Saturday, 13 February 2010

Mind the ideological gap

From my article at The Guardian's Comment is Free:

'The recent Social Attitudes Survey revealed that only 8% of people in this country support cuts to public spending, while 39% want increases and 50% say levels should remain the same.

Pause to consider these findings and you realise there is a gap between the ideas of most people in Britain and the political elite, since all the mainstream parties advocate cuts to varying degrees. From media coverage you would never imagine that people are thinking this way. The terms of official debate, in press and parliament, are extremely narrow, limited to discussion of exactly where the knife should be targeted or how deep it should cut into public services.'


  1. Ta, Faithful. There's a remarkable number of right wing loons popping up in the comments thread, but this is to be expected. It'll be good if a few more radical left-wing bloggers can get a little space at Comment is Free.

  2. Saw your article on CiF and just wanted to congratulate you on getting published there! They do seem to attract a lot of nasty comments there these days, unfortunately, so I tend to just skim over them or ignore them altogether, rather than join the debate.

    Good article, anyway, and I did agree with the commenter who suggested cutting defence spending. As for politicians constantly promising to cut taxes, well, that just shows their lack of imagination. Not sure what can be done about that, though. They're too gutless even to force the wealthiest to pay their fair share, and to close tax havens and all the tax loopholes.

  3. Yes, I think you've got the right approach to the ranting and crazy comments on there. I was looking through the thread - at about the 30 comments stage - hoping to respond to things. but struggling to find much worth engaging with! I was specifically asked to write a response to the Wheatcroft piece, which was so wide-ranging (but quite superficial) that I had plenty to play around with. I thought it best to focus on the domestic context and foreground the issues of inequality and public services.