By any normal standards, George Osborne's obduracy in the face of an impending triple-dip recession would be seen as incompetence or a failure to connect with reality.
However, his rhetoric about dealing with economic chaos left by Labour, paying down debt and laying the basis for an economic uplift should be treated as seriously as commercial jingles.
This conservative coalition's priorities are not about promoting prosperity for all, defending public health care and essential services - they are precisely the opposite.
Hard-nosed Tory ideologues such as Osborne have hooked up with their Liberal Democrat Orange Book zealots to utilise the international economic crisis as justification for carrying through what amounts to a counter-revolution.
They are hell-bent on destroying within a single five-year Parliament all of the reforms introduced by the postwar Labour government.
The Attlee government was not without its faults - it tailed behind Washington in a global war against communism and committed Britain to the white elephant of an independent nuclear deterrent that has been neither independent nor a deterrent.
But it will be remembered forever for bringing to fruition the welfare state envisaged by Lord Beveridge, the National Health Service and the improvements in state education outlined in the 1944 Education Act.
The privately educated beneficiaries of inherited wealth at the head of both conservative parties have set their sights on these working class gains and are determined to blow them out of the water.
Just as Margaret Thatcher was prepared to risk the future of Britain's manufacturing sector in her quest to defeat the National Union of Mineworkers in the 1984-5 national strike so this coalition is prepared to go to the limit to smash the organised labour movement through job cuts, slashed services and reduced living standards.
It is nothing less than a war of terror against working people to which the government recognises no limits.
Even the International Monetary Fund realises that its previous support for the British government's slash-and-burn approach may prove counterproductive for economic and political stability in Britain.
It is urging Osborne to cut less and begin to invest for growth, but the Chancellor has got the taste of blood.
Although his claims about paying down debt have been shown up as pipedreams, he feels that he has the goal of smashing the public sector once and for all within his grasp.
He and David Cameron have been helped in their quest by the complicity of the Liberal Democrats whose leader Nick Clegg is beginning to voice some differences with the Tories, but his credibility is so shot that words from him signify nothing.
Unless he and his party wake up to the damage that their collaboration has caused and ditch the coalition, they should save their breath.
Labour's Ed Balls is right to attack Osborne's rigid orthodoxy and to demand economic investment, although his prescription lacks ambition.
Such is the demand already caused and the even worse chaos in store from the government cuts programme that mere tinkering is no longer enough.
Nor is it enough to look forward to 2015 and to urge the electorate to vote Labour then. Working people, pensioners and claimants cannot wait till then.
The labour movement has a duty to lead a movement of resistance to the austerity agenda and to work to fragment and defeat this government long before 2015.
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.