If not in the way we usually think. Just look at these counterintuitive figures:
Plus we now know that the ‘debt’ has increased under Conservative governments from £759 billion to £1.7 trillion.
But nobody ever mentions it – presumably because this keeps the financial sector happy.
Yet the government ‘deficit’ – often referred to as ‘structural’ as though that somehow gives it a special significance – is always centre stage and is given an importance which, in reality, is justified only to demonstrate how badly served we are by ‘austerity’ governments. The current government equates reducing it to something approaching a matter of supreme courage and valour.
And our media never seem to question it, even while our private cars get more and more complex, so the public roads grow more and more potholed. JK Galbraith called this private affluence amid public squalor.
Even after the collapse of Carillion and the administration of Interserve, public bad and private good is ingrained in their psyches.
What a good job the Conservatives have done all these years with misinformation and misdirection.
It is rather proved by Johnson’s commitment to 20,000 more police – the same number that the Tories themselves have abolished as unaffordable.
Now all of a sudden they are distinctly affordable and nobody is seemingly asking how we shall pay for them.