I owe my warped interest in economics to a British childhood spent entranced watching grown-ups forever talking about the bad economic news. The annual ritual of budget night only added to my bewilderment The television screen would conjure up a pole-faced man known by the odd title of Chancellor of the Exchequer holding up a battered briefcase before a gang of photographers. In that briefcase or despatch box was the budget—a sheaf of papers, the reading of which the long suffering British public awaited with dread. Year in and year out the Chancellor's sonorous address to the nation would be accompanied by cliches like 'living beyond our means' and 'you've never had it so good'. All up, it was an unmitigated night of reckoning relieved only by gloom.
Recommended CitationMillmow, Alex; Hockenos, Paul; and Formby, Frank, Briefings: 1. Bleak House 2. Salvation's Seamy Side 3. Northern Thaw, Australian Left Review, 1(131), 1991, 4-9.