Thursday, 16 April 2015

when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead


Having recently returned from a world of immersive Disney characters, I could feel pretty at home watching some of UK political debates. In the US, aside from an accidental tuning to C-SPAN, I'd managed to escape nearly two weeks of the UK election broadcasts.

Now, as I return, the caucus race cartoon portrayal of politics is all too familiar. There's been a Prime Minister telling us how his party have reduced debt, but it's in a way that I can't understand. At least the BBC have named the Press Room as the Spin Room.

When the conservatives came to power, the national debt was somewhere in the £850 bn range. Now it's about £1500 bn. Yet we are being told it is being reduced. It's like being suckered into playing one of those shell games on Westminster Bridge and in this one the real numbers are being hidden, mainly by just not being mentioned. Instead we're given the differential calculus derivative because it gives a better sounding figure.

There's also a reluctance to say where the money to fund the extra steep government savings shown from 2016-2018 will be generated. It'll require at least 2-3x the cuts from 2014/15 to achieve the numbers for 2015/16 and then 4-6x the cuts to achieve 2016/17.

For the current government, I assume the advice from the American spinners being used is about 'mood management over facts' at this stage.

Oh, and preservation of Tweedledee and Tweedledum politics.

And the latest televised debate didn't really give much more useful information away.

I'll still hazard that the two main parties are sitting on around 33% each of the votes, including the maybe 40 or so Conservative swing seats that could go to Labour. At the same time Labour lose their Scottish seats to SNP and the Conservatives pick up about 10-12 seats from the Lib-Dems.

The Conservative strategists are still playing for an overall majority, presumably by bombarding the 40 swing seats with visits and special letters. The Tory side-swipes at Miliband continue and the potential allies of a Labour coalition don't do any favours by having flame wars with the Labour leadership.

A dominant approach of 'don't confuse the voters with facts' prevails. Maybe I need to join the caterpillar on the mushroom?

2 comments:

Pat said...

I'm completely befuddled. the more I watch them at it the more distanced I feel.

rashbre said...

Pat Yes - they have a skill at dazing and confusing. I think the press is in on it too.