Friday, 22 October 2010

Spending Review - the response

What has happened in much of the national media since the Comprehensive Spending Review statement and debate on Wednesday has been predictable.

Labour have condemned the public spending reductions, conveniently forgetting who it was who created the current mess and what their own stated plans were. Many of them do not even understand the way public finances work: not only Alan Johnson (the shadow chancellor) but also Andy Burnham has come unstuck in being shown not to understand the difference between debt and deficit, let alone grasping the nature of a structural deficit and the fact that this doesn't diminish during periods of growth.

The BBC and the obvious left/Labour-supporting national newspapers slanted their reporting as expected, making all manner of wild claims, even contradicting each other. For example, one of them claimed that "the poorest" would be hardest hit whereas another was convinced it would be "the squeezed middle" of society to bear the brunt. Even the dreaded Polly Toynbee was rather put on the spot on the BBC's Question Time that began an hour or so ago as I write this, and was uncharacteristically quiet in between her turns to speak, on nearly every such occasion.

That was a very interesting QT, coming from Labour heartlands and with an audience that David Dimbleby for once openly admitted was made up of public sector employees and the like (it always is: they bus them in from other areas, just as they admitted doing on this occasion). Despite all of this and the obvious "planted" questions and the inevitable pre-planned ambush for the Conservative on the panel, it didn't really work all that powerfully, and was if anything quite a lot tamer than other QTs in recent weeks.

As usual I kept an eye on the Biased-BBC Live Blog; and these are interesting to look back on for the comments that contributors made. Perhaps I might join in myself one of these weeks!

This media bias does work, of course: if it didn't those behind it would be trying something that did work instead. Tonight's YouGov poll - the first since the CSR - has voting intention figures of 41% (Con), 40% (Lab), 10% (Lib Dem);  and government approval of minus five percent. The Labour figure has been consistently close to the Conservative figure for weeks, and it really doesn't warrant it/ Are people in the country so stupid? Surely they can't be!

Update: if such people were to read this, they should understand the truth far better, twenty times over.

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