Don't believe the lies, the misdirection, the smoke and mirrors – the smoking gun is our disastrous overreaction to a seasonal respiratory virus, says Mark Dolan

Now understandably, there is a lot of anger, including among millions of conservative supporters, about this week's Autumn Statement...

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I went more viral than a Premier League footballer on holiday this week, with this tweet which clearly touched a nerve. Here’s what I said:

'QUICK REMINDER The economic crisis we are in, is because we borrowed £500 billion, in a failed attempt to stop a predominantly mild, seasonal respiratory virus. #AutumnStatement'

Now understandably, there is a lot of anger, including among millions of conservative supporters, about this week's autumn statement, which was a cash grab on anyone that gets up early in the morning and does an honest day’s graft.

Whilst I support the protection of the pensions triple lock, it's fair to say the only winners were the retired, and those on benefits. So the entire working population, who put in the extra hours, take the risks and sacrifice so much will be punished with higher taxes and worse public services.

There's more than one way to skin a cat. Liz Truss's ill-fated mini budget was in my view a failure of sequencing of and political and economic communication, and it's been irrefutably proved by the likes of the International Monetary Fund and others, that the recession we are now in, will be longer and deeper in its absence.

Sunak and hunt have over-corrected the other way, allowing Rolex wearing financiers to dictate government economic policy and send us into a doom loop of high taxes and low growth.

Yesterday’s autumn statement is a tax on income, a tax on hard work, and a tax on aspiration. Astonishing that it should come from a Conservative government.

But what do you expect? Under Truss’s plan you borrow to stimulate growth which clears the deficit, under Hunt’s plan you cut spending and raise taxes to balance the books. But there isn't a huge difference between either policy in the general scheme of things.

Everyone is missing the point. Whether it was Truss’s plan or Hunt’s plan, we were buggered either way. And it's not like some of us didn't flag this up in advance.

We have knowingly wrecked the economy as part of an unproven and debatable scientific experiment – we have crashed the economy into a brick wall with no tangible evidence lockdowns work, and so I’m afraid the cupboard is now bare.

We have been saying for months on this show that the covid measures – which may or not be the right measures – time will tell, I have severe doubts – but love them or loathe them, these measures have consequences.

And those consequences are starting to be felt. Be clear this is just the beginning. And be clear, our leaders chose this path.

Jeremy Hunt outlined a series of tax rises in his Autumn Statement.
Jeremy Hunt outlined a series of tax rises in his Autumn Statement.

That was two years ago folks. Anyone that tells you our economic problems are because of Vladimir Putin or Brexit or 12 years of Tory misrule is lying to you.

Thick as pig s*** economists calling themselves professors, with letters after their name, patronised me in interviews early in the pandemic, telling me not to worry my pretty little head about the debt, the borrowing was effectively cost neutral or even advantageous.

The experts eh? And if you spoke out, if you questioned why healthy people were imprisoned in their own homes, if you wanted the government to do a cost benefit analysis of these measures, if you figured the economic damage from shutting down would lead to a far greater loss of life than the virus itself, you were a bad person.

But who are the bad people now?

Anyone in the public eye that called for this shocking policy to happen not once, not twice but three times, including various TV presenters, journalists and commentators - we know who they are - as well as Boris Johnson who needlessly folded to SAGE and the cervix-free leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, who wanted more. He called Freedom Day reckless.

Don't believe the lies, the misdirection, the smoke and mirrors – the smoking gun is our disastrous overreaction to a seasonal respiratory virus, which was never going to be stopped. Forget Putin, Brexit or pre-pandemic economic policy. The elephant in the room is lockdowns. Tusk tusk

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