We're in a rerun of the 2008 financial crash. The economics are worse, but the political consequences will be the same. The last crash killed off a Labour government.

Set partisan feelings aside, and the one clear truth is this: no matter what Conservatives try to do now, voters will suffer. This crisis will hurt all but the rich. So it seems inevitable the Tories will be kaput at the next election. If you’re in power when the agony happens, then you pay the price. That’s the rule. As the saying goes: it’s the economy, stupid.

Jeremy Hunt may try to disguise the agony, in his budget, with a cloak of ‘compassion’ and ‘fairness’ by increasing the minimum wage, keeping pensions and benefits in line with inflation, and imposing higher windfall taxes on energy companies, but there’s no getting away from what’s coming down the line for us all.

Nor is there any getting away from the fact that much of the agony is the fault of Conservatives. Covid and Putin can take some blame, but so can Brexit, the Truss-Kwarteng lunacy, and the legacy of earlier austerity.

Labour will hammer the Tories from now until polling day with the mantra that we are all paying for wasted years of Conservative misrule. For the SNP, the path to independence lies solely through a Labour government. Keir Starmer says he’ll not grant indyref2, but the only hope for the SNP is that in power, he’ll be less intransigent than in opposition. 

Clearly, Starmer doesn’t want to give the Tories any opportunity to frighten Middle England with images of him in Nicola Sturgeon’s pocket. However, why would he want to enter Downing Street only to give the okay to a referendum that might blow the union to smithereens and result in him having to resign? So SNP hopes of Labour mellowing seem misplaced.

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