Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
23 September 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:12am

Breaking up is hard to do

Likening the British economy to a marriage is a sure way to D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

By Patrick Osgood

After all the civil partnership jokes, we are getting marriage one, this time at the teller’s expense.

Matthew Hancock MP in today’s Times:

Some people who oppose the cuts keep asking: what is Plan B? But would you go into a marriage talking about Plan B? Who gets down on one knee and says: “Darling, let’s talk about what happens if this doesn’t work out”? Like a marriage, the surest way to end up on Plan B is to start talking about it.

This is an astonishingly daft analogy, given the UK’s high divorce rate and the meteoric rise — accelerated by the downturn! — in the use and status of the marital “Plan B”: prenuptial agreements. Reading Hancock on his own terms, I think a Plan B would be a very good idea.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
Transport is the core of levelling up
The forgotten crisis: How businesses can boost biodiversity
Small businesses can be the backbone of our national recovery