Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Why no C-word?
Obnoxio the Clown asks “I really do struggle with why politicians won't say the "c-word". The papers are full of examples of profligate waste that get people exercised. And yet no-one wants to tackle our frightening government debt.”
The answer is pretty straight forward. I’ll deal with Labour and Tories. Who cares about the Limp-dumps. For Labour they want to avoid talking about cuts because the recipients of public funds are their client state. This is true of the public sector and welfare claimants.
Labour, especially the Brown and Balls section are also masters of vilifying their enemies, both internal and external. They know that most of the population are not political anoraks, they might read a paper or watch the news, but not in any but in any detail. Labour knows that through a sympathetic media, and their friends in the BBC and others they can give the superficial impression that the Tories will take away people hospitals and schools, that they will privatise police and withdraw justice for all but the rich.
True enough about a third of the public sector is the sort of essential front line stuff like Nurses and firefighters etc, plus a handful of necessary operational managers. These people even most libertarians would keep, definitely Tory libertarians. Then you have maybe another third who are in support roles that while not strictly necessary serve some purpose and good arguments will be made to keep them. Then the final third are political appointees with no merit whatsoever.
But if you were a Tory strategist would you really want to bet the future of your party on the ability to nuance the above argument in a 15 second soundbite, which is about as much time as you get through the media with the average bored voter. Before you even get to that point you have to disabuse the public of the idea that you want to sack all the nurses in their local hospital because the Labour guy who had 15 seconds before you just told them that.
Its a hell of a lot easier just to keep your gob shut and win first. But if you want to get a feel for if the Tories really want to cut the size of government then read the Tory manifesto, it will leave no libertarian reader in any doubt.
Posted by Kingbingo at 10:27