X Close

How the fates abandoned Boris Covid has shown the Conservatives to be inadequate — and things are about to get worse

Fortuna hasn't favoured Boris. Photo by Jeremy Selwyn-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Fortuna hasn't favoured Boris. Photo by Jeremy Selwyn-WPA Pool/Getty Images


December 11, 2020   5 mins

Machiavelli insisted that when it came to political leadership half was virtu, by which he meant action oriented towards power and glory, and half was fortuna, or luck, which Machiavelli summarised as a “blind bitch goddess”, and Harold MacMillan as “events dear boy, events”.

Virtu, for Machiavelli, was the political skill to turn circumstances that you did not choose and events that you could not predict to your advantage. Fortuna is a condition of politics, there are always things happening which you cannot control, and without virtu you can never escape its constraints.

And this Government has experience of riding the waves of fortuna to reach the shores of glory and power. It understood that the long-term disaffection of Labour’s heartland voters with globalisation and abandonment combined with the short-term incoherence of Jeremy Corbyn offered a moment to transform the class basis of English politics, with Brexit serving as the perfect proxy through which these could be aligned. The Labour heartlands vote was a covenantal bond that endured through generations, and it was broken last December.

In his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway’s character Mike Campbell is asked how he went bankrupt. He replies, “Two ways. Gradually and then suddenly.” That was Labour’s story last December. The ties that bound had been loosening for decades and were then broken. The Conservative lead among C2 voters was almost 20%, and the scale of the carnage would have been worse were it not for the presence of the Brexit Party in Labour-held seats.

And Brexit held out the promise of a Covenantal renewal based on the restoration of democracy, of Parliament, of the Common Law and sovereignty. By embodying that, Boris Johnson achieved the class realignment of the political parties, with the Conservatives overwhelmingly dominant outside the big cities and university towns.

They could speak for England in a way that Labour could 80 years previously. The Conservatives broke with Thatcherism with their talk of levelling up and a regionally-targeted Keynesian industrial policy. They grasped the framework of a new era in which there was a more constructive role for the state in the organisation of the economy, a significant role for the working class and for the places where they lived — which had been desecrated and neglected for half a century while the Conservative Party was committed to the City of London, the primacy of finance and the magic of the market.

Fortuna had opened up the space and, with Dominic Cummings by his side, Boris Johnson had the virtu to seize the moment. All Hail Good King Boris as he flew off to the West Indies last Christmas with a decade of uncontested dominium before him.

And this is when the face of fortuna turned and a cloud no bigger than a man’s hand appeared over Wuhan, a faraway place that no-one had ever heard of. And, in the storm that followed it was revealed, with the clarity of a lightning bolt, the underlying conditions of our polity, and the lack of strategic clarity of the new Government. Events, dear boy, events.

First there was the unresolved incoherence, framed as the economy versus human life. An emergency was declared in which the liberties were pitted against public health.

Then came a state characterised by debt and the NHS: local initiatives were overridden by centralised directives. Local authorities were ignored, and the full scale of our industrial palsy was revealed. In a perverse homage to the model that had created the conditions for their political success, state centralisation was combined with crony capitalism.

It was recognised that our economy had no capacity to produce face masks or dressing gowns, let alone ventilators or aspirin. Some ÂŁ1.5 billion pounds went to companies linked to the Government, mainly to facilitate emergency imports. Another ÂŁ479 million was spent on consultants in order to by-pass the civil servants. Many millions of the face masks were faulty.

The state of emergency rendered procurement procedures redundant, and it turned out that the main source of supply was also the source of the virus — China. Britain had contracted out its industrial capacity and no aspect of the response addressed the underlying problem.

While it is true to say that no Labour politician other than Keir Starmer made any impression, it is equally true to say that whenever a cabinet minister emerged into public view they were revealed as either inept or corrupt. Robert Jenrick and Gavin Williamson spring to mind.

The furlough scheme made no distinctions between sectors that would provide the growth of the future economy, no incentives to reduce extended supply chains in agriculture, medicine or PPE. There was no attempt to strengthen regional resilience, to level up.

They did not have the virtu to withstand the change of fortune. None of the responses to Covid gave any indication that there was either an industrial policy or an institutional strategy that could serve as a basis for consolidation of the class coalition they had created last December. While Danny Kruger outlined a strategy of a new social covenant that would strengthen place and society, no other aspect of public policy was aligned with that. The late Sir Roger Scruton was given a knighthood for his work on developing a housing strategy based on place, local building and beauty, and when he died in January the only Government response was a further deregulation of planning laws.

The underlying conditions that Covid preys upon and intensifies are geographical inequality exacerbated by lack of assets, the weakness of productive capacity and the primacy of finance and debt. The polity is threatened by Scottish secession and a strategy of centralisation. Super Hospitals and Super Labs denuded local places of capacity, track and trace as well as testing failed to establish themselves.

What is required is the establishment of local banks and vocational colleges to generate value, but the Treasury took control and small to medium sized businesses, particularly in the catering and entertainment sector, have amassed a debt that will require relief and sustained partnership.

A programme combining debt relief with institutional renewal is required to resurrect local businesses and there was nothing in the Covid response that would lead to that. It was sporadic and intense, indicating crisis management rather than strategic statecraft. There has been talk of infrastructure, but not in institutions such as British Rail and the Post Office that could be shared with Scotland and strengthen the institutions of the Union.

The Conservative victory in December was based upon an understanding of the importance of three things that were denied in the previous era. The first was a recognition of the important role of the state as an economic actor, and not simply an external regulator. The kind of economic intervention envisaged by the Government would have violated EU rules relating to competition law and state aid. That was how they could present Brexit as a moment of national renewal.

The second was the political importance of the working class, which was previously considered an anachronistic irrelevance. Their vote decided the referendum and the election of the Government. The third was the importance of place, and the distinction between the hubs and the heartlands. Not only were local authorities and initiatives discarded in favour of central control but there have been no steps towards the integration of the state, place and work into a form of statecraft appropriate to the scale of renewal.

The inability to react strategically to events means that you become their prey, and the removal of Dominic Cummings has only intensified the strategic void. He understood that the Government’s programme could only be delivered outside regulatory convergence and an active role for the state was required. We will find out in the next few days whether there is any understanding of that remaining within the Government. It is not fishing and transport but state aid that really matters; if they fold on that then there will be no possibility of achieving their political goals.

Fortuna could yet save the Government. The inability of Labour to renew itself as an object of affection for the working class or articulate a plausible economic plan for national renewal may allow the Government to limp along. They wish to give a Christmas present of a vaccine and a deal and start the new year as if this one never happened. Yet a year after their triumph they have no strategy, no narrative and very little energy. And they know that next year could be worse.


Maurice Glasman is the founder of Blue Labour and director of the Common Good Foundation. He is a Labour life peer.


Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

132 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago

The only good thing I can find to say about the Tories is that at least they didn’t pimp our little girls for votes

Prof Jay – Rotherham(of which there are many)

A blind eye was turned in order “to accommodate a community expected to vote Labour”

Dump the white proles, Cry a river over Palestine

That’s the style

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

“The only good thing I can find to say about the Tories is that at least they didn’t pimp our little girls for votes”
And yet BoJo and Priti refuse to publish the Report.

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

They do – and that is deeply disturbing, however the same strong force blind eye/bloc vote nexus does not exist in the Tory Party.

There is something deeply, deeply disturbing here. It may well be that the bureaucracy and academia is so pretty thoroughly infiltrated by political correctness, the abject cowardice that enabled “Rotherham” and the malign influence of the far left. The academic go to on these matters is Dr Ella Cockbain, whose favourite outlet for her denialist views is Socialist Worker.

There is something truly rotten here. The so called Independent Inquiry into CSA chose to investigate – in the case of organised gangs – areas where there was little but mostly no track record of Rotherham model CSE

St Helens, Warwickshire, County Durham, Swansea, Tower Hamlets, Bristol.

They actually changed the areas under investigation from those originally slated – eg Rochdale.

If they were serious about investigating organised CSE gangs then they would have gone to the many areas where it has already taken place on an almost industrial scale – West Yorkshire for instance

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

“They do – and that is deeply disturbing, however the same strong force blind eye/bloc vote nexus does not exist in the Tory Party.”

So why don’t they publish it?

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Be careful what you wish for.

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

That’s what I’d like to know

As I say the public services are dyed in the wool politically correct so bringing up this most awkward of issues would encounter very strong resistance.

Now more than ever inflows of foreign money are required to keep the xxxx show on the road; not least Islamic

Then there are tactical considerations; the scandal is deeply damaging to Labour, probably devastating so maybe they are saving it for a rainy day, of which there will be very many ahead

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

Albert, there’s a (free) book/pamphlet entitled ‘The Long March’ by Marc Sidwell. It’s available on the Counter Cultural Forum on YouTube. I’ve just started it but I believe it covers all those areas in our public life now taken over by unelected elites.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben

“unelected elites”…should the theatre/movie producer in London get elected by the people in Sunderland?

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Could be an improvement if the heads of many of our institutions were subjected to the scrutiny of those they are supposed to serve but choose to bully.

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Ben, just seen your reply, will check out the Youtube

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

I didn’t ask you WHY civil service is not publishing the report?
I asked you why 2 ELECTED POLITICIANS – with the constitutional power – are not doing it?
Yes…tactical choice…LOL

Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

They won’t publish to avoid stoking racism. Ironic really as it’s racism that’s behind all the attacks in the first place.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Could be (most likely you are right).
I was simply pointing out how Tory/Boris fans blame the Civil Service.

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Apparently it’s going to be published next week possibly

“Sky News understands that the Home Office is preparing to publish a paper on predatory gangs as early as next week.”

Sky News 11/12/2020

Hope it’s not been too heavily sanitised, redacted, watered down by politically correct civil servants

SUSAN GRAHAM
SUSAN GRAHAM
3 years ago

If it is truthful then it will be the police who will be vilified for their incompetence and blaming the victims, together with avoiding the elephant in the room – ie the race and religion of the perpetrators who have zero respect for white girls.

henrysporn
henrysporn
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

Or females in general

Albert Kensington
Albert Kensington
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

You could well be right, we shall see; I doubt the whole elephant can be concealed however – it was encouraging that Sarah Champion was part of the review of the review process. One thing that very much raises suspicion is that apparently they may slip it out next week, under cover of the Brexit debacle; an ideal opportunity for burying unpalatable truths.

anneclarke255
anneclarke255
3 years ago
Reply to  SUSAN GRAHAM

Yes, the police should be vilified – but the police force in this country are not a law unto themselves. They operate in a very particular political and (multi)cultural setting. The main culprits are Blair and his familiars.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

And 32 more of that community charged yesterday with offences that took place between 1999 and 2013.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago

You’ve got it in one.

Will D. Mann
Will D. Mann
3 years ago

And Prince Andrew admits he spent nights at Epstein’s mansion!

Robert Cannon
Robert Cannon
3 years ago

Glasman – never elected to anything and sitting in a sinecure in the House of Lords like so many from the Labour Party. Before that he was a lecturer at London Metropolitan University – the worst university in the country by some degree (no pun intended).

Let’s remember what Glasman said in April 2011 about integrating into the Labour Party sympathisers of the English Defence League “to build a party that brokers a common good, that involves those people who support the EDL within our party. Not dominant in the party, not setting the tone of the party, but just a reconnection with those people that we can represent a better life for them, because that’s what they want”.

People like Glasman should be driven out of public life because all they do is criticise from the sidelines. They are only good at tearing things down, never at building anything up. We know what the myriad problems of this country are. We need solutions that are better than this: “What is required is the establishment of local banks and vocational colleges to generate value.”

I mean, the country is littered with further education colleges staffed with people of Glasman’s ilk. Why not reform those – get rid of those like Glasman that are only good at theorising – and bring back practical people who can teach something like value.

simejohnson1
simejohnson1
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

Hilarous. The respose before yours was risible whataboutery and yours is 4 paragraphs of ad hominem. I wonder if the next post can complete the trifecta with some flaccid slippery slope fallacies or false dichotomies – juat to round off the full array of comically weak arguments.

David Moody
David Moody
3 years ago
Reply to  simejohnson1

yes, ignore who he is and ask yourself how much of what he says is actually true! Most of it and I’m a Conservative.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David Moody

Yes, but people here (despite their pretensions) have embraced feelings over facts.
They are the Tory woke brigade.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

But your comment did not address any of the points raised by the author?
It is simply a personal attack on the author.
Boris got elected and the man is (by any account) a pathological liar, a cavorting charlatan, immoral, a man unfit for high office, lazy….the list goes on.
Since the author was not elected, what does it tell us about the British people that voted for BoJo? May be not getting elected is the better proposition???

David J
David J
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Boris-bashing goes down like a lead balloon.
I voted for BJ and am pleased to have done so.
I cannot see a Labour alternative out there, and the other parties are subterranean in their appeal.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  David J

“I voted for BJ and pleased to have done so.”

Good for you!

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Me too..!

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Before your time 75% of UK children failed the fabulous 11plus Exam, and were thus correctly denied access to the Grammar School system.

Does that answer your question about the “British people that voted for BoJo”?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

Surely you don’t need academic excellence to demand basic decencies from your PM?

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

No indeed, but you do need to able to distinguish between an obvious charlatan and an honest man. Sad but true.

Alexandra Thrift
Alexandra Thrift
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Corby

I remember back to the sixties, my primary school and the 11plus. The vast majority of those who failed were kids from the council estate, who had already been herded into the B stream. It was a shameful world we lived in then when it came to education. There was one girl who passed the 11 plus from the B stream and everyone was amazed ( well done Glenda, whatever became of you ?) and a local Romany ( though we always said Gypsy) boy who was so clever he had to be in the A stream ( George). The A stream ( all 45 of us in those boomer days ) got special exam tuition, but not the B stream. It just couldn’t continue like that, with such disgraceful inequality.

Mark Corby
Mark Corby
3 years ago

The 11 plus was an IQ test, “special exam tuition” was irrelevant. Your A stream had been selected because, even by 11 they/you showed innate ability.

There is nothing more unequal than equality itself, as good old Pliny said.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

All those ‘black marks’for Boris and people still voted for him..they must know something that you dont.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

People also voted 3x for Blair .

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

If only they HAD recruited supporters of EDL..

dikkitikka
dikkitikka
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

Quite-not mention of how his Party lost the North, how the economically socialist but socially conservative working class were changed from being the bedrock of the Labour Movement to being a source of contempt for it (re: Emily Thornberry and White Van Man). No mention of how Labour would be able to bring them back to the fold, except for a vague hope that the North will see how rubbish the Tories are when the bullets start flying.

tmglobalrecruitment
tmglobalrecruitment
3 years ago

I am not sure a Labour peer is qualified to talk about cronyism, corruption or incompetence, unless talking about his own experiences of all 3.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

Surely his personal experience (as you say) would make him the perfect source to talk “…about cronyism, corruption or incompetence, unless talking about his own experiences of all 3.” – or not?!

Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright
3 years ago

It isn’t just the Conservatives who are inadequate, it’s the entire political class. There are plenty of bright, sane people around, but very few of them go into politics. The rewards are too small and the costs in terms of private life are too great. Much of that is down to the media and their constant negativism and scandal-mongering. And making Parliament ‘look more like the nation’ will make things even worse. We need to be ruled by the ablest among us, not a representative sample.

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
3 years ago

Ha. That’s right. Pretend for all you are worth that the Government (that’s the Government, NOT the Deep State) did not nail the vaccination programme – the single most important thing by far in the pandemic. People may remember that they lost some battles, but they’ll also remember that they won the war. That’ll put 10 points onto their poll next year and walking away from the EU will add 10 further. Glasman has correctly analysed the first 50% and completely ignored the second.

Edgar Wallner
Edgar Wallner
3 years ago

The vaccine is good news but there no method has been organised to allow recognition of those already vaccinated by means of some document which can’t be forged or a central online method . This will be essential if pubs and restaurants want to limit access only to those who have been classified as safe. Those would be the places I headed for.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Edgar Wallner

Who cares, frankly? The very idea that the vaccine is the much-heralded cavalry coming to our rescue is confected nonsense.

It may be useful to some vulnerable, and/or elderly folk, for what is now an endemic virus, although frankly, I doubt its efficacy for them. The rest of us don’t need it – Covid is no more dangerous than seasonal flu, which is also endemic.

So no, the vaccine is not “essential” and by extension, neither is proof you’ve had it, but please feel free to get your injection. The pandemic was over in May.

John Ottaway
John Ottaway
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Well said sir.

Andy Clark
Andy Clark
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Re “although frankly, I doubt its efficacy for them”, are you saying the peer reviewed phase III trials showing high effectiveness in elderly and vulnerable folks some sort of fake news.

I mean, this is fine as a personal opinion, but without some reasoning or evidence, it seems to not amount to more than a random idea, such as strawberry ice cream is preferable to vanilla. Which of course it isn’t, vanilla is much nicer.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Andy Clark

“High effectiveness in elderly and vulnerable folks”? Considering the small numbers of people involved who got Covid (170) out of the huge number in the trial (42,000) I think that’s quite a stretch, but I’m not calling fake news, just expressing scepticism.

You’re correct, it is just my opinion, based on what I’ve read about the efficacy of vaccines in elderly people or people with compromised immune systems, but not a “random idea” either. We shall see.

David Stuckey
David Stuckey
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Err Nick do you have ANY experience in analysing data from clinical trials?? I hope you do in making such a silly claim. I work on the edge of this industry and these are typical data. Why do so many people who have no background in Science or Statistics have “opinions”?? Just like most of the entire government who mostly have degrees in Social Sciences! It is wonderful in the UK how few people have any sort of technical backgrounds in government who have to make more and more technology based decisions! As Daniel Patrick Moynihan said-” you are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts”!

alancoles10
alancoles10
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stuckey

Like when you get two so called experts with two totally opposite opinions

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stuckey

Sorry, David, but I don’t have to have experience of analysing clinical trials to express scepticism of the efficacy of a new, virtually experimental vaccine, rushed out in record time. Nor did I make any facts up, so your quote from Daniel Patrick Moynihan is misplaced. Find a different one, to “wow” us all with.

Expressing scepticism is not “making claims”. I merely pointed out the huge numbers involved in the trial, and the tiny number who got Covid, versus the large numbers who didn’t. Effectively, I am querying how many old and vulnerable people were genuinely protected from Covid by the vaccine in the trial. Do you know? Let’s hope the bold “95% effective” claim is true.

You then go on to to imply that I’m some kind of bumpkin who studied Sociology, and am therefore not entitled to an opinion. I actually have a “hard” science undergraduate degree, and work in a technically minded profession. Perhaps though, only PHDs in immunology should be allowed to comment?

Andy Clark
Andy Clark
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Fair enough. Not such a random idea. I queried this having read that one of the surprising result of the vaccine trials was the effectiveness in elderly and vulnerable populations.

Perhaps this would fit though with the increased danger for these persons. It’s a red flag even for a weakened immune system.

As you say, we shall see.

Edgar Wallner
Edgar Wallner
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Well thanks but I am 84 and would certainly choose to eat in restaurants that only served vaccinated people.

alancoles10
alancoles10
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Am I missing something? it does not stop you catching the virus and it does not stop you passing it on, so what the hell is it for!

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago
Reply to  Edgar Wallner

Correct me if I am wrong, but;

Vaccinated animals developed a robust antibody response to coronavirus. However, when the scientists exposed the vaccinated animals to the wild virus, the results were horrifying. Vaccinated animals suffered hyperimmune responses including inflammation throughout their bodies, especially in their lungs. This issue is well known. Early in the COVID-19 scenario, Dr. Peter Hotez, of Baylor College of Medicine, testied before Congress about the dangers of accelerating coronavirus vaccine development, saying “(The) unique safety problem of coronavirus vaccines” was discovered 50 years ago while developing the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine.” He went to register that this “‘paradoxical immune enhancement phenomenon’ means vaccinated people may still develop the disease, get sicker and die.”

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

What war did they win?

Terence Riordan
Terence Riordan
3 years ago

Theywill not nail the vaccination problem…..it is a mass production problem and they don’t have a standard work procedure.they are going to leave a mass production problem to craft industry medics……

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago

I still do not understand why we need a vaccine for an illness which has a very specific target group (age and comorbidities), a better than 99% recovery rate and that many people have to take a test to know they have (said test being one which the makers say is not fit for the purpose for which it is being used and which is being used at a magnification which far exceeds its parameters); seems to me if you have no symptoms you have no disease.
Imagine the doctor telling you – ‘Well, you have absolutely no symptoms but I think you have ebola.’
Also note, I believe the vaccine does not stop you getting the disease and being transmitter; it merely alleviates symptoms.
The whole response has been an unmitigated disaster, particularly when you factor into the figures those who died in care homes who should have been safe but were infected by those moved from hospitals without tests (regardless of the efficacy of said tests) and those who caught it in hospital. then take out those who died ‘with’ not ‘of’ covid and show us the remainder – very small!
If there had been no initial notice taken of it, it might have gone down as a bad flu year, but I doubt it.

alancoles10
alancoles10
3 years ago
Reply to  J A Thompson

Absolute Bullseye

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago

Inadequate? In politics its all relative. Take a look in the mirror.

As for Cronyism. Again take a look in the mirror. Why is he in the house of lords with Chakrabarti?

Inept or corrupt. Look at the Labour Mayors and Welsh Government. Andy “mid Staffs” Burnham and his beer chips and gravy and the charming Derek Hatton and Joe Anderson having been arrested.

If Labour managed to find a leader like Blair again they would have a chance. KRS is not that person. The problem is that Labour hate Blair and what he stands for most of all.

simejohnson1
simejohnson1
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

In other words, your entire argument is whataboutism.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

What is wrong with KRS?

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Middle class, faking working class.
Only you are taken in by his act.

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

The last thing Labour needs is another Blair. It was Blair who destroyed the fabric of this country and started the decline in Labour’s fortunes.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Anjela Kewell

He won 3 elections – even after the Iraq War debacle (GE2005)!

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Because of the very clever spin of Campbell. When the truth of Iraq started to unfold, many labour voters turned. Most of Labour’s years were built on lies and spin.

We now know the Education education education mantra was to break up the grammar schools. The only true access to real higher education for the poor. The dumbing down of university degrees for girls is also now recognised as being part of the decline in family cohesion.

Just because someone gets elected a number of times doesn’t mean they are good for the country. It is their legacy that counts.

Mrs T’s legacy took us back on the world stage as a proud and successful nation. Blair opened us up to corruption, global cronyism and broken societies

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Anjela Kewell

2005 was 2 years after the war and EVERYBODY knew that there were no WMDs. He still won GE2005
As they say fool me once shame on you, fool me 3 times….

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
3 years ago

Is this Bash Boris Week at unherd?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

Did the author trigger you?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘The first was a recognition of the important role of the state as an economic actor, and not simply an external regulator.’

In no way should the British state be an economic actor. As we know, it will only lead to disaster. The EU should be praying for the British state to get involved in various industries, because those industries will inevitably collapse and/or bankrupt us all.

In principle there is no reason why the state should not be able to act as an effective regulator, but every reason to assume that here, too, the British state will fail miserably.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Yes, but BoJo promised that to the Red Wall.
Should we (or not?) hold politicians to account for their promises?

Hilary Davan Wetton
Hilary Davan Wetton
3 years ago

So depressingly true. And however unattractive Cummings was as a personality, he understood these issues better than the second raters who constitute the bulk of this Cabinet. HS2, Track and Trace, School Exams have all been disasters. But Boris is not a stupid man; all he needs to do now is to treat people as adults – tell them the truth and stop trying to pretend all is well, when 2021 is going to be very tough. The British are used to poor government, but they do like honesty.

Robert Cannon
Robert Cannon
3 years ago

There is truth in what you say. Cummings understood that much is wrong with Britain of the past 15 years. However, his approach was to break things to try to fit it. His belief was that a Britain unshackled from EU membership would be free to improve itself. Yes, not being a member of the EU gives more freedom for the UK to do distinctive things – but will they be the right things?

I always remember St Thomas More’s speech in Robert Bolt’s play (and film) A Man for All Seasons:

“William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”

St Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

William Roper: “Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!”

St Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

The UK could have reformed itself within the EU. Would it have been harder, yes, of course. Would there have been cases where there was less flexibility and workarounds were needed to take the necessary steps in a way that is compatible with EU law, yes. Would it have been a better reform, undertaken in a more organic way – in line with the incrementalist approach that has been embedded in British society and politics for the best part of three centuries, yes, of course.

Too late Glasman sees the problems in the course that he supported. It is always the same with him and his ilk – everything is always someone else’s fault.

Bob Lambert
Bob Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert Cannon

The UK _could_ have reformed itself within the EU, except for the fact that without Brexit politicians of all flavours would have continued to ignore the need for change. Even now we have people repeating “nobody cared about Europe before the referendum”, which is patently untrue. We needed Brexit to wake our career politicians up to the level of dissatisfaction.

Now, what they they should have done in response to the advisory Referendum is NOT trigger Article 50, but instead set about a political program of reform, both of the UK and of the EU (e.g. a single, enforced minimum wage, caps on internal movement based on population density, harmonised social security, resolving the issues around people employed in country A by an employer from country B but working predominantly in country C, etc.).

Instead our incompetent politicians all saw it as an opportunity to grandstand and posture without doing any leading, all desperate to align themselves with vote-grabbing positions to make themselves popular with voters, but without ever trying to understand WHY voters had voted as they did. They all still seem to see things as Gordon Brown did with Gillian Duffy – “She was just a sort of bigoted woman who said she used to be Labour.” No recognition that it is the politicians who used to be aligned with people’s views but who have shifted, instead blaming it all on ‘the wrong electorate’. Politicians on all sides with those views would never have contemplated that they might be wrong without the Brexit vote to shock them into realising how far out of touch they were, and in the main still are.

Robert Cannon
Robert Cannon
3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Lambert

Your comment has a lot of hubris and arrogance in it. The EU is okay with internal movement and the current rules. There is not so much demand for change.

The real failings are with the UK in three respects:

(1) In failing to organise its tax and benefits system to deter rather than encourage migration. A benefits system that is based on past contributions discourages migration. The UK has moved completely away from a contributions based welfare system to a means based welfare system that encourages migration. In particular, the UK tax credits system encouraged single migrants to stay and have families in the UK. Yes, the benefits system has been made more favourable but it was still an issue.

(2) Cameron did the sort of thing you have done in your comment and push to change the rules for all of the EU. That was never going to succeed. He should have followed the sensible strategy of Margaret Thatcher and John Major and pushed for an exception being made for the UK, as on the UK rebate and the euro and Schengen membership. The key point is that the UK is English speaking, English is the second language of pretty much all of the EU and as such even if everything else were equal the UK would attract an oversized share of migrants. Language matters. One reason that the UK has seen relatively little migration from Romania (other than Roma) is that over the last 20 years millions of Romanians moved to the fellow Latin speaking countries of Italy and Spain. There was a good case to be made on this – on logical ground. However, like the case for the UK rebate (which was also about UK exceptionalist – the UK’s agricultural system meaning it did not benefit from Common Agricultural Policy payments) it needed to be made over years. If Cameron had started it in 2010 or 2011 there would have been a result by now.

(3) Undercutting the UK being able to make the case against free movement is the larger number of migrants coming into the UK from outside the EU over the past 20 years. The statistics showed that whereas EU migrants were on average net positive from an exchequer perspective non-EU migrants were on average net negative. If a million immigrants have arrived from India and another million from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria collectively it’s difficult for the UK to argue convincingly against participating in free movement within the EU.

There’s a failure by the UK political class, the media and the public at large to take stock and do the hard yards. Instead, as with so much of the debased British culture it’s all about instant (political) gratification.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 years ago

I have to say that this implication that Boris was doing fine until Covid19 struck is not something I can go along with. His government started in January with the idiotic decision to proceed with HS2, followed by the Huawei fiasco, then allowed the Heathrow expansion plan to fail in the courts on the basis of nothing more than a single technicality relating to the order in which it had declared its commitments to environmental concerns.

So I was a great deal less surprised than I might otherwise have been by the end of March when this government took a sledgehammer to the economy, our institutions of liberty, and undid the decade-long work of deficit reduction in the space of about two weeks. (That’s not an exaggeration: the total value of the debt burden reduction ever since the Coalition government took control was, by March 2020, about £30bn. The government committed to a £300bn increase in the national debt over the course of about 20 weeks).

I find the whole thing to be almost unbelievable, all the more so because I do not accept, as many commentators would have us believe, that Boris Johnson is either incompetent or corrupt. He is able as a politician, he is managerially competent, and in addition possesses very obvious instincts and beliefs: he is to a considerable degree a conviction politician. The fact that he has not turned into the breath of fresh air I’d hoped after the toxic ideological vacuums of Blair and Cameron and the robotically-ridiculous incompetence of Theresa May is a mystery to me.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

In relation to the budget he did promise to “level up” – he was upfront about that.
W. Germany has transferred c.2 trillion over 30 years to E. Germany. That was achieved by raising taxes (c5% on everything – to keep it simple) and doubling of the national debt during the 90s. If UK has to transfer (say) an extra 30bn a year for the next 30 years it will total c900 bn.
Is BoJo going to raise taxes ? Or is he going to borrow the money? A combination of both?
The voters embraced “levelling up” without ever asking “How are we going to pay for it”?

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The Tories don’t have to worry about paying for “levelling up”, because it’s never going to happen. It’s a lie. Remember the “Northern Powerhouse”? That was announced a decade ago. So far as I can see it consists of a website full of breezy, up-beat slogans and nothing else.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Actually, what we need is a ‘levelling down’ of business rates, VAT, taxes and all the rest of that. This to be accompanied by a massive reduction in the headcount and activities of the state.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

You do live in a parallel universe.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Johnson managerially competent? Give us a break! He can’t take decisions, is lazy and couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag – he’d rather pay McKinsey a fat fee to analyse it for him at great cost to the taxpayer.
As for being a conviction politician, not remotely true: he doesn’t stand for anything other than himself. Utterly exposed by Coronavirus, days numbered, pandering to Carrie. To displace Theresa May as the worst PM of modern times takes some doing…!

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
3 years ago

Boris is a particularly type of Tory, a libertarian. That’s a more attractive type than an authoritarian Tory but unfortunately he’s unable to play to his strengths. An authoritarian Tory would have considered the threat posed by the virus and imposed an appropriate response not caring what anyone else thought. But Boris panicked and unused to excising power went beyond the reasonable and into the excessive. I’m sure he was the right person for the job when that job was Brexit but we needed someone less needy to tackle the pandemic.

pgstokes1
pgstokes1
3 years ago

The above article boils down to: events overtake any government and good governments should foresee them; Labour lost its way (presumably after he was ennobled) and Boris took advantage of Brexit to get one over on Labour; But now Boris has been caught short by Covid 19. The last seems to have happened to every western government but we’ll skate over that for now. The apparent lessons that he draws from the above reflect, I think, a particular political worldview: that over-centralisation of the state and bad capitalism have been exposed by Covid; that the government spent money to by-pass civil servants; that some elements of the government are corrupt. Throw in a few bits of lefty jargon (“class coalition”, covenental bond”, “crony capitalism”) and we get a mixed essay that overlooks Labour’s role in creating the centralised state, the growth of the bureaucracy that has not handled Covid well and an unsupported assumption that his Labour could have done it better.

Simon Newman
Simon Newman
3 years ago
Reply to  pgstokes1

Labour also created the NHS, the worst performing health system in the developed world.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
3 years ago

If we get No Deal.

If we get the vaccine.

If government slowly implements Scruton’s suggestions.

If the government makes ground on immigration.

If they follow through on their naval rearmament program.

If they implement free ports.

If they encourage innovation.

If….

That said, I still have faith in Boris. Terrible mistakes have been made, but as someone else here says, we have lost battles before, but won the war. More frigates, more trade (Singapore trade deal ahoy!)= more votes for Boris. We can do this. Let’s not lose faith now.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago

LOL

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Hear hear Geoffrey Simon Hicking. The “lolers” below hate our country and despise our people. There may come a day yet when we can remove them. Huzzah GSH

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago

This mess could have been completely avoided if Boris had been true to his world of leaving the EU with or without a deal in June. Instead we have a complete fudge that no one will trust.

Secondly his leadership showed much to be desired in March when he should have stuck to his intuition and let the Covid virus run its course. If he had an ounce of leadership in his bones he would have halted the hysteria of globalist owned media, sought advice from independent scientists and shunned Imperial College completely knowing their poor record on the past. Did he know about Ferguson’s terrible mistakes and the costs? Or did the corrupt Mark Sedwill keep this information from him. Whatever the situation there should have been a cabinet member who understood the dangers of using a failure.

The biggest mistake of all was to hold back on making decisions and allowing the media and globalists to snatch the narrative. If Boris and Cummings truly believed that real change in politics would come from outside Westminster, they should have done what President Trump did and utilise the innovation, experience and energy of the private sector. Instead, as mediocre governments always do, they used they cronies. This has the effect of creating more chaos and inefficiency as well as turning the voter against the government.

Boris is no businessman. The majority of government is from academic or judicial backgrounds who will never understand or appreciate what the backbone of UK can achieve, left to organise themselves. Our future depends on real entrepreneurs and real innovators who can bypass government, cull the civil service and create a more community led success story going forward. Government is a ball and chain around the British Lion

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago

Quite an interesting article. From my US view – the political parties in our nations have largely failed us from an abject lack of leadership interested in the people. Trump for all his faults seemingly interested but has been crushed in favor of no more of that change. So the parties reverse themselves handing out gifts to please voters, except the virus arrived to crush any hope of pleasing anyone. And governments have failed by creating a polarized population with some deathly afraid and others in full revolt. We can hope that leaders emerge soon but given history it will take awhile.

Steve Garrett
Steve Garrett
3 years ago

“Focus on 3 things” – 1. more State intervention in specific industries (subsidies, rules, freedoms, facilitations) – this is almost essential now that we have the impacts of covid, oh fortuna! 2. more focus on the working class (this has to begin in the education system, where skills are developed for future meaningful jobs and careers) – again, essential in today’s world, that the Platform is removed from the vacant minds that occupy social media, and from whom mainstream media get all their “information” and opinion, and given to people grappling with real life. The same goes for wealth too 3. relocating decision-making to the local hives of expertise – with Scottish independence on its way, and with closer alignment between NI and RoI (culturally and economically), the English regions will demand an equal share. If the Tories won the election by pandering to electors’ concerns in these 3 areas – did they have the intention to develop a strategy to pursue them? Doesn’t sound like it – but this pandemic has distracted everyone somewhat, so I’m not sure.

The success of this government probably relies on whatever Fortune is thrown their way by businesses (large and small) adapting rapidly to any post-brexit environment. If opportunities exist, and they are grasped, and others created (with gusto), then Boris & Co can surf their way through the next 4 years. But they have to be proactive in providing suitable medicines that will help our business fraternity overcome the malaise and despair that has built-up over the past year. Not so much making the best of changing and unpredictable circumstances, but more like, making their own luck by weighing the odds. Sugar pills not vaccines will get this country up and running again.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago

More importantly the next few weeks will show how Boris will abandon the people who voted to get us out of the EU. The EU was never going to agree to a favourable deal for the UK, and we should have never tried to get one. It has been a waste of time and money.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Easiest deal ever – I remember that.
Surely a favorable deal for UK would not be favorable for EU?
And if he does abandon The People surely that is nothing new…looking at his long track record?

Peter Scott
Peter Scott
3 years ago

“Yet a year after their triumph they have no strategy, no narrative and very little energy.”

This is easily explained.

All my lifetime (I was born in 1949) an essentially lazy or cowardly public has left it to others to provide their politics. In this regard (not all others) the public is like the schoolchild who is bored by Maths and scamps his homework.

In the resulting vacuum, the scum rises to the top of the pond.

Those persons who HAVE gone into politics have done so in order to acquire money, privilege and self-importance in a degree they never could obtain in any other walk of life. They are not the sort of individuals who can manage competently a farm, a business, a hospital ward; be efficient plumbers or electricians, let alone brain surgeons or rocket scientists.

They are not the kind of individuals who think laterally, perceive solutions of a canny unusual kind to problems as these emerge. In short they lack vision and genius and skill.

Hitherto the B. Johnson government has been a sort of even more paralytic version of D Cameron’s administration, which was denounced at the time by Dominic Cummings as having no plan for the country, just managing chaos as it lurched from one news cycle to the next.

Unless people are content to live in a United Kingdom where progressively more and more things don’t work – the railways, the Post Office, the NHS, you name it – the day is going to have to dawn in which normal competent members of society roll up their sleeves, sigh, and become MPs.

Michael Saxon
Michael Saxon
3 years ago

A nice piece, but in the end it is all over-egged. The ordinary Brit could not care less about fortuna, nor agree with it as a precept. Boris is simply a boy in a man’s suit. A man of very limited life experience and an over-specialised education. When faced with a real world situation he hid in SAGE’s broom closet and called for nanny. He is simply not made of the right stuff.

David McKee
David McKee
3 years ago

It is worth pointing out that 12-15 months ago, Boris ran a government that was a minority government to begin with, and rapidly shed MPs as it went along. It was faced with a House that wanted to compel it to back down from doing Brexit, step by step. It was aided by a Speaker who was widely regarded as outrageously partisan. And yet he won.

Betting against Boris is a mug’s game.

However, Lord Glasman fails to mention that Boris had a very near miss with the grim reaper last spring. This does tend to leave its mark, even for someone who is not under constant pressure. Being prime minister is a very intense, high pressure job, not least because there is little opportunity to relax and unwind. When the pandemic subsides, I hope he takes a good couple of months off, and really recharge his batteries. And lose some weight. Mens sana…

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  David McKee

He inherited that minority government.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
3 years ago

Brexit and Covid have revealed massive incompetence, corruption, idleness and a lack of care in almost all of our national institutions.

Our “Rolls-Royce” Civil service is exposed as a Friday afternoon Austin Allegro with a clattering exhaust. Our “Mother of all parliaments” is undemocratic, incompetent and corrupt. Our “Envy of the world” NHS is a self-serving, uncaring, sovietised juggernaut, killing tens of thousands of people through sheer bureaucratic idiocy.

Our “World Class” BBC blatantly abandons any pretence of truth and peddles woke, cod-Marxist propaganda. Our “great centres of learning” have no intellectual rigour and are scared to speak truth to thuggish BLM power. Our teachers’ unions demand extended neo-holidays while the teachers cower behind a computer screen rather than teach children face-to-face. Our lazy, supine, press reports cut-and-paste twitter hyperbole as news.

Many in our bloated and over-entitled public sector distain those who pay for their feather-bedded lifestyles, mocking them as racists, xenophobes, and idiots. Our institutions, like so many of our citizens, have become flabby, complacent, entitled, and bone-idle. A time of terrible reckoning is approaching for them. The money will run out, and so will the patience of those who actually pay for all of this insufferable conceit.

neil.marshall
neil.marshall
3 years ago

Spot on, Maurice. Delighted to see our alt right friends below blissfully unaware of the economic tsunami that is about to hit the United Kingdom because of the blind corruption of today’s Conservative Party. Why is Boris Johnson sacrificing a million jobs in the car sector to save a fishing industry so small, its turnover can barely be measured? Because the bulk of the ‘British’ fishing fleet that is not owned by Dutch, Icelandic, or Spanish corporations is in the control of five families from the Sunday Times Rich List, which are – coincidentally – major Tory Party donors. And what a hoot for the party with the word ‘Unionist’ in its title to be the cause of the imminent breakup of the United Kingdom. The question we should be now asking is what sanctions should be taken against those who, by lying, cheating and downright criminality, conned the British people into voting away their economic futures and those of their children and grandchildren.

Andrea X
Andrea X
3 years ago

The article would make more interesting reading should it comprise examples of leaders who fared better because of Virtu, not fortuna.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Schroder in Germany.
Did Agenda 2010, kept Germany out of Iraq (you can argue it was easy to do) and lost the re-election.
Although his recent work (NordStream) is troublesome…but he is now a citizen and not chancellor.

Stephen Murray
Stephen Murray
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Germany is forbidden by law from deploying troops except in defence of Germany.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Murray

They did in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Paul Bradbury
Paul Bradbury
3 years ago

A fabulous exercise in wishful thinking and hopeful conjecture. It would be far more interesting to imagine the state we’d be in if Comrade Corbyn had been in power.

Daniel Goldstein
Daniel Goldstein
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Bradbury

Which was never going to happen.

Terence Riordan
Terence Riordan
3 years ago

The big pron
blem with all thepoliticians and the civil service is that “they don’t know what they don’t know”.Unfortunately that stae is compounded by their arrogance in not even asking people who might know something relevant and by reliance on existing supposed experts in Public Sector. The only way forward in my mind is to spread the entry profikle of politicians by some sort of entry criteria based upon earning aliving and being in the real world.Without that I can see no progress.

Mike Spoors
Mike Spoors
3 years ago

Johnson and the Tories are largely being given a free ride whilst Labour fights amongst itself about who, other than the voters, is to blame for the GE result. Many thought that the change of leadership would help but others had a different idea and so the fight goes on. And on. And on. Brexit is close to being settled as far as the vast majority of the hard pressed electorate are concerned although that will not be the case for the hard core Remain and Leave warriors who have little else to fill their ample free time, and the consequences post January are unlikely to be differentiated from the ongoing Covid costs by the Government. And so, if Johnson can muddy the waters he can pass off the downsides of one as the cost of fighting the other, the numbers being so large as to be incomprehensible to most of us who already wonder where the £billions are already being magicked from.
So, Brexit done, but certainly not dusted, the Covid vaccine being rolled out and Labour continuing with its favourite party game of pinning the blame on the leader ship could be enough to see Johnson through. And if it isn’t then we all know that the Tories are more adept than most at rewarding the failure of their leaders with the order of the boot.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

Unfortunately, in the face of the alleged pandemic virtually all the old left-right signposts have disappeared and our politicians (with the exception of a dissident fringe of the Tory Party) have ushered in a new era of somnolence and apathy before global corporatism. It is hard to see any sign of intellectual life or moral fire in Labour ranks: Starmer has just been waiting for final darkness to descend over civilisation, no doubt hoping for patronage from the oligarchs who control the World Bank and the World Economic Forum – the new era should perhaps be termed Techno-Feudalism (which I coined in a letter to the Prime Minister last month). The error of this article is to suppose that this somehow an extension of life as we have known it rather than a massive dislocation. Johnson has to go and prostrate himself and us before various Bill Gates front organisations – and likely it was always part of the plan. I have written many times to my (Labour) MP in the last months asking how we are going to avoid social and financial destruction and I only get back oblique stuff about protecting ourselves from Covid. Sinking our children and grandchildren into epic debt is just one of those things apparently, not even to be acknowledged. The landscape is unrecognisable and I only wonder whether this was Johnson was always paddling us.

stephen f.
stephen f.
3 years ago

Re: “Covid has shown the conservatives to be inadequate…”-Covid has shown just about every entity to be inadequate-governments topping the list, with the “4th estate” being a close second…indeed, the”4th estate” now seems to be functioning (with few exceptions) as a 5th column for certain political persuasions.

samuelbarrett1
samuelbarrett1
3 years ago

Good points as to where the government stands; relating to the recent article by Matt Goodwin, I think the continuing favourability for Boris among the electorate speaks to a much wider ideological shift, in sum, we cannot claim that it is labour’s failure to reorganise itself along working class lines which will keep the conservatives ‘limping ahead’. And i agree with Maurice on a lot of counts but I don’t think Covid has had the impact on the legitimacy of the conservatives as Maurice would like us to think.
On a different note, Maurice’s idea of decentralised socialism: Place, People, Democracy, Sovereignty…its all well and good but how do we can you push for national local banks, leveling up, vocational education, and industrial capacity without a strong state – or more like without it leading to an increasingly centralised state?

Peter Ian Staker
Peter Ian Staker
3 years ago

Take out those two words and there is nothing new in this article.

Anjela Kewell
Anjela Kewell
3 years ago

This mess could have been completely avoided if Boris had been true to his world of leaving the EU with or without a deal in June. Instead we have a complete fudge that no one will trust.

Secondly his leadership showed much to be desired in March when he should have stuck to his intuition and let the Covid virus run its course. If he had an ounce of leadership in his bones he would have halted the hysteria of globalist owned media, sought advice from independent scientists and shunned Imperial College completely knowing their poor record on the past. Did he know about Ferguson’s terrible mistakes and the costs? Or did the corrupt Mark Sedwill keep this information from him. Whatever the situation there should have been a cabinet member who understood the dangers of using a failure.

The biggest mistake of all was to hold back on making decisions and allowing the media and globalists to snatch the narrative. If Boris and Cummings truly believed that real change in politics would come from outside Westminster, they should have done what President Trump did and utilise the innovation, experience and energy of the private sector. Instead, as mediocre governments always do, they used they cronies. This has the effect of creating more chaos and inefficiency as well as turning the voter against the government.

Boris is no businessman. The majority of government is from academic or judicial backgrounds who will never understand or appreciate what the backbone of UK can achieve, left to organise themselves. Our future depends on real entrepreneurs and real innovators who can bypass government, cull the civil service and create a more community led success story going forward. Government is a ball and chain around the British Lion

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Anjela Kewell

“President Trump did and utilise the innovation, experience and energy of the private sector.”
LOL!
He borrowed $4 trillion (in 3 years) before Covid hit the country

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
3 years ago

The man’s a genius. Invest in British Rail and the Post Office. Start local banks. All will be well. He’s right about the Government, having, like the rest of us, a PhD in the bleedin’ obvious. For the rest, give over.

Brigitte Lechner
Brigitte Lechner
3 years ago

A very engaging narrative that captures the ramshackle government voted into power last December. The pandemic has floored governments around the globe but free-marketeering states fared worse, as did their populace. I personally suspected a Thatcherite wolf beneath the Cummings-created sheep anyway. I also suspect we will be saddled with this shower for the time being because the Labour Party is well grounded. Firstly, because of the objectionable weaponizing of anti-semitism to scupper Corbyn and secondly, because of its alarming degree of abjectly authoritarian wokeism.

Frank B Brennan
Frank B Brennan
3 years ago

The Eu said, it was imperative that member states follow a common vaccination strategy for vaccine deployment, to show solidarity and to ensure the full functioning of the internal market. They will make a decision on the 29th of December?????

Chris C
Chris C
3 years ago

Running down the NHS stockpile of PPE from £850m worth in 2014 to £510m worth in 2019 – and then having to buy the stuff at fifteen, yes fifteen, times the normal price when Covid came along, was a very expensive mistake. The £340m of missing equipment cost £5 billion to replace.

Nun Yerbizness
Nun Yerbizness
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris C

and of course you have a source for your numbers?

stephensjpriest
stephensjpriest
3 years ago

Dear all
LIES ðƾ˜³ “Closing Pubs & Restaurants Zero Effect” ðƞ€Š”ñℱ‚マ Dutch Study Leak
you tube /watch?v=QWvXszhJEhY

Nun Yerbizness
Nun Yerbizness
3 years ago

fake news from QAnon.

so many 5G cell towers so little time.

Nun Yerbizness
Nun Yerbizness
3 years ago

The royals make a public appearance on the red carpet”God is in his heaven and all is right in the world of divine right.

Teo
Teo
3 years ago

Boris Johnston never the Machiavellian Prince, a political jester of the Lord of the Flies realm that has been constituted on these wonderful Isles.

John Vaughan
John Vaughan
3 years ago

A privileged, racist bigot beat a man with a 60-year track record fighting injustice. Why? Education – kids are not taught how to question the media narrative and thus are afraid of going against the flock.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  John Vaughan

I would imagine that the majority of under 25s voted Labour.

stephensjpriest
stephensjpriest
3 years ago

Dear unmh
YUu Tube/watch?v=_KW-dLx6weQ
Australia will Drop Planned Vaseline – Why? There was some HIV in it

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

Search “Prime Minister’s speech to United Nations General Assembly: 26 September 2020″ and you will see a pathetic stooge of Gates and the pharmaceutical industry trying to pose as a global statesman. Note also how history happens without us: Johnson flits over to New York to give a big stupid speech and it is not even reported: same thing happened last year in the middle of another crisis, also not reported. What we need is accountable government, and what you see here is what he says behind our backs. Meanwhile, Her Majesty’s Opposition have no questions: we may or may not have freed ourselves from the EU but we are in a terrible tangle with the global oligarchs, and Johnson is somewhere down the food chain. No one is looking out for the public interest, and certainly not the Labour Party. It is a deplorable sight – when will the commentators understand what is going on???!!!

Richard Calhoun
Richard Calhoun
3 years ago

The Govt have had a tough year but I have my doubts that Boris and his colleagues … Raab . Patel . Gove . Sunak et al are exhausted or lack a strategy. Time will tell and will be dependent on the vaccine working and then its full steam ahead.
Prepare for some seriously radical policies to change this country for the better

Bullfrog Brown
Bullfrog Brown
3 years ago

I bow to your deeper political insight, however I think things can be viewed in more simple terms.

There are reasons why the Conservatives did so well. Firstly, as proven by Blair, the U.K. is far less working class than it used to be. The rise in property prices & the U.K. standard of living compared to 50 years has helped. Secondly, Corbyn was such a divisive leader, whose marxist leaning politics & embrace of nations such as Iran, Venezuela, his hate of Israel & his facilitation of Jew hate, made the British people realise he would make an awful PM.

Simple really !

J A Thompson
J A Thompson
3 years ago

Please correct me if this is untrue.

Vaccinated animals developed a robust antibody response to coronavirus. However, when the scientists exposed the vaccinated animals to the wild virus, the results were horrifying. Vaccinated animals suffered hyperimmune responses including inflammation throughout their bodies, especially in their lungs. This issue is well known. Early in the COVID-19 scenario, Dr. Peter Hotez, of Baylor College of Medicine, testied before Congress about the dangers of accelerating coronavirus vaccine development, saying “(The) unique safety problem of coronavirus vaccines” was discovered 50 years ago while developing the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine.” He went to register that this “‘paradoxical immune enhancement phenomenon’ means vaccinated people may still develop the disease, get sicker and die.”

Goodbye oldies; part of the plan?

Nun Yerbizness
Nun Yerbizness
3 years ago

So much pretension, so little insight.

Fascinating that in the face of teetering on the abyss of economic collapse as a consequence of crashing out of the EU”Brexiteers goal all along” and Covid’s cratering of economic activity this conservative ideologue masquerading as a progressive would have us worry about sovereignty and common law.

Jo Cox”RIP.

dikkitikka
dikkitikka
3 years ago
Reply to  Nun Yerbizness

Duncan Keating-RIP

Nun Yerbizness
Nun Yerbizness
3 years ago
Reply to  dikkitikka

false equivalency…as you well know.

Paul Boizot
Paul Boizot
3 years ago

The elephant in the room here is the lack of Proportional Representation, which has delivered the Tories a big majority on a minority vote, and which tends to reduce elections to two-horse races. Labour supports this system too. In my eyes, this government – and most since the 1950’s at least, especially the Thatcher governments – does not have democratic legitimacy.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Boizot

PR is a dreadful system since it leaves the politicians even more remote from the public.