When I last spoke at our Conference, unemployment was on its way down, strikes were at their lowest for fifty years and we were paying off the national debt. Yet ten years before we were a country dominated by the Unions and racked by strikes, the sick man of Europe with record unemployment and, guess what, we had run out of money. A typical Labour legacy.Eric Pickles on the grandiosity of the Labour regime:
It was a great honour to be invited by the Prime Minister to become the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government particularly as this was once part of John Prescott's great empire. On the way to the department, I wondered what memorabilia I might find from Prezza's era. I was a bit embarrassed to ask directly so I hit on the idea of asking for a quick tour of the most wasteful items in the building. First item was a beautiful red Parisian sofa costing £5,000.
"Wow that IS expensive".
"Glad you like it - we've got £130,000 worth of them".
"Did Prezza order them?"
"No - it's part of Hazel Blears' efficiency drive".
Next stop was the serene green peace pods, a two storey up market port-a-cabin designed to bring tranquillity and the better bits of Zen to civil servants.
"How much did that cost?
"No, Hattie Harman ordered it."