The Logic in Balls Denying Reality

The appointment of Ed Balls as shadow chancellor means that deficit denial becomes the central economic policy of the Labour Party. In essence both the Eds intend to argue that it was the banking crisis and only the banking crisis that caused the deficit. In taking this policy direction they repudiate the more sensible realistic policy followed by the last Labour Chancellor, Alistair Darling.

It also flies in the face of statements made by Tony Blair in his memoirs and as recently as last Friday at Davos. Since Balls isn’t an idiot we have to ask ourselves: why is he trying to deny reality? Does he think the voters can be convinced that overspending wasn’t a problem until the banking crisis? Here he is telling Andy Marr there was no structural deficit under Labour:

Clearly both the Eds think they can blame it on the bankers, popular understanding of the deficit is hazy. The huge one-off costs of bailing out the banks and the constant government-debt-bloating-deficit are confused in the popular consciousness. Even the debt and the deficit are confused in many people’s minds. Whenever Ed Miliband is cornered on spending or taxes he reaches for the banker bogeyman – tax them more and it will sort everything out. None of this adds up to anyone with any financial literacy, which unfortunately is a minority of voters, the majority of voters do blame and detest the bankers.

For this argument to make sense of course requires Ed Balls to deny that there is, or ever was, a structural deficit that had to be tackled. Which is exactly what he did on the Marr show today.

Denying the deficit and blaming the government’s debt crisis on the bankers is an attempt to absolve Brown, Balls and the Labour Party of the blame. It thus allows Balls to claim that, since there is no structural deficit, the cuts are unnecessary and ideological. Which is exactly what he does.

The problem for Balls is that the public senses innately that the government under Brown’s chancellorship and premiership was overspending. If Osborne can keep that national memory alive over the next three years the public will forgive him doing what is necessary. If they forget, or prefer to believe Ed Balls’ claim that cuts are not really necessary, they will blame the government for the coming hardships. The deficit blame game will have to be played until the next election.

Quote of the Day

George Bush said

“Are the peoples of the Middle East somehow beyond the reach of liberty? Are millions of men and women and children condemned by history or culture to live in despotism? Are they alone never to know freedom and never even to have a choice in the matter?”



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Heidi Alexander sums up Labour’s approach to aspiration:

“Babies grow up to become taxpayers.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Baroness Scotland Refuses to Answer Corruption Questions Baroness Scotland Refuses to Answer Corruption Questions
Pictured: Corbyn Hangs Out with Israel Hater Pictured: Corbyn Hangs Out with Israel Hater
Corbyn’s Celeb Mate: Stab Tory MPs for a Laugh Corbyn’s Celeb Mate: Stab Tory MPs for a Laugh
Phil Shiner Banged to Rights Phil Shiner Banged to Rights
Core Labour Vote There For UKIP’s Taking Core Labour Vote There For UKIP’s Taking
Lib-Green Pact Plot Leaked Lib-Green Pact Plot Leaked
Tories Braced for Charges Over South Thanet Tories Braced for Charges Over South Thanet
Max Fine for Law Breaking Lib Dems Max Fine for Law Breaking Lib Dems
TROT SUPER-FACTION ORGANISING MOMENTUM TAKEOVER TROT SUPER-FACTION ORGANISING MOMENTUM TAKEOVER
Santa Paws: Phil Hammond’s Christmas Card Santa Paws: Phil Hammond’s Christmas Card
Government Values Guardian Readers Most Highly Government Values Guardian Readers Most Highly
Treasury Implements Amy Lame Tax Treasury Implements Amy Lame Tax
Fidel’s Final Push Fidel’s Final Push
Newmark Back Helping Women2Win Newmark Back Helping Women2Win
BoJo Ho Ho! Christmas Returns to FCO BoJo Ho Ho! Christmas Returns to FCO
Naz Shah Attends Extremist-Linked Event Naz Shah Attends Extremist-Linked Event
HEIDI ALLEN IN MAYORAL ROW HEIDI ALLEN IN MAYORAL ROW
Renzi Loses Referendum – Resigns Renzi Loses Referendum – Resigns
WATCH: Clegg Gets Brillo’d WATCH: Clegg Gets Brillo’d