In order to understand the grievances still held against the Blair/Brown governments, Jeremy Beecham (, 6 January) should consider the huge long-term damage these New Labour governments have inflicted on institutions and individuals in this country and abroad. The investment in the NHS he mentions was funded by ridiculously expensive and inflexible private finance initiatives which are now, still, bankrupting our hospitals. Staffing levels were increased largely by recruiting (poaching?) staff from overseas, whose countries had trained them and presumably needed them to work there.
The gambling laws were liberalised, bringing misery to countless families and for what purpose – perhaps to raise taxes lost when the income tax rate was reduced from 23% to 20%, or to satisfy big business lobbyists who seemed to have the ear of the government more than its citizens? Jeremy Beecham should also consider the harm to people’s lives through 13 years of neglect of important issues such as housing.
New Labour did do some good (and so they should have, given their huge majority), but people like me cannot forget the harm they have done, nor forgive their arrogance. Their worst sin was, of course, the illegal and immoral invasions of and Iraq, whose citizens have suffered unimaginable grief. It’s a pity that the Blairites can’t seem to acknowledge that it is their policies that lost the last two elections, nor understand that people don’t want any more of the same.
• makes an analogy between Jeremy Corbyn and a football manager. Was he thinking of Aston Villa?