The reaction by George Osborne to comments made following his Autumn statement would shame most of us if we attempted something similar in our own workplaces over much more trivial matters. Most of us occasionally misspeak or misrepresent things a little. A small bit of exaggeration here or there is probably factored into all of our responses from time to time. However just because the Government constantly announces things that have already been announced before and presents its own data in the most advantageous light possible, cannot justify the bare faced lies that have emerged this week. Having promised in 2010 to get us out of national debt by now, and acknowledging that we are still deep in it, the Government is appearing to suggest that this shows how well suited they are to continue in office. One can only speculate that if a civil servants misrepresented the reality facing the Treasury in the face of contrary evidence that the Chancellor would demand that they resign in disgrace. The idea that Osborne and Cameron can claim on our screens to have managed our economy well over the last 4 years against criteria of their own choosing is disturbing but arguably predictable for men who are paid up members of the political class in our country. However the real disgrace is that George Osborne has denied suggestion that the decisions announced on Wednesday will lead to hugely challenging cuts in every neighbourhood in the UK over the next 5 years. The expectation of cuts are not news for any of the people in senior positions within our public services at a local level as I have written about previously. They have all been anticipating this sort of poisoned chalice for several years, whilst they struggle to make sense of the current cuts which some analysts have suggested are barely 40% of the full set of cuts that will be needed.
The cuts to our local services are a done deal, irrespective of which party is elected in May. However we clearly also need to prepare for several years of lies and denials. If Labour are the leading party in May 2015 we will have several years of blame of the coalition, if the Conservatives are the leading party we will have several years of blame of the International situation and on local Government for not managing their resources well. None of these lies and denials are justified and we deserve better. However sadly for us and those running local services the truth will only be heard occasionally, and it will then be rudely slapped down and consigned to a place well away from any live microphones.