The relaxation of planning laws will blight our high streets and countryside we will look poorer even if we get richer
Everyone cares about the economy. I’m worried about it myself. “How is the economy really doing?” I often wonder. I scrutinise the ups and downs of the FTSE as if it’s the heart monitor of a sickly, giant, invisible loved one. I see boarded-up shops and worry that the economy is dying. I spot a crowded bar and hope it means the economy is fine. At the moment I’m not short of money, but I’m regularly informed that, while the economy’s wounds continue to suppurate under Dr Osborne’s eccentric poultices, I could easily and suddenly become so.
The economy is an incredibly important thing, most of us would agree. But it’s intangible. Whether it’s doing well or not, you’ve still either got a job or you haven’t. If it’s doing well, you’re statistically more likely to have a job, but you’ve still either got a job or you haven’t. In general, we don’t know whether we’re personally experiencing the economy. We can’t sense a fall in GDP, we just hear about it and slot our own situation into the media’s narrative. If we’re told the economy’s weak, then the poor are poor because of that, and the rich rich despite it. In a supposed boom, it’s the other way round.