It seems to be something of a truism in politics that if an untruth is repeated loud enough and with enough frequency it becomes imbued with a de-facto plausibility. 'It must be a good idea if I keep hearing about it'. That kind of logic. Therefore, our senses are now regularly assailed with the news that families "up and down the country" are being harmed by these "savage cuts". Government spending is being cut "too far and too fast". Barely a news report goes by without one or more of these 'facts' receiving an airing. But, the truth is that these savage cuts are, in fact, very mild – nothing is being cut too far and it is certainly not happening too fast. If families up and down the country are worried about them, it is probably just because they have been watching too many news programmes.
The latest popular myth to add to the pile is that, with economic growth proving damnably elusive, one big spending push would get us back on the move. One last fiscal stimulus, one last Keynesian gorge. One last spending spree to get things built, to get people into work, to career us towards a full-employment nirvana. It is an idea gaining alarming currency in recent discourse. The technical term for this madness is "Plan