Monday, April 12, 2010

Labour's 27 Broken Manifesto Promises

As Labour launches its manifesto today, I thought it might be helpful to demonstrate how meeaningless the whole exercise is. Why? Well, all you need to do is go back to their 2005 manifesto and check their promises against what they have acually delivered. Here are 27 of Labour's broken promises...

1) p. 12: ‘Our ten year-old pupils are . . . the fastest improving in numeracy.’

Ofsted Report, 2008/09:
• 2 million children in England being taught in mediocre or failing schools;
• 30% of 11 year-olds failing to reach basic standards in English and Maths.

Ofsted Report, 2009/10:
• 50% of schools ranked either satisfactory or inadequate;
• Schools ranked inadequate increased from 4% in 2008/09 to 10% today;
• Only 9% of schools ranked outstanding.


2) p. 12: ‘. . . long-term youth unemployment has been virtually eradicated . . .’

Latest unemployment stats:
• Long-term unemployment: 663 000 – its highest since 1997;
• Unemployment amongst 16 to 24 year-olds: 923,000.


3) p. 15: ‘In our third term we will build new ladders of social mobility . . .’

Since Labour came to power in 1997 social mobility has decreased and the gap between the richest and the poorest has increased.

4) p. 15: ‘We will maintain our inflation target at two percent.’

In February 2010, the UK’s inflation rate rose to 3.5%.

5) p. 16: ‘We will not raise the basic or top rates of income tax . . .’

April 2009 Budget, Chancellor Alistair Darling announced an increase in the top-rate of income tax to 50%.

6) p. 18: ‘The Labour Government backs manufacturing . . . we will continue to do so.’

More than 1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1997. In 1997, manufacturing accounted for 20% of the UK economy; by 2007, it had decreased to 12.4% – that scale of decline is almost 3 times greater than during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.

7) p. 23: ‘We are tackling barriers to financing for small and growing businesses . . .’

Tens of thousands of family-run firms will be hit in a £100million tax grab this week when business rate relief is abolished. The move comes on top of an inflation-busting 5.2 per cent increase in the rate, which will cost companies another £1billion. In some cases, the combined effect will see annual bills more than treble for retailers and small firms which are already suffering from a slump in consumer demand, credit freezes and higher bank charges.

8) p. 33: ‘. . . harder A-level questions to challenge the most able . . .’

Sir Peter Williams, (the man chosen by Gordon Brown to advise on education reform):
• 'Over 20 or 30 years, I don't think there is any doubt whatsoever that absolute A-level standards have fallen.
• 'They have edged south, continuously over a long period of time . . . All university academics and a good proportion of sixth-form teachers would agree.'


9) p. 38: ‘. . . we are developing a nationwide week-long summer residential programme for school students.’

No such programme exists.

10) p. 38: ‘Violent behaviour, including the use of knives will not be tolerated.’

Crime stats:
• More than half of knife crime offenders receive sentences of less than 3 months;
• 5 out of 6 people caught with a knife avoid prison altogether;
• Meanwhile, fatal stabbings have hit record levels.

11) p. 40: ‘. . . our aim for 50 per cent of young people to go on to higher education by 2010.’

University participation rate amongst 17 to 30 year-olds increased by less than 1 percent (from 39.2 to 39.8 per cent) between 2000 and 2008.

12) p. 44: ‘. . . a new £340 million a year fund will take CSO numbers up to 24,000 – to work alongside the equivalent of an additional 12,000 police officers freed up for frontline duties.’

Police/CSO numbers:
• Between March and September 2009, 26 out of 43 forces recorded a fall in police numbers;
• At the end of April 2007, there were 16,000 CSOs in England and Wales.


13) p. 44: ‘Not all problems need a 999 response, so a single phone number staffed by police, local councils and other services will be available across the country . . .’

There were plans for a new 101 non-emergency number to be rolled out across the country in 2008, but funding was withdrawn by the Home Office in 2007.

14) p. 48: ‘By 2007 every offender will be supervised after release . . .’

Prisoners who spend less than a year in jail are not supervised on release, and 50% of those prisoners go on to reoffend.

15) pp. 60-1: ‘We are . . . halving the numbers of quangos . . .’

Since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister public spending on quangos has increased by £10 billion, from £37 billion to £46.5 billion. During that time, the number of quangos had fallen from 827 to 766, but the number of employees has risen from 95,000 to 110,000.

16) p. 61: ‘. . . comprehensive out-of-hours [GP] services . . .’

Before 2004 GPs were responsible for their patients 24 hours a day. The new contract allowed them to opt out of 24-hour care by sacrificing £6,000 a year. 90% of GPs accepted.

17) p. 63: ‘By 2009 all women will have choice over where . . . they have their baby . . .’

National Childbirth Trust Report: more than 90% of pregnant women are not able to choose where they give birth.

18) p. 65: ‘We will . . . ensure that fresh fruit and vegetables are part of every school meal.’

Fruit and vegetables not part of every school meal.

19) p. 72: ‘Companies will no longer be able to force people to retire before the age of 65 . . .’

Age Concern/Help the Aged Report: more than 100 000 people were forced to retire against their will last year alone.

20) p. 75: ‘We will end child poverty, starting by halving it . . . by 2010-11.’

Department of Work and Pensions: the 2010 target is unlikely to be ‘fully met . . . because of economic and demographic changes’. The number of children in poverty has increased by 400,000 since 2004. In 2007-08, the incomes of the poorest 20% of families decreased – and this was before the impact of the recession.

21) p. 80: ‘A First Time Buyers Initiative to help over 15,000 first-time buyers who could not own or part-own a home without extra help.’

Up to the end of 2008/09 only 1071 homes had been purchased under the First Time Buyer's initiative.

22) p. 80: ‘We will increase the annual supply of new social homes by 50 per cent by 2008 . . .’

Town and Country Planning Association Report:
• England is facing its lowest levels of homebuilding for 80 years;
• The housing shortfall will total 1 million by the end of 2010, resulting in record levels of overcrowding and longer than ever waiting lists;
• Less than 100 000 homes were built in 2009 – only 40% of the number needed to satisfy demand;
• In the 1960s and 70s, about 300 000 homes were built each year.


23) p. 84: ‘We will put [the EU Constitution] to the British people in a referendum . . .’

Following the Netherlands’ rejection of the EU constitution and its subsequent collapse it was replaced by the Lisbon Treaty. Despite being ‘substantially equivalent’ to the original Constitution, Labour did not keep its referendum promise. Valery Giscard, former Minister of Economy and Finance in France, admitted Lisbon is the ‘same letter in a new envelope’, and that ‘all the earlier proposals will be in the new text but will be hidden and disguised in some way.’

24) p. 88: ‘. . . when [UK forces] are committed they will have the investment, strategy, training they need.’

Strategy:
• Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup (head of the armed forces) identifies shortcomings of strategy: defence chiefs ‘simply didn't have enough time’ to source everything they wanted and more time to prepare would have made a ‘significant difference’.
• Lt Gen Frederick Viggers criticises the lack of strategic direction: ‘It was rather like going to the theatre and seeing one sort of play and realising you were watching a tragedy as the curtains came back.’
• ‘We've got huge experience in this country - we're not using it and we're putting amateurs into really important positions and people are getting killed as a result of some of these decisions.’

Equipment:
• Sir Kevin Tebbit (former permanent secretary to the Ministry of Defence) condemns defence expenditure cuts: claimed Gordon Brown ‘guillotined’ £1bn from defence spending in December 2003, while efforts to rebuild Iraq were ongoing, which created the need for ‘very major savings’.
• Major General Graham Binns identified a ‘major gap’ in attack helicopters, but that US equipment was in contrast ‘magnificent’.

25) p. 89: ‘We remain committed to achieving a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions on 1990 levels by 2010.’

Department of the Environment Report: C02 emissions projected to decreased by only 15.5% from 1990 levels.

26) p. 95: ‘Investment in schools sports will ensure that by 2010 all children will receive two hours high-quality PE or sports per week.’

14% of 5 to 16 year-olds – about 900,000 pupils – receive less than the 2 hour target.

27) p. 110: ‘We will legislate to place reasonable limits on the time bills spend in the second chamber – no longer than 60 sitting days for most bills.’

No such legislation has been introduced.

42 comments:

Michael Heaver said...

I also recall there be something in the Labour, Tory and LibDem manifestos about some sort of....referendum on the EU Constitution?

skynine said...

Ian

I hope someone highlights the Tory 2005 manifesto. It makes the ramblings of "St Vince" seem quite shallow. Who predicted the problem we are in? The Conservatives.

They can quite rightly say that we would have been in this mess if Gordon Brown wasn't re elected in 2005.

The Tories should be hitting this like mad saying we warned you, the British didn't take heed in 2005, Labour have wrecked the economy, don't let them have another go.

To quote:

"Britain needs to change direction. First, we cannot continue down the path of ever rising taxes. Government is too big -
it is spending too much, wasting too much and taxing too much. This threatens our economic prosperity. A strong economy is the foundation for everything we do in Britain. It provides higher living standards so that people can look to the future with optimism. It creates the jobs we all depend on - enabling families to build their financial independence. It should guarantee our pensions in old age. It provides a safety net for the least fortunate. It pays for our public services - our children's
education and our parents' health. And it allows us to invest in our nation's security - defence, the police and border controls.
Britain cannot continue indefinitely to spend more than she is earning without higher
taxes or higher interest rates - either of which will harm our economic prospects. If we are to secure our future prosperity, government must once again start to live within its means."

What more can be said.

Not a sheep said...

But Gordon Brown via his barrister admitted in 2008 that "manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectation". I wonder if Nick Robinson will remind him of that today?

Dick Puddlecote said...

You forgot one - from page 66:

"The legislation will ensure that all restaurants will be smoke-free; all pubs and bars preparing and serving food will be smoke-free; and other pubs and bars will be free to choose whether to allow smoking or to be smoke-free. In membership clubs the members will be free to choose whether to allow smoking or to be smoke-free."

Patricia Hewitt decided that choice isn't any of our business.

Sean Haffey said...

Some nitpicks here such as points 4 and 8. Looking at my sons' A level papers, I had little doubt that they were as tough as the ones I wrote a generation earlier.

Overall, though, pretty damning.

And this is why the public is so cynical of politics: manifestos simply aren't believed. Labour elevated this to a new level.

pete-s said...

Your pledge list No5: The basic rate of tax was raised from 10p to 20p: needs to be included.

Alan Douglas said...

Don't know why you are complaining, Iain, we have it from a judge in court that election manifesto pledges are "not subject to legitimate expectations".

I hope he was referring only to Labour manifestos. I do think Cameron should make more of this point when speaking about the Labour manifesto today.

Alan Douglas

ChrisM said...

I suppose it would be too much to expect the MSM to ask why when all these were broken we should take a blind bit of notice of the latest one?

Irene said...

I think 27 is a bit on the low side.

trevorsden said...

Only 27?

Still its an impressive list

Span Ows said...

brilliant! Should be on every front page.

Anoneumouse said...

Speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister at Brighton County Court(7-2-08), Miss Cecelia Ivimy, Gordon Brown's legal representative, said that "manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectation."

Tom said...

Darn... I was going to do a post on that myself!
Good research Iain.
No surprises.

lifeentrance said...

Good post. Well done Iain. Alongside the 'Brownies' this is quite an obituary.

tory boys never grow up said...

You missed out - Source CCHQ.

Could you tell us which other postes they write for you!

Colin said...

"A Future Fair For All"

Thank God for that! The past thirteen years have been a f*cking nightmare...

AndrewJK said...

@Anoneumouse

The case was brought by a former Labour party member Stuart Bower now an activist for UKIP - more details here http://ukipswindonsouth.blogspot.com/2008/02/its-now-official-labour-lie.html

DeeDee99 said...

Labour's Manifesto might as well be written on loo paper because that is all it is - bum fodder (aka bumf).

Mr. A said...

How could you forget the Smoking Ban, the biggest of the lot as far as 15,000,000 increasingly persecuted smokers see it!? Only 5000 businsses shut up with all their employees on the dole. And there have only bee a few murders and rapes as a direct result of it, too!

No blanket ban, they said, before they bought in the most draconian ban in Europe which has destroyed a massive 10% of our hospitality industry in 2.5 years. Typical New Labour - both lying AND doing completely the wrong thing.

norman said...

The Times online is running the following story now:
==========================
Labour caught out over NHS petition e-mails
Sam Coates, Chief Political Correspondent


A doctor has complained that senior Labour figures are trying to pressure her into publicly backing the party against her will.

Labour is trying to organise a round robin letter from senior figures in the health service saying that only Labour can be can be trusted to look after the NHS.
=============================
It should be clear now who instructed McBride.

Boo said...

To be fair it is easy to eradicate long term youth unemployment.

Mainly cos youth don't remain youth in the long term

spinkeration said...

An interesting list, although no. 19 is wrong - the report says "The findings show that the number of people aged 65-plus forced to retire increased massively last year to more than 100‚000." To accommodate the under-65s who couldn't be forcibly retired???

And a couple of them might have been met if the election had been called after the usual 4 years rather than 5; not an excuse for the Gov't, just an observation.

Lawless Anarchist: said...

brilliant post, Iain.


Just watched the first labour election video... bit of a stereotypical portrayal of young people don't you think? How can they honestly calll themselves the forward looking party when they don't understand that young politics is more than just 'banning artichokes'. The Labour youth movement should take note: They are obviously not important to the PLP

Nigel said...

The BBC:

BREAKING NEWS (sic):'I have listened and heard and learned from the people of Britain', Gordon Brown says....

Just wiping the vomit off my screen.

Bill Quango MP said...

Brilliant.

Pick the most brazen five and stick them on "Labour's Broken Pledges cards" and hand them out.

George said...

Iain, really, nothing new in politicians being a bunch of lying, cheating, devious, mendacious scum-bags, we take that as read.
We accept that manifestoes are an idealistic wish list that the promisor will aspire towards, but, not necessarily attain and provide.
Like all promises they are hedged about with caveats.
Arn't we being very unfair to NuLieBoore, expecting them to stick to manifesto pledges/promises and then jumping on them when they don't?
No, you're right, they need to be exposed for the rigging and fiddling and mendacity that they spout 24/7.
The eyes of many people need to be opened and the ears treated to the harsh words of reality. Like for an addict, the medicine will be harsh and some will suffer to enable the majority to gain relief.

Let's end welfare/socialist statism.

Anthony said...

I think there are at least 8 points that need to be made more convincingly made:

1) is not a concise comparison of labour's progress, only the 2008-2009 clearly shows a worsening situation.
2) Youth unemployment is arguably a result of the global recession.
3) Some numbers to back this up would be nice.
6) For all we know, the manufacturing jobs have increased since 2005.
7) Noting a 30 year trend when evaluating whether there’s been progress in five years is not concise.
12) Perhaps Cherry picking: Comparing numbers in 2005 to 2009 would be fairer, not a selected 6 month period out of 4 years.
18) What progress has been made…? Any?
19) How many people are normally forced to retire a year? A similar number? More?

Also, I feel that a few of the points don’t do justice the complexity of the issues in question, in particular (10, 11, 16, 17).

I’d have been more interested in a clearer, more concise evaluation of fewer points. To do justice to all 27 points you’ve mentioned, if they are all valid, would probably take up an impractical amount of time.

If you want to sway those who aren’t conservative already, a comprehensive description would be more useful than 27 briefly described points. Unless all the details are given, a reader is prone to fill in the gaps with their preconceptions.

DespairingLiberal said...

Was this downloaded from the "Top Ten Refutations for Good Tory Boys" website? I can tell you didn't write it!

Yawn. Scratch. Cough. Wonder when we will hear something unscripted in this General.

Anthony said...

I think there are at least 8 points that need to be made more convincingly made:

1) is not a concise comparison of labour's progress, only the 2008-2009 clearly shows a worsening situation.
2) Youth unemployment is arguably a result of the global recession.
3) Some numbers to back this up would be nice.
6) For all we know, the manufacturing jobs have increased since 2005.
7) Noting a 30 year trend when evaluating whether there’s been progress in five years is not concise.
12) Perhaps Cherry picking: Comparing numbers in 2005 to 2009 would be fairer, not a selected 6 month period out of 4 years.
18) What progress has been made…? Any?
19) How many people are normally forced to retire a year? A similar number? More?

Also, I feel that a few of the points don’t do justice the complexity of the issues in question, in particular (10, 11, 16, 17).

I’d have been more interested in a clearer, more concise evaluation of fewer points. To do justice to all 27 points you’ve mentioned, if they are all valid, would probably take up an impractical amount of time.

If you want to sway those who aren’t conservative already, a comprehensive description would be more useful than 27 briefly described points. Unless all the details are given, a reader is prone to fill in the gaps with their preconceptions.

frank-davis said...

Mr A asks: "How could you forget the Smoking Ban?"

That's easy. Iain Dale suffers from the same blindness as the entire political class. As far as they're concerned, smokers don't exist. They're not part of the political dialogue. They're non-persons. So of course he's not going to remember the smoking ban.

DespairingLiberal said...

"Since Labour came to power in 1997 social mobility has decreased and the gap between the richest and the poorest has increased."

Why are you using this as criticism? Surely as good right-wing Tories, you agree with this don't you?

titus-aduxas said...

If the "manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectation", has the definition of "pledge" now been legally changed?

If the manifesto is not "subject to legitimate expectation", that is one thing, but pledge is a pledge, is it not?

Houdini said...

What about tuition fees?

JJ said...

I’m astonished you omitted one of the biggest broken manifesto promises of all time – the smoking ban – which as you know affects 25% of our population. It’s quite clear you’ve been drinking from the same PC infected colostomy bag that every other social engineer has been supping from.

Only see what you want to see – eh?

The Purpleline said...

Labour were the last party to increase VAT from 15% to 17.5% in January 2010. So not only a lie at the launch of the manifesto a complete lie to their old manifesto.

If he can choose the timing of when a Hospital is not an Hospital I can call him on his VAT increase.

By teh way if VAt is so aborrhant why did they not rise another Tax instead of VAT in January?

Come on Tories and you Iain start attacking them as they would any Tory

Unsworth said...

@ toryboys

In your world the definition of truth is determined by the identity of the speaker, isn't it?

Facts do not exist, only opinion and edict.

You are a number.

Steve C said...

@ Despairing Liberal.
Even when I disagree with you, you usually make valid points but this last one was a poor effort - perhaps you are short of time at the moment.

Conservatives want social inequalities to decrease, the argument is the mechanisms by which it is achieved - clunking fist, benefit culture, make everyone equally dependent on the state or removing the inequalities of opportunity so that everyone has a fair chance of making the most of their lives as they see it.
What no-one can do is make everyone equally intelligent, equally motivated, equally healthy, equally moral etc so society will never be truly equal.
What you can do is to help those who genuinely cannot help themselves and remove the barriers to social mobility and advancement for the rest.

Jonathan Campbell said...

Really Iain, the smoking ban. affects 25+% of the population.

You could also point out that the three year review they promised seems to have been canceled, given that today's manifesto predetermines the outcome of such a review.

"The ban onsmoking in public places will be maintained."

Lying bastards.

Frugal Dougal said...

On the supervision of offenders: often the probation worker at a Camrbidge charity delivering services to drug-users find themselves being thanked by probation officers for telling them that some particular offender or other has been released, as the prison service hasn't informed them.

eb said...

Is Dave any more believable? The breaking of his "cast iron guarantee" is just the most obvious reason to think not.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

The labour manifesto was launched on public property - a new NHS hospital in Birmingham.
1.This transgresses rules that public property should not be used for party political purposes during an election campaign.
2.If the hospital is finished to this extent - why should it not be opened now for palliative purposes NOT spin?

Ben said...

As a governor of school for severely disabled children, I've been delighted to see how Labour has kept its pledge on disabled children: "We will also ensure that services are designed to meet the additional needs of disabled children and families."
So far, c.£500m from the DCSF and £340m for the DH for short breaks, children's palliative care, speech and language therapy, better teacher training, help with the transition to adulthood, childcare, National Parent Forum, better care at home, etc., etc.
More of this, please, whoever gets elected!