Published: 7th Dec 2011

The autumn financial statement brought little but blindness or blitheness from the chancellor – it’s difficult to decipher which it was, probably a mix of both. Consequently, the cloud of gloom emanating from economic commentators grew ever darker, especially from the Office for Budget Responsibility who poured a lot of cold water on the ‘budget for growth’. The chancellor may have had one eye on his own future, but I’m certain he had not much care for ours. So it seems imperative that we should take this as a timely reminder: we urgently need a new approach that moves us towards a practice that integrates social and economic dimensions. As both Neil McInroy points out here and Julian Dobson here we need an emphasis that is local in its configuration and participatory in its outlook. It is a statement of the bleeding obvious but austerity is the zeitgeist. It is … (To read the full article, subscribe below)