Posted by: secretperson | December 1, 2007

Labour’s Purnell Spouts Crap

Following on from his confused no to an English anthem, following a letter from Alfie the OK, Labour’s James Purnell makes a party political broadcast in defence of his under pressure party.

It’s so full of rubbish I don’t know where to start. It starts with (and I paraphrase) it’s easy to criticise from opposition. True, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t criticise.

“The Northern Rock crisis would have been a lot worse were it not for the government’s swift action.”
How many billions from the public purse will have been lost? 10? 30? Value for money, you think.

On the dodgy donations: “a full inquiry was established and the money returned”
Shouldn’t the money have been forfeited, as happened to UKIP? Easy to return it when you get caught.

“The government has committed to building three million houses by 2020. It is the most ambitious housing policy since the Attlee government…what do the Tories have to say about these policies? Nothing….they aren’t prepared to build enough houses to get people on the housing ladder.”
So they do have something to say then? At least be consistent. And the Tories have recognised that reducing immigration is a key to helping deal with any housing crisis, although they don’t go far enough in my mind. Tough on housing crisis, but tough on the causes of the housing crisis? No.

“When you strip off the presentational varnish, the Tories look as rusty as ever.” Labour accusing someone of spin over substance, a bit rich. What about the series of policy reviews, one of the most comprehensive reconsiderations of party policy in a long time. Their radical proposals on Swedish style school system?

“People are now accustomed to standards in most markets for goods and services that would have been unimaginable to their parents. They have become more demanding and less inclined to accept what they are given. They want to have power devolved into their own hands, and not be bossed around at work or by public services. They don’t want to be done to – they want to do.”
Where do I start. An average of one new law a day since New Labour got into power? Not to be bossed around at work? – I think most people accept that. Sorry but none of this rings true with such a controlling centralist government. ID cards, anyone? Anyway, this rhetoric sounds a bit Blairite, has anyone asked Gordon? Or the EU?

“That debate is now largely won – we want to create an enabling state not a top-down one.” See above.

“They are failing that test: they want to cap the number of young people going to university, they don’t want to raise the school leaving age”
As opposed to a minimum number of students going to University, even those who might benefit from other things. Essentially wasting 3 years on an academic version of something they could be doing for real, drinking lots of beer (OK that’s fair enough), and a huge amount of debt. If everyone has a degree they will become meaningless. Same as raising the school leaving age, people who drop out do so because they are failing at school, lets keep them failing for longer, eh? Still you could always make exams easier till everyone passes.

“The dividing line of the next election, whatever the headlines this week, will be the same as it ever is: the helping hand or the invisible hand. And only Labour is on the same side of that dividing line as the country.”
Well I identify a divide too and would characterise it as Gordon-knows-best versus Individual-responsibility. And whatever we think we know, we’ll see where the country stands come the next election.

To make my personal stance clear, the Tories are better than Labour but don’t go far enough. Not far enough on Europe, not far enough on immigration, not far enough on a smaller state and individual responsibilty and not far enough on the English question.

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