The Heads in the Sand

Everyone knows one. That one person who, in the face of indisputable facts and faultless arguments, stubbornly adheres to their indefatigable, incorrect beliefs. Maybe it’s a facetious friend; an opinionated uncle; a contrarian colleague - but everyone knows one. Within the realm of political discourse, there are more than a handful of these obdurate types, and there has been a recent surge in their numbers from those whose personal leanings are more Corbyn than Kendall.

With this morning’s publication of the first results from Labour’s independent inquiry into May’s loss, the unyielding Labour Left steadied themselves, before driving their heads even deeper into the sand. The results confirmed the obvious truth that most people had grasped months ago: the voters of Britain had rejected anti-austerity in favour of continued measures to resurrect our economy. Only the most pigheaded of Lefty commentators and curmudgeons stuck to their mantra that the electorate were misinformed, and that the Labour anti-austerity message should have been more extreme. In other words, Labour weren’t left wing enough. 

Surely, though, the independent inquiry would finally silence those ridiculous claims. After all, who could really argue with an set of cold hard data that had been independently and objectively collected? The data released this morning held no surprises, with the synopsis as follows: “58% agree that, ‘we must live within our means so cutting the deficit is the top priority’. Just 16% disagree. Almost all Tories and a majority of Lib Dems and Ukip voters agree.”

There you have it. A paltry 16% of respondents were in favour of removing austerity measures and embracing the Lefty principle of ‘borrow & spend.’ Most (reasonable) people read this, nodded, and then went about their daily business. And then the barrage of Far Left disbelief and incredulity began. Twitter was awash with the likes of Jones and Abbott spluttering their dismay in seeing such a ‘leading question.’

The phrasing of the question - according to fuming Lefties - was designed to lead the respondent to a positive answer. Of course no one would disagree with that, they whined, so clearly this data has no merit, and certainly doesn't rebuff our belief that the public is clamouring for anti-austerity.

Right. Let’s take a quick look at this terribly unfair question then, shall we? In reality, it’s a relatively innocuous statement: “We must live within our means so cutting the deficit is the top priority.” What is remarkable is that ‘respected’ - and I use that term loosely - politicians and commentators refuse to acknowledge that the above sentence is austerity in a nutshell. You’re in debt: do you A) spend frivolously and increase that debt or B) make some measured cuts to your expenditure until your financial position is more favourable. Answers on a postcard.

This is the problem when debating austerity with the Far Left. Behind all the infantile foot-stomping and bitter exasperation lies a complete denial of what the function of austerity is. They characterise it as the ‘Evil Tories’ punishing the poor and decimating the public sector, when what it actually represents is fiscal common sense and a path back to national prosperity. With the release of this poll, the Labour Left have once again shone a light on the real issue within their party: they refuse to listen to the electorate, and they remain rigid in their antiquated socialist principles. To the more moderate Labourites: good luck if Corbyn wins - you’re going to need it.