In the midst of the worst financial crisis the world has faced, I am struck by the irony of politicians who publish their memoirs detailing their time in public office in a bid to wipe their conscience clean.
I think the entire British public have come to realise that between Gordon Brown, Tony Blaire and the New Labour government of the first decade of the twenty first century brought this nation to its knees. Their spend thrifty approach to running the nation, their dedication to spin and subterfuge and their incapability of taking responsibility for their incompetence is unparallel in British politics.
The constant sniping and revelations that are sold off to the readers of the former MP’s biography’s and then serialised in the British press in a bid to make even more money out of their revelations I find similar to the title tale antics of a bunch of kindergarten children. Maybe that is a little dramatic, but it is this type of knife in the back spitefulness that breaks the back of Britain.
Fear the wrath of a woman scorned was a popular twentieth century saying. It would appear that in the twenty first century this popular idiom should be altered to read “Fear the wrath of a bitter and twisted politician!”
The sting in the tail is the realisation that what we suspected all along was indeed the truth. I don’t think anyone of us was fooled by the shameful lies that were legitimised by the creation of the word “spin” by government advisors. We all knew that our politicians were being less than honest with us. We all quietly knew that we were being sold down the river by a group of people blinded by greed and foolishness. For anyone who has an understanding of simple budgeting and household accounting, it was as plain as daylight that there was no way that the government had any real control over its accounts. It was even more clear towards the end of Gordon Brown’s time in Number 10, that our Prime Minister could not face the reality of the fact that what may well have once been good intentions and a genuine desire to do the best for British people, became a sordid whirl pool of deceit, a time of spend for the sake of spending, a legacy of pain, disappointment and ultimate betrayal of the very people that elected him to lead on our behalf.
I have written before how I do not place the full blame at the feet of Gordon Brown. Time has shown clearly how Tony Blair is just as guilty if not indeed more so in bringing Britain to the brink of destruction. When you read factual figures that show that the UK’s National debt as of 16th July 2011 is at a staggering £2252.9 Billion (source – Office of National Statistics), and that based on this figure we pay around £21 billion in interest every six months, the horror becomes clearer. However it is when you take into consideration that when Labour came into power in 1997 that the UK National Debt was £350 billion, one has to begin to ask how Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the Labour party managed in just over twelve years to spend more than at any other time in UK History.
Britain has fought two world wars, colonised half the world, been a leading world player in many arenas yet it now teeters on the brink of bankruptcy. Every day we are faced with news of doom and gloom as the world around us struggles with record debts and financial difficulties. Does this perhaps mean that it was ok for Labour to spend without consideration of its consequences? Allow me to ask, are politicians not elected for their ability to act with responsibility and caution? Do we not expect those who are in charge of the public purse to be reasonable with our payments? Is it not fair to expect for our elected leaders to consider with serious personal impediment the policies and choices that they make on our behalf?
As a Director of a Legal Entity say a business, a Corporation, a Venture, we are tasked with due diligence and bound through reputation, personal risk and the expectation that as responsible individuals to ensure that we are reasonably responsible with the profits, future and organisation of our enterprise. Should we be careless with these responsibilities we stand the risk of personal ruin, bankruptcy and financial ruin. Why then are the people that bare the responsibility for creating the biggest black hole in the British coffers in history now sat in the lap of luxury earning fantastically inflated pensions, and making great personal fortunes on the international lecture circuit?
The reality should be that instead of earning money on the back of their catastrophic time in politics, these men should be in the dock accounting for their gross mismanagement of the public purse. The truth of the matter should be that the men elected to manage the nations affairs should now step up to the plate and be held accountable for their actions. As thousands of people stand to loose their jobs as the ugly axe of austerity is wielded about by the current government, it is distasteful to think of our former leaders getting fat off the misery of the British people. As the poverty that Tony Blair stood up and public promised to make history on British streets makes its return to our neighbourhoods, we should be holding the man accountable for his failure to fulfil his obligations and promises.
Yes I accept that it is easy for me to sit here in judgement of politicians who campaigned with high ideals, and delivered little in the way of lasting change. I realise that in the wicked game of politics it is easy to have big dreams of grandeur and to promise the world when reality only allows you to change the things that politics will allow you to change, however there is a difference between trying to make a difference for the greater good of the people that you work for, and allowing your greed to become your motivating influence. You may ask how I can make such a claim, and my answer is simple.
It was Tony Blair’s government that committed our troops to the Iraq and Afghanistan theatre of operations. This in itself is a subject of great contention, but let me not go into that argument again. When you read that soldiers who are wounded in these conflicts return to the UK to be given a lump sum payment for only the most serious injuries of £570,000 by the MOD, a sum that is meant to cover payment for their rehabilitation, cover any expenses required to adapt their home and environment to suit their many various disabilities and unique challenges in living with the haunting emotional and physical scars left by their injuries, as well as provide for any current and future family needs. A sum that is still being squabbled over by army and government chiefs, you have to be a hard hearted man to think that men who’ve served their country with such selfless commitment don’t deserve vastly more than this. When you take into account the fact that our esteemed Mr Tony Blair earned a princely sum of £15 million, just two years after having left Number 10 Downing Street (source – Sunday Times January 11,2009) you have to ask yourself where the justice is in that. Is this not greed? Is it not where we draw the line and say no matter what the circumstances are, people deserve better. This my friend is the time that we demand an explanation, this is the time that we call for those who should be accountable for such dereliction of duty to take responsibility for their actions and where we are told the truth of how these men failed our nation.
I am tired of the title tales written in politician’s memoirs. I am tired of the apathy of people who seem to just accept our lot and get on with it. Is it so wrong to expect men of ability and diligence to lead our nation? Is it wrong to expect people to put their hands up and be honest? Is it wrong to want to be told the truth? No my friends this is our right. This is the very least that we should expect and demand.