While Britons heading towards starvation, King Charles III set to hold a massively glamorous coronation, the United Kingdom is shadowed by a raft of economic and political woes ranging from the soaring cost of living to an uneasy nervousness of what’s next in the Ukraine war. While spring is coming along with the Coronation which will take place on May 6, Londoners are in dark about the fate of country’s already struggling and turbulent economy as well as the world situation. Britain has been heavily spending on Ukraine war thinking it would be returned in many folds with thick profit once Volodymyr Zelensky wins the war. But currently situation in Ukraine is clearly unpredictable while a large number of Western analysts are even seeing a defeated Zelensky fleeing Ukraine and taking refuge in any of the EU nations or may be the United States.
Meanwhile, six months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for seven decades, most of the people in England still feel a lingering grief and sadness.
The United Kingdom has weathered many triumphs and challenges during this past year; celebrating the Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, but then a series of cascading government crises where Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government was swamped by scandals and leadership challenges, culminating in a period of the UK government having three different Conservative prime ministers in a space of two months; Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and now Rishi Sunak. This kind of churning instability came amid the death of the queen, and the buffeting waves of inflation, the energy crisis and Britain’s deepening role in the Ukraine war.
According to experts, the exorbitant cost of fuel/electricity is partly the result of the government’s inflexible Green Agenda coupled with the knock-on effects of Russian energy sanctions. While the UK government subsidizes fuel costs even for individual customers, overall energy bills have jumped by 26 percent. Such government subsidies only result in higher spending refueling the inflationary spiral. Britain’s standard of living is slipping.
Still, between 2000-2015 the UK had one of the lowest inflation rates in the world! But now inflation while holding to just over 10 percent, nonetheless has seen a spike of 17 percent in food prices, the biggest jump since 1977.
London’s iconic cab drivers are quick to point out the dramatic costs of the whole green and electric car agenda. Most newer cabs are sturdy Volvo hybrids, yet the day-to-day fuel costs are up by at least a third. Drivers lament that in the wake of the COVID pandemic and current costs, a few thousand drivers have left the business. That’s a real loss in so many ways. Since January 2018, all newly licensed cabs in London must be pricy hybrid or electric models.
Meanwhile, the once strong Pound Sterling has weakened dramatically though, with one effect favoring foreign tourists especially from France, Spain and China. Americans are back in big numbers attracted by the Pound’s weakness and lower costs than a few years ago.
In the wake of economic doldrums there is an unbelievable spike in street crime in London. Street robberies jumped 19 percent with the perpetrators using fast-electric bikes facilitating their mode of attack and escape. On average 180 people are attacked for valuables on London streets each week.
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