Letter to Editor: Think about the economy when you go to vote

Elections / Mon 27th May 2024 at 09:30am

Dear Editor,

THE announcement of a General Election on July 4th, 2024, has sparked significant excitement across the UK. Many citizens are hopeful that the Labour Party, under its current leadership, will bring positive change to the nation. The Labour leader’s call to “rebuild Britain” resonates with a populace eager for new direction and improvements in critical areas such as the economy, healthcare, and social services.

This election is a pivotal moment for the country, with many viewing Labour as the party capable of addressing pressing issues and implementing policies that will lead to a more equitable and prosperous society. The campaign is expected to focus on themes of renewal, unity, and social justice, reflecting the public’s desire for a government that prioritizes the well-being of all its citizens.

As the election date approaches, the political landscape will likely see intense debates and discussions about the UK’s future direction. Labour aims to convince voters they are the best choice to lead the nation through these challenging times and into a brighter future.

However, it is important to consider the full historical context when evaluating the potential impact of a Labour government. The financial crisis of 2008-2009, which led to significant economic challenges and subsequent austerity measures, is a crucial part of this context.

During the late 2000s, the UK, like many other countries, was severely affected by the global financial crisis. Labour was in power at the time, and their handling of the crisis has been a subject of intense debate. Critics argue that Labour’s policies prior to and during the financial crisis, including high levels of public spending and financial deregulation, contributed to the severity of the economic downturn in the UK. The resulting budget deficit and national debt were cited by the subsequent Conservative-led coalition government as justification for implementing stringent austerity measures from 2010 onwards.

Austerity involved significant cuts to public spending, affecting various sectors including welfare, education, and healthcare. These measures were highly controversial and had long-lasting social and economic impacts, with critics arguing that they disproportionately affected the most vulnerable in society and hampered economic recovery.

Proponents of Labour, however, argue that the financial crisis was a global event and that Labour’s actions, such as the bank bailouts, were necessary to prevent a total collapse of the financial system. They also contend that the austerity measures that followed were a political choice rather than an economic necessity and that alternative approaches could have been taken to stimulate recovery and protect public services.

As the general election approaches, voters are likely to weigh these historical considerations alongside Labour’s current platform and proposals. It’s crucial for the electorate to critically assess both the achievements and shortcomings of past Labour governments, as well as the promises of the current Labour leadership, in order to make an informed decision about the future direction of the UK.

Ultimately, the decision to support Labour, Conservative or another party will depend on voters’ assessment of which economic vision best aligns with their priorities and expectations for the future of the UK.

Richard Holloway

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11 Comments for Letter to Editor: Think about the economy when you go to vote:

James Gamble
2024-05-27 12:20:02

Firstly the economic crises of 2008 was a worldwide crises and occurred after 10 years of growth under a Labour Government. Second it did not lead to austerity, that was brought on by David Cameron and the Libdems, a political choice and clearly it failed dismally. The economy is not measured by the number of billionaires it is measured by everyone's wealth. Workers are 20% worse of than they were in 2008 whereas the are far more billionaires and even some centro-billionaires. The poor have paid for the mistakes of the wealthy while they have got wealthier.

peter henegan
2024-05-27 14:09:14

Richard Holloway, some interesting comments, may I ask, are you a Harlow local or is your letter part of a wider campaign?

Riad Mannan
2024-05-27 15:25:23

We can't go on from pillar to post, from boom and bust and then back again. After 50 years of Labour and Conservative MPs in Harlow, change is required. After 14 years of Conservative induced economic damage, when people do not feel better than they did before, when they are crying out for change, all the Labour party can do is muster a Tory-light version of itself, nothing radical of note, and continuing the same economic policies for the next two years at least - for fear of scaring the dogs. Of course as the Liberal Democrat candidate in this general election, I would say that wouldn't I? But there is an element of truth here, where people look around seeking solutions to their everyday lives and see nothing from the two main parties. Where are the practical policies (not national services or more of the same economics)? Just today we, the Liberal Democrats announced that we will remove VAT on children's toothbrushes and toothpaste, and provide free dental check-ups for children - something that will help parents in Harlow in the cost of living crisis. We also announced that we will secure 8,000 more GPs, which will give Harlow residents the right to see their doctors within a week or within 24 hours if they urgently need to. Practical policies based on liberal values. Both Tories and Labour will give you more of the same that you've got in the past. Nothing fresh, nothing new.

2024-05-27 18:10:32

RM, i think you should check your policies and come up with something better, as it stands children under 18 get free dental care and scrubbing vat on toothpaste and brushes will save the average house with say 2 children how much? a few of quid a year perhaps.

Riad Mannan
2024-05-27 20:02:01

Hi Jarret – just to be clear (and I don’t know if you would agree), but the Conservatives have left dental services in tatters, leaving lots of people in Harlow waiting ages to see a dentist or worse, not have the option of an NHS dental surgery nearby. This Conservative government has refused to fund the system properly, meaning we now have a two-tier system, with those that can afford dental care and those that cannot. Simply put, we don't have enough NHS dentists. Consequently, there has been a rise in DIY dentistry and some people are pulling their own teeth out. 4.5 million children in England didn’t see an NHS dentist last year – how many of them were in Harlow? We could of course leave it like that, or we could do something to repair the damage done by this Government. The LibDems propose to introduce an emergency scheme to guarantee access to free NHS dental check-ups in England and Wales for those already eligible: children, young mothers, those who are pregnant and those on low incomes. Guarantee access is the key. But how you will ask? By reforming and increasing funding for NHS dental contracts, incentivising dentists to take on NHS patients to end "dental deserts", and increase the number of dentists training places. Additionally removing VAT on children’s toothbrushes and toothpaste will help lots of hard working parents in Harlow; whatever that amount is, it is worth it to them I’d suggest. More details will be in our Manifesto out very soon!

Mark Gough
2024-05-27 22:17:58

RM - will that be another manifesto full of policies that you will drop the minute you get a sniff of power? The Country hasn't forgotten that you betrayed every Student in the Country by dropping your 2010 pledge on Tuition Fees. Nor have we forgotten you are the Liberal Undemocrats who wanted to overturn the Brexit vote! That's why you do so badly in recent Harlow Elections! Mark Gough -Leader Harlow UKIP

Tony WIseman
2024-05-28 07:04:22

MG, both fair points re the LibDems but you have joined the ever growing list of politicians who just slag off other parties without telling us what you would do! What are UKIPs policies re dentistry and the NHS?

2024-05-28 07:43:19

Why do people still say labour are not safe with the funds? In more debt now than ever before under 14 years of tory leadership with absolutely nothing to show for it. Austerity, by the way, has been proven over and over again not to work and hey, it's not worked again, economists are against it too. Everything is on it's knees and the poorest are suffering the most, how is that good for the people in the UK? Political parties voted in are supposed to work for the people, not make life so much harder. Is UKIP the ans? No, can't see how they are, esp after the mess of brexit. They're just another right-wing political party, the UK perhaps has had enough of that kind of politics because it harms the country more than it helps.

2024-05-28 08:57:39

So, the PM calls an election, next thing we have an announcement on conscription, something so important it wasn't previously mentioned. And now pensioners are to get increased personal allowances, this from a govt that 2 years ago did not honour its triple lock election promise and has only announced this because of the issues caused by its own freeze on allowances (I think it was the libdems in the 2010 coalition that got allowances increased). The govt is going to find the money by tackling tax avoidance, don't they already do this? The tories consistently blame Putin for our problems, no one seems to mention that he started his Ukraine war in 2014 and because we were so soft, realized he could extend it. Will a Labour govt be good, if they win only time will tell but I have every confidence that they will succeed.

Stephen Archer
2024-05-28 11:40:10

As far as I'm concerned I'm sick to death with this Conservative government and change is imperative. The Conservatives will be judged on their record, and they know what that judgement is likely to be. That's why so many of them are not standing. Where are the 40 new hospitals? Where are the benefits from Brexit? Specifically where is the world leading public health and innovation campus (UKHSA) promised for Harlow which would have transformed the town? From "partygate" to Liz Truss's minibudget the Conservatives have been a disaster. They deserve to be punished. I hope local people will use their local knowledge and vote for the candidate best placed to stop the Conservative (assuming they manage to select one!) A Grass Roots Anti Tory Alliance! GRATA 😎

Michael Guff
2024-05-29 10:37:23

"It's the economy, stupid", as they say. --- Can we encourage the simple-minded clowns from phewkip to field some candidates here? Prior to their humiliation on May 2nd, their chief fantasist claimed to have 7,000 supporters around Harlow. --- According to the uk.ipwatch newsletter, the former party nationally has so far got only two candidates out of its target of 650. I hope our local heroes will stand for the Legacies Party and contribute in lost deposits many whacks of £500 to help lower my taxes. The more the merrier. --- phewkip's only about siphoning Legacies to one man. But the cluelsss local leader doesn't appear to grasp how he and his band of merry useful ijjits are being used. Imagine, in this day and age, being unable to use G00GLE! :)

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