In the Times, Phillip Collins says:
Mr Miliband...would rather forget about the deficit and talk about something else. Alas, this is not a viable choice because reality keeps forcing its way in.
Whoa there. Who's reality? It not the reality of the markets, where real gilt yields are negative and there's a shortage of safe assets. It's not the reality of an economy where the deficit is largely due to still-high unemployment and weak incomes growth. It's not the reality of an economy that's "crying out for public stimulus". And it's not the reality where our most fundamental problem is not the deficit but stagnant productivity.
What we have here is yet another example of what Simon calls mediamacro. I suspect, though, that this is the symptom of an underlying disease - that the media exists entirely within a Westminster bubble. Mr Collins thinks the deficit is a "real" problem not because there's empirical or theoretical evidence that it is, but simply because the groupthink of Very Serious People says so.
This is not the only example of Bubblethink. Another habit of the Bubble is to overestimate the number of well-paid people like themselves. This gave us the utterly cretinous headline in yesterday's Times: "Middle class? You'll be ruined by a mansion tax."
Such Bubblethink feeds on itself. One way in which it does so is by current affairs programmes relying upon a circle-jerk of gobshites to the exclusion of experts who might prick the bubble; the fact that James Delingtwat appears on the BBC more than Simon Wren-Lewis tells you all you need to know.
Another way in which it does so is through the BBC's fictitious pursuit of "due impartiality", which promotes the belief that impartiality between two parties with imbecilic ideas about the deficit or economic effects of immigration somehow represents the truth. This was brilliantly lampooned by Alexander Cockburn:
Hunter-Gault: A few critics of slavery argue that it should be abolished outright. One of them is Mr.Wilberforce. Mr. Wilberforce, why abolish slavery?
Wilberforce: It is immoral for one man ...
Macneil: Mr. Wilberforce, we’re running out of time, I’m afraid.
Although that was written 32 years ago, nothing much has changed.
Herein lies a thought. There's some evidence that our brighter politicians are aware of the dangers of Bubblethink - perhaps more so than much of the media. Could it be, then, that the Westminster bubble describes the media more than politicians?