THERE are many good reasons why no-one should consider voting Tory on Thursday. Top of the list is that Tories – because they serve the narrow interests of bankers and the very rich (usually the same thing) – have a truly catastrophic historical record in economic management. Which makes trusting Boris Johnson or former investment banker Sajid Javid with your savings, your mortgage, your health and your job a mite foolhardy.

Arguably the most incompetent ever Chancellor of the Exchequer was Winston Churchill. In 1925, under heavy pressure from the City, Churchill agreed to fix the external value of the pound at its high, pre-First World War rate – thus precipitating the worst financial crisis of the entire 20th century.

The National: Winston Churchill

By doing so, Churchill made British exports uncompetitive, because it now cost too much to buy pounds to buy British goods. Sensible economists such as John Maynard Keynes warned Churchill he was making a boob. Alas the result was mass bankruptcy, unemployment and wage cuts.

Lesson: Tory chancellors are rubbish at trade promotion.

Then there was the so-called Barber Boom of the early 1970s, a ruinous episode caused by the ineptitude of Edward Heath’s chancellor, the raffish Anthony Barber, an Oxford-educated barrister with no economic knowledge whatsoever. His appointment prompted Labour’s Harold Wilson to remark that this was the first time he realised Heath had a sense of humour.

Barber set in motion the first great banking deregulation. He also slashed taxes, which initially seemed to make the economy expand. But the boom was short-lived because it was fuelled by an explosion of consumer credit provided by dubious, secretive new banks (called “secondary banks”). When Barber raised interest rates to 13% to curb inflation, these secondary banks imploded and had to be rescued (secretly) by the Bank of England.

READ MORE: REVEALED: Leaked Brexit file shows true effect on Scottish economy

Lesson: Tory chancellors create banking crises.

After Barber, the banks were re-regulated by Labour. Fast forward to Mrs Thatcher’s reign when they were de-regulated again. Do you sense a pattern? Again, the result was another ill-advised, inflationary boomlet during Nigel Lawson’s time as chancellor, which enabled Thatcher to win the 1987 election. But when the artificial boom burst, there was the inevitable recession, with three million people left unemployed.

The National: Margaret Thatcher

Lesson: Tory governments regularly “buy” elections with unsustainable promises, then everyone suffers the inevitable disastrous consequences.

Sadly, after the Thatcherite banking fiasco, Labour failed to put the City back in a regulatory ball and chain. In fact, Gordon Brown, when he was chancellor, handed out knighthoods and peerages to his new banker friends like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow arrived in the shape of the 2008 financial crash.

Since then, we have seen some limited, international re-regulation. But Brexit is explicitly designed to throw off the more rigorous European bank controls and turn London into an offshore tax haven for secretive hedge funds.

Lesson: the only “oven-ready” thing about Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is its plan to make the UK the most de-regulated major global economy.

Speaking of de-regulation, Boris is making a big sell out of creating things called “enterprise zones” after Brexit. The Tories have form here. Their first go at EZs – where building, safety and employment rules are relaxed, and taxes cut – was under Mrs T in the 1980s. She promised they would stimulate job creation in poorer areas. Expect Boris to promise EZs for the main Leave-voting areas. Alas, the historical experience is that EZs attract mostly existing jobs, as firms move to take advantage of the lower taxes. This is job shifting, not job creation.

In reality, under Thatcher, Scotland lost fully one-third of its manufacturing capacity, including its car industry. In 1985, Scottish unemployment hit 400,000 for the first time since the 1930s.

Lesson: Tory tax-cutting is always a boondoggle for the rich, funded by the poor.

The Tories make a lot of the fact there is record-high employment.

But the truth is that since 2010 we have seen the longest fall in the real value of wages since records began. In other words, combined with the cap on welfare benefits, lower real wages under the Conservatives is forcing people to work for a pittance. According to the Office for National Statistics, overall, earnings in the UK in 2018 were exactly the same as in 2011, when adjusted for inflation.

Worse, the earnings level in 2018 was 3.7% lower than in 2008, prior to the financial crash. Since that crash, real wages have continued to rise in Germany, France and most of the OECD industrial countries. Almost uniquely, they have fallen in the UK and Greece. Greek austerity was imposed by the EU. Austerity in the UK was imposed by the Tories, with some help from Jo Swinson and the LibDems.

Lesson: Voting Tory makes you poorer.

Boris says the NHS is safe in Tory hands. We might ask why – if the Tories preach that free markets and the profit motive are the very things that create wealth – they don’t apply these strictures to the nation’s health. Either they are lying about the NHS or they are being monumentally opportunist. The truth is that the NHS has never been safe under Conservative governments. Between 2010 and 2015, for instance, the Cameron government imposed £20 billion in disguised cuts – euphemistically termed “efficiency savings” – across the whole English NHS.

READ MORE: The Tories can run for now, but they can’t hide from reality

Lesson: Tories are bad for your health.

Will the Tories barter the NHS in any trade deal with America? They have already started. In 2013, chancellor George Osborne flogged off 80% of state-owned Plasma Resources UK. This firm was created by the Labour government in 2002 to provide a secure supply of blood products for the NHS. But Osborne (with the support of Vince Cable, then LibDem business secretary) sold it to a US private equity fund called Bain Capital for £230m. Bain, run by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, had already been branded a “job destroyer” by Barack Obama because of its piratical record. To sweeten the British deal, Bain promised new investment in the company.

The National: George OsbourneGeorge Osbourne

Lesson: Instead and entirely predictably, it sold Plasma Resources to a Chinese investor in 2016 for a staggering £820m – a cool profit of nearly £600m in only three years.

Lesson: The Tories (and Vince Cable) will not only sell the NHS to America, they will do it for peanuts.

The Tories like to pretend they are “good at running things” compared to “Marxist” Labour. Let’s see how good they actually are. Take the building of the new nuclear power station, Hinkley C in Somerset, which is intended to supply 7% of UK electricity when – if – it ever comes on stream. Hinckley C is now estimated to be around seven years late and (at £20bn) double its original budget. But we’ll be lucky to see it finished by 2030 and you can bet another £5bn to £10bn is added to the sticker price.

Plus, dear consumer, you will pay for it all in electricity prices almost double what they are today – thanks to a guaranteed subsidy promised to the owner, EDF, by the Tory Government.

Lesson: Tory ministers couldn’t run a whelk stall, far less the UK.

So vote the Tories out on Thursday!