Who knows if Truss or Sunak is right on the cost of living crisis – where are all the economists? | Simon Jenkins

The profession seems to have gone AWOL, just when we could do with a bit of modelling on tax cuts v handouts

Cut taxes? No, give handouts. Go for growth? No, fight inflation. Increase debt, curb debt. Raise interest rates, lower them.

Two members until recently of the same cabinet seem at opposite extremes of the economic spectrum. Both studied economics at Oxford. They must have attended similar lectures and read the same books. What’s their problem?

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

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It’s the culture war games – and the last Tory contenders are on the run from reality | Nesrine Malik

Boris Johnson is on his way out but the ‘war on woke’ is here to stay: it’s all they have to talk about as the economy crumbles

It is the ceremonial opening of the culture war games. Rishi Sunak, late to start but making up ground, showed up in earnest at the end of July with what has become the first ritual, the kicking of the asylum seeker. Liz Truss pledged to send even more of them abroad. Sunak, unable to outdo Truss by pledging to fire them into outer space, said hear me out: cruise ships. How about we house asylum seekers in a sort of floating prison while they are processed?

This didn’t do the trick, and so Sunak effectively relaunched his campaign last week, pivoting towards a fight with “leftwing agitators” for trying to “take a bulldozer to our history, our traditions and our fundamental values”. He accused them of “rewriting the English language so we can’t even use words like ‘man’, ‘woman’ or ‘mother’ without being told we’re offending someone”. Then scrambling for more, announced that “vilifying the UK” should be an offence that should be referred to Prevent, as it amounts to extremism.

Nesrine Malik is a Guardian columnist

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