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Apolitical economy

The end of boom and bust means the politics has been taken out of economics. How?

British politicians have been brought up on the assumption that elections are won or lost on economics, and for most of the 20th century they have been broadly right. But the 2005 general election will not be determined by economics.

Ever since detailed polling data on the political salience of individual issues started being tabulated by Mori in the early 1970s, economic problems—unemployment, inflation, trade unions, interest rates or taxes—have normally topped the list of voters’ concerns. For almost the whole of this period, one or other of these items (usually inflation or unemployment) has been identified by more than…

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