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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

'Credibility'

Chris Dillow:

"Credibility": At the end of an interview with Ed Balls this morning, Sarah Monague (02h 22m in) gave us a wonderful example of the ideological presumptions of supposedly neutral BBC reporting. She asked Nick Robinson: "It's about economic credibility here, isn't it?"
What's going on here is a double ideological trick.
First, "credibility" is defined in terms of whether Labour's plans are sufficiently fiscally tight*. This imparts an austerity bias to political discourse. There's no necessary reason for this. We might instead define credibility in terms of whether the party is offering enough to working people, and decry the derisory rise in the minimum wage as lacking credibility from the point of view of the objective of improving the lot of the low-paid.
Which brings me to a second trick. Credible with whom? We might ask: are Balls' policies credible with bond markets - the guys who lend governments money - or will they instead cause a significant rise in borrowing costs? Or we could ask: are they credible with working people? ... The judges of what's credible seem to be her and Nick themselves - who, not uncoincidentally, are wealthy, public school-educated people.
This poses the question: what is the origin of this double bias? ...

    Posted by on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 08:55 AM in Economics, Policy | Permalink  Comments (47)


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