Sunday 13 May 2007...
It's good to see polls like this being carried out, especially with regards to crime. The government tells us crime figures have fallen yet personal experience and reporting tells us otherwise. It's a shame politicians choose to manipulate statistics to their advantage rather than admit there's a problem and do something about it.
Official crime statistics may be falling but they are the tip of the ice since a lot of crime doesn't result in prosecutions. For example youth nuisance problems such as loitering near peoples houses, shouting and swearing, underage drinking and deliberate intimidation rarely result in prosecutions, and yet are the bain of many people's lives. The police seem powerless to deal effectively against these minors, and the situatio is not helped at all when the parents don't know or care what their kids are up to.
Tony Blair and New Labour have thrown our money at everything and assumed this would improve services but the opposite has happened. Then they put so much spin on the results that even if things have improved nobody would have believed them. Also they have changed how public services are provided by pretending this is to make them better rather than to save money, and refuse to listen when all of the country are shouting that this is a mistake. Just think of the examples: NHS, higer education, Iraq - I could go on forever. Labour is too keen to tax those who want to work and give money to those who refuse to. I hope Britain has learned the lesson of the last 10 year come the next election!
As an Englishman, who escaped "Politically correct Britain" 11 years ago, the country has changed character completely. In the Midlands, where I came from, the banks and shops seem to be staffed with people who cannot speak english, customer service is a thing of the past, and respect for other people is non existent. Come to France where culture and civilised society are still in fashion!
Re: Affordable Housing.
Would it be an idea to TAX Buy to Rent/Let Landlords? And to ensure that the properties for rent or let are capped, t o make them really affordable.
I have in the past always supported the Labour Party, but not now. Life for us old people has got worse because of the unfettered capitalism and the gang, gun, knife culture which has come with it. People are emigrating to get away from it all. Too many amateurs running things.
Thomas Lowry, Leeds
I feel that many things have got better under this government. As a pensioner I receive £200 to help with my winter fuel bill, (a big improvement on the old, Tory "cold weather payment.") I waited under 6 months to have a hip replacement on the NHS, I am to receive my 2nd hip at the beginning of June, less than 6 months from my last op, the hospital was spotless, the staff wonderful. We see police officers on the beat once more patrolling our roads. Young, single mothers are helped and encouraged back into work making them a good example to their children. Of course there is still room for improvement, but, on the whole I believe that life is better.
Mrs Julia Helm, England
I would say much worse. 3 years ago I left the UK because of rising crime particularly amongst teenagers and the police unwillingness or inability to do anything. Coupled with Mr Blair's dictatorial stance during the run up to the Iraq war. But I don't believe its party based, Major started the ball rolling.
Peter, ex UK
Being one of the multitude who voted for a change in 1997, I realize I fell for spin over substance. I have watched my three mid 20s children emigrate to start their own businesses elsewhere employing staff and making a success of them (that should have been here). Why, sleaze, spin, uncontrolled immigration, high and wasted taxes, strains on public services, etc? This will be Blair and this Labour parties legacy.
I feel the Blair years are some of the best I have experienced as a political activist. The idea that the Tories should be a government fills me with dread. I remember the Thatcher years and the people of this country should reflect back and consider the consequences of putting the deadbeats of the Tory Party in charge. They make all the right noises now but as soon as they are in office it will be scare the poor ASAP and let's line our rich mates' pockets. Please keep Labour in power for your own sakes.
How on earth can people not think the NHS has got better? There are lots of things wrong with the NHS if you are comparing it to perfection but comparing it to 1997 it is incomparably better. I remember patients waiting on trolleys in AE for 48 hours not 4, patients waiting for surgery for 3 years not 3 months. On the margin some of that is spin, a patient waiting in a new diagnostic unit on the other side of a corridor is still waiting but they are not part of the target for AE, but even then it is dramatically better than 1997.
Dan Smith, UK
When is the Labour Government going to stop blaming the previous government for faults when Labour has been in power 10 years?
John Horne, Hants
My feelings re. Blair's watch - 1 step forward and 3 steps back.
My lasting impressions of Tony Blair is as a 'yarn-spinner': a performer who embroidered truth and lies skilfully. He's beautiful to watch which made him dangerous because he was the P.M. of one of the most powerful countries in the world on a real life stage. He hides his lack of intellectual depth and is a politician of convenience. He frittered away Britain's hard earned respect and influence on the international stage, has shown a disregard for human life and made the world a more dangerous place, especially for Britons. That is surely irresponsible. 'He did what he thought was best for the country at the time'? That's another spin without meaning.
Nnamdi, United Kingdom
There has been much comment on the 'Blair Legacy' but surely it would be fairer to consider what would have been different if that other party had won. As far as Iraq is concerned, none - the then-leader of the Tory Party stated on TV when asked that he would do exactly the same thing. On health we had years and years of NHS funding not keeping place with so called medical inflation. I am by nature by the way politically agnostic. I also have the opinion that the media often reports matters in a manner that does not allow the public to make informed decisions.
John Woodhouse, UK
I've listen with interest to your piece on the war in Iraq from the view of parents of dead servicemen and Blair's legacy. I am not a Blair apologist. I resigned from the Labour Party because of him. I am also the parent of a serving member of the armed forces. My concern is that no one mentions the fact that the other major party, the Conservatives, supported the decision to go to war in Iraq. So is it the case that we will just blame Blair because he was in charge and forget anyone else's part in that decision, and why is it in this modern age that people cannot accept that if you join the armed forces there is always a chance that you will have to fight and put your life on the line? Surely it is what they are paid to do? Yes, question the rights and wrongs of the war, but the people voted for the MPs of all persuasions who voted for war, not just Labour. I cannot believe that British servicemen and their families believe that Britain has always fought just wars and so can pick and choose.
Keith Moroney, UK
How can John McDonnell say he is so democratic when he believes if he wins the party leadership he should be allowed to change the direction the country is going, something the public did not vote for, without a democratic election voting for his changes? Why should he be allowed to implement his changes and be given time in office as prime minister to trial his ideas without ANY mandate from the public to do so? That is what a campaign for a general election is for. Each party can present their manifesto and the public vote for what they want.
Robert Long, UK
These were some of your comments on the Politics Show on Sunday 13 May 2007 at 12:00 BST on BBC One.
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