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The Economy – it’s everything

A few years ago, I blogged about some of the background to the financial crisis to provide the rebuttal arguments to the persistent fairy tale going round that Labour caused the global economic crisis.

I want to move us on now to what the alternatives are, what Labour is going to do to re-structure the economy.

Quick reminder – Tories run deficits – yes, they do

First off, I’d like to remind people about  Tories and deficits – they’ve got form. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the graphs on the other blog – nice bar charts. The blue bits below the line show the size of Tory deficits in the 1980s and 1990s. The red bits above the line show how the Labour government actually took the country out of deficit, into surplus and only slipped back again during the GLOBAL financial crisis.

So first, please let’s keep pushing back this Tory lie about the economic crisis all being Labour’s fault. I didn’t hear Tories calling for more banking regulation, did you?

Labour = fairness

But what’s our  big idea? Here’s the over-arching principle  - and I run the risk here of being accused of peddling cliches, but like most cliches, it has a place – FAIRNESS, and not just because I am nice and I believe that tolerating poverty is morally indefensible in the 21st century, not because I want to win an election but because it is both the RIGHT and the SENSIBLE way to run an economy.

The Labour party has just finished months of consultation on the policy documents which will eventually form our election manifesto. There will now be very detailed work analysing the thousands of contributions from individual members and supporters, constituency Labour parties and trade unions and others. I’m not going to pre-empt the results of this but we do already know some elements of what will form the backbone of our manifesto. I want to use the time over the next few weeks to discuss the economy and what it matters more than anything and why it matters more than ever that we have a Labour government running it.

I’m going to be campaigning on key elements of big Labour policies over the next nine months. But the economy will be underpinning them all. So I’m going to start with a series of blogs on this topic, split into short themes as follows:

  1. It’s clear that poverty elimination and the reduction of gross inequality aren’t just the right things to do morally, they are economically sensible.
  2. I will continue to rebut the line that Labour caused the global financial crisis – it was a global financial crisis, caused by private debt and unfettered risk taking in the financial sector, it was not caused by the Labour government building some schools.
  3. We need to invest in the training and infrastructure necessary for providing people with the right skills for the 21st century, the means to get to work affordably and without struggle and the NHS to keep us all healthy.
  4. We need good and enforced rules for a fair economy and the reforms we need to make it so.

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