The real effects of the tories’ economic ‘plan’

Roaming around south-east London in my wheelchair, it’s hard to escape the impression that the city, or at least it’s construction industry, is flourishing. There are so many new construction projects around it’s incredible. The building around the crossrail site in Woolwich particularly amazes me. The other day, passing by it, I caught myself thinking ”Perhaps I’m mistaken; perhaps there is something to praise the Tories for after all.” But, thinking about it, the recovery began long before the Tories got into power. We were famously feeling the ‘green shoots” of the return to prosperity before they got in. Given that construction projects take so long to develop, the building I see would have either been started under labour, or shortly after when their policies were still in place. Thus we are now feeling the effects of Gordon Brown’s wisdom: it was he, not that barely-numerate p’tahk Osbourne, who protected us against the worst effects of the global financial crash. Without brown, I once heard, the credit crunch would have become a depression as bad as the one in the thirties.

Thus, we are recovering despite rather than because of what the tories are doing. And, while I see all these fancy buildings going up, many people are still lining up at food-banks or re being driven to suicide because of tory cuts. While it may look like things are getting better, it’s only an appearance. Building in London may be booming, and that is indeed cause for optimism; but walk down the streets of Woolwich a few metres, and you’ll see shocking poverty – the real effects of the tories’ economic ‘plan’.

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