I have written a novel about two people from opposing camps running a nation, imposing cutbacks and limiting benefits during a recession. As Europe falls around them, they continue to conduct an impossible war in the Persian mountains, failing to provide the soldiers with the right armour/full pay. Then there is a huge riot involving all levels of society, with calls to bring in the army to put the rebels down. And a chancellor with great private wealth who, against better advice, cuts back on essential services to the public. And the established church threatens to split over matters of essential doctrine.
(Keeps eyes open for signs of plague.)