
There are many good people in the Labour Party; people who I have got on with for years and will continue to do so. But yours was a Party where the likes of Mandelson could be promoted for saying that he welcomed the idea of people being filthy rich. Yours was a party of overwhelming centralism with Whitehall Warriors seeking to control the minutiae of everyday life in all parts of the country. Yours was a Party which lost its way.
Frankly Mr Milliband I would prefer to be in alliance with a right wing Party where my Party can exercise some control than in a right wing Party like yours where my views would be irrelevant.
PS – I almost forgot the war. You entered an illegal war in Iraq with no evidence just to keep an extreme right winger in America happy.