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Where is the courage? …the country is calling out for Cuts…

March 27th, 2011 Posted in Uncategorized by

Friday’s Guardian/ICM Poll shows that 35% of the nation believe the cuts are too severe… That’s down from 45% last November.. but wait there is more….

28% believe the Coalition has got it right on cuts and another 29% believe the govt should cut deeper and faster.!!!

These figures suggest that 57% of the population concur that there is only “Plan A” – to cut Government spending at least as fast as it is doing. And in so far as there might be a “Plan B”- it is to execute “Plan A” harder and faster.

This does not surprise me. …. The “Stop the War ” coalition brought out somewhere between 750,000 and 1,000,000 onto the London streets in 2003.

Less than half of that (somewhere between 250,000 and 350,000) turned out to protest about public sector cuts in London this weekend (March 2011) – and that with the full might of the trade unions behind the demonstration. Nice. Perfectly acceptable in a democracy (criminal activity aside). But hardly impressive.

The naysayers – who believe the cuts are too deep/fast are the small but highly vocal minority.

What do we make of this ? Three things spring to mind….

1.Classical Liberal groups (and I single out the IEA for particular praise here) have done a damned good job in moving public opinion on the cuts. They have tirelessly explained the facts, highlighted the consequences of the alternatives, and spoken out when they see that more should be done. They deserve much thanks.

2. The media – in particular the BBC – should be lambasted for its singular lack of balance. Do we get 2:1 ratio of voices on the BBC putting the case for the cuts, (let alone the near third that think they should go further?). Do we hell. What we hear mainly are the arguments and anecdotes from the vocal minority demanding that the cuts are lessened/slowed…. Hows about hearing more from the perspective of the majority of voters that believe the Coalition cuts are bang on or indeed SHOULD GO FURTHER.

3. Coalition apologists should be less apologetic. They are talking themselves into believing what they are doing is very dramatic and unpopular. In fact, their action is moderate at best, and to be clear, fairly popular. It’s time for the Coalition to show some bravery and  courage of its conviction.

13 Responses to “Where is the courage? …the country is calling out for Cuts…”

  1. Jack Hughes Says:

    Your last point speaks volumes.

    The lib and con spokesmen always seem on the back foot – like Santa apologising for this year’s present being no bigger than last year’s.

    They seem to have no appetite for the idea that a lot of government spending is pointless and often counter-productive.

    In stead it’s “sorry, but…” all the way.

    And don’t forget that have not even cut spending yet – the facts are that it’s still rising month after month.


  2. Neil Craig Says:

    With views like that why on Earth are you in the Pseudoliberals where thoughts like that are “roo tighr wing” to even talk about?


  3. Mike Says:

    Would you suggest another party that is more liberal – not only when it suits them?


  4. Psi Says:

    I think you over estimate the croud at the demonstration remember that both the organisers and the police have an incentive to overestimate.

    compare:

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2011/03/arty-mcbain-why-you-shouldnt-believe-the-claims-that-250000-were-involved-in-saturdays-protests.html

    which may or may not be ccorrect but at least puts the dificulties and the biases out there with:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12879582


  5. Neil Craig Says:

    Mike economic liberalism is certainly dominant in UKIP and, at least, allowed in the Tories. Even the SNP went into the last election promising they wanted to reduce corporation tax though I admit they made no effort to. I’m not keen on UKIP’s burqua “ban” but it is no less liberal than your party’s enthusiasm for the smoking ban.


  6. Mike Says:

    Well, as much as I disagree with the smoking ban, smoking does damage the health of others, where facial veils do not. Smoking is also not the occupation of a single religious/ethnic group.

    UKIP are economic liberals? I see. I assume they understand the need for a free market in labour migration then, and will have a sensible immigration policy, free of jingoistic national protectionism?

    Didn’t think so.


  7. Neil Craig Says:

    Well the claim that passive smoking is a significant cause of death is a deliberate lie. The same people would, if they supported a burqua ban, say that it killed people (perhaps by allowing terrorists to dress up and hide their identities).

    We have been over the claim that all economic liberals have, at all times, been in favour of unlimited immigration. It is a wholly & deliberately false assertion. That the Pseudoliberal’s claim to be “liberal” depends entirely on redefining the meaning of the term is precisely my point.


  8. Mike Says:

    I didn’t say it was significant, I didn’t even say it was a cause of death. The fact is that the argument against smoking in confined public spaces due to the effects on health is a scientific issue, whereas the issue of a veil ban is clearly not.

    The BMA disagrees with you, by the way: http://www.bma.org.uk/health_promotion_ethics/tobacco/humancosttobacco.jsp?page=8

    Good for you for going over it, but that (again) is not something that I asserted. If you could read me back where I said that all economic liberals have asserted that, I’ll be happy to withdraw my point.

    Personally, however, I do find that to be a liberal ideal, because I don’t see labour as different to a product or a service in a free market. I, and evidently most contributors and readers of this blog believe that while the Liberal Democrats are not a perfect party, they are in fact, as I said, the most liberal (mainstream) party in British politics.


  9. Neil Craig Says:

    If it is not significant then, by definition, it is not a significant justification for the ban and therefore, by definition, the ban is illiberal and the party pushing it is too.

    You disputed that UKIP are economic liberals purely on the basis that they do not support unlimited immigration, nothing else. If you are now saying that this is not a touchstone of economic liberalism then, by definition, it is not a touchstone of whether UKIP are economic liberals. I am at least pleased to see you cannot claim that the pseudoliberals are economic liberals (or, since you believe in criminal wars & genocide, any other sort).


  10. Mike Says:

    I am not saying it’s significant or insignificant, because I’m not a medical professional.

    I’m not saying it’s not a touchstone of my view of economic liberalism – it is. Criminal wars and genocide? Sorry?


  11. Psi Says:


  12. Neil Craig Says:

    If you aren’t saying it is significant then, by definition, you cannot use it as a significant argument for the ban being “liberal”.

    If liberals have not supported unlimited immigration it is, by definition, not a touchstone of whether one can be a liberal. You can’t have it both ways.

    Do you know of anybody in your party who has openly opposed illegal wars, genocide, child rape, organlegging or the racial policeies of WW2 Germany as a matter of principle? If so – who and when?


  13. Mike Says:

    This has gone hugely off topic, and I won’t drag it any further. I don’t wish to point-score with you. I have a particular opinion that clearly you don’t share. But since we’re both liberals, that’s fine.


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