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You are feeling optimistic

Voters are more content than during the later stages of the last Labour government

In the depths of America’s Great Depression in the 1930s, two songs captured the tussle between rival sentiments—Yip Harburg’s pessimistic refrain, “Brother, can you spare a dime?” and the upbeat anthem adopted by Franklin D Roosevelt’s campaign for the presidency, “Happy Days Are Here Again.”

Since George Osborne became Britain’s Chancellor almost six years ago, his tone has been that of Harburg. YouGov’s latest survey for Prospect, ahead of this spring’s Budget, suggests the time has come for Osborne to sound more like FDR. Despite the long years of austerity, and the repeated incantation of the need to make tough choices, voters are actually upbeat. The near-despair of seven years ago, when the economy was at its weakest, has given way to a palpable optimism.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s March issue: Peter Pomerantsev describes the situation in Eastern Europe as the governments of Hungary and Poland turn right. Simon Tilford, from the Centre for European Reform, questions the substance of David Cameron’s EU deal and Philip Collins argues that Jeremy Corbyn is not fit for purpose. Also in this issue: Peter Kellner shows us that we are feeling more optimistic than during the last stages of the last Labour government and Jessica Abrahams explores the sexism of Valentine’s Day. Plus Justice Malala on South Africa and the Prospect Duel asks: "Should all immigrants learn English?"
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