The Tory conference was designed to bring home to the public the notion of truth and responsibility. Some would say that the release of such headlines as raising the retirement age, freezing public sector pay and “telling it as it as” are a democratic version of spanking. The toffs transposing their public school predilections on the masses.
Yet, the very basis of this approach is paternalist. The public must be schooled and directed towards the appropriate outcome. For the Tories, the outcome is fiscal sustainability, the only time that word appears truthfully in their canon.
However, the majority in democracy have an incentive to socialise their irresponsibility, allying with government to inflate their debt away or maintain redistribution. Such a system is inherently unstable in the long term. After all, under Labour, welfarism has moved onto secondaries. An interesting experiment is under way. Do turkeys vote for Christmas? Short-term slaughter and, possibly, long-term satisfaction.