Manufacturing consensus: the end of history and the partisan man

Kittysjones discusses here the ideological, rather than economic reasons behind the Coalition’s austerity policies. These go all the way back to a secret report commission by Maggie Thatcher in 1982 under Geoffrey Howe, which recommended the complete dismantlement of the welfare state, including the privatisation of the NHS and vouchers for schools. Significantly, one of the architects of the report was Lord Wasserman, now one of Cameron’s aides. These policies are being normalised through Francis Fukuyama’s idea that the Fall of Communism marked ‘The End of the History’, with the resulting victory of liberal democracy and capitalism. His view of liberal democracy, however, was Neoliberalism – the minarchism of Ayn Rand, rather than the mixed economies of the post-War consensus. This apparently commonsense view is reinforced by ‘virtue words’, ideologically loaded terms that summon up an image to promote a particular message. Kittysjones concludes that far from needing a non-ideological politics based on a common acceptance of Neoliberalism, we need partisan and ideologically driven politics more than ever.

Politics and Insights

The Tories are not “paying down the debt” as claimed. They are “raising more money for the rich”
Austerity is not being imposed by the Coalition to achieve an economic result. Austerity IS the economic result. In the wake of the global banking crisis, the Tories, aided and abetted by the Liberal Democrats , have opportunistically delivered ideologically driven cuts and mass privatisation. We also know that the government’s own Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) laid bare an important truth – that any semblance of economic recovery is despite the Coalition and not because of them. Yet the Tories have continued to claim that austerity is “working”. The Chairman of the OBR, Robert Chote said:
“Looking over the forecast as a whole – net trade makes very little contribution and government spending cuts will act as a drag.”
The OBR state that any slight economic recovery is in no way because of…

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