If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Hoggart gets it

From Simon Hoggart in the In-a-a-drug:

Labour has, on the whole, decided that the deficit isn't its fault. It has, you would imagine, been invented by the Tories purely in order to allow them the cuts which they are imposing with an odious relish.
It's curious. Every single time Labour get in, they wreck the economy. But people like them, because they give out sweeties. Every time the Tories get back in, they have to take unpleasant but necessary steps to put things right. And people hate them because they take the sweeties away.

On pure unadulterated, unspun statistics, Labour are always bad for the economy, and the Tories are always better. In a world governed by rationality, we would have a right-of-centre government all the time, because that's what gives most people the best results. And yet we keep voting for Labour and Tory alternately, because we vote by our perception rather than the facts. When we've had enough of the harsh medicine, we will vote for a 'little treat' again, because we're worth it.

H/t to Guido, who reads the Grauniad so I don't have to.

PS: My Dad knew Richard Hoggart, Simon's Dad (author of The Uses of Literacy), and thought he was a great bloke.


  1. It is a tactic that is used on purpose , remember pavlovs dog....

    we are programmed to do as they wish us to (well the masses are) the thinkers are too small in number to change the system. Even if the thinkers form alternative parties the people will not vote for them because they do not know what the flavour of the sweeties will be, or the nature of the punishments or even if there will be a proper balance between the two...

    They have been cleverer than the herd and the herd are only there to be culled, in one form or another by the two wolf packs working as one...

  2. In electronics speak we have a leaky capacitor driving a bipolar flip/flop that goes ping every so often.

  3. @Indy - agreed the present system favours big parties and militates against new ones. I wouldn't go so far as to say the big two are working as one, although I would agree that they are both infected with the statist thinking that has eroded so much of our freedom since I was young. It's really down to which flavour of social democracy you want this time around. But there is no getting away from the fact that one party always gets the economy in the shit, and the other always has to take hard decisions to put it right again. In a sensible world we would always opt for the competent ones, but we aren't sensible. We like our little treats too much, not realising that there are bigger treats to come if we only work hard now.

    @Nikos - I can't possibly disagree with that. :)


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