Today I am going to see how credible this in. In that Post nick Drew wrote of the stupidity of trying to build too many houses, a useless energy policy and a proposal to make all children stay at school until 18. Typically uncosted measures from New Labour.
The real story though is in the macro-view of what Labour was seeking to do, especially after the economic collapse of 2008. The choice at this point was to repair the economy or to march on as if nothing had happened.
Here are a couple of graphs which provide some evidence:
This one is the UK budget deficit accrued each year as a percentage of GDP:
Finally, the superb Nadeem Walayat shows the last forecasts made by Alistair Darling of the budget deficits, note the November 2008 forecasts, long after the recession had started.
From the above we can see that there was no attempt to reign in spending into the recession. Keynesiasm was tested in the 1970's and failed then monetarism was tested in the 1980's and worked. But Labour chose Keynesiam - but why? Could be that the spending was all on Labour votes? The two biggest recipients of public money are the NHS and the benefits system. Neither has faced any kind of reform, instead they have had spending increases in real terms for nearly a decade and this continued right up until Labour left office.
Rather than make cuts, Labour engaged in Quantitative Easing, a policy which did help to stabilise the economy (and may still yet do so if there is more), but was an alternative to reducing Government spending in 2008-10.
Then, as electoral doom approached, the foot was placed on the accelerator. For all the achievement of staving off financial doom in 2008 (and it was a possibility, mishandled still, but Darling and Brown at least did not fail in keeping the economic system alive), Brown and Darling saved the best till last in 2010. With the budget deficit out of control at 12% they simply put off a new spending round and changed the game to suit their electoral needs.
This last point is worth dwelling on, as there is no cogent explanation for this fudge at all, other than wanting to not discuss impending cuts and the serious situation the Country faced. it is the ultimate shoulder shrug to the people they were meant to be serving. I look forward to reading the memoirs of the two men to see what weasel words they can try and find to get out of this.
Finally, in the run up to the election, the years of spending to keep power meant that a last splurge was felt necessary. Both the Times and Guardian have decent lists of the last minute spending. Here the idea was to commit future Governments to spending that could not be easily reversed, making cuts in other, more essential areas, more likely.
It does seem as if that was all Labour new how to do, spend other people's money. They even had their own epitaph in the 'There's no money left' note left to David Laws. What is sick is that the joke was meant to be ironic.