|I recently came across this....
It's the leaflet that Bliar handed out when he was first trying to be elected as an MP in 1983 and aside from the silliness of the photo there are some interesting things about it.
Lets start with a quote...
"The Tories say there is no new money to create jobs. But they spend billions of pounds each year on dangerous nuclear weapons. They spend billions on keeping people on the dole [for American readers 'the dole' is slang for being on welfare]. They encourage the rich to invest billions abroad each year. This isn't sense - it's insanity"
OK. Lets take this line by line and look at his record in office.
Firstly, when he says 'no new money to create new jobs' he means in the public sector. New Labour are currently making upwards of 50,000 civil servants redundant. There has however, been a rise in public sector jobs since New labour came to power in 1997.
"But they spend billions of pounds each year on dangerous nuclear weapons". Blair is busily setting about making a new generation of Trident (the name for the UK's nuke system) in violation of treaties the UK has signed (the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty). This is likely to cost well in excess of £20 billion. He is also banging the drum for a whole series of new nuclear power stations.
"They spend billions in keeping people on the dole." Unemployment has fallen under New Labour but so has full-time employment. The corporate mantra about a 'flexible' (meaning easily sackable and low-paid) workforce has been chanted by Blair and his cohorts for years. The lower unemployment figures only reflect the fact that more and more people are in part-time work and don't have full-time work and that there is less job security. New Labour are also working hard to keep pay rises down at the moment.
"They encourage the rich to invest billions abroad each year." Hmmm, where do I start with this one? New Labour is neoliberal to its core and at international summits like the G8, in drafting the proposed EU constitution and in trade talks has consistently fought the battle of big business as they free restrictions on the movement of capital and open the third world up for exploitation.
Some of the promises elsewhere on the leaflet....
- A Minimum £25 a week for students (this would be equivalent to about £80 now) - THEY HAVEN'T DONE IT
- We'll phase out health charges - THEY HAVEN'T DONE IT
- We'll Negotiate a withdrawal from the EEC (old name for EU) - OF COURSE NOT
and my personal favourite...
"A more sane defence policy".
Notice that it is to be a more sane defence policy but not actually a sane defence policy. This played itself out a few years later when the then foreign secretary Robin Cook was quoted as saying that from now on it would be an "ethical foreign policy". However, that wasn't what he really said. He said there would be an "ethical dimension" to foreign policy. In other words, ethics will be taken into account but disregarded if there are other concerns.
Taking all this and other things into account I have decided, for the third week running, to award Tony Blair PM (incidentally an angram of Tony Blair PM is I'm Tory plan B) the Thumping the Tub PANTS ON FIRE award
Oh and "This isn't sense, it's insanity".
For once Tony, I agree with you.