Party politics

I WELCOME councillor Peter Burgess’ acknowledgement in last week’s County Times of previous Labour Government achievements.

The introduction of the NHS was by a mile the greatest achievement of any government in the 20th century.

Interestingly, the Conservative Party always opposes any changes that have a humanising effect on our society, from the ‘People’s budget’ introduced by Lloyd George in 1909 to the introduction in 1999 of the National Minimum Wage and the vast majority of social and redistributive legislation in between.

On the NHS, Mr Burgess is right, but on the economy, he is wrong. Lib Dem and Tory politicians delight in regurgitating the mantra that the current economic situation is all the fault of the previous Labour Government.

The truth is that David Cameron’s Tories committed to spend exactly the same amount of money, promising to match pound for pound, all of our spending priorities. As for the Lib Dems, we know that they wanted to spend a whole lot more, never dreaming that they would end up in government.

And then came the financial crash, no need to go into more detail, save to remind Mr Burgess that the then Labour Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was lauded the world over for his decisive action in saving the banking system.

Fast forward two years and the economy is flatlining, the NHS is being dismantled, unemployment is rocketing (once more under the Tories) while locally the incompetence of our Tory council is only exceeded by its own ill-conceived dogma.

Last time out the Tories pronounced that there was ‘no such thing as society’ while this time, in Horsham at least, we can increasingly say that there is no such thing as decent and affordable council services.

DAVID HIDE

Chair, Horsham Labour Party

Clarence Road, Horsham