Wednesday 23 November 2016

How do people still think the Tories are economically competent?

In 2010 George Osborne promised that his absurd "let's cut our way to growth" austerity agenda would result in the UK budget deficit being completely eliminated by 2015.

By 2014-15 the Tories realised that Osborne's hubristic bragging was never going to come true, so they erased all traces of their promise to eliminate the budget deficit (and an awful lot of other broken promises too) and replaced it with the extraordinarily brass-necked boast that "we've cut the deficit by a third". Bizarrely millions of people accepted this new Tory boast at face value, and failed to consider the fact that it was actually an open admission that they'd failed to hit their original target by two thirds!

In 2016 George Osborne was finally sacked leaving his replacement Philip Hammond is left to deal with his appalling legacy of chronic under-investment in infrastructure and services and the abject failure of his ideological austerity experiment.

In Hammond's 2016 Autumn Statement he was forced to admit that the budget deficit will still be well over £20 billion in 2020-21, meaning the Tories will have taken over ten years to fail to achieve what they originally said they would do in five.

This abject failure to achieve what they promised has meant that since 2010 the Tories have created far more new public debt than every single Labour government in history combined.

Amazingly, there's hardly anyone willing to hold the Tories to account for this spectacular ongoing failure. The mainstream media report this latest roll-back of the budget deficit elimination as if the Tories are innocent victims of Brexit (rather than the ones who brought Brexit though their reckless gambling about without even bothering to cobble together even a rudimentary plan of action beforehand either), and most of the opposition parties are to weak and ineffective to even set the public narrative that Tory economic policy has failed.

The horrifying consequence of this abject failure of the media or the opposition parties to hold the Tories to account for their ongoing economic ineptitude is that opinion polls continue to show that the Tories have a massive lead in perceived economic competence over the opposition parties.

It appears that it doesn't matter how economically incompetent a government is, nor for how long. As long as the media are complicit in their silence, and the opposition parties are inept in their criticisms, that government will be perceived by the public as having done a good job no matter how badly they perform!

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