The Lie That Will Not Die

Tuesday 28th January

The Tories are clever, very clever.  And the trouble with a lie is that the more it is repeated the less it becomes a lie and the more it becomes accepted as the truth.

In late 2008 the financial institutions across the world suddenly became unstable.  The whole system relied on debt and confidence.  The confidence was that somehow this ever-increasing mountain of debt could or would be repaid.  No-one up to this point had begun to question the sense in simply lending more and more money to companies and individuals.  Don’t be stupid.  They were all earning far too much money.  But suddenly the bubble burst.  It happened in America and spread like wildfire to Britain and Europe.  Lehman Brothers, one of the largest financial institutions in America crashed.  But many others including over here RBS and Lloyds were saved by huge loans and share purchases by the Bank of England.

Labour were in power at the time, but they didn’t cause the recession, or the deficit which followed.  But the Tories trot out the lie at every opportunity that they had to go in and clear up the mess which Labour caused.  True, public spending was probably too high – but George Osborne had promised to match Labour’s spending pound for pound.  That was of course before the crash.  People tend to have selective memories, and yet for almost twelve of the thirteen years while Labour were in power we saw big rises in the standard of living.  The vast majority of people were better off even after the crash than ten years before it.  And yet the lie is believed.  Labour were financially reckless and caused the recession; the deficit was caused by Labour over-spending.

But sometimes people can see through the lie, and just as it is universally recognized that Gordon Brown was a disaster as PM, people still do trust the motives of the Labour party.  And remarkably the polls are still showing a steady 5 or 6 point lead for Labour, despite the lie that will not die.