Jeremy Hunt says focus on the ‘economically inactive’. I say he is scapegoating the sick | Frances Ryan

The chancellor’s rhetoric, echoed by the rightwing press, makes his view clear: that being too ill to work is a lifestyle choice

As the government lurches between screw-ups, sleaze and scandals, it is ironic that one of its key policy agendas is based on the premise that the rest of us aren’t working properly. The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, has highlighted the “economically inactive” as a key issue facing the UK. The number of working-age people either unable or unwilling to take a job has increased by about 630,000 since 2019, according to government estimates , resulting in a staggering 9 million people missing from the job market.

Broadly, Hunt is concerned about two camps: the over-50s who took early retirement during the pandemic, and the increasing number of people who can’t work because of long-term health conditions and disabilities – a state of affairs put down to factors ranging from soaring NHS waiting lists to long Covid.

Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist

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Seth Meyers Mocks Fox News’ ‘Dumbest’ Chinese Spy Balloon Speculation


While the entire news media was consumed by a Chinese spy balloon that the Biden Administration ultimately shot out of the sky over the weekend, Seth Meyers noted on Monday that it was an “especially big hit” on Fox News, whose “human news balloons could not stop obsessing over it.”

“An entire network became obsessed with a balloon like a five year old at a birthday party,” the Late Night host said, joking that President Biden should have announced that he had invited the balloon to appear in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade “just to screw” with Fox News.

“The speculation on the right got so fevered and out of control that the Republicans and Fox personalities started taking wild guesses about what might be inside the balloon,” Meyers added, sharing clips of hosts like Jesse Watters and Maria Bartiromo wondering aloud about whether it could have contained a new virus or “surveillance products powered by solar energy.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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