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Labour’s 2015 election depends on destroying five Tory lies

One-NationThis is a strange election.   It’s Labour’s to win given that the most recent polls have shown UKIP hoovering up, not just disgruntled Tories, but – much more dangerously – working class voters in the Midlands who have switched to UKIP in their droves. But whilst Tory support is haemorrhaging to the nationalist Right, they still command the narrative about the state of the country which could still turn out to be critical at the polls. What is so perplexing about this is that that narrative is all based on lies, yet Labour is not challenging, let alone repudiating, these lies either because the Blairites in the Labour ranks actually agree with the Tory narrative or because the non-Blairite elements in the leadership are too timid and cautious to take the Tories on big time. Yet that could set the election alight very much to Labour’s advantage.

The first Tory lie is that the country is in its present parlous state because of the legacy of Labour’s profligate expenditure. In fact, the biggest deficit in the Labour years before the crash was 3.3% of GDP, yet the Thatcher-Major governments racked up deficits greater than this in 10 of their 18 years. And whilst Thatcher-Major produced a surplus in 2 years, Blair-Brown produced a surplus in 4 years. So why isn’t Labour shouting this from the rooftops?

The second Tory lie is that continued austerity is the only way to reduce the deficit. In fact, it’s the worst possible way to cut the deficit because the amount by which it shrinks the economy each year is greater than the cuts in public expenditure each year (sizeable and painful though those are). The right way to cut the deficit is to expand the economy, reduce the dole queues (which at 2.4m unemployed cost £19bn a year), provide employment in housebuilding, infrastructure work in energy, transport & IT, and fund it either through the existing publicly-owned banks or via QE or by taxing the super-rich.That would restore hope in the British people. Why doesn’t Labour advocate it strongly?

The third Tory lie is that current policies will produce a budget surplus, according to Osborne, by 2018-9. That is manifestly ridiculous. The deficit is still £111bn and has only reduced by £7bn over the last 2 years. At that rate the deficit will not be eliminated for 32 years till 2045! Why doesn’t Labour point out the absurdity of Osborne’s wildly imaginative claims instead of saying that Labour will produce a surplus 1 year later in 2019-20?

The fourth Tory lie is that this whole process of prolonged austerity is about deficit-cutting. It’s nothing of the kind – that’s just the cover. It is actually about shrinking the State and squeezing the public sector till it becomes marginal in an entirely market-driven society. The banker-generated deficit has actually been a gift to the Tories in enabling them to launch the canard that public expenditure has to be massively cut back which they would never have been able to get away with without the deficit in the first place.

And the fifth Tory lie is to continually propound the notion that the massive programme of privatisation and outsourcing is driven by efficiency and value for money. The truth is that the public sector has been replaced by vast sprawling private semi-monopolies – the likes of Capita, G4S, Atos, Serco & A4E – which have guaranteed profits from the taxpayer, get ‘value for money’ by paring back services and cutting wages and terms and conditions at work, and have massively failed to meet their objectives (G4S over the Olmpics, Serco over electronic tagging of prisoners, and A4E over the Work Programme). Why doesn’t Labour commit to dismantling the whole structure driven by greed, not by service quality? It would be hugely popular.

5 Comments

  1. John reid says:

    All true,but persuading people that the a Tories Messing up the NHS ,rather than persuading the public about austerity, but any way good luck

  2. David Ellis says:

    Hmmm, I don’t think we are going to beat the Tory lies if we simply confront them with lies of our own:
    Lie One: Labour are to blame for economic catastrophe. Counter Lie: Labour are not to blame for the economic catastrophe. Truth: New Labour spending was paid for by the massive tax take from the City of London Ponzi Scheme unleashed by Margaret Thatcher when she privatised money supply and de-regulated banking. The so-called Big Bang. Gordon Brown’s `dodgy growth theory’ took this to a new level. With the collapse of the Ponzi Scheme in the Big Crunch of 2008 the tax collected started flowing back to the City leaving the state bankrupt.
    Lie Two: Continued austerity is only way to reduce the deficit. Counter Lie: The right way to reduce the deficit is to expand the economy by spending. Truth: Austerity is the result of the over-stimulation of the economy by the biggest credit bubble turned Ponzi Scheme the world has ever seen. The cuts are indeed contracting public spending, wages and welfare but artificial stimulus is what killed the patient in the first place. What is needed is not expensive stimulation in the form of currency debasing QE or useless job creation or white elephant infrastructure projects but a massive redistribution of wealth from rich to poor and the sharing of the available productive work as the basis for going forward.
    Lie Three: Austerity will produce a surplus. Counter Lie: Stimulus will produce a surplus. Truth: See Lie Two.
    Lie Four: Austerity is about deficit-cutting. Counter Lie: It is motivated purely by ideology and there is, therefore, no need for it. Truth: The capitalist economy has crashed. Any response other than austerity to such an event would require the overthrow of capitalism because austerity ideology expresses the needs of the ruling class. The truth is policy choices are dictated by the political-economic system. The ideology is wishing to stick with such a system or believing that it is irrelevant.
    Live Five: Privatisation creates efficiency and value for money. Counter Lie: Well now actually this is where a bit of truth emerges. The monopoly services providers whether through privatisation or contracting out must all be re-nationalised as must the corporations and cartels that by charging monopoly prices and hoarding the profits are doing most of all to constrict economic activity. Their Old School Tie and shareholder appointed executives must be sacked and replaced by worker-elected managers answerable to government operating a democratically arrived at, sustainable economic plan.

  3. swatantra says:

    There are Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.

    1. Robert says:

      Or their are Progress Tory and Liberal all fibbers.

      Progress is trying to win the next election by finding band wagons they think the public will fall for, sadly the public are not yet willing to trust any of them well I’m not, Cameron Miliband and Clegg, Jesus we are doomed doooomed.

  4. James Martin says:

    Well written, I couldn’t have done it better!!!

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