Devil’s Kitchen directs me towards Sarah Teather’s latest speech at the Liberal Democrat conference. It is a doozy, containing this nugget:
“Labour claims to be the party of the poor, but that just gives them a reason to keep people that way.”
What a horrible woman.
So it seems she’s suggesting that when in office Labour adopt policies which are specifically aimed at making people poor while simultaneously misleading the poor into thinking they are helping them. So calling all Labour party members liars and hypocrites and patronising the poor in one compact nugget of hate. Oh, well done!
There’s a problem with this though. Whenever you make an empirical claim for rhetorical effect there is the possibility you will end up looking like an arse. Loathe as I am to praise New Labour’s record, they were a damn sight better for the poor than the other lot. This graph from Lane Kenworthy clearly exposes Sarah Teather for the mendacious woman she is.
The incomes of the poor rose far more under the last Labour government than they did under the preceding Conservative administration. Labour adopted many misguided policies, but even so they achieved a great deal for the poor, contrary to what Sarah Teather would have you believe.