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.