These Times

Britain’s Lethal Economic Bind

March 5, 2024


In this week’s episode Tom and Helen explore what has happened to the British economy over the past 20 years, and why is it becoming increasingly difficult for it to adjust to the new economic and geopolitical world….


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John Batt
John Batt
4 months ago

This wide ranging yet succinct overview of the economic/political plight of Britain in 2024 is first class. Rooting the myriad and deep seated current economic difficulties both in recent history and the geo-political picture was quite masterful. I would highlight just a couple of the points covered; the parallel with the aftermath of the Suez Crisis, and the absence today of benign international factors which previously benefited the British economy. Finally, it was refreshing to see towards the end of the podcast a recognition of the reality that large sections of the British population are poorer than their counterparts in comparable countries.
As a retired British resident of the Netherlands I am perhaps in an advantageous position, in more than one sense, to appreciate the economic home truths facing Britain.
John Batt

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  John Batt

As a (sadly, former) British resident of France I agree! Firstly on it being a brilliant podcast and secondly on Brits not realising how much poorer we are than our European counterparts on a relative basis. GDP per capita does not do it justice.

James Kumara-Lloyd
James Kumara-Lloyd
4 months ago

Over the last twenty years, most of the economic damage has been self-inflicted by our politicians. Every time we have had a successful industrial sector, the government has stepped in to kibosh that success.
We had a highly productive oil and gas industry. The government responded by banning fracking and, more recently, imposing 80% windfall taxes.The city was booming until 2008 when they introduced massive new regulations, ending this.Self-employment boomed in the 2010s, so rather than encouraging the sector, they introduced IR35 reforms. There are now 800,000 fewer self-employed people.Domestic tourism boomed post-Covid, so they are responding by clamping down on holiday lets.Instead, they have imposed high-cost electricity generation. They now want to impose more expensive motor vehicles and home heating system.
I am not entirely blaming the politicians. All of these measures have had widespread public support. But we reap what we sow!

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
3 months ago

Economic growth 2017-2023
Germany – 1%
France – 4%
Italy – 4%
Britain – 4.6%
Spain – 6%