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Austerity: it came, conquered then disappeared—without any argument

Tory candidates are on a spending spree, but austerity has not been defeated. There is still a risk that the next recession is followed by cuts that make it worse

Photo: WILLIAM BARTON / ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Back in 2013, in what still felt like a slump, I reported on “Winston,” a stick-thin, lonely and unemployed 47-year-old who spoke for a bewildered nation: “where is all this money, all this electronic money that’s gone missing? How has it gone missing? Who is accountable for it?” Subject to brutal benefit sanctions, Winston was at the sharpest end of austerity, but most of the country was affected somehow, whether through the big squeeze on wages or cut-backs to services. Everyone…

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