Did the Labour government improve people's lives? Are we healthier, wealthier or wiser thanks to Blair and Brown? Happier or safer? Does politics ever really change anything? In The Verdict, Polly Toynbee and David Walker strip away the political rhetoric and audit the party's years in power, assessing the impact thirteen years of Labour rule has had on our daily lives. Travelling the country, and drawing on their own extensive notes, Toynbee and Walker ask people to tell their stories and match them against the campaign promises. They visit secondary schools renovated under the Building Schools for the Future programme, and drop in on a local Sure Start group. These are flagship Labour innovations, but have they made a difference?Combining sharp, witty writing, human stories and expert analysis, The Verdict blows away the spin surrounding Labour's bewildering array of initiatives, projects and schemes. How much of what happened during the past thirteen years would have happened anyway, whoever had been in Downing Street? Now the Blair/Brown bubble has burst, where's the improvement? From early optimism of 'Things can only get better' to the misery of the financial crisis, Toynbee and Walker give the definitive judgement on Labour's record.