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.



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

Quote of the Day

Liam Fox shreds Cameron’s Calais scaremongering:

“Sad and disappointed to see our Prime Minister stoop to this level of scaremongering, especially as he knows the Calais agreement is nothing to do with the EU and agreed between the two govts”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

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

Facebook

Squandermania: Roof Not Fixed Squandermania: Roof Not Fixed
OSBORNE’S BROTHER STRUCK OFF: READ RULING, THREATENING EMAILS OSBORNE’S BROTHER STRUCK OFF: READ RULING, THREATENING EMAILS
HAPPY AS LARRY: SANDERS NEW GREEN PARTY SPOKESPERSON HAPPY AS LARRY: SANDERS NEW GREEN PARTY SPOKESPERSON
LABOUR CAMPAIGN CHIEF: “WE HAD NO STRATEGY” LABOUR CAMPAIGN CHIEF: “WE HAD NO STRATEGY”
CLEGG’S ASTRONOMICAL SPAD BILL HYPOCRISY CLEGG’S ASTRONOMICAL SPAD BILL HYPOCRISY
STRICTLY CYMRU DANCING: LEANNE WOOD’S WONDERFUL WALTZ STRICTLY CYMRU DANCING: LEANNE WOOD’S WONDERFUL WALTZ
LEAVE AHEAD WITH ICM LEAVE AHEAD WITH ICM
HAPPY ‘I HEART UNIONS’ DAY HAPPY ‘I HEART UNIONS’ DAY
CORBYN WEARS SPONSORS’ BADGE CORBYN WEARS SPONSORS’ BADGE
Open Minded Herbert’s Made His Mind Up Open Minded Herbert’s Made His Mind Up
Amazon’s Lawyers Prepare for Zombie Apocalypse Amazon’s Lawyers Prepare for Zombie Apocalypse
PMQs (Rap Version) PMQs (Rap Version)
Top Europhile Defects to Out Campaign Top Europhile Defects to Out Campaign
BARROSO: BRAKE WON’T PUT OFF MIGRANTS BARROSO: BRAKE WON’T PUT OFF MIGRANTS
PESTON OUT OF THE LOOP PESTON OUT OF THE LOOP
LABOUR’S CONSISTENT FLIP-FLOPPING ON SURVEILLANCE LABOUR’S CONSISTENT FLIP-FLOPPING ON SURVEILLANCE
UBER TRIES TO KILL HAILO UBER TRIES TO KILL HAILO
CALAMITY CORBYN’S COMICAL CAMPAIGN COCK-UP CALAMITY CORBYN’S COMICAL CAMPAIGN COCK-UP
PARLIAMENTARY PANCAKE RACE (INSERT MANDATORY TOSSER JOKE HERE) PARLIAMENTARY PANCAKE RACE (INSERT MANDATORY TOSSER JOKE HERE)
SADIQ LOSES IT WITH BBC JOURNALIST OVER TFL FARES SUMS SADIQ LOSES IT WITH BBC JOURNALIST OVER TFL FARES SUMS
FRENCH GOVERNMENT DISPUTES CAMERON ON CALAIS FRENCH GOVERNMENT DISPUTES CAMERON ON CALAIS
EX-LABOUR MINISTER COMES OUT FOR BREXIT EX-LABOUR MINISTER COMES OUT FOR BREXIT
EU GOING TO PAY FOR THAT? EU GOING TO PAY FOR THAT?
TORY MPS PAN CAM’S CALAIS SCAREMONGERING TORY MPS PAN CAM’S CALAIS SCAREMONGERING
LEAK: LANSMAN MOCKS “CLUELESS” UNITE CHIEF LEAK: LANSMAN MOCKS “CLUELESS” UNITE CHIEF
CARSWELL: “NOT GOING TO CRITICISE FELLOW EUROSCEPTICS” CARSWELL: “NOT GOING TO CRITICISE FELLOW EUROSCEPTICS”
SUNNY DAYS AHEAD FOR SCRAPBOOK SUNNY DAYS AHEAD FOR SCRAPBOOK
HOW MANY MPS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A SOAP DISPENSER? HOW MANY MPS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A SOAP DISPENSER?
KEN PREDICTS MCDONNELL WILL BE NEXT LABOUR LEADER KEN PREDICTS MCDONNELL WILL BE NEXT LABOUR LEADER
Don’t Criticise Fellow Brexiteers Don’t Criticise Fellow Brexiteers