How ten years has changed them

There’s a classic Tony Blair quote that’s been doing the rounds ever since Labour started promoting ID cards:

At the Labour party conference in 1995, Tony Blair demanded that ‘instead of wasting hundreds of millions of pounds on compulsory ID cards as the Tory Right demand, let that money provide thousands more police officers on the beat in our local communities.’[12] (Wikipedia)

This quote is wonderfully double-edged as it shows the strange dance both the Labour Party and Conservatives have done on the issue since 1995.  The Tories were pursuing an ID scheme in 1995 which got dropped by the Labour party when they came into power in 1997.

By 2005, the Labour Party had changed sides, and brought in a new bill for ID cards worse than anything the Tories had intended, which the Conservatives supported.

By 2006, the Tories had changed sides, and David Cameron decided to oppose the new scheme, bringing both the Tories and the Labour party to a complete reversal of their positions in one handy decade.

Now a new quote has emerged from a Lib Dem on Cix transcribing the then shadow chancellor Gordon Brown speaking to Labour conference in Blackpool in 1996.

Labour priorities will not be the Tory priorities. A Labour chancellor
will not waste money on nursery vouchers; on the Quango state; on tax
reliefs for boardroom excesses in the privatised monopolies; on
indiscriminate handouts of public money to under-valued rail companies
that should never have been privatised in the first place; and a Labour
chancellor will not waste money on consultancy fees for the privatisation
of the Post Office. The Post Office will remain as it is, run in the
public sector as a public service.

A Labour chancellor and a Labour treasury will not permit tax reliefs to
millionaires in off-shore havens. We will end the situation where
millionaires can pay no tax.

Isn’t it strange that a Brown government should be so different to a Brown opposition?

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3 Comments

  • Mark Wright 22nd Mar '08 - 9:57pm

    Unbelievable. SO, were they lying through their teeth, or have they all utterly changed their minds?

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