Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Labour's Legacy: not-so-Great Britain

With David Cameron taking over the UK as part of the first coalition government since World War II, I thought it might be worth pointing out a couple of interesting facts about the 13 year misrule of Labour, as we seem to be heading down the same path. . . only faster.

When Labour came to power in 1997, the Conservatives left them a “golden economic inheritance,” despite a recent recession. National output was growing, unemployment was falling, government finances were improving, and Britain had regained its place among the important players in the world. Over the next thirteen years, Labour put their leftist stamp on Britain. Of their efforts, Brown said this in his resignation announcement:

“[I] loved the job, not for its prestige, its titles and its ceremony, which I do not love at all. No, I loved the job for its potential to make this country I love fairer, more tolerant, more green, more democratic, more prosperous, more just -- truly a greater Britain.”
A greater Britain huh? Ok, let’s check out Labour's legacy. . .
1. Out of Control Debt: When Labour came to power, Britain’s debt was a horrific 44% of GDP. Bad Conservatives! Labor promised they would be “wise spenders, not big spenders.” Thirteen years later, Britain’s debt is now 68% of GDP and its deficits are 11.6% of GDP. . . Greece levels (though not quite Obama levels).

2. Edukation: Labour doubled secondary school spending and introduced various reforms. And the results: the number of 16 to 18 year olds who go on to college remained unchanged at a pathetic 18% -- this compares to 52.7% of Americans who have “some college” and 27.3% of Americans who actually hold college degrees. Moreover, vast numbers of British graduates can’t read. And Britain has slipped down international education rankings from 13th to 22nd out of 32.

3. Ill Health: Labour doubled the amount spent on health care. For its efforts, it proudly trumpets its results: “almost all patients now are seen within 18 weeks by their doctors.” No, that’s no typo. . . 18 weeks. . .126 days.

4. Welfare Non-Reform: In 1999, five million Britons lived on state benefits. After 13 years, that number hasn’t changed. What’s more, a shocking 85% of the jobs created in Britain since 1997 went to foreigners!

5. Income Inequality: Leftists love to whine how unfair capitalism is. When Labour came to power, they promised to make Britain more fair. But by the Gini coefficient, a measure of how income is spread throughout a population, Britain is at a record high and is easily the most unfair in Europe.

6. Childhood Poverty: In 1999, three million children lived in poverty. Labour promised to end that. This year, 3.6 million children lived in poverty, more than before Labour started.
So there you have it, the leftist legacy of Gordon Brown and his socialist Labour Party. Thumbs up folks! Unfortunately, Obama seems determined to achieve the same results in his short four years.

20 comments:

USArtguy said...

"Obama seems determined to achieve the same results in his short four years."

Hopefully, the election results this November will put a big dent in each of his socialist vehicles.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew: when you say "a shocking 85% of the jobs created in Britain since 1997 went to foreigners!", do you mean actually foreigners or British subjects not born in the UK proper?

Because of their actual imperialistic ways (as opposed to the US' imagined imperialistic ways), they allow anyone who has lived under British rule, full rights as citizens. And if your grandparents were British subjects, then you have a right to citizenship. When you think of how small the UK is and how vast their empire was/is, they have hoisted themselves on their own petard.

AndrewPrice said...

USArtguy, Let's hope. If we're lucky, then November is the end of "the Obama experience."

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, My understanding is that it was non-imperial foreigners. For example, their entire banking industry -- which has been driving their economy and making London wealthy -- is staffed by Americans, Swiss, and Chinese. That's why the recent tax they imposed on these people's incomes is so dangerous because they will all likely move to New York City or Hong Kong.

At the same time, their service industry has been taken over by Poles and Romanians, ever since they opened their borders when Eastern Europe joined the EU.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: The beauty of socialism/labourism/progressivism is that eventually everybody is equally poor. Except for the political elite, of course.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Isn't that the truth. I'm amazed that people aren't outraged by the 18 WEEKS thing! Could you imagine?

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: You know how I feel about that 18 week thing. I've never had to wait more than a couple of weeks for a routine appointment, or more than a day for a "rush" appointment. My primary care doctor once made me wait an entire fifteen minutes in his waiting room before seeing me. I was highly indignant. LOL

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew: They're not upset about the 18 week wait because most of them don't know any other system.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, 18 weeks is enough to kill you if it's something serious like an infection, an internal injury or a progressive medical condition, and it's enough to make most anything else go away. This is like promising to put out any fire, but they saying you won't show up until after the fire is out. What a disgrace.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That's probably true, but seriously, could you imagine being told "you will have to wait 18 weeks to see your doctor." I think most Americans would become violently angry. In Europe, they apparentally applaud.

BevfromNYC said...

Of course I would be appalled! But in Europe they are probably thrilled it's ONLY 18 weeks! And anyway, I think if you are in an emergency situation, you only have to wait 8-10 hours in the ER! So if you have a migraine or clogged arteries, just chop off a finger and you'll only have to wait a few hours instead of weeks! [Warning though, you can only count on that working 10 times]

patti said...

18 weeks?! pass the smelling salts, and then make me a double. that is INSANE. it takes almost 5 MONTHS to be seen once an appointment is made?! and this is an improvement. stunning.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, LOL! Yeah, that would only work a "handful" of times. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, It's an outrage! And this is the system our own Democrats want to emulate. They should all be made to wait 18 weeks and then see if they still like that system.

Writer X said...

Those education and health care statistics, in particular, are startling. Nothing like raising the bar! Given what you said, I'm surprised that the election was as close as it was.

No wonder Obama wants to emulate Europe!

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I think the election results were as close as they were for two reasons: first, the quirks of their system that favored Labor and, secondly, the fact that conservatives aren't much further to the right than Labour.

I agree about the stats, they are startling, and that's why I wrote the article. When I first saw these, I thought they had to be wrong. But I was able to verify them from British government websites.

hallblithe said...

"The evolution of the Labour Party is a practical confirmation of the theoretical case against reformism. With a working class that has never at any time understood or wanted socialism, the Labour Party, instead of gradually transforming capitalism in the interests of the workers, has itself been gradually transformed from a trade union pressure group into an instrument of capitalist rule."

http://tinyurl.com/34unpj8

StanH said...

John Major after Margaret Thatcher, was liken to our transition from Ronald Reagan to George H.W. Bush in the USA. The degradation in the quality of conservative/republican leadership that allowed the left to redefine the freedom of right thinking. This invariably led to Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and the current mess that we find ourselves in. I see the Cameron election a good start, and with Sarkozy, Merkel, it would appear conservatism is seeping back into the EU. We’ll see!

AndrewPrice said...

hallblithe, It's a stretch to call Labour a capitalist party. They haven't actively nationalized any industry, but they've expanded state regulation and spending in every area. More than 60% of the economy in Scottland and more than 50% of the economy in Wales are now direct government economic activity. England as a whole is running at 48%. That's not capitalism.

And it's no coincidence that the horrible results pointed out in the article occur in government run areas -- because socialism does not work. Sorry.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I would like to agree with you, except that I see little conservatives in any of those three. They are simply not as far left as the alternatives.

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