Monday, May 04, 2009

Lessons from history: Tories and the economy

A historical fact which occurred to me earlier today:

Over the past half century, every time a Conservative government has come to power, it has introduced disastrous economic policies which have plunged the economy into far greater crisis and made their government desperately unpopular.

The last time that a newly elected Conservative government managed even minimal competence was when they were led by Winston Churchill in 1951. The last time they managed this feat with a leader who had no previous experience of being Prime Minister was in the 1920s.

Of course, history is not always a good guide to how a party will govern. But since the current Conservative economic policy is 'ask us after the election', their candidates for parliament are mostly unembarrassed Thatcherites, and many of their highly regarded thinkers spent the past few years urging that Britain should be more like Ireland or Iceland, the signs are that they aren't likely to break their 58 year run of messing things up if they do win the election.

Which makes it all the more important that if Labour is defeated, we work out quickly how we need to change and what the lessons of the past twelve years are, in time to fix the problems that the Tories will cause.

8 Comments:

At 9:14 am , Anonymous Peter said...

The last half century means since 1959, since which time a Conservative government has been newly elected twice. Why not simply say "The Tories were crap with the economy in 1970 and 1979"? Is it because the former is banal and because the notion that Thatcher wrecked the economy is laughable?

 
At 9:54 am , Anonymous tim f said...

Judging by the things that most people care about to do with the economy (do I have a job, does it pay reasonably well and can I buy the things I want at a reasonable price), Tory governments certainly shouldn't have a reputation for economic competence, and Mrs Thatcher's in particular.

 
At 12:18 pm , Blogger Robert said...

No but after brown it's a bit of a liberty but of course Brown did not cause this down turn recession, it was Thatcher she did it, it was her fault and of course Churchill helped a bit, it was not me sir.

Brown and Blair took over and carried on with Thatchers ideal, so this time you cannot blame anyone except New labour.

 
At 1:33 am , Anonymous keith said...

Churchill was crap at economics as well; like Thatcher he caused mass unemployment of Labour in his case by returning to the Gold standard, in the twenties, just as right wing nut case Gold Bugs would like to now. In 1951 the Tories carried on Labours Policies of a welfare State and Demand management.

Tory Chancellors had to use Match sticks to figure out how to understand economic ideas. How this worked I do not know but maybe someone can tell me?

 
At 12:41 pm , Blogger Robert said...

yes but look at Wilson remember him he left this country in a right mess, if you want to know the facts, if Labour or the Tories had to run a company it would be bust in a year. The fact is labour have now seen us into the biggest depression of my life time, does not matter if they are to blame they were in power and should have seen it coming.

 
At 1:33 pm , Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7:21 am , Blogger Robert said...

Thats bull shit Labour could have taken this government down a different route it did not it looked at Thatchers policies even the ones she did not put in place and carried them out.

Like it or not the £180 billion on welfare reforms has been the biggest waste of time it's failed hence Labour have now brought in two more medicals to get people onto JSA. I will get a lower benefits the one thing I'll not have is a job.

New labour old policies out of power.

 
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