Letter: Gerry Byrne, June 27, 2017
The main reasons for me for the Conservatives’ poor showing in the election were, do not unleash on the public a manifesto not tested with your ministers and do not keep repeating the same mantra over seven weeks, especially when you are being ridiculed for it.
The myth that the Tories lost their majority because people did not want Brexit was wrong because four out of five people voted for parties that supported it. The country had moved on from the EU referendum. What the Tories did not start was a conversation on what the country would look like after Brexit. Austerity is a populist word to describe good economic sense. There is nothing austere about our public spending that has risen year on year, and we are borrowing about £50 billion a year. Overall Government debt since the crash has doubled to £1.7 trillion, which is more than educating our children and almost as much as defence and that with historic low interest rates.
Theresa May’s biggest failing was to provide proper costings so she could attack Corbyn’s irresponsible figures and “money tree” jibes were not fully understood by the electorate.
Since the cuts eight jobs in the private sector have been created to every public sector loss, and the Tories should have been shouting from the roof tops about this. Welfare reforms were tough, but it helped people get back to work, incomes of the lowest paid rose faster than any other group and led to record employment.
Jeremy Corbyn’s trick was as old as democracy itself; bribing the people with their own money. No one challenged him and where it took Gordon Brown a decade to ruin public finances, Corbyn and John Mcdonnell would have managed that in months.
Thankfully Jeremy Corbyn did not win, although to listen to him he thinks he did, at least for now.