I sometimes worry that the true immensity of Brown and Blair’s mismanagement will be forgotten by the punters. After all poor unrewarded Ed Balls and his few chums, like Polly have already rewritten history – it’s all the banks’ fault etc.
However, the commenters online tell a different story.
Here is the splendid flatpackhamster in The Guardian, responding to Jonathan Freedland’s concerns:
Labour ran a structural deficit for 10 years. Every year from 2001, spending was higher than taxation. The average figure was £35Bn per year. Brown was the one who sold the gold at 1/4 of its current value, Brown was the one who decided to create the FSA, which was incapable of regulating the banking sector.
Should we all cheer because Brown decided to spunk £200Bn of taxpayers’ money up the wall bailing out banks? Of course we shouldn’t. Those banks were bailed out not to ‘save the world’ but to save voters in Labour constituencies. Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax Bank of Scotland – all in core Labour seats. If Northern Rock had been called Southern Rock, and based in Littlehampton, Brown would have told it to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.
So Brown managed, just, with huge amounts of money, to undo a small amount of the damage he created. And we’re all supposed to thank him for it.
Name me a year after 2001 when the feckless Labour government ran a budget surplus
Yeah thought so
Today we understood the true horror of Labour incompetence – the military over budget and with a massive black hole in the finances.
All the bankers did was bring the ludicrous, selfish, unfair party to a premature end.
Labour tried to screw the next generation due to self interest. They should never be let back in and the morons that defend this fiscal stupidity should have their tax doubled.
and the literate SoundMoney, who is not a coalition voter:
Jonathan, bit by bit we are learning that Brown was completely dysfunctional, a sort of Naomi Campbell of politics, minus the good looks.
I read yesterday that he would never speak to Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff. For 13 years.
Petulant, childish, bombastic, phone-throwing, bullying, and worst of all blinkered to reality (“I’ve abolished boom and bust”, that sort of stuff, then spending other peoples’ money as if he actually believed such nonsense).
For 10 of those 13 years we merely let him run the nation’s finances. For the rest of the period we let him (despite Blair’s wholly understandable reservations) run the nation itself.
If he’d stood down a year earlier, as most of his cabinet wanted, Labour might have won another 20 or 30 seats in May. If not an overall majority, enough for them to have been the LibDems’ coalition partners. So we can thank Brown for a Tory PM, probably for a minimum of two, maybe three or four terms (by the time AV and boundary changes take their toll).
Forget about what the right think about him. He will go down in history as the man who destroyed the left in Britain, possibly permanently, as a political force. And all because his personal craving for power trumped any and all other considerations.
A deeply flawed man, who wholly merits every bit of contempt heaped upon him.
What a relief. I was worried for a second there…