A UK study has found that public perceptions of key issues that the Right tries to win votes on are vast exaggerations of reality. People think 24% of benefit money is obtained fraudulently, when it’s actually 0.7%. They think there are twice as many immigrants as there are, that teen pregnancy is 25 times more common than it is, that crime is rising when its falling, and that far more is spent on the dole and foreign aid than really is.
The article quotes the author of the study as saying that politicians need to communicate the reality to the public better – which is basically academic code for Rightwing politicians need to stop lying to people and whipping up false perceptions as a way of wedging working people against each other and against their class interests (note that all the misconceptions seek to turn working people into two groups: honest battlers and bludgers).
But the Right ain’t going to do that because they need working people to vote against their class interests if they’re going to win and get on with the job of flogging the public wealth to the private elite.
So, the Left has to do a better job of fighting on these issues. The Right’s only winning in shaping public perceptions because the Left is too busy with the ‘easy’ stuff – identity politics and has ceded the ground on the central issues of fairness in our society to the extent where the Right’s lies that are designed to undermine the Left’s and the Left’s values are now commonly accepted truths. The Left stopped fighting for fairness for all and, with thirdwayism, started fighting only for fairness for the middle class and reinforcing the Right’s lies that the drain on our society are the ‘bludgers’ at the bottom, not the parasites at the top.
Speaking of which, how much per day do you think we pay per adult for the benefit system?
You pay less than a dollar for the right to a basic income in the event of unemployment.
You pay only $2 a day for the right to a basic income in the event that sickness or permanent incapacity prevents you from working
You pay another $2 a day so that you and your kids will have a basic income if you become a single parent and can’t work because you need to look after your children.
And you pay just $9 a day to have a basic income for, on average, the last 16 years of your life.
And that’s the ‘crushing burden’ of all those ‘bludgers’ that the Right has tricked us into believing in, which the Left has failed to fight back on.