Sep 2008
Lost Credibility
So the Labour Government continue to screw up the UK economy, education, the health service and environment. The OECD have just confirmed that the UK economy is the only one in the G8 in recession, and that after having been the best. Gordon Brown famously said that we had seen an end to Boom and Bust. It may well be true, because during the Boom, he was borrowing like he was Bust, and is now reaping the rewards.
How can a leader who borrows heavily whilst he should be saving be taken seriously. Brown has lost the trust of the electorate, and shown his own incompetence. His successes relied on the policies that the previous Conservative government set in place, but he failed to build on it.
The electorate's trust also extends to the Government's failures in education. There is a perennial debate as to whether 'A' Levels are getting easier - they are, of course. When I did my 'A' Levels the average student could only fit two subjects into the two years. Good students studied three. Students are now studying as many 'A' Levels as many people studied 'O' Levels in the past. The high pass rates, and especially, the high level of 'A' grade passes have poured scorn on the whole system.
The problem here is that employers no longer have any trust in the education system - the universities have also lost faith in the system as more of them rely on their own entrance exams. New schoolkids, from this year onwards will now stay at school until they are 17 years old, but is the extra year going to be of any value, against the cost to the taxpayer. Many schools appear only to coach children to pass the exams they are put forward for, without providing them with a thorough understanding of the subject matter, and unfortunately of a lack of the basic 3R's - Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.
The National Health Service (NHS) has also had billions of pounds ploughed into it by the Government, with enormous wastage, staff turnover and excessive clinical failures, such as the highest rates of superbugs in Western Europe rampant in the hospitals. Many people invest in private health to avoid the long delays and incompetence. I have also had the experience of one of the foreign influx of doctors some years ago after getting an infection in a toe following completion of the South Downs Way. An Egyptian doctor at A&E was close to refusing me treatment because the injury was 'self inflicted', and told me that because I had walked for 6 days, I should then rest for 6 days. This was a lack of cultural understanding on his part that led to my mistrusting his diagnosis. I have heard of many similar cases since.
Trust in the Government's environmental policies are also at an all time low, with delays and apparently incomplete research finds clouding their dithering minds. At the same time, the Government sent an army of 'advisors' to a holiday hotspot for a conference on climate change. An army of ministers also visited the Beijing Olympics, go on fact-finding missions about various elements of government. Private companies, on the other hand, bring the fewest people to report the masses, or to meet at a point of least cost, travel or disruption. The Government however, are using and abusing the taxpayers money - our money, leading to yet further abuse of our trust.
The earlier we can get our voices heard, and voting this incompetent Government out of office, the better. My only hope is that the alternatives are trustworthy, competent and credible, and that it happens soon enough to avoid any further problems and pain.