Labour's toxic legacy has become a bad excuse for doing nothing

The purpose of a good graphic is to tell the story better than words: few do it better than the National Institute of Economic and Social Research's long-standing chart tracking the progress of the UK recession and recovery relative to previous downturns.

As can be seen, there has basically been no recovery; more than four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the economy is still "bumping along the bottom". Nor, as things stand, does there appear much prospect of one.

charlescawley: This is another hopeless article claiming there is only a plan A and a plan B. The real problem is a management class running riot, destroying productivity and leeching off the nation.  Under Labour this class expanded radically and, now, it thinks the World owes it a cushy life. Bad management is all around… The NHS, Banks, Councils, Civil Service, most of the Public sector, Top 100 Directors etc etc.  The only way out of this mess is to increase real productivity, which means better management, which means better disciplined and controlled managers, which means greater shareholder control and massivily increased transparency. We have a national crisis.  It is not a fiscal crisis.  It is a moral and social crisis.  Osborne does not have a cat's chance in hell of sorting this out with the levers at his diposal.  What is needed is full scale changes in industrial and social legislation such as criminalising gross mismanagement, the victimisation of justified whistleblowers, the gagging whistleblowers, whilst making whistle blowing compulsory in healthservice and for all safety matters, etc:. The problem is, that in these areas, the EU now has authority; these levers are no longer in the remit of the UK government.  A major reason why the UK cannot get out of this mess is that it is caged by the EU and the government is, now, all but a provincial council of The North West Province. The EU loves its power and authority, given to it by successive betrayals by UK politicians, but it is even more pleased to see those Quislings take the rap.  We are boxed in and although there is a plan C… to make massive changes in industrial and social legislation to bring the management class to heel, plan C will never happen because the EU will forbid it. A paralysis has been induced by the creation of a de facto one party state in the UK and an almost total inability of the EU to either be held responsbile or will for the EU to be responsible for the powers given to it by irresponsible, corrupt, lying, selfish and, often, plain nasty UK politicians. Our future has been burnt by these lying politicians even as they have destroyed virtually all value to our votes.  The real cost of the EU is just beginning to be felt;  when it really hits, the fury of the electorate, once they understand how they have been duped and how it has emasculated parliament, shall be incandescant.

blogster: Charlescawley, Very good post. However, it could be summed up as the abdication of personal responsibility aided and abetted by successive liberal-socialist governments. The past Labour "government" really went to town on implanting the notion of Rights Withour Responsibility - especially on children - to the point where we as a nation are surely finished.

conservativemind12: The EU has played a massive part in all this, it clearly thrives on lack of accountability.

savale: I'm glad you include the private sector in your criticism. There is awful profligacy and waste int he private sector that I have seen. There is a lazy assumption that this is not a problem because it is not public money. Well it is still the UK economy, our jobs and our livelihoods and we deserve better. It's time for neoliberal, short-termist bed blockers in senior corporate roles to move on. All they ever do is moan and moan about why they cannot increase the social and environmental standards of their work, or the efficiency of their output. We need let in a younger generation of 'can-do' business leaders.

Howard_Ryan: Re: " There is awful profligacy and waste in the private sector". Sadly most people don't comprehend that.

Brimstone52:     "We need let in a younger generation of 'can-do' business leaders." Not necessarily younger, just some people willing to get off their backsides, stop pushing pieces of paper around upon which there are nothing but boxes to be ticked, tell all the "teams" and committees where to go and take charge.

kingcanute: I agreed with you until I came to the last bit about the electorate being 'incandescent' when they discovered how they have been duped'… Sir, did you not see the result at Eastleigh…? Is this not supposed to be an area with reasonably intelligent voters…? It seems to me that unless they have been going around with their heads firmly up their posteriors, the voters know what the politicians stand for and seem quite happy with it…a Liability Dumbo returned after all that has happened…?? You couldn't make it up - Bread and Circuses is all the voters care about…

conservativemind12: Or to sum up; we suffer from a lack of accountability. I've thought that for a long time. No-one is qualified to put a banker in prison, The BBC ran a paedophile ring and is politically unbalanced, the NHS routinely murder people, the Police are a law unto themselves, judges sympathise and appease criminals, the newspapers hacked who they saw fit and no-one did a thing about any of it, we just read all about it in the newspapers. Perhaps most unbelievably the preferred solution has been for them to further 'regulate' themselves.

rastusctastey:  Whether or not you support UKIP it must be admitted that in terms of charisma Nigel Farage knocks Cameron, Miliband and Clegg into a cocked hat. Whether or not Nigel Farage will emerge as a great leader remains to be seen - but let's give him the chance because the others don't deserve any more chances.

brusselsisasmadasaboxoffrogs: See another post. In short, anyone but Farage. UKIP's drinking in the last chance saloon at the moment - reform is desperately needed and unless it happens fast, UKIP will ruin it's best ever chance, and the country's best ever chance too. I mean, of course, the imminent general election. This coalition of thieves and liars won't last the year. If UKIP isn't ready as a REAL opposition, we're sunk as there's nobody else out there to oppose the greasy consensus. The trouble is that UKIP's in no state to run a whelk stall.

pd122125:  The issue is not a management problem. Managers never get in a position to cause this sort of mess. The issue is a leadership crisis. It starts, and always does from the top. There are now very few great leaders in this country and that is why we are here. This country has failed to produce great leaders for decades now.

ricoos:     Actually the problem is not at the top, the problem is, was and always shall be the voters and the habit most of them have of voting for whoever promises them the most, rather than who promises to do the right thing. Our current and recent politicians are all a symptom of this disease, not the disease in itself. The disease is helped to hide by the mainstream media, who have a vested interest in keeping themselves in jobs and promoting their own agenda, rather than telling the truth. If we look at the politicians that have been in charge over the last 15 years or so, we can see the following: Tony Blair - I dont i really need to say much here, however even after debacles such as the War in Iraq, massive government spending, mass immigration etc, people still continued to vote for him in 2005. Gordon Brown - It was very clear to anyone with an ounce of sense that Gordon Brown was both economically incompetent, as well as held the electorate in contempt, going back into the late 1990's, however the voters still voted for the party with him as chancellor. David Cameron - Where do i start, broken referendum promise, broken promise to sort out the economy, get spending under control, curb mass immigration, all these things are going on and yet some circa 30% of the population would still vote Tory? David Milliband and Ed Balls - Hell these jokers were high members in the disaster that was new Labour from 1997-2010, and yet they are polling what 40%… need i say more. Nick Clegg - Ye gods, this man is a joke, he breaks every promise he makes, is clearly in the pocket of the EU, has demonstrated time and again that the only thing he cares about is himself, has performed more u-turns than i have had hot dinners, has no honour, honesty or integrity and yet the likes of the people of Eastleigh still voted for this clowns party. The point is that many voters listen to what they say, and refuse to examine what they do, or judge them by that yardstick. Witness the results of by-elections where the previous result was declared unsafe by the electoral commission because the Labour candidate made up spurious and utterly untrue accusations against the lib dem. Voters go back to the polls and vote for the incompetent, immoral, lying shyster in greater numbers. My only hope, is that finally, at least some of the voters of this country seem to be waking up to the fact that Westminster in its near entirety is a cesspit of corruption, however most voters still dont seem to realise that this is only because of the way THEY vote. Vote for real change, DO NOT vote Lib/Lab/Con and do not vote for anyone who is a lying shyster.

swindonukipper: "This country has failed to produce great leaders for decades now." NIgel Farage is the man we need and UKIP. They are the only ones offering leadership currently.  Vote UKIP to get that leadership

brusselsisasmadasaboxoffrogs:  [irony] You obviously know him really well. [/irony] ONLY vote UKIP if Farage isn't running it. Otherwise you might just as well vote for the others - it'll be just as useful.

fulltimemother: The country fails to produce good leaders any more because the electoral system massively favours parties, and the parties have found that if they stick together, recruit in their own image and demand obedience they can share power indefinitely. Our democracy is broken.

ultimatequestion: This country DOES produce great leaders, it is generally that a great leader (such as Churchill or Thatcher) does not lower themselves to where all these political pigs with their snouts in the trough are. They were principled people, who believed in something, who pursued it remorselessly, often at the expense of their own popularity in the nation at large and within their party. It took the false promises of wealth and comfort for all made by Beveridge and his pals to convince the nation to kick Churchill out, and a party tired of being denied their snouts in the trough that kicked Thatcher out.

Brimstone52:     "This country DOES produce great leaders, it is generally that a great leader (such as Churchill or Thatcher)…" Your lauding of Thatcher overlooks one major point. The present shambles has its roots in her tenure.

Hardeep_Singh: No it doesn't.  

Brimstone52:     "No it doesn't." Is that supposed to be some kind of intellectual argument intended to convey to me that my assertion might be erroneous? Or, is it a childish petulant spat based on nothing except ignorance and what some nice man from the Conservative Party told you? If you want a discussion, fine. If you want childish abuse, I can manage that as well.

kingcanute: Can anyone tell me how a 'great leader' can emerge when the party system ensures that Uni political graduates are parachuted in to safe seats…???

SGuine1937:  my best friend's ex-wife makes $88/hr on the laptop. She has been unemployed for 10 months but last month her pay was $19104 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on  Ask25.c­om