In this week’s New Statesman: The great squeeze

David Attenborough interview | Sweden: the dark side of utopia | Laurie Penny: our foul appetite for


In this week's New Statesman, we explain why the real economic pain has only just begun. In a special report, Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, warns that Britain will suffer a "prolonged squeeze" as prices rise, wages fall and taxes increase. The result, he concludes, will be "growth without gain".

Elsewhere, Andrew Brown says that Sweden only looks like a socialist utopia to those who've never lived there. In reality, social democracy has faltered, the economy has dived and tolerance of foreigners has vanished.

Also this week, Sophie Elmhirst talks to David Attenborough, who calls for the BBC to have its "sails trimmed", Neil Clark reports from Belarus in the wake of the presidential election and Jon Bernstein meets New Zealand's former prime minister Helen Clark.

In politics, Mehdi Hasan says that the issue of control orders has the potential to split and realign all three parties, David Blanchflower explains why David Cameron still needs to have a plan B at the ready and Laurie Penny condemns our taste for anorexia chic.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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“Trembling, shaking / Oh, my heart is aching”: the EU out campaign song will give you chills

But not in a good way.

You know the story. Some old guys with vague dreams of empire want Britain to leave the European Union. They’ve been kicking up such a big fuss over the past few years that the government is letting the public decide.

And what is it that sways a largely politically indifferent electorate? Strikes hope in their hearts for a mildly less bureaucratic yet dangerously human rights-free future? An anthem, of course!

Originally by Carly You’re so Vain Simon, this is the song the Leave.EU campaign (Nigel Farage’s chosen group) has chosen. It is performed by the singer Antonia Suñer, for whom freedom from the technofederalists couldn’t come any suñer.

Here are the lyrics, of which your mole has done a close reading. But essentially it’s just nature imagery with fascist undertones and some heartburn.

"Let the river run

"Let all the dreamers

"Wake the nation.

"Come, the new Jerusalem."

Don’t use a river metaphor in anything political, unless you actively want to evoke Enoch Powell. Also, Jerusalem? That’s a bit... strong, isn’t it? Heavy connotations of being a little bit too Englandy.

"Silver cities rise,

"The morning lights,

"The streets that meet them,

"And sirens call them on

"With a song."

Sirens and streets. Doesn’t sound like a wholly un-authoritarian view of the UK’s EU-free future to me.

"It’s asking for the taking,

"Trembling, shaking,

"Oh, my heart is aching."

A reference to the elderly nature of many of the UK’s eurosceptics, perhaps?

"We’re coming to the edge,

"Running on the water,

"Coming through the fog,

"Your sons and daughters."

I feel like this is something to do with the hosepipe ban.

"We the great and small,

"Stand on a star,

"And blaze a trail of desire,

"Through the dark’ning dawn."

Everyone will have to speak this kind of English in the new Jerusalem, m'lady, oft with shorten’d words which will leave you feeling cringéd.

"It’s asking for the taking.

"Come run with me now,

"The sky is the colour of blue,

"You’ve never even seen,

"In the eyes of your lover."

I think this means: no one has ever loved anyone with the same colour eyes as the EU flag.

I'm a mole, innit.