If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Labour's track record ...

... is not all that good. You knew that, but Jeff Randall in the Telegraph has the numbers.

He takes a few comparative stats over the period 1998-2010, which is roughly from Gordon Brown's first proper budget to today. The results are damning.

The value of Sterling first. In the period in question, Sterling has:
  • dropped 14% against the Swedish Krona
  • dropped 24% against the Chinese yuan
  • dropped 33% against the Swiss franc
  • dropped 35% against the Japanese yen
  • dropped 27% against the Euro.
(The Euro did not exist in 1998 - this figure is an estimate on a basket of European currencies by the website x-rates.com.)

Next, the London Stock Market, where most of our savings are invested. In these 12 years:
  • The FTSE-100 has dropped 12%
  • The CAC in Paris has dropped less than 1%
  • The German DAX has risen by 12%
  • The Dow Jones in America has risen by 15%
  • The Hang Seng in Hong Kong has risen 77%.
Randall also looks at the Stock Market figures for the last three Labour administrations.
  • Labour 1964-70 - down 13% (including a forced devaluation of the Pound)
  • Labour 1974-79 - down 11.5% (and a bail-out by the IMF)
  • Labour 1998-2010 - down 20%.
Let's be clear. All Labour governments have presided over a fall in the value of the Stock Market, but Brown has comprehensively beaten both James Callaghan/Roy Jenkins and Denis Healey, which is quite a feat. We are a basket case.

My fear is that most of the voters in the coming General Election won't know this, because they were not alive, or old enough to follow the news, when these things happened. They won't know, because they haven't lived through it, that Labour governments always wreck the economy, and the following Conservative governments always pick up the pieces. In 1997, Labour had a golden opportunity - they inherited a fantastic economic climate from Ken Clarke, and it has been utterly wasted.

I'll leave the last words to Jeff Randall:

In short, sterling is in the toilet, our pensions have been slaughtered, cash savings yield almost nothing, the country is up to its neck in unprecedented debt, the banking system is awash with funny money, our gold reserves were sold off at rock-bottom prices, and Britain’s dole queue is considerably longer than before Crash Gordon began cooking the books.

Apart from that, it’s not too bad.

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