The interesting thing about the first of those Milistone promises

The first promise on Ed Miliband’s eight foot limestone slab is:

1. A strong economic foundation

Note that he doesn’t promise an actual “strong economy”. That would be going too far. After all, Miliband and Labour have not yet apologised for the last economic disaster which put at least a net 600,000 people out of work in the UK. Their excuse was that it was all caused by global forces.

So they can’t promise a strong economy because global forces might come in and mess it all up again.

So they just promise a “strong economic foundation”.

Fairly lame, I would say.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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19 Comments

  • Yes, Labour caused the US subprime mortgage crash. Completely true. There aren’t rolleyes big enough for this nonsense.

    If the coalition actually had a good economic record they wouldn’t need to inflate by spreading rubbish about the last crash.

  • “Their excuse was that it was all caused by global forces.”

    There was a global financial crisis though… wasn’t there?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007%E2%80%9308

    “Miliband and Labour have not yet apologised for the last economic disaster”

    Yes he has :-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1353636/Ed-Miliband-says-sorry-Labours-role-financial-crisis.html

    That was over four years ago, and he’s apologised repeatedly for Labour’s part in the crisis on several occasions since.

  • Sir Nicholas MacPherson, current Permanent Secretary to the Treasury:

    “The 2008 crisis was a banking crisis pure and simple. Excessive risk had built up in the system; the regulators failed to appreciate the scale of that risk or to address it. As he puts it, it was “a failure of the Group of Seven economic policymaking Establishment”, myself included. Inevitably, countries with bigger banking sectors, notably the UK, were worse affected.”

    https://quarterly.blog.gov.uk/2015/03/19/mr-osbornes-economic-experiment-austerity-1945-51-and-2010-reviewed-by-sir-nicholas-macpherson/

    So this article? Fairly lame, I would say.

  • David Evans 3rd May '15 - 7:47pm

    Yes Jack, Labour, with Gordon Brown ably supported by Darling, Balls and Milliband, were responsible for the supervision of the second largest financial market in the world. Labour’s fingerprints are all over the crash and being in perpetual denial simply shows how unfit to govern some people are.

  • Jane Ann Liston 3rd May '15 - 8:03pm

    The pledges carved on a stone makes me think of the Seven Commandments in Animal Farm, which were surreptitiously repainted under cover of darkness. Although Milliband has carved his pledges on a stone, it is actually limestone which I believe is relatively easy to re-etch using a strong acid.

  • The pledge that incenses me is No 2: “Higher living standards for working families.” So Labour has no intention of raising living standards for people who work but don’t have families? Ed Miliband may be nicer than his predecessors, but Labour is still a nasty party with some very nasty attitudes. My tactical vote for Labour is now at risk.

  • @Sesenco
    The Labour “pledges” are actually more like headings – if you read the full thing, you’ll see that each one has several specific policies behind it. Carving the whole lot would have ended up with a rock looking like the Rosetta Stone. In the case of pledge no. 2, it comprises five specific policies, only one of which relates exclusively to families. It’s a badly written headline, more than anything.

  • How odd that a crash which began in the US before affecting the UK & other countries is the responsibility of Labour yet when the economy that had started growing at the 2010 GE was plunged into recession, Osborne & the rest of the coalition blamed difficulties in the Eurozone !

    Please give up this nonsense so frequently trotted out on here !

  • “A strong economic foundation” or in other words “an end to boom and bust”.

  • Labour left us more exposed to that crash than almost any other major economy with an over-expanded and under regulated financial sector, massive household debt and a huge deficit and a shrunken manufacturing base that had halved as a share of national output and we have people posting here who are still in denial about this.

    Unbelievable. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • RC 4th May ’15 – 8:22am ………………Labour left us more exposed to that crash than almost any other major economy with an over-expanded and under regulated financial sector, massive household debt and a huge deficit and a shrunken manufacturing base that had halved as a share of national output and we have people posting here who are still in denial about this……………..

    Yet you have no problem going into coalition with a party that, in opposition, constantly demanded less regulation and promised to match Labour’s public spending?
    Massive household debt? With interest rates at there lowest in living memory, and aggressive lending by the banks, how do you suggest any government could stop people borrowing?
    As for the deficit; In 2007 the deficit was less than that in 1997…

  • their

  • @expats that there was a deficit at all in 2007 after a decade of unprecedented growth tells it’s own story of fiscal incompetence.

    Keynes says we should run a surplus in the boom years to pay down accumulated debt and reduce interest payments. Brown and Balls ignored this central tenet and carried on borrowing so when the crash came the effects were so much worse.

  • From the Institute of Fiscal studies……
    By 2007 Labour had reduced public sector borrowing slightly below the level it inherited from
    the Conservatives. And more of that borrowing was being used to finance investment rather
    than the day-to-day running costs of the public sector. Labour had also reduced public sector
    debt below the level it had inherited. As a result the ‘golden rule’ and ‘sustainable investment
    rule’ that Gordon Brown had committed himself to on becoming Chancellor in 1997 were both
    met over the economic cycle that he eventually decided had run from 1997–98 to 2006–07…..

  • But expats you fail to add the rest of the summary which states:

    “But over the same ten years the vast majority of other leading industrial countries reduced
    their borrowing by more than the UK. And most also reduced their debt by more. So while the
    UK public finances were in better shape when the financial crisis began than they were when
    Labour came to power, the UK was in a worse position relative to most comparable countries.”

  • I remember what years of Tory under-investment in my local schools/hospital had done….The increased borrowing was not just needed it was imperative… These other countries didn’t need to use money in the ‘good years’ to pay-off war debt, play ‘catch-up’ on neglected infrastructure, etc.
    The idea that Labour ‘frittered away’ the money that should have been used to ‘fix the roof’ is a wonderful Tory slogan; it forgets that ‘fixing the roof’ was quite literally what was done in the case of my grandchildren’ school….

  • @expats but labour didn’t use public borrowing for infrastructure projects; they used PFI. And we all know what a great decision that was.

  • @expats

    “I remember what years of Tory under-investment in my local schools/hospital had done….”

    Exactly that. TCO forgets that Labour started off by running surpluses (the biggest ones for many years) but came under massive pressure to increase investment instead – which they did, with the approval of both the Lib Dems and Tories at the time. In fact the Lib Dems spent the entire decade complaining that Labour should be spending more, while the Tories were committed to matching Labour’s spending plans (an extraordinary fact in itself!) until as late as November 2008. Even then they only retreated from this position very modestly.

    The ’00s was the only period I can remember when there was virtually complete political consensus on the level of public spending. If Labour were getting it all so wrong, then so was everybody else.

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