I am astonished and saddened that our Member of Parliament, whom I hold in very high regard, has stooped to repeating the shoddy and discredited myth about Gordon Brown’s handling of the global economic crisis.
“In 2010”, he writes in last week’s column, “Britain faced a miserable future as a consequence of Gordon Brown’s reckless spending.”
The price of recovery, if indeed it happens, will be borne by the poor, the marginalised, the disabled, and the vulnerable
There is much that I would not defend about the record of the last Labour Government, but to lay at their feet the blame for a global financial meltdown is ludicrous.
The people to blame were the reckless bankers who mismanaged the task for which they are paid their grossly-inflated salaries, and it was Margaret Thatcher who launched the process of deregulation that made it possible for them to cause havoc in the UK and around the world.
The former Bank of England governor Mervyn King denied that the previous Labour government was responsible for the financial crash - and he should know.
Even the Daily Mail – hardly a friend of the Labour Party – recorded that: “The political leaders of Europe, who had come so perilously close to meltdown, were ‘unanimous in praise of Brown’ for saving them.
It was an extraordinary triumph. On the international stage, at least, he stood like a colossus.”
Whether George Osborne’s policies prove effective in bringing renewed stability to the financial sector, time alone will tell.
What we already know is that the price of recovery, if indeed it happens, will be borne by the poor, the marginalised, the disabled, and the vulnerable.
It will be marked by more hungry families, more despair, more unemployment, more zero-hour contracts, more suicides and more queues at the food banks (including at our own excellent Agape Food bank here in Spalding).
A “recovery” of this kind might bring joy to bankers and the billionaires, but it will be founded on principles of selfishness and greed; and the lesson of history is that nations who live by those principles are destined to destroy themselves.