I won't paraphrase all Polly Toynbee had to say in the Guardian this morning. She can say it all too well herself, But the message is an important one:
Labour's spending worked. Why don't they defend it?
That's true. Labour made many mistakes. All governments and all people do so let's not be silly about that. But, overall Labour got a great deal right as this report, on which Polly bases her comments, reveals:
This is rigorous, academic stuff. And as they point out:
[Until 2007] national debt levels were lower than when Labour took office.
And (as Polly notes):
90% of social housing was brought up to "decent homes" standard, rescuing estates from chronic disrepair. The gap in infant mortality rates between manual workers and the whole population closed by 10%. Education results improved markedly, with the gap in GCSE results between social classes beginning to narrow.
There were real achievements - and debt was lower until 2007 than it had been under the Tories. It was a global bank collapse starting in the US that brought the economy down, not Labour.
So why won't Labour say that?