UK economy: Going for gold?
As Britain basks in the afterglow of Olympic glory, a leading academic has warned that our happiness is bound to be short-lived.
Party pooper Christine Griffin, professor of social psychology at the University of Bath, told the Big Issue that the austerity gloom will soon settle over the nation once again. Her analysis comes after Bank of England chief Mervyn King claimed that Britain has many more hurdles to leap on the long marathon run to economic recovery.
King suggested that even though the nation’s mood was buoyed up by the 2012 Games, the economy is still “not at full fitness”.
Griffin said: “There’s a more positive mood in certain areas, but it’s not clear how widespread it is. If you’re in a bad state economically – you’ve just lost your job, you face repossession – seeing everyone all jolly can make you feel worse.”
However, she predicted that the Olympics may inspire grassroots activism by encouraging communities to stand up against the closure of local facilities.
She added: “If there are attempts to cut funding to sports amenities, some might be more likely to get involved and say: ‘don’t touch that.’”
In an article this week, Mervyn King wrote: “By spreading happiness and good cheer the Games have made us all feel better. And, who knows, the impact on confidence may give the economy a boost.
But ultimately the Games cannot alter the underlying economic situation we face. If the rest of the world were growing normally, the rebalancing and recovery of our economy would be much easier. But it isn’t. Even the rapidly expanding emerging market economies are slowing, and the problems of the euro area continue with no obvious end in sight."
“At home, unlike the Olympians who have thrilled us, our economy is not at full fitness right now.”
Read the full piece on the aftermath of the Olympics in this week’s Big Issue.