Hammond fiddles while the economy burns up

We had to wait for elder statesman Ken Clarke in questions from MPs to introduce, ever so gently, a reference to the threat of recession. It was the first and last time even a hint of reality entered the proceedings of the chancellor’s autumn statement.

Beyond the borders of the UK, however, and beyond the influence of the Tory government, the global economy is riven with crises of unprecedented proportions. Their consequences are being felt everywhere already. Much worse is looming.

Philip Hammond’s democratic credentials are virtually non-existent. Reportedly the second richest member of the Cabinet, having accumulated his wealth in the private healthcare sector, he can perhaps best be described as a political odd-job man acting for the rich elite.

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