Yvette Cooper has the accolaid of being the subject of the only joke on the 10 o'Clock show that I've actually laughed at so it will come as no surprise to other to discover that I've turned down my personal invitation to see her in the flesh. The purpose of the visit is apparently to ask people what they want in the next Labour manifesto. You would have thought after being in government for all those years that she might have some idea what her party stood for and not have to get off the train waving a blank piece of paper in her hand.
The problem that Labour has at both national and local level is that not only did they get us into this mess, they know there is no money. Why? Because they spent it all... and even spent money they didn't have.
Now we have them harping back to a golden age, blaming the coalition for the death of Music Hall when the nation is tuned into X Factor. Worse than that, they were the ones who allowed the only buildings suited to hosting variety shows to be demolished and then bemoan the coalition's lack of support for traditional forms of entertainment.
As has been pointed out elsewhere, the claim by the more dillusional of their union chums that the country didn't vote for cuts is complete codswallop. Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour all said that there would be serious cuts. What the coalition has had to do is live in the real world and do what needs to be done. What Labour has done is dupe groups and double count figures to promise spending they know they can't deliver on.
Even more extraordinary is the consistent fact that Labour councils up and down the country are slashing services whilst attempting to blame the coalition of having an idealogical agenda. The scorched earth policy of Labour is as cynical as it is a complete failure to face up to what they have done. There is one party slashing public services for idealogical reasons and it is the Labour Party.
Spending is not back to some Victorian level, it only back to 2006 levels. In fact in Reading the overall budget has gone up by £1.5m. If anyone can tell us what great improvements we had under Labour from 2006-2010 then they may have a point, but spending that extra money increased the gap between rich and poor, child poverty got worse and educational outcomes of the poorest got worse.
Putting Labour in charge of public money is like handing the keys to the drinks cabinet to a drunk. "Washant me Guv'. It was the pixshies."