A new mood of seriousness has taken root. Populist chaos won’t cut it any more | Will Hutton

It’s in its infancy, but it’s hard to imagine how the emergent mood of seriousness about the interlinked threats to our economy, society and democracy cannot but grow stronger.

Yes, there was relief at last week’s news that the economy was still growing in the first three months of this year, even if at a minuscule rate. But that was dispelled by the realisation that it is still smaller than before the pandemic three years ago, the worst performance in the G7. Another interest rate increase seems sure to follow after last week’s hike – yet more stress for those having to remortgage their homes, and a further economic dampener. Business and consumer optimism are in short supply.

The baleful impact of the cost of living crisis spreads. The new “multibanks”, providing not just food but clothes and furniture to the very needy, are testimony to the extent that hardship is penetrating far up the income scale. This is changing attitudes. On Thursday, the Fairness Foundation,…

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This article was written by Will Hutton and originally published on www.theguardian.com