Osborne has been saying such nonsense for months, and now Cameron has seen fit to come up with the same. It`s all part of the Tory strategy, of course, which is to repeat the propaganda over and over, Goebbels-style, until enough people swallow it to win them another election. Along with their imagined success of the so-called "long-term economic plan", and Labour`s apparent inability to manage the economy, and being a threat to national security, we are now told, by way of the prime minister`s New Year message, that the Tories should be respected for taking "the difficult decisions in order to defeat these social scourges" (Morning Star,02/01/16).
The choices Cameron is referring to are, in fact, the easiest decisions a Tory prime minister and chancellor can make. Cutting benefits for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, shielding his party`s key supporters from the effects of austerity, refusing to make the wealthiest pay their fair share, and ignoring the need for financial institutions to be strictly regulated are all default positions for Tory governments. What was difficult about selling RBS shares a few weeks ago for £1.1bn less than their real value, just to benefit their hedge-fund friends?
What would be really "hard choices" would include ones which increase fairness in the taxation system, like an increase in income tax for the wealthy, and which deal effectively with tax avoidance by increasing co-operation in Europe, forcing multinationals to file a single European tax return, and thereby offending the eurosceptics in his own party. How can protecting pensioners, the majority of whom vote Tory, from austerity be possibly thought of as a difficult decision? Joining the majority of EU members in imposing a Financial Transaction tax this month might be judged a difficult decision for them, but only because it would offend many Tory donors. "Difficult decisions" for Cameron and Osborne would entail commitments which have the potential to upset Tory voters, something that they are clearly reluctant to do; imposing austerity measures on people traditionally regarded as Labour supporters, or non-voters, cannot be described as such.
Every time the Tory leaders speak, whether about their "successes" or Labour`s failures, assertions, exaggerations and downright lies can be guaranteed. It is essential that Labour does not allow them to get away with it; the Tory propaganda machine cannot be given such an easy opportunity to brainwash the electorate again. Perhaps someone on Corbyn`s staff could be given the task of analysing and evaluating every Tory statement and announcement, and exposing the nonsense undoubtedly included?