Left Watch

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Labour draft 'five guarantees' to voters

The Times reports on the five pledges that Labour hopes to put at the heart of its re-election bid:

On the economy... Labour will promise to cut the deficit in half in four years.

On jobs... Labour will offer training or work to any young person unemployed for more than two years.

On education... Labour will promise personal tuition for pupils falling behind and powers for parents to sack failing headteachers.

On policing... Labour will promise neighbourhood police teams for all communities.

On health... Labour will offer a right to go private if NHS treatment is not provided within 18 weeks.

In a leader The Times gives its verdict:

"Before we can consider the core promises that look likely to be laid out in Labour’s new manifesto, then, it seems wise to consider how they fared with the pledges made in 1997, 2001 and 2005. This is not the country that Tony Blair promised us. Ofsted reports that 40 per cent of 11-year-olds cannot read or count as they should. Unemployment today is at its highest level since Labour came to power. Almost a million under 25 are out of work, well over half a million have been out of work for over a year, and more than eight million people in Britain are economically inactive. Is this how Cool Britannia was supposed to look?"

Tim Montgomerie