UK newspaper headlines 18 November 2022

You’ve Never Had It So Bad

The politics of Tory self-destruction

Paul Mason
7 min readNov 18, 2022

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Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement is set to plunge British living standards into a steep and sudden fall. Families will see their spending power drop by 7% in two years, as double-digit inflation combines with higher taxes to make them poorer.

That won’t just wipe out all the wage growth of the past decade: it will take the rest of the 2020s for the average family to get back to where it was in 2019, on the eve of the pandemic (see below, right). The Daily Record’s headline, reversing Harold Macmillan’s famous phrase in the 1950s, says it all: You’ve Never Had It So Bad.

The irony is, it could have been worse. The logic of freemarket economics says: when in trouble, shrink the state. And there are indeed real-terms spending cuts for all departments except health, social care and education in Hunt’s plans.

But the Sunak-Hunt government is realised the danger of the fiscal doom loop and stepped back. They might still achieve the dreaded rinse-repeat cycle of recession-deficit-spending cuts — but it’s clear they’re aware of the dangers. By borrowing more over the next two years, and by seriously…

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Paul Mason

Journalist, writer and film-maker. Author of How To Stop Fascism.