Tory myth busting: “Cleaning up Labour’s mess”

by Charlie_East_West on October 29, 2013


“The mess we inherited”
“We’re having to clean up Labour’s mess

“We are making tough decisions to fix the country
“We’re all in this together

This Tory-led and Lib Dem nodding dog soundbite tactic has been in place since they have been in government and has continued, unbroken and to the point of listening to a stuck record.

Listen to any interview, or debate on any media outlet, and you’ll hear some variation of these four quotes.

Clearly, in order to deflect from their own economic fuck ups, the Tories have spewed out this form of political Tourette’s Syndrome – “Labour’s mess. Inherited mess. Cleaning up the mess left from Labour.” – But, there is only one tiny little problem with all this is this: It is completely untrue.
It is one big lie.

I have a theory on lying – The bigger a lie is, and more frequently it is mentioned, the more people are likely be hoodwinked by it. A lie, when shouted loudly enough, often enough and with authority, usually gets to be taken for the truth eventually. That is exactly what has happened with the Tories blame towards Labour on the economy.

Here are a few simple reminders to bust this Tory myth.

Compared to now, in May 2010:-

UK growth was 0.2% higher
Wage growth was 3 times faster
National Debt was £447bn lower
Unemployment was 23k lower
Source: ONS


In the years from 1999-2002, the UK’s national debt under Labour government consistently shrank. The debt when Labour took power – the ‘inherited mess’ from the previous Tory government was higher than at any time during Labour’s term in power until the 2008 global financial crash.

From 2002 until 2008, the graph above shows a gradual, yet, manageable increase. This is the period when Labour started to increase spending levels towards badly needed investment in public services, education and the NHS. This gradual increase was not a free wheeling out of control splurge with public finances. It was controlled, necessary and eminently affordable. And it was still lower than it had been under the preceding Tory government.

In 2008, everything changed. There was a worldwide financial meltdown. And as a result of banking bail outs and lower national income levels, and the subsequent borrowing costs – the national debt inevitably increased.

Moving forward to 2010-2013 – and an era without being in the eye of the financial storm, the ridiculous austerity economics of the coalition government have resulted in a huge increase in the debt curve. Austerity linked policies have diminished the national income further and faster than anything under Labour’s watch. Austerity economics have failed – regardless of any slight recent improvement on GDP figures.

We must never ever lose sight of this. The Tories have created a myth surrounding Labour’s economic credentials, and have created a deflection tactic away from their own economic horror story.

As always with the Tories, it is simply a case of lies, damn lies and statistics.

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