The Carlton Moscow was the Ritz-Carlton before sanctions squeezed and Russians now buy Moy Burgers, not McDonald’s. Fifa thought rebranding the national team as the Football Union of Russia would keep them playing – then thought again.
The Kremlin claimed the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic but the US set up Task Force KleptoCapture to seize sanctioned Russians’ assets, including yachts, while the G7 launched REPO – a Russian Elites, Proxies & Oligarchs team. Britain set up a Homes for Ukraine scheme and Odesa changed Mayakovsky Street to Boris Johnson Street.
Germany blocked the opening of Nord Stream 2, but the gas pipeline from Russia was sabotaged anyway. Don’t Pay UK campaigned against rising energy bills. The Bank of England’s Inflation Report – now its quarterly monetary policy report – detailed the cost of living crisis while warm banks offered shelter.
Vegan sausages replaced doughnuts in the official inflation index. Food writer Jack Monroe’s Vimes ‘Boots’ inflation index was named after a Terry Pratchett character.
The Energy Price Guarantee cut consumers’ bills while an Energy Markets Financing Scheme helped cash-strapped energy providers and an Energy Profits Levy (followed by an Electricity Generator Levy) taxed their windfall gains. Even so, Whoop Energy and Xcel Power ceased trading.
The Government announced a British Energy Security Strategy while a Future System Operator will take over some roles from National Grid, which recruited consumers for a Demand Flexibility Service to avoid blackouts, then stood them down.
The Resolution Foundation suggested a Solidarity Tax – 1pc on income tax – to limit the energy price cap. Labour proposed creating Great British Energy: the government is setting up Great British Nuclear.
UK politics got hotter. Red Throat leaked that Rishi Sunak’s wife had non-dom tax status. Operation Red Meat – part of Operation Save Big Dog – announced new policies to boost Boris Johnson after the Pork Pie Plot to oust him. Removing him would be Bonkerooni, said Michael Gove, but No 10 called Gove a snake when he changed tack.
The police investigation of Partygate was codenamed Operation Hillman. ‘Pinocchio prime minister’ was ruled an unparliamentary term. Downing Street set up the Office of the Prime Minister – and the Office of Boris Johnson Ltd was incorporated after he left.
Liz Truss – called a right-wing knucklehead – rewrote the dictionary, then rewrote the rewriting. Her budget was downgraded to a fiscal event, then upgraded to a mini-Budget. The 45p tax went and returned, just like IR35. Her investment zones echoed Scotland’s renamed Green Freeports. The ABCD health policy – ambulances, backlog, care, doctors – was DoA.
The small business minister was scrapped and re-instated by Truss’s successor. The Ministry for Women & Equalities dropped the ‘Women’ when Nadhim Zahawi became minister, but re-inserted it when Kemi Badenoch replaced him.
The Department of Business was dubbed the Ministry of Growth, promoted a ‘Virtuous circle of growth’ while Truss attacked the Anti-growth coalition. The Kwarteng premium on yields required bailing out pension schemes with liability-driven investment funds.
The newest new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, recruited an Economic Advisory Council, axed the Health & Social Care Levy, introduced a Transitional Relief Scheme for business rates, but made ‘doom loop’ an official term.