A GOVERNMENT minister was today under fire after berating voters for being “so bloody miserable” in the face in the economic downturn.
Tom Harris, a Transport Minister and MP for Glasgow South, pictured, said that despite the recent credit squeeze, people in Britain had never been so wealthy.
But, writing in his blog on his website, he complained that people seemed to be afflicted by “crippling levels of cynicism and pessimism”.
“High-def TVs fly off the shelves at Tesco quicker than they can be imported. Whatever the latest technological innovation, most people can treat themselves to it,” he said.
“Eating out – a rare treat when I was a child in the 1970s – is as commonplace as going shopping. And when we do go shopping, whether for groceries or for clothes, we spend money in quantities that would have made our parents gasp.
“There are more two-car homes in Britain today than there are homes without a car at all.
“We live longer, eat healthier (if we choose), have better access to forms of entertainment never imagined a generation ago (satellite TV, DVD, computer games), the majority of us have fast access to the worldwide web, which we use to enable even more spending and for entertainment.
“So why is everyone so bloody miserable?”
His comments, coming hard on the heels of the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King’s bleakest assessment yet of the economic outlook, were denounced by shadow treasury chief secretary Philip Hammond.
“Like his boss, Gordon Brown, he clearly lives on a different planet from ordinary hard-working families – who are struggling with soaring living costs, stagnant earnings and falling house prices,” he said.
“The short answer to Mr Harris’s question asking why everyone is so miserable is, ‘Because we’ve got Gordon Brown as our Prime Minister’.”