Sir – It is becoming tiresome to correct the misinformation put out by Conservatives about the causes and effects of the 2008 financial crisis, but I cannot allow Councillor Court’s letter (Witney Gazette, December 16) to go without a response.

That he fails to make any mention of the role of the banks shows his contribution for what it is – rather crude party political propaganda.

In fact the financial crisis was caused by reckless, and in some cases fraudulent, behaviour by a number of banks and other financial institutions – and not by overspending by the then Labour government: total national debt as a percentage of GDP actually fell under Labour between 1997 and 2007.

Even George Osborne acknowledged the banks’ responsibility in a recent speech at the Bank of England. David Cameron and Osborne at the time had promised to match Labour spending plans. The deficit came from a dramatic drop in government income from taxes, entirely due to the crisis in confidence coming from the threat that banks might collapse.

Of course the Labour Government should have regulated the banks more stringently – but Conservatives thought the banks were over-regulated, so they are in no position to criticise. The crisis would have been worse had they been in Government at the time.

It is high time that Conservative politicians followed George Osborne’s lead and told the truth about the crisis – and acknowledge that there are much better options for our country than the damaging and ideologically-driven cuts being perpetrated by the current Government. David Cameron’s ignorance of the impact of those – his – cuts, revealed in his letter to Ian Hudspeth, is breathtaking.

Chris Johnson
Chairman Witney Constituency Labour Party
Corndell Gardens