Tim Gordon, the CEO of the Liberal Democrats, sends out an Email each week, telling us, among other things, that one of the five points Liberal Democrats should make on the doorstop is that (we are)
"Clearing up Labour's economic mess." This statement is highly misleading, if not downright mendacious. I have written to Mr Gordon pointing this out, but received no response, and a letter on the topic to the party newspaper has not been published, or not yet anyway. So this appears to be a point of view the party hierarchy would rather not acknowledge.
That the "economic mess" is
Labour's is only strictly true in the sense that they happened to be in
charge when the financial crisis broke. We need to make it abundantly clear that the "mess" was caused, not by Labour profligacy, but
by greed made possible by the excessive financial deregulation
introduced by the Thatcherite Conservatives..
True, Labour did little to oppose financial deregulation, but our present partners in government were loudly calling for yet more and, apart from a few warning shots from Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrats as a whole had little to say on the topic. In fact the publication of the "Orange Book" marked a significant shift in the direction of the then dominant "markets rule OK" economic fashion.
Thanks to clever PR "the financial mess that Labour
left behind" had populist support for a while,, but the fact that Gordon
Brown was cheered at the Paralympics, whilst George Osborne was booed,
indicates that this piece of political misrepresentation is now past its
It is surely time for Liberal Democrats to be honest (after all, we did
promise more honesty in politics) and recognise that the economy
was growing and the deficit reducing when Labour left office,as a
result of the VAT cut and public investment. We desperately need to
temper our support for Osborne's failing policies and press hard for a
serious Keynesian stimulus package now.