Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Ultimate Spinner

David Cameron is the best spinner in British politics. His career was spinning for Norman Lamont and then spinning for Michael Howard. His private sector experience was spinning for Carlton Communications. He has started his Prime Ministerial career with magesterial spin. Apparently the deficit is bigger than expected. It is not true. It is a big lie but that does not mean that he will demean his office by trying it on.

This morning the Financial Times' Tim Harford exposed David Cameron's lies on BBC Radio 4. You can listen to it here, or read a transcript here. The key part is here..

"The politicians weren’t talking about but everybody else was, especially the big numbers, the national debt, £770 billion. The projected debt in 5 years £1400 billion. They haven’t changed. David Cameron also pointed to lots and lots of little numbers throughout his speech and we’ve actually tracked down all but one of them and that every single one that we’ve tracked down was available in a published document often an official document before the election."

It is worse because David Cameron if he was being honest would actually say the figures are better than he expected. On 21st May the Office for National Statistics announced these nice figures which David Cameron is choosing to ignore because they do not fit the distorted picture he wishes to paint.

• Deficit down by £11bn on Alistair Darling's forecast
• April shortfall is record £10bn but still below predictions


The truth is the figures were better than expected, not worse. This wilful misrepresentation means that David Cameron is leading Britain to a double dip recession like Greece.

The "consultation" of the British public is a pointless farce if the government presents fiddled figures. This morning David Cameron was exposed telling lies, he should apologise. Nick Clegg should hold him to account as well.

23 comments:

  1. Labour have had a good run, three terms, and they stuffed it by leading the country into unprecedented debt, which does not have to be spun for it is for real, and losing support of their grass roots voters. It is no good blaming banks, global recessions or Tory misrepresentation for the excessive state borrowing existed before the global down turn.

    Why not accept defeat graciously and look to your own policies to plan the way forward. Yes, there may well be a double dip recession but, according to those that set our credit rating as a nation, that is more likely to stem from failing to tackle the debt fast enough than from waiting for a miracle, the Labour way.

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  2. The debt that everyone refers to has arisen only since 2008/2009. Prior to that point, Government income was ahead of expenditure, with a very healthy surplus developing in earlier years. The gap has come because of the money Labour injected into the economy to prevent economic meltdown during the banking crisis. Cameron is presenting it as years of Labour leaving beyond the nation's means. He is misrepresenting the facts.

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  3. Bluenote
    Those that do credit rating say Labour got it right. Your loyal spinning is to be admired but the sclerotic nature of the Japanese economy should warn us that cuts only is no way to address our economic problems.

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  4. So what about Canada? They seemed to get it right by cuts. I am afraid you are being selective to suit your case. As for Anonymous 16:15, our borrowing as a nation was well exceeding income long before 2008 with potential for even more pain to come from all the PFI schemes. No previous Labour administration ever left the country in a sound financial state so why should this last one be any different. By the way, Mark, which credit rating are you reading. Not the latest which indicates potential for down grading even at the cutback level proposed by the new administration. The demand is for more. But then Spain, Greece, Germany, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all have it wrong! Only Labour had it right and if you believe that please accept my sincere condolences!

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  5. Well said on both posts bluenote,Give it a rest mark,you lost,get it..

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  6. Bluenote, our expenditure - borrowing is another matter and not the point I made - was NOT in excess of income in the way you suggest. I am sorry that facts are defeating your spin.

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  7. Anonymous 11:36 the debt arose because we were spending more than we earn like it does for any household that lives beyond its means. Not spin, old chap, for I leave that to the Labour experts, but hard, cold facts.

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  8. Ok, Bluenote, I would suggest you make contact with the Treasury and ask them to show you a graph identifying Government expenditure against Government receipts for the past 13 years. What it will show is that receipts exceeded expenditure significantly in the early years, followed by a period when the two were more closely aligned, but still with no emerging deficit. The deficit started to occur in 2008/2009, as I have said, and for the reasons I have quoted - which are well documented, even in the parts of the media hostile to Labour.

    Please do that before you repeat yet again the misinformation and the blue-coated spin you seem to have fixed in your mind. Unless of course the facts just do not suit you.

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  9. So what you are saying in effect is that Labour inherited a sound income to expenditure position and managed to sustain that to start with but, in the usual way, the situation deteriorated. So much so in fact that we now have the biggest deficit ever in peacetime.
    The real criticism stems from the fact that as a nation our expenditure was exceeding our income before the global down turn. I suggest you check that out before you respond!

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  10. There is no point in continuing this with you, Bluenote, because your blue rinse has permeated your mind to the extent that you are seeing not fact but Tory spin. I have pointed out a way of your understanding the facts, but you prfer to run with the Daily Mail take on life.

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  11. Sorry, Anonymous 11:14, but it is you that are preaching the Daily Mirror version. However, leave aside the opinions of you or I, but let us look at what Lord Myners, until a month ago a member of the Labour government, said in the Lords just yesterday. In a speech to the house he said that he had been frustrated by his ex-colleagues flawed thinking on the economy and went on to say that there was nothing progressive about running up huge public debt. He called on the new Government to crack down on the 'considerable waste' in public spending. Hardly supports your version of Labour prudent financial management but I suppose Lord Myners will have also been at the blue rinse in your book. In reality it is you that is blinded by your red mist!

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  12. Labour was doing well until Gordon got ideas above his station (Aldgate East)

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  13. Bluenote, the facts are available; just ask the Treasury for the graph showing receipts against expenditure for the last 13 years. Nothing to do with me, nothing to do with any newspapers. Just ask, get it, reflect, and then comment. The ball is in your court.

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  14. 09:25 I am sure you are aware, as I am, that figures can be made to support most arguments. Since you are so keen on Treasury and National Statistics take a look a government spending in real terms 2000-2001 and 2007-2008. There you will find that overall expenditure over those years increased way ahead of inflation whilst income did not. That, in itself, was the recipe for the disastrous state we are now in as a nation.
    You won't agree, of course, and will no doubt respond with some nonsense about the ball being in my court. How about I return serve and you give me your version of the perilous state of our finances. No, on second thoughts don't bother, because the global recession, sub-prime lending and Gordon saving the World record I have heard before. It has about as much validity as no more boom and bust.

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  15. Bluenote, you do make me laugh. Having clearly lost the argument about expenditure and income, you now try to shift the ground to INFLATION instead. And then you have the cheek to say that figures and statistics can be twisted to support any assertion. Sir, you are twisting so much that your Daily Mail will be getting shredded!

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  16. Perhaps you should both stand back and remember the main thing Gordon Brown made his reputation as Chancellor from was the concept of prudence, where the expenditure did seem to be held in reason with income. What we suspected then,and now know, is the reputation was a sham, in that so much expenditure was hidden away off balance sheet for many years through things like PFI.

    Yes in the later years the socialist tendancy of spending others money like water, and often in very wasteful ways, was more obvious, open, and admitted in the figures.

    The real cost of many of those schemes, which were governmental equivalents of investment fraud scams, is in many areas still yet to be counted.

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  17. Thinks it's hilarious someone from Labour having a poke at others regarding spin. Labour spun everything and anything.

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  18. Well, 12:59, it is good at least that I bring some laughter to your life but, if we are to debate again, which is surely the purpose of these blogs, then can you please drop the Daily Mail jibes. I use many sources of information, available to us all thanks to the miracle of the internet, including your preferred Treasury and National Statistics. Few papers, if any, tell it as it really is and it takes a cross section of media sources to get anywhere near the truth, if truth even really exists at all in the world of politics and media.

    Actually, that's all a bit heavy for a Saturday night so think I will call it a day. Good night, my friend, and try to keep your sense of humour. I think we might just all need it!

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  19. Ooh, gosh, this thread has attracted the attention of local luminary Councillor Wells - what an honour. As usual Councillor you work with half truths - and then stand back and plead the fifth. Just remember that PFI was an invention of the Tory Party when in Government, so perhaps you and yours need to shoulder some of the blame for what you speculate might come.

    But I'll acknowledge that your Party is doing a good job at lowering the public's expectations of what - albeit in coalition - you might be able to deliver now you are in office again. It may almost be as low a level of achievement as you attained when you were in office for all those years between 1979 and 1997.

    And what a constructive contribution from Kentish Tory. Plus ca change...

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  20. It would be difficult to imagine any government could achieve less on the economy than the last. Perhaps, however, the most interesting scenario at present is not the new government but how all the members of the old government, now contesting for the leadership of the Labour party, are distancing themselves from its policies. Indeed, it would seem that the Blair/Brown New Labour era is to be reviled even in the Labour party.

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  21. Local luminary - gosh I'll frame that for the toilet wall!

    Perhaps all Kentish Tory is saying is that Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson, and Derek Draper, and others had one thing in common - a willingness to use half truth and innuendo to damage an opposition which they apparantly viscerally hated. It is a little ironic to cry foul on that subject, especially when, as Mark is, in his day job role, retained to do just some of that for his employer, Mary Honeyball, MEP.

    We can argue the detail up hill and down vale, but the facts remain there is a huge public finance debt to deal with, which is both supporting and dragging down the country's economic prospects. The dispute is over timing when this has to be dealt with more than anything else amongst almost all commentators.

    There is a seperate debate about cuts versus tax rises, and another, about the huge personal debt that drags down individual families, which is also worrying but less discussed.

    When I talk privately to officials I know in places like the Treasury, they tell a story worse than has so far been seen and heard. The budget is not far away, we shall see. But I do not think standing back, pointing fingers and claiming it would all have been different under Labour will wash with anybody with half a brain cell!

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  22. I don't think anyone is doing that, Councillor Wells. What is perhaps the only certainty is that just as the Tories collapsed into failure and meltdown in 1997, and Labour have this year (though in terms of electoral losses, not to the same degree), the same will happen to your Party in 2015, or some time before or after that. What goes around comes around.

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  23. Brilliant, Chris, you really deserved that 'luminary' title in the birthday honours list. See the latest exposé on the financial front is that Alistair Darling's growth forecast has got to be revised downwards. Why am I not surprised but it is still depressing! On top the Daily Mirror is accusing the Con/Dems of politicizing the armed services because the current army commander's daughter once did some work for David Cameron. My daughter did some work experience at a stable but that does not make her a horse!

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