A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I think Cameron himself explained why voting Tory was a bad idea in his speech yesterday when he said:

"Experience is the excuse of the incumbent over the ages. Experience is what they always say when they try to stop change. In 1979, James Callaghan had been Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Chancellor before he became Prime Minister. He had plenty of experience. But thank God we changed him for Margaret Thatcher."

Er... I would beg to differ and so might a few million other people. There was a lot wrong with the 1974-'79 Labour Government but Callaghan, for all his faults, was a very wise national leader. His replacement Margaret Thatcher was an extremist, sectarian fruitloop who butchered the public services, destroyed our manufacturing base, sowed poverty, discord and division, blighted the lives of the three million people she deliberately put on the dole, left the inner cities and industrial areas to rot and raised the worship of the free market to totemic status that we are now paying the price for. There was a lot that needed to change in Britain in 1979 but the human waste created by the frankly evil policies Cameron's heroine promoted was not the way to do it.

Would that the British people had stuck with "experience" and hadn't been suckered into an 18 year nightmare of Tory rule.

I hope we aren't stupid enough to fall for the same baloney twice. Cameron was part of that administration as Norman Lamont's Special Adviser - that's the "experience" he wants to deploy - experience of wrecking the country once and not having learnt any lessons from it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


You miss the point on Callaghan. He was indeed a nice guy, who in 1974 was the only suitable person to lead the Labour Party. The problem was the rest of the sh*ts in the party!

10:16 am, October 02, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Quite right there Luke, agree with you totally.

Did you watch the speeches given by the top brass of the Tory party? All the press were lauding Boris who I thought made an awful speech, especially raising to the defence of the "speculators and spivs". I actually thought Hague made the speech of the conference. Full of usual Tory nonsense of course, but he delivered it with wit and charisma. He is still a prat.....but he can deliver a great speech; great orator, on of the best in Westminster.

10:17 am, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

I just cannot see the Conservative band wagon staying together if they go on like this - merely dependent on the incumbent Government failing, whilst youself saying nothing of substance on anything of substance.

Just two examples from this week, we had David Cameron falling back again on that voodoo stuff about 'Society is broke'... and meantime Boris Johnstone saying that's all rubbish.

We also had what-his-name Shadow Chancellor in his speech laying into City bonus fat cats... then we had Boris Johnstone defending 'speculators and spivs'.

Also I think it was a major, really major, error of Cameron to raise the spectre of Thatcher in his speech. He absolutely should have kept the steady distancing from her malign influence (on the Tory party) that his predecessors have been trying to sustain.

The instant and heart-felt applause from the delegates at the very mention of Thatcher showed up how large tracts of the Tory Party remain unrecontructed Thatcherits - as does the evident popularity of Boris's utterances among the delegates in preference to the views of either Cameron or his Shadow Chancellor.

My remaining concern is the trueism in UK electoral politics is that it's Governemnts that lose elections, not Oppositions that win them... but there again if an Opposition renders itself unelectable that does not always hold (ouch, painful memories!).

12:32 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that the Tories won four elections on the trot Luke - could it be that people preferred what they were doing to what you were proposing?

12:39 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Dirry Euro: said...

I think the tory leader went too long on answering the novice line, as now labour will think this message has it home on the tories.
Too be honest this is the most inexprienced tory front bench in living mmeory versus the most experienced labour front bench.

1:03 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is noted that in your recent rating of Labour leaders, Brown doesn't get a mention.

It is also noted that in this blog you fail to defend Brown or even to mention his name.

I think we can conclude by this omission that you share the electorate's low opinion of him.

1:09 pm, October 02, 2008

Anonymous observer's friend said...

Historic moment Luke! I agree with every word you wrote! I keep meeting young people for whom Thatcher is but a distant and historical figure. We must keep alive the memory of what she did. "Lest they forget ..."

1:23 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Anon 12:39 PM - as an electoral reformer I would argue Thatcher won because of our crazy electoral system - nearly 60% of the public voted for the 2 centre-left parties and against Thatcherism in all 4 elections.

Anon 1:09 PM. Try reading my posts from during & just before conference. I was being overtly supportive BEFORE his speech and subsequent poll recovery.

1:53 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger weecelt said...

Couldn't agree more re. your comments about the the Thatcher years. I'm from south Wales and distinctly remember the almost year zero approach of the evil Thatcher years.

4:00 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

She should be eradicated along with every single Tory!!

6:14 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Paul said...

They are showing their true colours now a return to Thatcherism, cutting public services, removing the protections of the state and directing tax cuts to business and the wealthy

8:52 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Yes Paul the NLP have been doing so since 1997-The status Quo prevails?

10:27 pm, October 02, 2008

Blogger Robert said...

And yet Brown did not see the credit crunch coming or the banking problems, how come he did not see it, not long before he was shouting Labour was the party, the Tories were the party of boom and bust Labour was the party of stability three days later the housing market collapsed.

9:46 am, October 03, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Labour have fallen for the Nigel Lawson economic miracle. NLP allowed hyper housing inflation as it appeared to fuel growth in the economy. But the growth was artificial and on borrowed money and where was the resources to sustain a pay back?

Why can't any government learn lessons from the recent history?

Even in 1997 NLP said it was now the end of boom and bust-didn't happen did it-The Free Market prevailed unregulated as in Nigel Lawson's days?

10:25 am, October 03, 2008


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