BBC sees no alternative to cuts

The BBC have a story today on their website called “Will the public accept the cuts to come?” The first sentence is “Whoever wins the election, more cuts are on their way.” Cuts are inevitable, end of discussion. The article then goes on to list all the areas of public spending that could be under threat, and whether the public will stand for what’s coming. While it’s certainly true that all the main parties agree they need to “balance the budget”, and think they need to cut spending by roughly the same amount in order to do so, the question of whether we actually need to balance the budget or to achieve this through cuts to expenditure is far from a settled question. The BBC can argue it is being impartial by saying that all parties agree cuts are coming, by unquestioningly accepting the need for cuts, it’s not really providing readers with a complete picture.

At the end of the BBC’s article, it says “While the economists and analysts of the Westminster village are aware more austerity lies ahead…”. It could try asking some of those economists what they think about the state of the economic debate in the UK, to see how closely the political discussion mirrors the debate in academia. They might be surprised. It would be pretty easy to find some economists (even rather mainstream ones) who would question the entire premise of the BBC’s reporting here, which in my view would be very healthy indeed.

17 thoughts on “BBC sees no alternative to cuts

  1. The constant drum-beat of the neo-lib propaganda machine. There Is No Alternative, we have been told.

    Of course there is, but they won’t let opinions of irrelevant organisations like the IMF advocating a return to good ol’ capitalism muddy the water with their attempt to roll back the tide of this dysfunctional (economically illiterate) government and it’s addiction to the world-wide attempt at a global corporate empire, eh?

    1. I doubt whoever is directing them are illiterate (though Osborne is, obviously) as what they’re doing is creating a land of oligarchs and serfs. If Cameron et al looked likely to become serfs, then I’d agree they could genuinely be illiterate. They look like being among the oligarchs though,and it’s the rest of the country who look like filling the serf roles. This looks more like intention than accident.

      1. I was actually quoting the Oxford Professor of Economics Simon Wren-Lewis (referenced in the main article) who wrote:
        ” Osborne’s plans are illiterate in macroeconomic terms”.
        I highly recommend following the link above for an illuminating establishment critique of Osborne.

        As for your supposition that they are creating a land of serfs and oligarchs, I would direct you to the apologists’ for Andrew Mitchell (and by extension the Tory cabinet and beyond). They claim that he refused to shake the hand of his protection officer because he had been raised in the class where any contact or acknowledgement of the lower classes was simply not done. You see, for the Bullers and mates, we already do live in such a state. It’s just that what with education, the vote, and the welfare state, we plebs just didn’t realise the aristocracy were still running the place like Dornton Abbey.

    2. The so called “economic iliteracy” is not incompetence it’s intentional, it’s part of the neoliberal plan. Contradictions don’t matter, it’s the end game that counts for the neo-cons.

      1. Yes, as I said above, it was the view of the Oxford don economics blogger I was quoting. The rest of us may be freer to state what we think more bluntly. I agree that the policies enacted have been to further the neo-cons (or neo-lib) plan. It’s just that Osborne & co have “sold” them to the electorate as something else – as unavoidable austerity, and the need to “pay down” debt. Hence the “polite” term of economic illiteracy. Personally, I think Osborne really is an economic illiterate, the same as Gove, Hunt, IDS, and many others given positions of state are illiterate in their given feifdoms too. This indeed may have advantages for those primed to fulfil the ideology and triumph over utility.

  2. Austerity is wiping out Greece, not solving debt, which nation will remain in debt for another century if not more, with most of its young population gone abroad. It has no future. Austerity just kills and wipes out capitalism in the nation.

    England is copying Europe’s austerity that is killing people in south and eastern Europe, and will no doubt do that to the Ukraine poor in due course.

    Austerity in a recession breaches the feudal (aristocratic) laws of Noblisse Oblige, where throughout history the elite have fed the poor in lean times.

    In recent history, the aristocratic educated (that is what public schools are in mindset) have gone out of their way to kill the poor with Workhouses and New Poor Law that forbids feeding the starving on the street.

    We indeed still live within the Downton Abbey world, and never had a western democracy, as we have an unelected House of Lords, that Cromwell, who began the people’s parliament, abolished by decree back in the 1600s.

    The House of Lords has not protected the poor from being left to starve, commit suicide when left penniless without benefit when no other income, and stressed to death by benefits admin from the DWP and Jobcentres.

    The BBC is also breaching its remit not to be partisan, because there is a party in England who is against Austerity cuts and leaving the poor to starve. The Greens, who I despair have not made their new and unique policy that will save lives by the hundreds of thousands after 2015, if they form the government.

    The Greens, if they made it widely known through the BBC, of their new policy set to the poorest 20 per cent income of all ages, would win the 326 MPs in England and Wales needed to form a majority government in 2015:

    – universal, automatic, Citizen Income, non-withdrawable
    to level of basic tax allowance

    – A full state pension for all citizens, never mind their National Insurance contribution / credit history, instead of leaving women born from 1953 and men born from 1951 with no food and fuel money for life or far below the breadline for the rest of their lives.

  3. This morning on the R4 Today programme there was a round up of the morning papers and it managed not to mention the headlines in the Independent and the Guardian about Cameron’s retreat on immigration in the face of pressure from Merkel. This is but one of numerous examples of where the BBC fails the public who pay the license fee that pays for the BBC programmes. The BBC has decided it is not going to be seen to be subjecting any Coalition policy to any kind of critical scrutiny, preferring instead to focus on what the Coalition says about its own policies. Thus, no reporting of NHS privatisation – too controversial. No reporting of the impact of welfare reform on people’s lives etc etc. The BBC has turned itself into a State broadcaster, firmly part of the Establishment. The sooner the license fee is scrapped the better and then those who want the BBC’S news and current affairs output an pay for it. Of course this isn’t going to happen because the BBC is too useful to the government of the day and that cosy relationship explains why you won’t be hearing or watching any balanced treatment of the major social, political and economic issues that affect us. Any suggestion of criticism of government policies and the BBC will run a mile

    1. It’s not helped by the BBC new management being stuffed full of openly Tory shills. I never thought I would even say that I watch Sky News – Murdoch and all – but between that and RT there is more real news & analysis than found in the BBC. It’s so sad that another of the much loved UK institutions , like the NHS, has become ravaged by the plague of the neo-lib elite. They have no apparent sense that they are merely a turkey reporting the approach of Christmas.

  4. I’ve just been watching BBC’s 24 news where two reporters and the news presenter were talking about the £2 billion[almost the cost of the HSCB-never mind the Stephen’s £20 billion savings]addition to the NHS budget-perceived as a political maneuvre to discredit the economic credentials,or lack of,of the labour party,inferring that labour do not have the economic competence to run the country.
    So much for caring about the NHS.
    Anyway,as the conversation progressed,one journalist started advocating for the NHS,and what was actually staggering to me was that the news presenter and the other journalist tried to shut her down.
    I was gob-smacked.It was like an agenda kicked in and the topic became off-limits.I could actually see the change.

  5. Reblogged this on SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH and commented:
    We certainly do NOT need cuts. The Labour Party should take this on board, return to their roots and inform the people that taxing according to your ability to pay, halting tax evasion/avoidance would easily supersede any saving austerity might bring and for the majority is the fairest way.

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