Labour party CAN be trusted - we have the history to prove it - Lord George Foulkes

Keir Starmer

Can Labour be trusted to run the country? Labour Peer Lord George Foulkes says to "look to the recent past" to see what Labour will achieve

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Lord George Foulkes

By Lord George Foulkes


Published: 03/06/2024

- 10:59

Updated: 03/06/2024

- 11:42

Labour Peer Lord George Foulkes writes about how Labour can be trusted to run the country

Can Labour be trusted to run this country? Polling certainly seems to suggest the general public think so, but for those who remain unconvinced I would suggest they look to the recent past, to see what Labour can and will achieve in government.

I was part of a government that delivered on education, health, housing, national security and, possibly most importantly, reducing poverty.


Consecutive Conservative governments have eroded these achievements, and reinforced a narrative that “politicians cannot be trusted".

But this, in and of itself, is a dishonest argument, designed to instil apathy in voters, driving down turn-out so that a truly historic Labour landslide becomes less likely.

Keir Starmer

Can Labour be trusted to run the country? Labour Peer Lord George Foulkes says to "look to the recent past" to see what Labour will achieve

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In order to enact real change, we need a ’97 style mandate that sets a Labour government up for the two/three terms that are required to undo the last decade of austerity and neglect.

The sheer size of the challenge that awaits us may seem intimidating, but Labour has the history to prove we are capable of rebuilding Britain.

Under Blair and Brown we established the national minimum wage, tripled spending on our NHS, brought in 42,000 extra teachers, decreased homelessness by 73 per cent, lifted 900,000 pensioners out of poverty, and delivered the shortest waiting times in history.

Since then, the gross mismanagement of waiting lists has become emblematic of this Tory government and it is, rightly, a Labour priority to realign treatment times with the 18-week target. Keir and Wes have pledged to reach this ambitious goal within the first five years of government, and I truly believe they can do it, not just because we did it before, but because Labour understands this must be a priority.

\u200bTony Blair

"Under Blair and Brown we established the national minimum wage, tripled spending on our NHS, brought in 42,000 extra teachers," says Lord George Foulkes

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Under a Conservative government, you’re expected to pay to go private and skip the queue or, if you lack the funds, simply wait it out.

Labour was established to fight these inequalities, we can be trusted to tackle this issue with the attention, resources and will that it deserves.

Two other key areas of trust, where Labour’s past performance is often overlooked or mischaracterised, are the economy and security.

On the first of these, the idea that we mismanaged the economy is laughable: Labour oversaw a decade of consistent economic growth and then, when the global financial system crashed due to failures in the regulation of the US subprime market, Gordon Brown successfully drew up a plan which not only stabilised the financial sector, but ensured that not a single depositor lost any money in Britain.

Rishi Sunak

"Under a Conservative government you’re expected to pay to go private and skip the queue or, if you lack the funds, simply wait it out," says Lord George Foulkes

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Labour Peer Lord George Foulkes

Labour Peer Lord George Foulkes

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Furthermore, as PM, Brown went on to counter-act the global recession with policies which cut taxes and created jobs, stimulating 3.1 per cent growth between the autumns of 2009 and 2010; the Liberal Democrat-Conservative austerity coalition would achieve just 0.3 per cent in the following year.

On matters of national security, we were the party to coin the phrase “tough on crime, and tough on the causes of crime”, and we didn’t just talk the talk, we walked the walk overseeing a reduction in overall crime from 19.3 million, in ’95 under the Conservatives, to 10.7million in 08/09, under Labour.

I believe Keir underplays his own credentials in this area as, unlike a certain recent Tory leader who was caught breaking the law, he has accumulated years of experience fighting to uphold it, putting criminals behind bars while this Conservative government seems intent on releasing them.

Ultimately I understand that, for many, trust is a gut feeling that develops over time, so I would urge you to do two things: listen – over the coming weeks Keir and the rest of the shadow cabinet team will be outlining Labour’s plans for change - and remember – we did it before, we can do it again.

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