In 1979 in the run up to the British General Election, unemployment in this country was around 700,000 and the Conservative Party, lead by the formidable Margaret Thatcher, used a memorable and damaging poster campaign – Labour Isn’t Working.
Margaret Thatcher, as we all know, won that election and went on winning until she was ousted by her own party in 1990. How well did the conservatives do on unemployment? By 1986, half way through Thatcher’s administration, the unemployment rate had risen to a record three million.
Today, in Conservative prime minister David Cameron’s government, we read that the unemployment rate is heading on back there. The latest figures put it at 2.5 million – the highest since 1994.
1994 was of course during John Major’s Conservative administration.
I always thought that there was a mistake on that famous poster. Surely it should have read The Conservatives Aren’t Working.
Whatever the Labour party achieves in the future, I think we can, at least, look back on the Gordon Brown years and admit that economically they were sound through the worst financial crisis in living memory. I hope all you guys who voted in this new government got it right and that they know what they are doing but I fear that this is just the beginning of Britain’s woes.