Some of the foundations of modern UK political arguments are absurd spin that does not stand up to any intelligent analysis, yet passes for political debate.
Take the often repeated phrase that divided parties do not get elected to government! The Thatcher Conservative party had a long running battle between Wets and Dries, with endless briefing against the Prime Minister, yet it won three elections in a row. The Blairite Labour party was scarred by a permanent public feud between the Chancellor and the PM, with the party split three ways between the left, the Blairites and the Brown followers. They found plenty to disagree about but also won three times.
Or take the ridiculous statement that if we try to negotiate a new relationship with the EU or simply vote to leave, we will lose 3 million jobs. This is based on the crazy notion that overnight we would lose all our exports to the EU because they would want to stop all trade with us, yet they export far more to us than we export to them. The German Finance Minister has already said that if the UK leaves Germany would want and need trade arrangements so we could carry on trading as at present.
Then there is the strange notion that more and more matters of public policy, often very contentious, should be given to independent Agencies or panels of experts, as if they could somehow spirit away the genuine divisions of opinion and do a better job than accountable Ministers who have to listen to public opinion or lose their office.
I have dealt with the dangerous idea that a so called independent Central Bank can give us a stable economy with growth and low inflation. What part of the experience of the last eight years did people not understand? I have tried to explain again that you cannot have an independent Central Bank in a democracy.
I will also deal with the difference between leadership and followership, examining how you can use opinion polls and media lobbying intelligently to try to improve your understanding of the public debate and needs. Alternatively you can slavishly follow them and end up with an erratic and often unsuccessful policy based on the twists and turns of papers and media outlets seeking variety and novelty.
The lecture is being filmed so I will try to post it here afterwards.