ECONOMICS, politics, and all the word salad that goes with them can appear complex on occasion, even to seasoned participants. So, it makes sense to stand back on occasion and look at what is really being said both by those we support and also by those whose ideas we oppose.

The last is especially true if we want to change the minds of our opponents. This is, after all, what all political campaigning is about.

Right now, most of those I disagree with in politics (line up, all you neoliberal Unionists) make life easy for me in some respects. That’s because almost all that they do is peddle lies. If we reduce some of their arguments to their basic elements this is obvious. Take these for starters.

Covid is over

No, it isn’t. Despite Covid data being made harder to access now it is clear that there are usually several thousand people in hospital with Covid at any point in time in the UK at present. Long Covid is also still blighting the lives of many. And vaccines aren’t available to most people despite the insanity of denying protection to those who need it. Covid is here to stay. Only politicians deny that.

Brexit is done and dusted

This is the claim of the Tories and now Labour, in particular. And yet we know Brexit is harming the economy, denying us the trained people we need, and is making holidays miserable for many. It’s also fueling inflation. Only a fool would suggest Brexit is over. There are a lot of fools in politics.

Neoliberalism works

Neoliberal economics says it is the job of government to get out of the way of markets. For forty-four long years that is what government has done, with things gradually failing and then getting much worse since 2010 and the onset of George Osborne’s austerity programmes. The result is plain to see. Britain is broken, and Scotland with it. This is not by chance. Underfunding of everything that is important, which has been imposed on Scotland by the devolution settlements, has guaranteed this. The only thing neoliberalism has done is destroy everything of value.

Inequality is no big deal

As far as I can tell both Labour and the Tories think this. Certainly, neither seems willing to do anything about it. And they are wrong. Inequality has grown since 1980, and it still is. By itself that is one of the big reasons why the economy is in a mess. Those on the lowest incomes do not have enough to spend. Those with the most have so much that they are saving, and there is no use that markets can find for their savings. The result is there is not enough money being spent in the economy to provide for everything that we need. Reducing inequality using progressive taxation would solve that.

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Sustainability can wait

In the last few days scientists have warned that many critical indicators that suggest whether human survival here on earth is likely or not have tipped into danger areas. Sustainability can’t wait. We’re already late in dealing with it. Soon we’ll just be waiting for the end. We have to act, now, but there is no urgency to do so it seems almost anywhere.

We are one nation

Who is kidding who? The UK is dominated by England and English people who have never stepped foot in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They have no clue as a result just how very different each nation of the supposed United Kingdom is. That is their exceptionalism on display for all to see. The reality is that vast numbers of people want to decide in their own futures. One day that will happen precisely because there are four nations in what was once called the UK.

There is no money

This is the perpetual cry of politicians who want us to think change cannot happen. But we know they are lying. Labour and Tory politicians both used quantitative easing to tackle crises post 2008, and in 2020. They proved the state can create money when it needs to do so, without inflation resulting. So, they could do it again for the common good.

Wage rises are causing inflation so we must accept below inflation wage deals

This is utter nonsense. Companies are putting up prices ahead of wage prices and by more in percentage terms. That means it is impossible for wage rises to be driving inflation. They are instead lagging inflation. The truth is the wealthy want to increase the profits they alone enjoy at cost to working people, who they want to leave permanently worse off. No one should buy their lies about wages increasing inflation.

There are, of course, other myths. But these will do for starters.

They matter because they need to be called out.

But they also matter because if they can be reduced to fairly straightforward terms, as I hope I have done here, most people can pick some or all of them to make their own, and then argue about them when taking on those who oppose us. And in a democracy, that’s the way to win.