"Is that what you really think or what they'd want you to think?"
Alan Moore, V
Now, for my next trick I will reveal how George Osborne pulled the rabbit out of the hat with his structural deficit claims. Through the art of misdirection, trickery and with a few good lines of bullshit he has sold people an illusion that black is white and white is black.
This is the story of the four tricks employed to mislead people into believing that the last government overspent because they had a structural deficit and it caused "the mess we inherited". Moreover, in the same journalistic spirit as The Telegraph,The Spectator, Guido Fawkes, BBC, LibDem Voice, The Daily Mail, and others who reported on the famous Andrew Marr interviews with Ed Balls as evidence conversely, I reveal the whole thing is nothing more than a trick. Below are the four tricks.
Trick One - Cherry Picking To Create A False Analysis of History.
This technique is used to mislead and alarm by sensualising a partial fact to infer that something that used to exist or happen no longer does and so it poses a danger. It is achieved by drawing attention to the cherry picked fact only and ignoring the rest of information because it exposes their claim as a fallacy. Moreover, as they know people are unaware of the facts they can lead them to assume what they want them to assume.
Mitt Romney used this trick throughout the 2012 election when he inferred that the US no longer built ships. Unfortunately, Barack Obama knew his game. Watch the funny game changing moment below:
George Osborne et al used the same trick to mislead and alarm people into assuming that having a structural deficit very rarely happens or has never happened before and it violates some strict economic law - Fallacious claim one. For instance, by promoting various sound bites such as:
Ed Balls still won't apologise for running a structural deficit even in the run up to the recession.
When one is begging the question, they are assuming the facts before they are even verified or proven. Thus, when asking the question you are speaking as if your claim is a proven fact. Thereby, giving the same impression to people, which leads them to assume your claim or allegation is in fact true. All four tricks incorporate this technique and it usually takes the form of a statement with an underlying claim or assertion, which is used to side step the issue of providing evidence. The following narratives and sound bites use this technique:
- When are you going to apologise for running a structural deficit even in the run up to the
recession? Fallacious claim one.
- Labour were overspending because they were running a structural deficit even in the run up to the recession - Fallacious claim two and three.
- When are you going to apologise for overspending? - Fallacious claim two and three.
- If Labour were not running a structural deficit even in the run up to the recession, we would not have inherited the mess they created - Fallacious claim three.
- When are Labour going to apologise for running the biggest structural deficit in the G7? - Fallacious claim four.
The red herring introduces an irrelevant or minor sensualised assertion or issue as a ploy to distract and divert people's attention away from the original questionable claim; to subtly change the subject. Hence, people are tricked into discussing the irrelevant issue instead. It is then used to establish that the original questionable argument has been proven and won conclusively.
Before the interview, George Osborne's underlying questionable claim was running a structural deficit meant there was overspending before the recession and it caused the mess we inherited. However, after the first interview the Westminster Bubble changed the debate to:
Aaaaaaaaaaw! Ed Balls denied having a structural deficit. Look, everyone watch him deny it and look at the cherry picked IMF data. Mummy!! Ed Balls still won't apologise! - play ground politics.
Ed Balls denying the existence of a structural deficit (the red herring) is used to prove there was overspending before the recession; that Labour created the mess we inherited and to establish we Conservatives conclusively won the argument.
However, the only thing it proves is that Ed Balls denied having a structural deficit and nothing else; fallacious claims one, two and three.
Essentially, this is either a single or two questions disguised as one with a built in assertion that is already presumed to be a given or proven fact (begging the question), which cannot be answered without appearing guilty. It's a trick question to hoodwink a person to admit to whatever you want them to admit. Hence, no matter how the person answers (yes or no) either way they are judged guilty as charged.
For example, the argument between you and the Conservatives is overspending; as you were running a structural deficit even in the run up to the recession. Should you not now apologise for running a structural deficit?
If you deny running a structural deficit you are labelled a deficit denier and if you agree there was one but ... you are still hung drawn and quartered for overspending and creating the mess regardless of any justified explanation. The questioner here is speaking as if his claim is already a proven fact, which misleads people to assume the claim is true. Another question in this category is: Are you a deficit denier?
To conclude, essentially these tricks (narratives and sound bites) are employed by Cameron, Osborne and Clegg to mislead, influence and lead people to assume what they want them to assume or believe. This brings us nicely to parts two and three, which exposes the five fallacious claims promoted by these tricks which is out next.
To give others the opportunity to learn of the four tricks employed to hoodwink people into accepting austerity share this via Twitter, Facebook, Google +, email and Blog it. Finally, remember:
"Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain"- L Frank Baum.