It’s interesting that despite all the polls telling us that no one knows about Corbyn’s policies, and the almost daily pledges of rebellion and revolt from Labour MPs, that he (or at least the Opposition) is making a difference in how we think of austerity. As in, now we’re thinking about it.
Tax credits are hitting home and there are a flurry of articles and screaming editorials from all the tabloids, left and right, urging a rethink. There are reports of restive Tories possibly losing their seats * and so many economists and commentators discussing the tactic of tax credit cuts.
No longer are we in the rigid hegemony of apparent common sense that austerity is the logical response the crash of 2008. Instead there is a subtle shift in language. Now the talk is of “choices”. It’s not much, but it’s a few cracks in the wall that suggest that there are other options. This is a change.
Like many, I doubt Corbyn will lead Labour to the next election. I don’t think he wants to. But in the short time he is there, he will hopefully continue to shift the conversation.
After all, the way we frame the problem determines the solutions we consider feasible. Suddenly, competing framings to Osborne’s are getting more of an airing.
*I doubt it. After all, they did win the election. And despite the squeals from people who were happy to vote for pain as long as it wasn’t theirs to bear, I think the same divisive, selfish politics could yet win another election as people continue to vote for “everyone else” to suffer. (until they are “everyone else”, of course).