Gordon Brown let us down

As he fought for his political life last week, the Prime Minister said the main reason for staying in power was to ensure that his government could continue with their efforts to promote fairness across society.

To quote the man himself:

“What would people think of a Labour government faced with an economic crisis ... if ever we walked away from them at a time of need? We are sticking with them and working with them…if we believe that people should be responsible and people should act fairly and we should be fair to others, then it is our duty to make sure in our politics, in our economy, in our society, that’s what happens.”

This message of reducing inequality in society would have been honourable if only the Labour Party, under his economic stewardship, had not failed so miserably at this task since being in power.

Consider what has happened since the Labour Party came into power in 1997.

Thanks to the implementation of one of their key educational policies – the introduction of university tuition fees - the proportion of working class students going to university has actually declined, despite more higher education places being made available.

In terms of the differences between the relative wealth of different parts of the UK, the prosperity gap between London (the richest) and other parts of the UK has widened in the period 1997-2007, with the poorest regions such as Wales among the hardest hit.

Indeed, a report by the influential Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that much of the temporary economic gains recently experienced by the most deprived areas in Wales have all but evaporated as they are now experiencing unemployment and benefit claims at levels last seen during the 1990s.

This is despite spending more than £2.5 billion of funds provided by European Objective One funding and matched public and private sector contributions, as well as hundreds of millions of more of Assembly money during the last ten years.

Finally, and most damningly, statistics from the Government’s own Department for Work and Pensions has shown that Britain, under Gordon Brown, is a more unequal country than at any time since modern records began in the early 1960s. Since the 2005 election, the incomes of the poor have fallen and those of the rich have risen. This is despite the introduction of the minimum wage.

The PM and his advisers really do live in a fantasy world if they think that their policies, over the last twelve years, have been fair to the poorest in our society. Indeed, their mismanagement of the economy has made things worse, and not better, for millions of people in this country.

Of course, Labour politicians are quick to point out that the UK recession is everyone else's fault. When that doesn't work, they hark back to the 1980s and 1990s and say that it is all the Tories' fault.

Well, it doesn't wash anymore.

The growth in wealth gap has happened under Labour's watch and started well before the banking crisis engulfed this country.

The simple fact is that Gordon Brown and his party have squandered hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers' money on initiative after initiative.

Yet, despite this largesse, they have proven to be so incompetent that the poorest in our society are not only no better off, but in some instances, much worse off (and that was before we experienced the economic woes of the last few months).

In my honest opinion, the Prime Minister shouldn't resign just because he is losing internal support within his own party; he should resign because he has let this country down and broken his promise to help the poorest in our society.

That is the main reason why he should go, and go quickly.

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