Here’s a question for you. Consider the following statement: “We must live within our means, so cutting the deficit is the top priority.” Do you agree?
If you said yes, you are with the majority. If you said no and are a member of the Labour party, you are almost certainly planning to vote for Jeremy Corbyn to be its next leader.
The question was put as part of Labour’s inquest into why it lost in May and, according to Ed Miliband’s policy coordinator, Jon Cruddas, is evidence that the party’s austerity-lite message was not tough enough. He said in a blog post: “We can seek to change the views of the public, but it’s best not to ignore them.”
Fair enough, you might think. Labour lost because it wasn’t credible on the economy and the reason it wasn’t credible was because the electorate thought Miliband would borrow and spend too much. If this was a game of Cluedo, the solution would not be Colonel Mustard with the lead piping, but George Osborne with the budget deficit.