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Boris Johnson should destroy the Tories The ex-PM makes an eloquent case for Labour

Credit: Leon Neal/Getty


June 16, 2023   6 mins

Once again, to the delight of our comment class, who will take any opportunity to ignore the country’s permanent state of crisis for the comfortable distractions of meaningless Westminster rigmarole, Boris Johnson has scuttled from his hiding-hole to bask in the attention of the press like a fat lizard in the summer sun. If we lived in a functioning country, with a functioning government, another season of the Johnson Show might be moderately entertaining, but unfortunately for us we do not.

At a time when the global order is undergoing a period of total, historic change, the effects of which have struck every household in the country, the Conservatives have committed themselves to conserving only yesterday’s orthodoxies. They are overseeing the withdrawal of the state from policing anything other than online discourse, presiding over the most unsustainably liberal immigration regime in British history and doubling down on an economic model the rest of the world is competing to supersede. As a result, wage growth has stagnated for a generation, the longest period without increasing affluence since the Napoleonic Wars, while rocketing mortgage rates and inflation make even the decently paid feel a new pang of anxiety at the end of each month. Homeownership and family formation, the basic building blocks of a conservative worldview, have both been made needlessly difficult by 13 wasted years of Tory governance. In Tory Britain, nothing works any longer, least of all the government.

That Johnson fell foul of the excessive Covid regulations he himself introduced is the perfect encapsulation of the party’s impeccable record of failure. Seemingly proud of their inability to govern a country, Conservative ministers grandly announce policies they will never deliver on Twitter, complain that their governance is frustrated by state functionaries they were elected to control, and give fringe conference speeches complaining about the pernicious effects of legislation they themselves introduced.

Johnson’s latest self-exculpatory missive is thus the perfect distillation of Conservative governance, where failure is always someone else’s fault. Endlessly railing against the blob, the Conservative Party is surely the blob’s purest and most baleful incarnation — a self-defeating cabal of WhatsApp gossipers whose horizons extend no further than the Westminster Lobby. Yet it really did seem, just two years ago, that the Conservative Party’s hold on power might last unchallenged for a generation. The Tory self-implosion since then must count as one of the most spectacular failures in British political history: presented with an open goal, the party dribbled unopposed to the victory line before ritually disembowelling itself in front of a horrified crowd.

In retrospect, Johnson’s squandering of a historic opportunity to reshape Britain may have been inevitable. All his personal failings, the lying and unfaithfulness that inspire such liberal outrage, are just subcategories of his greatest flaw: the pathological craving to over-promise without ever delivering. The nation was only another dalliance which, having won, his flawed nature compelled him to neglect. The much-mythologised new Red Wall voter base he seduced has now returned, shame-faced, to its longstanding partner: the only legacy of Johnson’s 2019 victory is a short-lived crop of northern MPs of staggering awfulness. Instead of ushering in a new era of mass prosperity and revitalised industry, we are compelled to witness, in the dying days of this government, Red Wall MPs of the party of social aspiration commanding their voters to eat value baked beans and stop complaining. But if the party could be forgiven Johnson, who at least delivered one brief moment of electoral glory, its subsequent coronation of Liz Truss, the Lady Jane Grey of zombie neoliberalism, alone deserves annihilation.

At precisely the moment the world firmly rejected neoliberalism, the Conservative Party chose, through an opaque and arrogantly self-absorbed internal conclave, its last true zealot to intensify Britain’s commitment to the failed ideology. Foiled at achieving her set-piece open borders deal with India only by her demolition of the British economy, Truss’s only lasting achievement has been to drive the party’s dependable middle class Blue Wall voter base towards Labour.

Even at the best of times, that the party could be so absorbed by its own internal drama to unleash a figure as simultaneously vapid and dangerous as Truss anywhere near the highest office of state would be just cause to forfeit power. But that it could do so at such a moment of grave national crisis is simply inexcusable, a dereliction of duty so severe that even the Conservative Party’s continued existence now seems of dubious merit. At this point, the furore over Truss and Johnson’s doling out of honours to their cronies seems misplaced: they have gone already this far in discrediting the government and party, why should they not bring the whole thing crashing down?

After all this, the broadly competent managerialism of the Sunak government, now rocked by the vengeful blond revenant, seemed to at least provide us with some breathing space before the inevitable Labour victory. Sunak’s foreign policy, aligning with Europe by rejecting open confrontation with China while maintaining sufficient distance from the rising economic hegemon, is unexpectedly modest and sensible: in different circumstances, he could have been a great Foreign Secretary. His economic policy is essentially that of running the country on autopilot, following a route programmed back in the 2010s. While he has no convincing answers to Britain’s accumulating dysfunction, he is at least unlikely to dramatically worsen the situation in the limited time history has allotted him. Ironically more conservative than either Johnson or Truss, perhaps the last two true liberals of a dying era, Sunak is nevertheless fated to lead the party towards its electoral doom, a steady pair of hands driving the nation safely towards Starmer, while Johnson loudly smears his mess across the back seat.

At this point, a more convincing conservative case can surely be made for Labour than for the Conservative Party. A period of Labour rule, resetting Britain’s economic model on a more resilient and sustainable path, may ironically provide a more secure basis for some future, more competent Tory government: in the long-term, indeed, the Conservative Party’s very survival may depend on a Labour victory. But if it is to survive — and the desirability of this outcome, given its performance, is far from obvious — then the Tories require a period out of office to define their worldview and devise a convincing path to achieving it.

Yet, instead of showcasing the exciting new frontiers of conservatism, the recent Natcon conference — in which a chaotically-assembled mixture of economic liberals, social conservatives and inane culture war loudmouths argued for directly opposing things — only highlighted the lack of intellectual heft within the modern British Right. Simply, the conservative movement in Britain does not have a deep bench of talent from which to draw future inspiration, much less to govern now. If Johnson’s return can still be pined for by frontbench loyalists, if he is the best they can hope for, then the rot is surely terminal.

The outlook, for conservatives, must now be one of weary resignation. In our constricted party system, the space that is in continental Europe filled by competent Right-wing parties is in Britain taken up by conspiracy theorists and Trussonomics advocates moonlighting as talkshow hosts. Filling this gap, Starmer’s Labour has already outflanked the Conservative Party from the Right on law and order and immigration, purging the party of the remnants of the Corbynite Left whose professed adherence to socialism was always outweighed by their more passionate commitment to social liberalism.

To the chagrin of Left-liberals, whose enthusiasm for the normalisation of crime is only matched by that of the Conservative Party, Starmer can convincingly point to his record as Director of Public Prosecutions in claiming that a Labour victory will lead to the return of robust policing. On immigration, while the Labour benches still contain free-movement zealots, it’s difficult to see, short of dispatching press gangs around the world to abduct random passersby, how Labour can surpass either Truss’s enthusiasm for open borders or the unprecedented visa liberalisation regime Johnson intentionally introduced.

But it is on economic questions, those bread-and-butter material circumstances that define a nation’s political character, that Labour has now superseded the Conservative Party’s fossilised orthodoxies, pledging a revived industrial strategy based on national resilience, a massive program of housebuilding, and expansion of affordable childcare to ease the burden of family formation. Just as the Biden administration has transpired, on foreign policy and the economy, to be simply the competent version of Trumpism, it may take the Labour Party to bring about the Johnsonian economic settlement its creator was too lazy and disorganised to achieve.

After 13 years in power, the Conservative Party has achieved nothing, conserving only an ideological attachment to an economic model that has evaporated, and a rhetorical commitment to a social order its own policies have destroyed. Clamouring for the Lobby’s attention once again, Boris eloquently makes the case, if anyone is still wavering, for a Labour government as soon as possible. After enduring another year of drift and managed decline, a period of Labour governance may yet achieve some traditionally conservative ends, in home ownership and family formation, in the rebirth of a British industrial strategy and the fostering of economic resilience in a contested, multipolar world. The return of Johnson’s unquiet ghost, waving his mouldering rags of failure at all around him, may therefore do the nation some good: if he drags the Conservative Party into the political grave with him, Boris may finally make his mark on history.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

“
a revived industrial strategy based on national resilience, a massive program of house building, and expansion of affordable childcare to ease the burden of family formation”. There are literally no grounds for expecting Labour will achieve any of that, or that their policies – including an accelerated Net Zero target (dependent on imported Chinese technology and wildly inconsistent with a massive increase in housebuilding), a ban on new oil and gas, more debt, more tax, more pandering to public sector trade unions, more regulation, more censorship and more subsidised public childcare while undermining parents – will have a positive effect. The author is teeing up further rhetorical flourishes in the future so he can colourfully excoriate the next government when the efficient, successful big state command economy he endlessly demands inevitably fails to arrive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well said. The author’s bland assumption that Labour will govern as anything like a normal political party is laughable. Even more than the current Tory party it is the cat’s paw of our western-global elite. It may not offer us “neo-liberalism” – whatever he means by that – but it will certainly offer us socialism, hot and strong as distinct from the weak and watery variety served up by that “wisest fool in Christendom”, Sunak.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

This I think is an important point, and in all fairness to the politicians we the public do I think need to dwell on this. The unpopularity of the old parties is not being matched by a rise in a new party. In Scotland of course there is the SNP who, to the extent that they ever were something different basically fell into similar positions as Sunak/Starmer, just with a twitter following. UKIP did well for a time in rather unique circumstances (and, it should be noted, with PR) but that was a flash in the pan and it was so because the voters didn’t sustain their attachment. The ‘Referendum Realignment’ was something few outside of hyperventilating journalists believed in.
If anything I’m even more pessimistic. The one European country where the voters really did decide to pull down an old party system (at least at national level) was France. Out of that void emerged Macron. If we really did pull LAB/CON down here with nothing to positively vote for then a Macron figure would I suspect emerge. That’s not by the way to say Macron has been all bad – he’s the first French leader to have a serious discussion on pensions.
It’s all well and good writing articles such as this but the stark reality is that without something actually to vote for with a realistic prospect of success I’m being asked to vote for a man who knelt for BLM for no better reason than to get shot of the Conservatives.
It shouldn’t be this way but absent the public actually sustaining a new party, probably over a very long period of time, it is what it is.
For what it’s worth: I suspect that a Labour Government under Starmer could work. Some sort of very focussed effort on a few big ticket issues – maybe as few as 3 or 4 whilst letting everything else go on might work. No ‘pledges’ just focus. What I imagine we’ll get is something like the end of the Brown days where very over-thought solutions were brought in and which lacked for focus. I also suspect that Starmer will be seduced into ‘identity’ issues – maybe a US style debate on abortion.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

I sense you may be over optimistic about Labour, even if they pursued your pragmatic advice to focus on a few issues. But what makes you think they will be able to breakdown any of the now deeply systemic and structural issues embedded in our sick economy? So they are really going to take on the BMA and reform the broken NHS?? They are honestly going to overcome the deep seated nimbyism and planning barriers that have skewed the housing market? Control mass migration? Spend big on defence? Sort the student/uni debt nightmare? Smash the welfarism and entitlement culture?? No way! I cannot see it. You are right about them unleashing new toxic race laws…the drafts are ready..for that truly is the only distinctive credo they have. Lockdown transformed us into a proto Socialist anti enterprise high tax for crap public services country. There is only one direction a sickly society like that travels in; no party can manage and reverse such decline.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

What about another ‘Blairite’ War?
There must be somebody the US wishes to attack, and it would prove a much needed distraction from the current chaos.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago

An interesting point. Certainly Ukraine will drag out for years and I don’t think it is theoretical that we will see some form of anti-war movement from and challenge PM Starmer. As with Iraq that anti-war movement may have a range of viewpoints. It’s both advantage and problem for Starmer: as an advantage it probably takes away any anti-NATO pressures in the Labour Party but as a problem he’s landed with a conflict and sanctions that he’s backed, with no exit strategy. My sense of the situation is that at some point the West will need to talk to Valdimir Putin but no politician is ready to put that one out there yet.
Now if the US did want to project military power somewhere with all the implications that would have for refugee flows, costs, reconstruction etc then Starmer would have quite the decision but I think we are a long way from that, and the chances of any oppostion are about nil.
Also, the under-reported one: Serbia/Kosovo. I’ve just been out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if something that looks like boots-on-the-ground happened in the next few years.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago

An interesting point. Certainly Ukraine will drag out for years and I don’t think it is theoretical that we will see some form of anti-war movement from and challenge PM Starmer. As with Iraq that anti-war movement may have a range of viewpoints. It’s both advantage and problem for Starmer: as an advantage it probably takes away any anti-NATO pressures in the Labour Party but as a problem he’s landed with a conflict and sanctions that he’s backed, with no exit strategy. My sense of the situation is that at some point the West will need to talk to Valdimir Putin but no politician is ready to put that one out there yet.
Now if the US did want to project military power somewhere with all the implications that would have for refugee flows, costs, reconstruction etc then Starmer would have quite the decision but I think we are a long way from that, and the chances of any oppostion are about nil.
Also, the under-reported one: Serbia/Kosovo. I’ve just been out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if something that looks like boots-on-the-ground happened in the next few years.

David Harris
David Harris
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Just don’t ask him what a woman is.

Chris Hunter
Chris Hunter
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

There is no possibility of Labour “working”. They would be an unmitigated disaster. Starmer’s professed hatred of “fossil fuels” will consign us to rolling power cuts – just like Socialist California – and his bizarre spending plans will beggar the country – as is usual with Labour.

Remember – EVERY Labour administration has run out of money, whilst wildly increasing taxation. Labour has been responsible for the longest period of general strikes we’ve ever had (in the 70s), the destruction of our Education System (“Comprehensive Education” in the 60s), the sale of our Gold Reserves (at a historically low price for Gold, under Bliar & McDoom) and most of the social ills that our country now suffers due to rampant immigration and a Police “Service” emasculated by “Common Purpose” and other brainwashing schemes.

Please – just don’t ever make the mistake of letting Labour further wreck our already crippled country!

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hunter
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

I sense you may be over optimistic about Labour, even if they pursued your pragmatic advice to focus on a few issues. But what makes you think they will be able to breakdown any of the now deeply systemic and structural issues embedded in our sick economy? So they are really going to take on the BMA and reform the broken NHS?? They are honestly going to overcome the deep seated nimbyism and planning barriers that have skewed the housing market? Control mass migration? Spend big on defence? Sort the student/uni debt nightmare? Smash the welfarism and entitlement culture?? No way! I cannot see it. You are right about them unleashing new toxic race laws…the drafts are ready..for that truly is the only distinctive credo they have. Lockdown transformed us into a proto Socialist anti enterprise high tax for crap public services country. There is only one direction a sickly society like that travels in; no party can manage and reverse such decline.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

What about another ‘Blairite’ War?
There must be somebody the US wishes to attack, and it would prove a much needed distraction from the current chaos.

David Harris
David Harris
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Just don’t ask him what a woman is.

Chris Hunter
Chris Hunter
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

There is no possibility of Labour “working”. They would be an unmitigated disaster. Starmer’s professed hatred of “fossil fuels” will consign us to rolling power cuts – just like Socialist California – and his bizarre spending plans will beggar the country – as is usual with Labour.

Remember – EVERY Labour administration has run out of money, whilst wildly increasing taxation. Labour has been responsible for the longest period of general strikes we’ve ever had (in the 70s), the destruction of our Education System (“Comprehensive Education” in the 60s), the sale of our Gold Reserves (at a historically low price for Gold, under Bliar & McDoom) and most of the social ills that our country now suffers due to rampant immigration and a Police “Service” emasculated by “Common Purpose” and other brainwashing schemes.

Please – just don’t ever make the mistake of letting Labour further wreck our already crippled country!

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Hunter
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

“wisest fool in Christendom”
Isn’t that position already taken by the late James I of England and VIth of Jockland?

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago

True, but I see Sunak as his vacillating shadow; in other words another version of the same combination – high intelligence devoted to petty or counterproductive ends. I am delighted that with your usual erudition you appreciated the reference. My, but the prospect looks bleak, does it not?

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Denis
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

They do indeed look bleak, and mostly of ‘our’ own making, more’s the pity!

Fortunately I am a worshipper of the God Bacchus*so I sleep soundly at night.

(* Dionysus for the Hellenes.)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

They do indeed look bleak, and mostly of ‘our’ own making, more’s the pity!

Fortunately I am a worshipper of the God Bacchus*so I sleep soundly at night.

(* Dionysus for the Hellenes.)

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago

True, but I see Sunak as his vacillating shadow; in other words another version of the same combination – high intelligence devoted to petty or counterproductive ends. I am delighted that with your usual erudition you appreciated the reference. My, but the prospect looks bleak, does it not?

Last edited 1 year ago by Simon Denis
Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

100%

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

This I think is an important point, and in all fairness to the politicians we the public do I think need to dwell on this. The unpopularity of the old parties is not being matched by a rise in a new party. In Scotland of course there is the SNP who, to the extent that they ever were something different basically fell into similar positions as Sunak/Starmer, just with a twitter following. UKIP did well for a time in rather unique circumstances (and, it should be noted, with PR) but that was a flash in the pan and it was so because the voters didn’t sustain their attachment. The ‘Referendum Realignment’ was something few outside of hyperventilating journalists believed in.
If anything I’m even more pessimistic. The one European country where the voters really did decide to pull down an old party system (at least at national level) was France. Out of that void emerged Macron. If we really did pull LAB/CON down here with nothing to positively vote for then a Macron figure would I suspect emerge. That’s not by the way to say Macron has been all bad – he’s the first French leader to have a serious discussion on pensions.
It’s all well and good writing articles such as this but the stark reality is that without something actually to vote for with a realistic prospect of success I’m being asked to vote for a man who knelt for BLM for no better reason than to get shot of the Conservatives.
It shouldn’t be this way but absent the public actually sustaining a new party, probably over a very long period of time, it is what it is.
For what it’s worth: I suspect that a Labour Government under Starmer could work. Some sort of very focussed effort on a few big ticket issues – maybe as few as 3 or 4 whilst letting everything else go on might work. No ‘pledges’ just focus. What I imagine we’ll get is something like the end of the Brown days where very over-thought solutions were brought in and which lacked for focus. I also suspect that Starmer will be seduced into ‘identity’ issues – maybe a US style debate on abortion.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

“wisest fool in Christendom”
Isn’t that position already taken by the late James I of England and VIth of Jockland?

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

100%

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Net zero is a sick joke… Who in Britain cares one jot?

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Presumably all those voters who are going to put Starmer in Power without any concern of the rising taxes it will cost us all.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Presumably all those voters who are going to put Starmer in Power without any concern of the rising taxes it will cost us all.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Well said. The author’s bland assumption that Labour will govern as anything like a normal political party is laughable. Even more than the current Tory party it is the cat’s paw of our western-global elite. It may not offer us “neo-liberalism” – whatever he means by that – but it will certainly offer us socialism, hot and strong as distinct from the weak and watery variety served up by that “wisest fool in Christendom”, Sunak.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Net zero is a sick joke… Who in Britain cares one jot?

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

“
a revived industrial strategy based on national resilience, a massive program of house building, and expansion of affordable childcare to ease the burden of family formation”. There are literally no grounds for expecting Labour will achieve any of that, or that their policies – including an accelerated Net Zero target (dependent on imported Chinese technology and wildly inconsistent with a massive increase in housebuilding), a ban on new oil and gas, more debt, more tax, more pandering to public sector trade unions, more regulation, more censorship and more subsidised public childcare while undermining parents – will have a positive effect. The author is teeing up further rhetorical flourishes in the future so he can colourfully excoriate the next government when the efficient, successful big state command economy he endlessly demands inevitably fails to arrive.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Walsh
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

Well written summary of the recent Tory years, but somewhat light on the risks inherent in the most likely policies of the next Labour government.
Starmer might be verbally “outflanking” the Tories on some of the key “conservative” issues, but don’t think for a moment this will turn into implemented and effective policy.
The more progressive/Marxist voices will not be silenced indefinitely.
I’m also rather skeptical of the chances of Labour resetting the economy onto a “more resilient and sustainable path”
Yes the Conservatives have been woefull, but I would suggest tempering any optimism for the alternatives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

No matter who you vote for, the Civil Service always get in.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

So how did Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher manage to work perfectly successfully with the Civil Service of their day to deliver their radical, yet radically different, transformational programmes? Blaming the Civil Service really is ‘the dog ate my homework’ of political debate.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

They didn’t work “perfectly successfully” – they both met partially successful resistance. But the public sector professional class today is much larger, more ideological, and more emboldened to resist policies they dislike. Proper immigration controls including deportations, moving out of the EU regulatory orbit, and a push back on the Trans agenda, would all be seriously swimming against the professional public sector ideological tide, and would and do meet strong resistance.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

No too simple SW and avoids taking responsibility for providing effective leadership on the part of the political masters. Even Osborne told the Tories last wk blaming the Civil service was a cop-out.
Let’s take an example – Rees-Mogg and the 4.5k bits of inherited EU legislation – what did he propose to remove? Yes, the lot in one go without any assessment of consequences. By the way Bojo didn’t even get the legislation to do this to Parliament and didn’t prioritise it. Truss moved it. Then when Kemi inherits it she grasps actually it’ll be a car-crash so we better go through it all in detail. These are political calls, not the Civil service. The CS will have advised on the implications and awaited instruction. The politician decides what to propose to Parliament.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The Civil Service Leadership will advise what suits the Civil Service and THEIR political masters which is not necessarily the Government of the day. There is also very little way to dispute their advice unless you have experience of their workings.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

The Civil Service Leadership will advise what suits the Civil Service and THEIR political masters which is not necessarily the Government of the day. There is also very little way to dispute their advice unless you have experience of their workings.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Civil Servants are ambitious and focussed on advancing their careers, just like people on a career path in the private sector. So they worked with Chris Grayling to enact his disastrous ‘reforms’ to the Parole Service and with his successors to reverse them.

Part of the market response, the increase in the cost of gilt yields, the ‘moron premium’, was driven by Truss’ decision to sack the Permanent Secretary at the Treasury and marginalise the OBR and the Bank of England, in favour from advisors from the Tufton Street think tanks.

There has also been a significant churn in senior civil servants whose faces didn’t fit with their political masters.

The problem is that there has also been a lot of churn with their bosses, endless Secretaries of State, hordes of ministers, often mediocre and a lot of ill thought out policies, a lot of U-turns, a clear lack of direction.

It’s a nice comfort blanket, though, for politicians and their supporters to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their failures and blame someone else.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Interesting then that although the adults are back in the room that gilt yields have recently returned to the levels they were at immediately after the mini budget. Maybe the Treasury, the BoE and the OBR haven’t been doing such a swell job after all.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Except you may want to look at the causes. The current rise is due to market expectation that there are more interest rate rises on the horizon, with a tight labour market and inflation still problematic. So totally different from the Truss situation.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Except you may want to look at the causes. The current rise is due to market expectation that there are more interest rate rises on the horizon, with a tight labour market and inflation still problematic. So totally different from the Truss situation.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

This is, in my view, right. It is rare that I come to the defence of Tony Blair, however I was a civil servant and undoubtedly at the time of the 1997-2001 period there was real, genuine drive and direction and it was a real positive. We’ve not had anything approaching that since. What we’ve had since is not so much badly thought out as hyperactive, in the bad sense of the term. It’s the hyperactivity that too often leads to the bad ideas.
I don’t know really why that happened – it does of course correlate with the rise of online news and social media who demand of politicians ‘do something.’ Blair 1997-2001 was the last pre internet PM.
We’ve just had a lot of Ministers (of all parties) who seem to think that government is about smashing through big-bang sweeping change. That is not really an approach taken in either the private or third sector.
I believe that leaving the EU was the right decision (or, more specifically we should have done something very different from Maastricht on) but Brexit could never be a big bang, for good or for bad.
There can be control and direction of the civil service but it’s the hyperactivity that’s the problem, in my experience, in the politician/civil service relationship.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

You’re right, hyperactive is a much better description.

On Brexit, I had two main reservations: there seemed absolutely no idea, let alone strategy, on what economic model we needed once we left the EU. The lazy assumption seemed to be that the EU wouldn’t negotiate in their own self interest, so we’d get all the benefits with none of the obligations. And that favourable trade deals with the US et al were going to fall in our laps. So it would be the status quo, just minus EU membership.

The other reservation was the quality of the people in the Tory Party who were going to be entrusted with coming up with this new model, new way of operating.

Not sure I’ve been proved wrong.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Would you attribute Boris’s appalling reaction to COVID to the we must “do something “ hyperactivity
syndrome you speak of?

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago

Short answer – yes.
Longer answer – yes, but he was hardly alone and going against the grain would have been impossible. Once the CCP started doing lockdowns they immediately exported them and interests formed that were cast iron.
The scientists, the media, a large part of the public, big tech, big pharma, the establishment….that’s a confluence of interest no one can withstand.
But my goodness the hyperactivity around covid was something to behold and it created conditions that defy words. As far as I can see Europe repeatedly shut down on the basis of hoping that something would show up.
Can you imagine what early-AIDS would have been like with April 2020 conditions?

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago

Short answer – yes.
Longer answer – yes, but he was hardly alone and going against the grain would have been impossible. Once the CCP started doing lockdowns they immediately exported them and interests formed that were cast iron.
The scientists, the media, a large part of the public, big tech, big pharma, the establishment….that’s a confluence of interest no one can withstand.
But my goodness the hyperactivity around covid was something to behold and it created conditions that defy words. As far as I can see Europe repeatedly shut down on the basis of hoping that something would show up.
Can you imagine what early-AIDS would have been like with April 2020 conditions?

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Like you, I disagreed politically with Blair (albeit probably from a different perspective than you) but he, and the people around him were undoubtedly, ruthlessly competent. Many of them were gifted communicators who made the most of a generally favourable media environment to boot.
The problem that the Conservatives have had throughout their tenure is that their governing ideas are so desperately shallow that they attract people who are, themselves, intellectually shallow.
Austerity, for example, was an economic nonsense entirely at odds with economic theory and practice since the depression. It was sustained not by any novel theory of economics but by relentlessly comparing the nation state to a family with a maxed out credit card.
Brexit, too is an idea that you can defend from all sorts of coherent angles (including leftist ones), many of which are in direct conflict. It was doomed because its actual achievement depended upon a coalition of all of those contradictory ideas, which, in turn, could be secured only by holding a gun to its own head.
The policy on immigration is to win votes by sounding angry about it whilst accepting that the country’s economic model is dependent on it.
Pandemic response was shaped by an apparent belief that the private sector is so universally better at doing anything and everything that it would make a better job of handling a public health emergency from a standing start than local authorities with existing networks, local experience and resources.
I could go on.
Gove’s education reforms, Grayling’s tenure at the Home Office and DFT, the hostile environment, planning reform, Ukraine…
These are flimsy ideas – orthodoxies absorbed early in life and apparently not much examined since. It stands to reason that people who are professionally required to hold all these ideas would be… lightweight.
Since they struggle to win arguments, it is understandable that they would transmute civil servants into a hostile force, stigmatise it as “the blob” and change the subject as quickly as possible.
The surprising bit is that we let them get away with it.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

You’re right, hyperactive is a much better description.

On Brexit, I had two main reservations: there seemed absolutely no idea, let alone strategy, on what economic model we needed once we left the EU. The lazy assumption seemed to be that the EU wouldn’t negotiate in their own self interest, so we’d get all the benefits with none of the obligations. And that favourable trade deals with the US et al were going to fall in our laps. So it would be the status quo, just minus EU membership.

The other reservation was the quality of the people in the Tory Party who were going to be entrusted with coming up with this new model, new way of operating.

Not sure I’ve been proved wrong.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Would you attribute Boris’s appalling reaction to COVID to the we must “do something “ hyperactivity
syndrome you speak of?

George Venning
George Venning
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Hill

Like you, I disagreed politically with Blair (albeit probably from a different perspective than you) but he, and the people around him were undoubtedly, ruthlessly competent. Many of them were gifted communicators who made the most of a generally favourable media environment to boot.
The problem that the Conservatives have had throughout their tenure is that their governing ideas are so desperately shallow that they attract people who are, themselves, intellectually shallow.
Austerity, for example, was an economic nonsense entirely at odds with economic theory and practice since the depression. It was sustained not by any novel theory of economics but by relentlessly comparing the nation state to a family with a maxed out credit card.
Brexit, too is an idea that you can defend from all sorts of coherent angles (including leftist ones), many of which are in direct conflict. It was doomed because its actual achievement depended upon a coalition of all of those contradictory ideas, which, in turn, could be secured only by holding a gun to its own head.
The policy on immigration is to win votes by sounding angry about it whilst accepting that the country’s economic model is dependent on it.
Pandemic response was shaped by an apparent belief that the private sector is so universally better at doing anything and everything that it would make a better job of handling a public health emergency from a standing start than local authorities with existing networks, local experience and resources.
I could go on.
Gove’s education reforms, Grayling’s tenure at the Home Office and DFT, the hostile environment, planning reform, Ukraine…
These are flimsy ideas – orthodoxies absorbed early in life and apparently not much examined since. It stands to reason that people who are professionally required to hold all these ideas would be… lightweight.
Since they struggle to win arguments, it is understandable that they would transmute civil servants into a hostile force, stigmatise it as “the blob” and change the subject as quickly as possible.
The surprising bit is that we let them get away with it.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

Interesting then that although the adults are back in the room that gilt yields have recently returned to the levels they were at immediately after the mini budget. Maybe the Treasury, the BoE and the OBR haven’t been doing such a swell job after all.

Sam Hill
Sam Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

This is, in my view, right. It is rare that I come to the defence of Tony Blair, however I was a civil servant and undoubtedly at the time of the 1997-2001 period there was real, genuine drive and direction and it was a real positive. We’ve not had anything approaching that since. What we’ve had since is not so much badly thought out as hyperactive, in the bad sense of the term. It’s the hyperactivity that too often leads to the bad ideas.
I don’t know really why that happened – it does of course correlate with the rise of online news and social media who demand of politicians ‘do something.’ Blair 1997-2001 was the last pre internet PM.
We’ve just had a lot of Ministers (of all parties) who seem to think that government is about smashing through big-bang sweeping change. That is not really an approach taken in either the private or third sector.
I believe that leaving the EU was the right decision (or, more specifically we should have done something very different from Maastricht on) but Brexit could never be a big bang, for good or for bad.
There can be control and direction of the civil service but it’s the hyperactivity that’s the problem, in my experience, in the politician/civil service relationship.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

No too simple SW and avoids taking responsibility for providing effective leadership on the part of the political masters. Even Osborne told the Tories last wk blaming the Civil service was a cop-out.
Let’s take an example – Rees-Mogg and the 4.5k bits of inherited EU legislation – what did he propose to remove? Yes, the lot in one go without any assessment of consequences. By the way Bojo didn’t even get the legislation to do this to Parliament and didn’t prioritise it. Truss moved it. Then when Kemi inherits it she grasps actually it’ll be a car-crash so we better go through it all in detail. These are political calls, not the Civil service. The CS will have advised on the implications and awaited instruction. The politician decides what to propose to Parliament.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

Civil Servants are ambitious and focussed on advancing their careers, just like people on a career path in the private sector. So they worked with Chris Grayling to enact his disastrous ‘reforms’ to the Parole Service and with his successors to reverse them.

Part of the market response, the increase in the cost of gilt yields, the ‘moron premium’, was driven by Truss’ decision to sack the Permanent Secretary at the Treasury and marginalise the OBR and the Bank of England, in favour from advisors from the Tufton Street think tanks.

There has also been a significant churn in senior civil servants whose faces didn’t fit with their political masters.

The problem is that there has also been a lot of churn with their bosses, endless Secretaries of State, hordes of ministers, often mediocre and a lot of ill thought out policies, a lot of U-turns, a clear lack of direction.

It’s a nice comfort blanket, though, for politicians and their supporters to absolve themselves of any responsibility for their failures and blame someone else.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

They didn’t work “perfectly successfully” – they both met partially successful resistance. But the public sector professional class today is much larger, more ideological, and more emboldened to resist policies they dislike. Proper immigration controls including deportations, moving out of the EU regulatory orbit, and a push back on the Trans agenda, would all be seriously swimming against the professional public sector ideological tide, and would and do meet strong resistance.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

So how did Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher manage to work perfectly successfully with the Civil Service of their day to deliver their radical, yet radically different, transformational programmes? Blaming the Civil Service really is ‘the dog ate my homework’ of political debate.

Clive Hambly
Clive Hambly
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

On QTime last night, love or hate his politics, I thought David Blunkett showed that he stood head and shoulders above the current crop of Labour misfits. A clear indication of just how far Labour has plumbed the depths – all of which gives no cause for the slightest bit of optimism should Starmer ever form a government.

Lesley Rudd
Lesley Rudd
1 year ago
Reply to  Clive Hambly

I too thought David Blunkett hugely impressive on QT. A reminder of the days when we had good, decent, intelligent, hard working politicians not a lot of spiv- boys who are out for their own advancement

Lesley Rudd
Lesley Rudd
1 year ago
Reply to  Clive Hambly

I too thought David Blunkett hugely impressive on QT. A reminder of the days when we had good, decent, intelligent, hard working politicians not a lot of spiv- boys who are out for their own advancement

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

No matter who you vote for, the Civil Service always get in.

Clive Hambly
Clive Hambly
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

On QTime last night, love or hate his politics, I thought David Blunkett showed that he stood head and shoulders above the current crop of Labour misfits. A clear indication of just how far Labour has plumbed the depths – all of which gives no cause for the slightest bit of optimism should Starmer ever form a government.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

Well written summary of the recent Tory years, but somewhat light on the risks inherent in the most likely policies of the next Labour government.
Starmer might be verbally “outflanking” the Tories on some of the key “conservative” issues, but don’t think for a moment this will turn into implemented and effective policy.
The more progressive/Marxist voices will not be silenced indefinitely.
I’m also rather skeptical of the chances of Labour resetting the economy onto a “more resilient and sustainable path”
Yes the Conservatives have been woefull, but I would suggest tempering any optimism for the alternatives.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

If you think a Keir Starmer government is going to be tough on crime then you need your head examining.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Let alone immigration. They rely on immigration to provide a stream of uncomplicated workers who listen to what they are told by their (usually) self-appointed Leaders while those same leaders get paid off with nice ‘advisor’ status roles so they don’t have to live the same lives as those they are leading. You only have to look around the world to see this happening. Meanwhile, the ‘lead’ are quite happy with the situation they are left in since they rely on large benefit payouts which the workers are too busy working to pay for.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Let alone immigration. They rely on immigration to provide a stream of uncomplicated workers who listen to what they are told by their (usually) self-appointed Leaders while those same leaders get paid off with nice ‘advisor’ status roles so they don’t have to live the same lives as those they are leading. You only have to look around the world to see this happening. Meanwhile, the ‘lead’ are quite happy with the situation they are left in since they rely on large benefit payouts which the workers are too busy working to pay for.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

If you think a Keir Starmer government is going to be tough on crime then you need your head examining.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

This is a quite hysterical article, with precious little analysis, unfortunately one of far too many by Aris Roussinos. We can agree that the Tories are exhausted, divided and failing but there are no convincing positive proposals here.

The UK now has more people claiming benefits than paying taxes, high levels of state spending and borrowing. We have 5 million people of working age on our if work benefits, and extremely high and unsustainable levels of immigration.

Whatever else, we certainly don’t live in a ‘neoliberal’ state or anything like it. The Tories can certainly be held to account for completely failing to get to grip on any of these issues, but Aris entirely fails to make any convincing case that Labour wouldn’t be likely to make most of them worse. No doubt we will see.

The UK has actually tried ‘industrial policy” before, and it wasn’t a resounding success. The 1970s were not a halcyon period of milk and honey. I’d like a much more fact focussed account by someone with some basic grasp of economics to convince me that governments picking winners and deciding where industries should be located is a sustainable strategy. That means perhaps seed funding, but not unaffordable never ending subsidies. Protectionism, which Aris appears to be advocating, has also not exactly been a resounding success. Is it likely that British people effectively want to be forced to buy inferior British goods, any more than they did in the 1960s and 70s?

In reality, the problems caused by a heavily regionalised early industrialisation and then rapid de-industrialisation were never going to be easy to ‘solve’, and we should not pretend they are.

I completely agree we need not to over promise and under deliver, but that applies to all sides of the argument.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Excellent. I heard all this in the 70s. Painful…

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Excellent. I heard all this in the 70s. Painful…

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago

This is a quite hysterical article, with precious little analysis, unfortunately one of far too many by Aris Roussinos. We can agree that the Tories are exhausted, divided and failing but there are no convincing positive proposals here.

The UK now has more people claiming benefits than paying taxes, high levels of state spending and borrowing. We have 5 million people of working age on our if work benefits, and extremely high and unsustainable levels of immigration.

Whatever else, we certainly don’t live in a ‘neoliberal’ state or anything like it. The Tories can certainly be held to account for completely failing to get to grip on any of these issues, but Aris entirely fails to make any convincing case that Labour wouldn’t be likely to make most of them worse. No doubt we will see.

The UK has actually tried ‘industrial policy” before, and it wasn’t a resounding success. The 1970s were not a halcyon period of milk and honey. I’d like a much more fact focussed account by someone with some basic grasp of economics to convince me that governments picking winners and deciding where industries should be located is a sustainable strategy. That means perhaps seed funding, but not unaffordable never ending subsidies. Protectionism, which Aris appears to be advocating, has also not exactly been a resounding success. Is it likely that British people effectively want to be forced to buy inferior British goods, any more than they did in the 1960s and 70s?

In reality, the problems caused by a heavily regionalised early industrialisation and then rapid de-industrialisation were never going to be easy to ‘solve’, and we should not pretend they are.

I completely agree we need not to over promise and under deliver, but that applies to all sides of the argument.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago

This piece is so ridden with nonsense that I can’t muster the energy to go through it point by point Any author who could write something as profoundly stupid and factually absurd as:Just as the Biden administration has transpired, on foreign policy and the economy, to be simply the competent version of Trumpism“, isn’t worth wasting time on.
Until Covid arrived, the US economy was booming and Trump’s aggressive foreign policy was keeping the usual troublemakers in check. Biden’s foreign policy has been an absolute disaster. The botched withdrawl from Afghanistan, the appeasement of Iran and China, the utterly self defeating policy in response to Ukraine which has brought US enemies together, threatening the US’s positon as the leading economic and military superpower. Meanwhile, Biden’s has recklessly spent trillions, causing inflation and interest rises.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I know, at first it’s hard to believe anyone could write this. But if your only sources are watching CNN and reading the NYT…

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

QED.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

QED.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I know, at first it’s hard to believe anyone could write this. But if your only sources are watching CNN and reading the NYT…

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago

This piece is so ridden with nonsense that I can’t muster the energy to go through it point by point Any author who could write something as profoundly stupid and factually absurd as:Just as the Biden administration has transpired, on foreign policy and the economy, to be simply the competent version of Trumpism“, isn’t worth wasting time on.
Until Covid arrived, the US economy was booming and Trump’s aggressive foreign policy was keeping the usual troublemakers in check. Biden’s foreign policy has been an absolute disaster. The botched withdrawl from Afghanistan, the appeasement of Iran and China, the utterly self defeating policy in response to Ukraine which has brought US enemies together, threatening the US’s positon as the leading economic and military superpower. Meanwhile, Biden’s has recklessly spent trillions, causing inflation and interest rises.

john d rockemella
john d rockemella
1 year ago

Well our political elite have all been captured by the WEF including Boris and Keir Starmer, so there really is no difference anymore

john d rockemella
john d rockemella
1 year ago

Well our political elite have all been captured by the WEF including Boris and Keir Starmer, so there really is no difference anymore

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The author is living in gagaland. If you think the Tories are useless fools but Labour’s goons like David Lammy are pillars of competence you have clearly been hit over the head a few too many times.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

The author is living in gagaland. If you think the Tories are useless fools but Labour’s goons like David Lammy are pillars of competence you have clearly been hit over the head a few too many times.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago

Every five years or so a scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river, promising not to sting it.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago

Every five years or so a scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river, promising not to sting it.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

A fine essay, eloquently argued. And yet, oddly for a piece I admire, my level of agreement with the case made is completely bifurcated.

There is, sadly, nothing I can say to counter *any* of the coruscating charges made against the Conservatives. They are now a lost cause to me.

However, I have a few disagreements about the hopes expressed for the actions of the inevitable incoming Labour government at the next election:

(i) “… Red Wall voter base he seduced has now returned, shame-faced, to its longstanding partner… ” – Yeah. And the likely ending will be the same result as inevitably happens in such situations: the party that originally left will realise pretty much instantly after going back that the reason they left in the first place was a mutual contempt for each other by both parties. Just wait for the first major row after the rather forced politeness of the reconciliation, there will be a huge blowout, the Red Wall voter will move out again, this time resolved never to return. ‘Fool me once/ fool me twice’ only breaks for Tories in this universe, everyone else is bound by it’s iron law.

(ii) “[Sunak’s] … economic policy is essentially that of running the country on autopilot, following a route programmed back in the 2010s” – Unquestionably. And what makes you think Labour will change this? The obviously dazzling array of talents waiting in the wings on the opposition benches? Half of them look to me to be chomping at the bit to attempt a rerun of their utopia of 1997, while the other half look as keen to tip us all into a Gilliumesqe Brazil-like postmodern dystopia.

(iii) “At this point, a more convincing conservative case can surely be made for Labour than for the Conservative Party … On immigration, while the Labour benches still contain free-movement zealots, it’s difficult to see, short of dispatching press gangs around the world to abduct random passersby, how Labour can surpass either Truss’s enthusiasm for open borders or the unprecedented visa liberalisation regime Johnson intentionally introduced…” – Wanna bet? (wonderful sentence btw).

(iv) “… [At] the recent Natcon conference … a chaotically-assembled mixture of economic liberals, social conservatives and inane culture war loudmouths argued for directly opposing things…” – Yep, I heard bits and pieces of the speeches on YouTube, they were pretty hopeless, with the honourable exception of our own MH. If that is the Conservative future, they will rebirth a new horror race of zombie overlords.

Ultimately, it all depends on the extent you are prepared to assign good faith to the words of Starmer and the other opposition leading lights. For myself, I don’t at all. That is in no way to exonerate the Tories, who have stiffed us all good and proper for well over a decade. There is, sadly, no one in our political firmament close to being able to comprehend the nature of the AI driven transformation about to engulf us all in short order, let alone shape it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Prashant Kotak
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Agreed, but the culture war is being fought by the left; the right is the Ukraine to the left’s Putin on this matter. The war will stop, therefore, when the real loudmouths – the red ones – fall silent. And they’ll only do that if they’re resisted. And it is not an academic matter confined to seminar rooms. It now affects policing, social policy, the arts – you name it. Last but not least it is pushing a dangerous new form of ethnic discrimination – the expression is not too strong – directed at the native populations of Europe. Unless we respond now and decisively – in the name, for example, of colour-blind rather than colour-conscious recruitment – the situation can only deteriorate.

P N
P N
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

“Tories, who have stiffed us all good and proper for well over a decade..”
In 2019, the UK had low unemployment, record low poverty, low inflation, reasonable growth and the lowest budget deficit since 2002. What data are you using for your “decade” claim.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago
Reply to  P N

On two fronts:

For the younger generations, the fact that pretty much no one under 40 can buy a home for themselves unless they are the beneficiary of an inheritance or help from parents. This is half a lifetime of drifting from rental to rental (which incidentally eats a huge proportion of income) with little to encourage family formation. Instead they face the serious prospect of living out their old age in loneliness and misery in a bedsit owned by some faceless and pitiless corporate giant.

For working middle classes, boomers, genx, older millennials, small businesspeople – this is supposedly the bedrock Tory base, people like me. They wanted sovereign decision-making, lower migration, more on lighter tax and regulation compared with the corporate world who can sidestep swathes of for example taxation, increasing living standards for our children. Instead, we have the highest tax burden in decades, the highest migration levels in history and a cultural world which is increasingly hostile. We have nothing of what we wanted.

The low unemployment levels were a consequence of people forgoing wage increases rather than lose employment altogether. The low inflation rate was a (global) consequence of China and zirp after the crash. Neither were anything the Tories actually did much to bring about. The proof is, if they were responsible, they should have been able to control inflation now – but they can’t. No bunch of oldies can fight the tide of epoch-moving times, but boy, it’s clear the Tories have taken us for a ride.

Last edited 1 year ago by Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago
Reply to  P N

On two fronts:

For the younger generations, the fact that pretty much no one under 40 can buy a home for themselves unless they are the beneficiary of an inheritance or help from parents. This is half a lifetime of drifting from rental to rental (which incidentally eats a huge proportion of income) with little to encourage family formation. Instead they face the serious prospect of living out their old age in loneliness and misery in a bedsit owned by some faceless and pitiless corporate giant.

For working middle classes, boomers, genx, older millennials, small businesspeople – this is supposedly the bedrock Tory base, people like me. They wanted sovereign decision-making, lower migration, more on lighter tax and regulation compared with the corporate world who can sidestep swathes of for example taxation, increasing living standards for our children. Instead, we have the highest tax burden in decades, the highest migration levels in history and a cultural world which is increasingly hostile. We have nothing of what we wanted.

The low unemployment levels were a consequence of people forgoing wage increases rather than lose employment altogether. The low inflation rate was a (global) consequence of China and zirp after the crash. Neither were anything the Tories actually did much to bring about. The proof is, if they were responsible, they should have been able to control inflation now – but they can’t. No bunch of oldies can fight the tide of epoch-moving times, but boy, it’s clear the Tories have taken us for a ride.

Last edited 1 year ago by Prashant Kotak
Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Don’t believe the AI hype! This is from 2014 “By 2025, artificial intelligence will be built into the algorithmic architecture of countless functions of business and communication, increasing relevance, reducing noise, increasing efficiency, and reducing risk across everything from finding information to making transactions. If robot cars are not yet driving on their own, robotic and intelligent functions will be taking over more of the work of manufacturing and moving.”
Robot cars are already disappearing from view after several years of non stop PR!

Last edited 1 year ago by Neil Ross
Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Agreed, but the culture war is being fought by the left; the right is the Ukraine to the left’s Putin on this matter. The war will stop, therefore, when the real loudmouths – the red ones – fall silent. And they’ll only do that if they’re resisted. And it is not an academic matter confined to seminar rooms. It now affects policing, social policy, the arts – you name it. Last but not least it is pushing a dangerous new form of ethnic discrimination – the expression is not too strong – directed at the native populations of Europe. Unless we respond now and decisively – in the name, for example, of colour-blind rather than colour-conscious recruitment – the situation can only deteriorate.

P N
P N
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

“Tories, who have stiffed us all good and proper for well over a decade..”
In 2019, the UK had low unemployment, record low poverty, low inflation, reasonable growth and the lowest budget deficit since 2002. What data are you using for your “decade” claim.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross
1 year ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Don’t believe the AI hype! This is from 2014 “By 2025, artificial intelligence will be built into the algorithmic architecture of countless functions of business and communication, increasing relevance, reducing noise, increasing efficiency, and reducing risk across everything from finding information to making transactions. If robot cars are not yet driving on their own, robotic and intelligent functions will be taking over more of the work of manufacturing and moving.”
Robot cars are already disappearing from view after several years of non stop PR!

Last edited 1 year ago by Neil Ross
Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
1 year ago

A fine essay, eloquently argued. And yet, oddly for a piece I admire, my level of agreement with the case made is completely bifurcated.

There is, sadly, nothing I can say to counter *any* of the coruscating charges made against the Conservatives. They are now a lost cause to me.

However, I have a few disagreements about the hopes expressed for the actions of the inevitable incoming Labour government at the next election:

(i) “… Red Wall voter base he seduced has now returned, shame-faced, to its longstanding partner… ” – Yeah. And the likely ending will be the same result as inevitably happens in such situations: the party that originally left will realise pretty much instantly after going back that the reason they left in the first place was a mutual contempt for each other by both parties. Just wait for the first major row after the rather forced politeness of the reconciliation, there will be a huge blowout, the Red Wall voter will move out again, this time resolved never to return. ‘Fool me once/ fool me twice’ only breaks for Tories in this universe, everyone else is bound by it’s iron law.

(ii) “[Sunak’s] … economic policy is essentially that of running the country on autopilot, following a route programmed back in the 2010s” – Unquestionably. And what makes you think Labour will change this? The obviously dazzling array of talents waiting in the wings on the opposition benches? Half of them look to me to be chomping at the bit to attempt a rerun of their utopia of 1997, while the other half look as keen to tip us all into a Gilliumesqe Brazil-like postmodern dystopia.

(iii) “At this point, a more convincing conservative case can surely be made for Labour than for the Conservative Party … On immigration, while the Labour benches still contain free-movement zealots, it’s difficult to see, short of dispatching press gangs around the world to abduct random passersby, how Labour can surpass either Truss’s enthusiasm for open borders or the unprecedented visa liberalisation regime Johnson intentionally introduced…” – Wanna bet? (wonderful sentence btw).

(iv) “… [At] the recent Natcon conference … a chaotically-assembled mixture of economic liberals, social conservatives and inane culture war loudmouths argued for directly opposing things…” – Yep, I heard bits and pieces of the speeches on YouTube, they were pretty hopeless, with the honourable exception of our own MH. If that is the Conservative future, they will rebirth a new horror race of zombie overlords.

Ultimately, it all depends on the extent you are prepared to assign good faith to the words of Starmer and the other opposition leading lights. For myself, I don’t at all. That is in no way to exonerate the Tories, who have stiffed us all good and proper for well over a decade. There is, sadly, no one in our political firmament close to being able to comprehend the nature of the AI driven transformation about to engulf us all in short order, let alone shape it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Prashant Kotak
Joel Dungate
Joel Dungate
1 year ago

Obviously I agree that the Tories have largely squandered the last 13 years (and particularly last 4) and are a monumental disappointment, but I don’t share your view that Labour will put things right. Starmer has spoken well on law and order but I can’t trust Labour to introduce robust policing. Many of the vocal Labour supporters hate robust policing and enjoy watching them prance around in high heels and rainbow cars. As for immigration I mean, seriously, come off it. Labour have neither the competency nor, indeed, the inclination to tackle the issue. Will they resist the woke capture of schools and academia? Of course not. Cut taxes? Don’t be ridiculous. Push back on net zero/don’t stop oil protestors/general green claptrap? Nope. Instead, we will have endless debates about rejoining EU, about what a woman is and whether to retain monarchy/Lords and other constitutional jiggery pokery. I’ve no doubt it’ll be even worse under Labour government than last 13 years have been.

Joel Dungate
Joel Dungate
1 year ago

Obviously I agree that the Tories have largely squandered the last 13 years (and particularly last 4) and are a monumental disappointment, but I don’t share your view that Labour will put things right. Starmer has spoken well on law and order but I can’t trust Labour to introduce robust policing. Many of the vocal Labour supporters hate robust policing and enjoy watching them prance around in high heels and rainbow cars. As for immigration I mean, seriously, come off it. Labour have neither the competency nor, indeed, the inclination to tackle the issue. Will they resist the woke capture of schools and academia? Of course not. Cut taxes? Don’t be ridiculous. Push back on net zero/don’t stop oil protestors/general green claptrap? Nope. Instead, we will have endless debates about rejoining EU, about what a woman is and whether to retain monarchy/Lords and other constitutional jiggery pokery. I’ve no doubt it’ll be even worse under Labour government than last 13 years have been.

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
1 year ago

Quite what in Labour’s recent history gives the author grounds for believing that they may deliver any of the proposed policies? Agree the Tories have been rubbish and Johnson cocked things up bigtime but Labour are equally dire and the Lib Dems an utter joke. Basically we are screwed, blued and tattooed.

Steven Targett
Steven Targett
1 year ago

Quite what in Labour’s recent history gives the author grounds for believing that they may deliver any of the proposed policies? Agree the Tories have been rubbish and Johnson cocked things up bigtime but Labour are equally dire and the Lib Dems an utter joke. Basically we are screwed, blued and tattooed.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

You think you have problems? Here in the US the zombie we’re told is president took tens of millions in bribes from a Ukrainian gas company, and our law enforcement agencies are protecting him. That’s just one of the innumerable crimes our leaders commit every day.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

This post does indeed highlight the problems the US faces, as there is no proof of any of this but a significant number of people in the US believe it, while the same number or more don’t. On the other side, the ex-President has been charged with crimes where again there is a divide between those who think no-one is above the law and those who think it’s politically motivated. The partisan divide, and the rise of alternative narratives is a bigger issue than we have over here, where there are still largely trusted news sites.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

The Beriya model is active here in the US. No debate is necessary.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

The Beriya model is active here in the US. No debate is necessary.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago

This post does indeed highlight the problems the US faces, as there is no proof of any of this but a significant number of people in the US believe it, while the same number or more don’t. On the other side, the ex-President has been charged with crimes where again there is a divide between those who think no-one is above the law and those who think it’s politically motivated. The partisan divide, and the rise of alternative narratives is a bigger issue than we have over here, where there are still largely trusted news sites.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

You think you have problems? Here in the US the zombie we’re told is president took tens of millions in bribes from a Ukrainian gas company, and our law enforcement agencies are protecting him. That’s just one of the innumerable crimes our leaders commit every day.

Andrew H
Andrew H
1 year ago

For me this is very good on the deep-seated failings of the last 13 years of Tory rule and in particular on the pathologically mendacious narcissist Johnson and woeful Truss. The article is far too optimistic on Labour, though. How can a party which wishes to cripple domestic oil and gas have a credible industrial policy? On a personal note, how can I possibly vote for a profoundly untrustworthy, unprincipled party leader in Starmer who cannot or will not define what a woman is? As things stand for me it’s going to be a spoilt paper or, hopefully, one of Kellie-Jay Keen’s candidates if one stands in my constituency.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew H
P N
P N
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew H

Failings of the last 13 years? We were doing pretty well in 2019.

P N
P N
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew H

Failings of the last 13 years? We were doing pretty well in 2019.

Andrew H
Andrew H
1 year ago

For me this is very good on the deep-seated failings of the last 13 years of Tory rule and in particular on the pathologically mendacious narcissist Johnson and woeful Truss. The article is far too optimistic on Labour, though. How can a party which wishes to cripple domestic oil and gas have a credible industrial policy? On a personal note, how can I possibly vote for a profoundly untrustworthy, unprincipled party leader in Starmer who cannot or will not define what a woman is? As things stand for me it’s going to be a spoilt paper or, hopefully, one of Kellie-Jay Keen’s candidates if one stands in my constituency.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew H
Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

There is a general assumption in this article that events are the result of current government action.
Since the crash of 2008 governments have been pumping money into the economy to prevent recession. This created a fantasy world where we were all living beyond our means for 10 years or more.
Then came the pandemic and the endless handouts and consequent further borrowing.
The idea that this would not lead to stagflation at some point (ie now) is intellectual dereliction.
The country as a whole (and whole of the West) together with their media and politicians have been living a shared delusion.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

Precisely. If one traces back how the world economy got in to such a complete mess, it was not the result of allowing the forces of supply and demand to run rampant. Quite the opposite. The real culprit is found in foolish government intervention in the free market.
For example: government policy in the US allowed people without sufficient means and poor credit histories, to get mortgages. This led to the subprime debacle and the 2008 crash. Government intervention to prevent recession that would have corrected the market dysfunction was put off by 13 year of ultra loose monetary policy that has created massive public and private deby piles and huge asset price bubbles. Government action in response to Covid has delivered high inflation and interest rate rises that now threaten to blow up the asset bubble debt ridden economies.
At every turn it is government interference in the free market that has delivered economic crisis.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Time for:- The Brothers Gracchi:
(The Tribunates of Tiberius & Gaius Gracchus.)

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Time for:- The Brothers Gracchi:
(The Tribunates of Tiberius & Gaius Gracchus.)

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

Precisely. If one traces back how the world economy got in to such a complete mess, it was not the result of allowing the forces of supply and demand to run rampant. Quite the opposite. The real culprit is found in foolish government intervention in the free market.
For example: government policy in the US allowed people without sufficient means and poor credit histories, to get mortgages. This led to the subprime debacle and the 2008 crash. Government intervention to prevent recession that would have corrected the market dysfunction was put off by 13 year of ultra loose monetary policy that has created massive public and private deby piles and huge asset price bubbles. Government action in response to Covid has delivered high inflation and interest rate rises that now threaten to blow up the asset bubble debt ridden economies.
At every turn it is government interference in the free market that has delivered economic crisis.

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

There is a general assumption in this article that events are the result of current government action.
Since the crash of 2008 governments have been pumping money into the economy to prevent recession. This created a fantasy world where we were all living beyond our means for 10 years or more.
Then came the pandemic and the endless handouts and consequent further borrowing.
The idea that this would not lead to stagflation at some point (ie now) is intellectual dereliction.
The country as a whole (and whole of the West) together with their media and politicians have been living a shared delusion.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

“A period of Labour rule, resetting Britain’s economic model on a more resilient and sustainable path”
Boris was a ‘character’ standing out against the managerialism of the Tories. It’s a quaint conceit to imagine that Labour would be the end of managerialism or more competent.
Can you imagine how many people might rally to the call “Bring Boris Back, Get Brexit Done Properly”? I doubt that Boris (and perhaps Nigel) would stand for any of the existing parties though.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

“A period of Labour rule, resetting Britain’s economic model on a more resilient and sustainable path”
Boris was a ‘character’ standing out against the managerialism of the Tories. It’s a quaint conceit to imagine that Labour would be the end of managerialism or more competent.
Can you imagine how many people might rally to the call “Bring Boris Back, Get Brexit Done Properly”? I doubt that Boris (and perhaps Nigel) would stand for any of the existing parties though.

Brian Hunt
Brian Hunt
1 year ago

This is just a boring rant, I couldn’t be bothered to read all of, instead I’ve gone straight to the comments. Labour are not the answer, not is placeman Sunak. I hope that Johnson will destroy this version of Conservative party and that Reform will challenge the complacency of the current political system.

Brian Hunt
Brian Hunt
1 year ago

This is just a boring rant, I couldn’t be bothered to read all of, instead I’ve gone straight to the comments. Labour are not the answer, not is placeman Sunak. I hope that Johnson will destroy this version of Conservative party and that Reform will challenge the complacency of the current political system.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
1 year ago

Against strong opposition, this is one of the daftest article I’ve read this week. Every Westminster party is in agreement that the most destructive policies must be followed no matter what & ideally dialled up to 11, with more tax, a bigger state, and more panoptic control over what people can do… and the author just bathers on about “neoliberalism” 😀

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
1 year ago

Against strong opposition, this is one of the daftest article I’ve read this week. Every Westminster party is in agreement that the most destructive policies must be followed no matter what & ideally dialled up to 11, with more tax, a bigger state, and more panoptic control over what people can do… and the author just bathers on about “neoliberalism” 😀

Ben P
Ben P
1 year ago

Labour will simply double down on the chaos we already face. “Outflanked the Tories on immigration…” Yer ‘avin a laugh ain’t ya?

Ben P
Ben P
1 year ago

Labour will simply double down on the chaos we already face. “Outflanked the Tories on immigration…” Yer ‘avin a laugh ain’t ya?

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

“At precisely the moment the world firmly rejected neoliberalism …”
Aris appears not to have noticed that right of centre governments are being elected all across Europe. Admittedly, this is perhaps more to do with dissatisfaction with the previous incumbents but then it’s a truism that Governments lose elections rather than oppositions winning them.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

“At precisely the moment the world firmly rejected neoliberalism …”
Aris appears not to have noticed that right of centre governments are being elected all across Europe. Admittedly, this is perhaps more to do with dissatisfaction with the previous incumbents but then it’s a truism that Governments lose elections rather than oppositions winning them.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

The electorate gave Johnson a massive majority to deliver the Brexit that we voted for. Parliament was totally opposed to Brexit and that is why we are in the mess we have today. As for the Tories withdrawing from policing, think of Sadiq Khan.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Err what Parliament you referring to here AT? And didn’t Bojo get Brexit done, or are we missing something?
Just a thought – perhaps it was always going to be a right mess and we gets what we asked for.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Err what Parliament you referring to here AT? And didn’t Bojo get Brexit done, or are we missing something?
Just a thought – perhaps it was always going to be a right mess and we gets what we asked for.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

The electorate gave Johnson a massive majority to deliver the Brexit that we voted for. Parliament was totally opposed to Brexit and that is why we are in the mess we have today. As for the Tories withdrawing from policing, think of Sadiq Khan.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

The sense of impotent and incompetent politics isn’t just playing out in the UK. The same ennui is playing out in France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and other countries. This is a much bigger problem than Britain, and has the potential of triggering serious reactions if citizens feel their state is no longer under balanced democratic control.

Saul D
Saul D
1 year ago

The sense of impotent and incompetent politics isn’t just playing out in the UK. The same ennui is playing out in France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands and other countries. This is a much bigger problem than Britain, and has the potential of triggering serious reactions if citizens feel their state is no longer under balanced democratic control.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

So we should swap one load of National Socialist eco sandaloid LGBT/ Racism obsessed totalitarians for another?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

‘Sandaloid’, haha, best thing you’ve written that NST. You’re not all bad.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

‘Sandaloid’, haha, best thing you’ve written that NST. You’re not all bad.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

So we should swap one load of National Socialist eco sandaloid LGBT/ Racism obsessed totalitarians for another?

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago

Can’t share any of author’s “optimistic” outlook of having a political correct knee bending Starmer as our next PM, supposedly turning around the economy with more state intervention and ultimate more taxes rather than less. Starmer will plan tax rises for the undeserving rich and the last cash cows and entrepreneurs will leave these shores. Reflecting on his ideas of even stricter lock-downs during Covid, vaccination passports etc. points to a more interventionist politician, who will never have the guts of reforming such inefficient State monsters as the NHS or freeing the British economy of red EU tape, which currently makes life for Kemi Badenoch so difficult. I have no idea why he is so against “neoliberalism”, but if it means free market capitalism, then to risk more neoliberalism seems to be the right way forward compared to an even more State interfering System which Starmer will certainly introduce.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
1 year ago

Can’t share any of author’s “optimistic” outlook of having a political correct knee bending Starmer as our next PM, supposedly turning around the economy with more state intervention and ultimate more taxes rather than less. Starmer will plan tax rises for the undeserving rich and the last cash cows and entrepreneurs will leave these shores. Reflecting on his ideas of even stricter lock-downs during Covid, vaccination passports etc. points to a more interventionist politician, who will never have the guts of reforming such inefficient State monsters as the NHS or freeing the British economy of red EU tape, which currently makes life for Kemi Badenoch so difficult. I have no idea why he is so against “neoliberalism”, but if it means free market capitalism, then to risk more neoliberalism seems to be the right way forward compared to an even more State interfering System which Starmer will certainly introduce.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephanie Surface
P N
P N
1 year ago

If all what you say is true, which it most certainly isn’t, then it still doesn’t make the case for more socialism, less economic liberalism, higher taxes and more spending, all of which Labour has vowed to do.
The Tories were ahead in the polls until Partygate. They have been the masters of their own destruction; the reversal in the polls is not because people suddenly want more Labour but because they want fewer Tories, and not because they don’t like their politics but because they don’t like the people.
The idea that we are at the end of 13 years of Tory misrule denies the fact that until 2019, the UK had record high employment, record low unemployment, record low absolute poverty, low inflation, relatively good growth compared to the G7 and, crucially, the lowest budget deficit since 2002. Then we got Covid, which lead to massive government spending, money printing and debt. That’s where the problem lies. It’s not neoliberalism or any other lazy moniker you wish to give the market economy that is the problem, it is too much socialism.
“If we lived in a functioning country, with a functioning government…” For a former war reporter you seem grotesquely naive about how other countries function.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  P N

And whom do you think started the stories of Partygate? After all, with less hysteria abounding, one might have asked what was wrong with going into a room in your own residence & joining those you worked with throughout the day in a drink & some nibbles to thank a member of the group who was lesving? Because that is what Partygate was.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

As it always proves to be it was the lies and cover-up that did for him JB and not the original sin.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

As it always proves to be it was the lies and cover-up that did for him JB and not the original sin.

Jacqueline Burns
Jacqueline Burns
1 year ago
Reply to  P N

And whom do you think started the stories of Partygate? After all, with less hysteria abounding, one might have asked what was wrong with going into a room in your own residence & joining those you worked with throughout the day in a drink & some nibbles to thank a member of the group who was lesving? Because that is what Partygate was.

P N
P N
1 year ago

If all what you say is true, which it most certainly isn’t, then it still doesn’t make the case for more socialism, less economic liberalism, higher taxes and more spending, all of which Labour has vowed to do.
The Tories were ahead in the polls until Partygate. They have been the masters of their own destruction; the reversal in the polls is not because people suddenly want more Labour but because they want fewer Tories, and not because they don’t like their politics but because they don’t like the people.
The idea that we are at the end of 13 years of Tory misrule denies the fact that until 2019, the UK had record high employment, record low unemployment, record low absolute poverty, low inflation, relatively good growth compared to the G7 and, crucially, the lowest budget deficit since 2002. Then we got Covid, which lead to massive government spending, money printing and debt. That’s where the problem lies. It’s not neoliberalism or any other lazy moniker you wish to give the market economy that is the problem, it is too much socialism.
“If we lived in a functioning country, with a functioning government…” For a former war reporter you seem grotesquely naive about how other countries function.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Let’s face it and in the interest of fair play, COVID has ‘killed’ both BREXIT & BORIS.

Thank you China.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
j watson
j watson
1 year ago

C’mon CS, WW2 made WSC. Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man or Woman. This time ours were sadly lacking regarding both.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I would have thought it was the other way round – WSC made WWII, at least where GB plc is concerned.

It got him off the hook for the Dardanelles if nothing else.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago

For once I agree. Rem acu tetigisti!

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
1 year ago

For once I agree. Rem acu tetigisti!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

I would have thought it was the other way round – WSC made WWII, at least where GB plc is concerned.

It got him off the hook for the Dardanelles if nothing else.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Did you see the article in the MOS Charles? Did Vaccine Military scientist “thrown to his death” have proof Wuhan lab leak was behind Covid?

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

C’mon CS, WW2 made WSC. Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man or Woman. This time ours were sadly lacking regarding both.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago

Did you see the article in the MOS Charles? Did Vaccine Military scientist “thrown to his death” have proof Wuhan lab leak was behind Covid?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Let’s face it and in the interest of fair play, COVID has ‘killed’ both BREXIT & BORIS.

Thank you China.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

I don’t agree with much of this analysis, particularly the intellectually lazy dismissal of Trussonomics, but the conclusion is I think broadly correct. The Tories are fractious, exhausted and haven’t got a plan. They deserve to be annihilated next year, and they are going to be.

Back to Truss/Kwarteng though: this was the last chance for the Tory Party to cohere around an actual plan, possessed of an ideologically-defended strategy for national renewal. It would have worked. It failed not merely because the Tories themselves were too divided to see it through: it failed because it required the entire political establishment to tighten its belt, and the political establishment unsurprisingly simply said no, threw the economy under the bus and waited for the inevitable political turmoil to replace Truss with a poodle that would align Tory policy with the same dreich, low-growth, high-tax, debt-dependent European model of government.

Aris Roussinos is a clever and perceptive writer, but on the matter of right wing economics he is simply wrong because he appears not to understand why such priorities must always win in the end – like most modern commentators who haven’t seen how hard it is to run a country without the benefit of money printing and the deflationary effect of developing world manfacturing exports.

Truss and Kwarteng were right, and my prediction is that they will be proved right in due course by the economic catastrophe that occur as a result of not having reformed the system they way they intended.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

I don’t agree with much of this analysis, particularly the intellectually lazy dismissal of Trussonomics, but the conclusion is I think broadly correct. The Tories are fractious, exhausted and haven’t got a plan. They deserve to be annihilated next year, and they are going to be.

Back to Truss/Kwarteng though: this was the last chance for the Tory Party to cohere around an actual plan, possessed of an ideologically-defended strategy for national renewal. It would have worked. It failed not merely because the Tories themselves were too divided to see it through: it failed because it required the entire political establishment to tighten its belt, and the political establishment unsurprisingly simply said no, threw the economy under the bus and waited for the inevitable political turmoil to replace Truss with a poodle that would align Tory policy with the same dreich, low-growth, high-tax, debt-dependent European model of government.

Aris Roussinos is a clever and perceptive writer, but on the matter of right wing economics he is simply wrong because he appears not to understand why such priorities must always win in the end – like most modern commentators who haven’t seen how hard it is to run a country without the benefit of money printing and the deflationary effect of developing world manfacturing exports.

Truss and Kwarteng were right, and my prediction is that they will be proved right in due course by the economic catastrophe that occur as a result of not having reformed the system they way they intended.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Riordan
Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago

An excellent take down of Boris and the last few years of Conservative government. Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones can only dream of writing as well as this.

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Yes, a compelling read but as others have commented I don’t see any indication that Starmer/Labour are capable of more. It’s a visceral assessment and I guess that was the main aim but didn’t interrogate the oppositions own dysfunctions and inadequacies. I would like them to succeed but I don’t see any reason to believe they will. The absence of detail in their proclaimed objectives is glaring.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

This is an utterly appalling article. Not because it lambasts the Fake Tories. On their abject lamentable (non) performance it is 100% right with the lockdown catastrophe its darkest hour. But it betrays complete ignorance of the realities of power & governance in the UK. Failure to control small boats, the NHS, inflation – you name it – are all products of the EU/Blair Revolution which gave all the levers of power either to a new vast quangocracy (‘we pull the levers and nothing happens’) and the overhaul of State law. Together, these forces – be there here or in European courts – are designed to protect forever that Blairite/EU Progressive Order. Civil servants in the Blob have actually conspired to topple every Brex Minister (the Fool Johnson, Raab, Patel, Suella). But it is not the Blob or individuals that count. The UK is a baby clone of the EU still. It has all its negative precautionary principle ethos stacked into thousands of laws. It is this System which prevents an Executive- any – from overturning the Democratic Socialist Order with its ghastly welfarism, Ponzi Greedy Uni sector, NHS First, high taxation, multiculturalism, antipathy to enterprise and growth Orthodoxy. The Fake Tories do not possess the power to push through change. Nor will Keir. Westminsyer is a Potemkin Village. That is the whole point of the Revolution and the NMI system of governance. National parliaments and Executive were to be weakened to make the UK a compliant province in the new Federal Empire of Europe. Brexit was its greatest threat and the System ultimately could not stop the people’s will (though they showed their contempt for democracy in the fight). But no one in the entire political class possesses a Tory outlook and will to take on the Orthodoxy! The Fool Johnson is a prime example, supporting the Net Zero madness, high spending, state intervention, inaction on culture war housing and mass immigration and an F Business attitude. Some Tory…. 90% of our pointless parliamentarians and 100% of our inept political civil service all share the identical outlook and bunker down in the Orthodoxy. This is why the Tories crashed. Crushed by the New Order 1997-.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I think you’ll find Aris has covered many of these issues in his previous articles and just as eloquently

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Agree. I usually enjoy his writing. And certainly applaud his evisceration of Johnson and the hapless Fake Tories. I am surprised that he has not bothered to look under the bonnet at the Systemic Re-Wired UK stare which deliberately hamstrings Executive power. As said, the vapid Starmer would suffer exactly the same. But he will not. Because he leads the Party of the Public Sector and is wholly at one with State Orthodoxy. He will not challenge anything (culture war, mass migration, university scams, greedy unions, young doctors, high taxation, welfarism) and just struggle with the controls of a crashing Progressive UK plane as Rishi does now. I am also surprised there is no mention of the forces above which have similarly created this suffocating Orthodoxy – the 2008 Crash and the New Zero Interest Rate/QE regime has fractured the skies above us, making inevitable a terrible reckoning and further diminishing the ability of any polifical party to master events.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Agree. I usually enjoy his writing. And certainly applaud his evisceration of Johnson and the hapless Fake Tories. I am surprised that he has not bothered to look under the bonnet at the Systemic Re-Wired UK stare which deliberately hamstrings Executive power. As said, the vapid Starmer would suffer exactly the same. But he will not. Because he leads the Party of the Public Sector and is wholly at one with State Orthodoxy. He will not challenge anything (culture war, mass migration, university scams, greedy unions, young doctors, high taxation, welfarism) and just struggle with the controls of a crashing Progressive UK plane as Rishi does now. I am also surprised there is no mention of the forces above which have similarly created this suffocating Orthodoxy – the 2008 Crash and the New Zero Interest Rate/QE regime has fractured the skies above us, making inevitable a terrible reckoning and further diminishing the ability of any polifical party to master events.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Precisely. I also regard Roussinos’ article as appalling. He’s one of those apparently non-left personages who has been so badly suckered by “anti-capitalism” that he is retreating into a silo of sentimental, “third way” cant. This sagging bunker has borne many names over the years but is best known as Tory Wettery, precisely the outlook of the Fool, Johnson. The notion that green, high taxing “Boris” was any sort of free marketeer is so badly wide of the mark that one has to question the author’s sobriety.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

This piece is not going to convince me to vote Labour but I don’t think that is its intention. I didn’t vote for this government even with the threat of a Corbyn led Labour one. My take is that Johnson was never fit to hold the office of Prime Minister and also the contempt the Conservative Party has for the electorate in allowing such an individual to lead the party. It also suggests how far our political system has fallen if we think a Starmer government is able to solve all these legacy issues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Raiment
Andrew M
Andrew M
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Boris only came to lead the Tory party and the government as a final result of the establishment’s contempt for the electorate, and for no other reason. They were desperate, and he was the only one offering hope.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew M

No he came to lead the Tories by undermining a softer more sensible Brexit that Parliament would have coalesced around because his ambition outweighed all else even if the outflanking of his predecessor led us to a Hard Brexit that has proven a deep error.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew M

No he came to lead the Tories by undermining a softer more sensible Brexit that Parliament would have coalesced around because his ambition outweighed all else even if the outflanking of his predecessor led us to a Hard Brexit that has proven a deep error.

Andrew M
Andrew M
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Boris only came to lead the Tory party and the government as a final result of the establishment’s contempt for the electorate, and for no other reason. They were desperate, and he was the only one offering hope.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

This piece is not going to convince me to vote Labour but I don’t think that is its intention. I didn’t vote for this government even with the threat of a Corbyn led Labour one. My take is that Johnson was never fit to hold the office of Prime Minister and also the contempt the Conservative Party has for the electorate in allowing such an individual to lead the party. It also suggests how far our political system has fallen if we think a Starmer government is able to solve all these legacy issues.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Raiment
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This incoherent rant scattered with the usual clever sounding abbreviations known only to conspiracies (NMI?) – isn’t an explanation of anything – the “System”, dark forces, etc, which might as well be defined as The Devil.

There are many things wrong with the direction of travel in ours and many western countries, but it seems that the Right lack the analysis, coherence, unity, patience, capacity for hard work and indeed persuasiveness to do anything about it. But they are good at ranting!

Screaming your impotence isn’t a politically good look.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Rather than spewing nasty & ignorant insults, you might start by looking up what NMIs are and start to address my arguments – which are not of the Right. You are asleep at wheel. Maybe you have missed the creation of the Supreme Court, a thing called devolution, other things called the Bank of England and its remit, the creation of a permanent regulatory quangocracy and the impact of EU & dud international laws. It is not conspiracy theory. Thats so lazy. Its simply an analysis of the revolution in governance and how the New Orthodoxy is sustained. The idea in principle had some merit – do not let decisions be driven by here today/gone tomorrow politicians. But it has totally backfired. The intent was to hamstring and weaken nation states and strengthen the power of the ruling EU. It has simply done its job.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well said. The immediate recourse to personal attacks on your antagonist’s part will have been noted by other readers.

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well said. The immediate recourse to personal attacks on your antagonist’s part will have been noted by other readers.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I think you must be alone in finding Walter Marvell’s comments to be “incoherent rants”.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Rather than spewing nasty & ignorant insults, you might start by looking up what NMIs are and start to address my arguments – which are not of the Right. You are asleep at wheel. Maybe you have missed the creation of the Supreme Court, a thing called devolution, other things called the Bank of England and its remit, the creation of a permanent regulatory quangocracy and the impact of EU & dud international laws. It is not conspiracy theory. Thats so lazy. Its simply an analysis of the revolution in governance and how the New Orthodoxy is sustained. The idea in principle had some merit – do not let decisions be driven by here today/gone tomorrow politicians. But it has totally backfired. The intent was to hamstring and weaken nation states and strengthen the power of the ruling EU. It has simply done its job.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I think you must be alone in finding Walter Marvell’s comments to be “incoherent rants”.

James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Your “New Order 1997” was ushered in two decades prior with the advent of Thatcher, turning us into a market society and leading us into the Single Market. Blair just put the whole thing on steroids with his open door immigration policies and further embedding us within the EU’s structures that have hollowed out our governance.
Indeed, this has been achieved so perfectly that it seems the British state can no longer actually “do” anything on its own, relying constantly on outside “consultants” for which we (the taxpayer) pay handsomely. And the British economy is now so addicted to cheap imported labour that companies see no need to pay people enough to live on and have no interest in offering any kind of vocational skills training.
So we have arrived at the worst of all worlds: a bloated but neutered state, and a society with gross inequality, high immigration *and* high welfare. We have more people going to university than ever, and yet because of this a university degree is in itself now worthless (unless you went to Oxford or Cambridge; some things never change).
While it may be an unpopular view with the free marketeers, this is very much the world that Thatcher and the so-called Conservative party created. Blair just finished the job.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Good point. I agree that Thatcherism represented the First Revolution and had enormous impact on the State. I was simply focusing on the 97 and EU Revolution as that hamstrung the power of the nation state itself and helps to explain why the Tories puffed and chugged but changed nothing. Add in the catastrophe of Lockdown – which has entrenched the powers of the unelected Blob and a Socialist order AND the other global Revolution – the 2008 Crash and Zero Interest Regime Orthodoxy which totally constrained the power of all goverments – and you have the full set of the forces determining the political neutering of all parties and the crushing of any hope of escape.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You might go back even earlier to the Utopian Soviet style state imposed on us by the awfully well meaning Clement Attlee and his socialist cohorts, and financed by almost unimaginable US largesse.

The continuation of that utopia under ‘Mad Mac’ ‘Harold’, and the ‘Grocer’ only exacerbated things further, leaving Thatcher & Joseph little alternative but to try what was thought to be a radically new approach.
At first successful, it has I must sadly agree proved to have been a ‘false dawn’.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You might go back even earlier to the Utopian Soviet style state imposed on us by the awfully well meaning Clement Attlee and his socialist cohorts, and financed by almost unimaginable US largesse.

The continuation of that utopia under ‘Mad Mac’ ‘Harold’, and the ‘Grocer’ only exacerbated things further, leaving Thatcher & Joseph little alternative but to try what was thought to be a radically new approach.
At first successful, it has I must sadly agree proved to have been a ‘false dawn’.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Well said indeed, it ranks with our other TWO catastrophic blunders in recent history, 1914 & 1939.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Good point. I agree that Thatcherism represented the First Revolution and had enormous impact on the State. I was simply focusing on the 97 and EU Revolution as that hamstrung the power of the nation state itself and helps to explain why the Tories puffed and chugged but changed nothing. Add in the catastrophe of Lockdown – which has entrenched the powers of the unelected Blob and a Socialist order AND the other global Revolution – the 2008 Crash and Zero Interest Regime Orthodoxy which totally constrained the power of all goverments – and you have the full set of the forces determining the political neutering of all parties and the crushing of any hope of escape.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  James 0

Well said indeed, it ranks with our other TWO catastrophic blunders in recent history, 1914 & 1939.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I think you’ll find Aris has covered many of these issues in his previous articles and just as eloquently

Simon Denis
Simon Denis
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Precisely. I also regard Roussinos’ article as appalling. He’s one of those apparently non-left personages who has been so badly suckered by “anti-capitalism” that he is retreating into a silo of sentimental, “third way” cant. This sagging bunker has borne many names over the years but is best known as Tory Wettery, precisely the outlook of the Fool, Johnson. The notion that green, high taxing “Boris” was any sort of free marketeer is so badly wide of the mark that one has to question the author’s sobriety.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This incoherent rant scattered with the usual clever sounding abbreviations known only to conspiracies (NMI?) – isn’t an explanation of anything – the “System”, dark forces, etc, which might as well be defined as The Devil.

There are many things wrong with the direction of travel in ours and many western countries, but it seems that the Right lack the analysis, coherence, unity, patience, capacity for hard work and indeed persuasiveness to do anything about it. But they are good at ranting!

Screaming your impotence isn’t a politically good look.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
James 0
James 0
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Your “New Order 1997” was ushered in two decades prior with the advent of Thatcher, turning us into a market society and leading us into the Single Market. Blair just put the whole thing on steroids with his open door immigration policies and further embedding us within the EU’s structures that have hollowed out our governance.
Indeed, this has been achieved so perfectly that it seems the British state can no longer actually “do” anything on its own, relying constantly on outside “consultants” for which we (the taxpayer) pay handsomely. And the British economy is now so addicted to cheap imported labour that companies see no need to pay people enough to live on and have no interest in offering any kind of vocational skills training.
So we have arrived at the worst of all worlds: a bloated but neutered state, and a society with gross inequality, high immigration *and* high welfare. We have more people going to university than ever, and yet because of this a university degree is in itself now worthless (unless you went to Oxford or Cambridge; some things never change).
While it may be an unpopular view with the free marketeers, this is very much the world that Thatcher and the so-called Conservative party created. Blair just finished the job.

Stu B
Stu B
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

Yes, a compelling read but as others have commented I don’t see any indication that Starmer/Labour are capable of more. It’s a visceral assessment and I guess that was the main aim but didn’t interrogate the oppositions own dysfunctions and inadequacies. I would like them to succeed but I don’t see any reason to believe they will. The absence of detail in their proclaimed objectives is glaring.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Raiment

This is an utterly appalling article. Not because it lambasts the Fake Tories. On their abject lamentable (non) performance it is 100% right with the lockdown catastrophe its darkest hour. But it betrays complete ignorance of the realities of power & governance in the UK. Failure to control small boats, the NHS, inflation – you name it – are all products of the EU/Blair Revolution which gave all the levers of power either to a new vast quangocracy (‘we pull the levers and nothing happens’) and the overhaul of State law. Together, these forces – be there here or in European courts – are designed to protect forever that Blairite/EU Progressive Order. Civil servants in the Blob have actually conspired to topple every Brex Minister (the Fool Johnson, Raab, Patel, Suella). But it is not the Blob or individuals that count. The UK is a baby clone of the EU still. It has all its negative precautionary principle ethos stacked into thousands of laws. It is this System which prevents an Executive- any – from overturning the Democratic Socialist Order with its ghastly welfarism, Ponzi Greedy Uni sector, NHS First, high taxation, multiculturalism, antipathy to enterprise and growth Orthodoxy. The Fake Tories do not possess the power to push through change. Nor will Keir. Westminsyer is a Potemkin Village. That is the whole point of the Revolution and the NMI system of governance. National parliaments and Executive were to be weakened to make the UK a compliant province in the new Federal Empire of Europe. Brexit was its greatest threat and the System ultimately could not stop the people’s will (though they showed their contempt for democracy in the fight). But no one in the entire political class possesses a Tory outlook and will to take on the Orthodoxy! The Fool Johnson is a prime example, supporting the Net Zero madness, high spending, state intervention, inaction on culture war housing and mass immigration and an F Business attitude. Some Tory…. 90% of our pointless parliamentarians and 100% of our inept political civil service all share the identical outlook and bunker down in the Orthodoxy. This is why the Tories crashed. Crushed by the New Order 1997-.

Andrew Raiment
Andrew Raiment
1 year ago

An excellent take down of Boris and the last few years of Conservative government. Polly Toynbee and Owen Jones can only dream of writing as well as this.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

The current batch of Tory MPs are not a political entity, more a herd of farm animals corraled and huddled together, not for warmth but to avoid being picked out and sacrificed. One or two have escaped through holes in the poorly maintained wythe fence. The left seek out the new Snowball, ice picks at the ready. Orwell never gave us a second book but it is implicit now, with bankers in the farm house, that bacon would be on the menu where Snowball, unlike Trotsky, got away.

James Kirk
James Kirk
1 year ago

The current batch of Tory MPs are not a political entity, more a herd of farm animals corraled and huddled together, not for warmth but to avoid being picked out and sacrificed. One or two have escaped through holes in the poorly maintained wythe fence. The left seek out the new Snowball, ice picks at the ready. Orwell never gave us a second book but it is implicit now, with bankers in the farm house, that bacon would be on the menu where Snowball, unlike Trotsky, got away.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

I just looked up “neoliberalism as a pejorative.” And here’s what I got:

The term “neoliberalism” is probably the trendiest scapegoat in intellectual circles at the moment. It refers to a purported ideological movement that bears blame for a variety of progressive grievances about the world today: inequality, poverty, climate change, deregulation, globalization, and the proliferation of money in politics.

Well, bless my buttons.

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
1 year ago

I just looked up “neoliberalism as a pejorative.” And here’s what I got:

The term “neoliberalism” is probably the trendiest scapegoat in intellectual circles at the moment. It refers to a purported ideological movement that bears blame for a variety of progressive grievances about the world today: inequality, poverty, climate change, deregulation, globalization, and the proliferation of money in politics.

Well, bless my buttons.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
1 year ago

What age is this writer? This is a kidult rant against reality. It ignores completely the effects of demand on housing and public services of mass EU immigration in the early noughties; of the Global Financial crisis, the lack of British reserves left to deal with the ensuing recession and confidence battering effect of no longer thinking banks a safe haven for savings. That was followed by constant rounds of quantitative easing around the world, historically low interest rates – to the point where young families didn’t realise they could go back up again to historically normal levels and didn’t budget accordingly. Easy borrowing made personal finances even more precarious.

Then there was a global pandemic, followed by the Ukraine War. Who was going to pay for dealing with the costs? Vaccines and Furlough didn’t come cheap and already low productivity got worse as people weren’t keen on returning to work. Did people think there were enough “rich people” to subdidise the masses? That’s why the super rich are called the 1% – because there are very few.

Alongside all of this has been the growing need and demand to deal with global warming – not cheap or easy to solve without hitting global poor the hardest.

Tony Blair told the lie with the most severe global consequences during my lifetime, yet Boris (who I don’t defend) has been defrocked for attending parties between people who ready work physically close together and didn’t endanger the public.

Which high calibre people want to be Prime Minister nowadays, or even be MP’s, with baying hounds of the Marvel fantasy land breathing down their necks? Maybe it takes someone like Rishi Sunak, who doesn’t need the money, to be the most honest.

Labour has been a hopeless opposition, stuffed with at least equally lacklustre people. Starmer and Reeves – supposedly clever people – have proved that they will say anything to get elected, whether it makes sense or not. Around the ” left are reliant on inexperienced, young, easy to manipulate people to get elected. Do we seriously think this Labour crop will do better. I don’t.

P N
P N
1 year ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Great comment.

P N
P N
1 year ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

Great comment.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
1 year ago

What age is this writer? This is a kidult rant against reality. It ignores completely the effects of demand on housing and public services of mass EU immigration in the early noughties; of the Global Financial crisis, the lack of British reserves left to deal with the ensuing recession and confidence battering effect of no longer thinking banks a safe haven for savings. That was followed by constant rounds of quantitative easing around the world, historically low interest rates – to the point where young families didn’t realise they could go back up again to historically normal levels and didn’t budget accordingly. Easy borrowing made personal finances even more precarious.

Then there was a global pandemic, followed by the Ukraine War. Who was going to pay for dealing with the costs? Vaccines and Furlough didn’t come cheap and already low productivity got worse as people weren’t keen on returning to work. Did people think there were enough “rich people” to subdidise the masses? That’s why the super rich are called the 1% – because there are very few.

Alongside all of this has been the growing need and demand to deal with global warming – not cheap or easy to solve without hitting global poor the hardest.

Tony Blair told the lie with the most severe global consequences during my lifetime, yet Boris (who I don’t defend) has been defrocked for attending parties between people who ready work physically close together and didn’t endanger the public.

Which high calibre people want to be Prime Minister nowadays, or even be MP’s, with baying hounds of the Marvel fantasy land breathing down their necks? Maybe it takes someone like Rishi Sunak, who doesn’t need the money, to be the most honest.

Labour has been a hopeless opposition, stuffed with at least equally lacklustre people. Starmer and Reeves – supposedly clever people – have proved that they will say anything to get elected, whether it makes sense or not. Around the ” left are reliant on inexperienced, young, easy to manipulate people to get elected. Do we seriously think this Labour crop will do better. I don’t.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We’re doomed! As Private James Frazer would have said.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
1 year ago

Yes! Starting the fashion for double repetition. Doomed, doomed, doomed.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
1 year ago

Yes! Starting the fashion for double repetition. Doomed, doomed, doomed.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We’re doomed! As Private James Frazer would have said.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
1 year ago

❝the vengeful blond revenant❞ I liked that. But Johnson will be remembered for: getting Brexit done, supporting Ukraine while others hesitated, and (perhaps) organising the initial COVID response. The first two are historically significant, I think.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Mott

If he got the first one done why’s Farage say it’s a failure?
I think he’ll certainly be remembered for Brexit, but it’ll be largely for the negatives and his role, as one of the most influential politicians of recent times, in leaving with such a desperate legacy.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Mott

If he got the first one done why’s Farage say it’s a failure?
I think he’ll certainly be remembered for Brexit, but it’ll be largely for the negatives and his role, as one of the most influential politicians of recent times, in leaving with such a desperate legacy.

Peter Mott
Peter Mott
1 year ago

❝the vengeful blond revenant❞ I liked that. But Johnson will be remembered for: getting Brexit done, supporting Ukraine while others hesitated, and (perhaps) organising the initial COVID response. The first two are historically significant, I think.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

The Conservatives were unbelievably awful.
But anyone who believes Labour will be better is deluded.
Look back at all the betrayals of the 21st century:
* Deficit spending unprecedented in peace time
* Rampant money printing
* Uncontrolled immigration
* Tolerance of crime
* Attempts to undermine Brexit
* COVID totalitarianism
On each issue I can think of at least a few Conservative MPs who were firmly against what transpired, and hardly any Labour MPs.
If Labour achieved power in 2015, we wouldn’t have had an EU referendum.
If they’d achieved power in 2017, Brexit would have been reversed.
If they’d achieved power in 2019, we would have had American levels of COVID hysteria, and a whole range of unimaginably destructive and illiberal Corbynista policies.
The Conservatives must be destroyed, yes, but Labour is a party that can never, ever be trusted.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

The Conservatives were unbelievably awful.
But anyone who believes Labour will be better is deluded.
Look back at all the betrayals of the 21st century:
* Deficit spending unprecedented in peace time
* Rampant money printing
* Uncontrolled immigration
* Tolerance of crime
* Attempts to undermine Brexit
* COVID totalitarianism
On each issue I can think of at least a few Conservative MPs who were firmly against what transpired, and hardly any Labour MPs.
If Labour achieved power in 2015, we wouldn’t have had an EU referendum.
If they’d achieved power in 2017, Brexit would have been reversed.
If they’d achieved power in 2019, we would have had American levels of COVID hysteria, and a whole range of unimaginably destructive and illiberal Corbynista policies.
The Conservatives must be destroyed, yes, but Labour is a party that can never, ever be trusted.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark Goodhand
Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

A good rant, Aris, but not up to your usual level of scholarship.

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
1 year ago

A good rant, Aris, but not up to your usual level of scholarship.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

“Sunak is nevertheless fated to lead the party towards its electoral doom, a steady pair of hands driving the nation safely towards Starmer, while Johnson loudly smears his mess across the back seat.”
This line painted such a wonderful picture for me. I have a hard time buying the idea that Labour will achieve rising family formation and home ownership, but it’s still great writing!

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
1 year ago

“Sunak is nevertheless fated to lead the party towards its electoral doom, a steady pair of hands driving the nation safely towards Starmer, while Johnson loudly smears his mess across the back seat.”
This line painted such a wonderful picture for me. I have a hard time buying the idea that Labour will achieve rising family formation and home ownership, but it’s still great writing!

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

I always like and admire Aris’s work. Here he is dancing with Joseph Chamberlain. I will just say that Sunak has performed more U turns than E Heath, and is patently not up to it. Borus at least produced the vaccine, something not nentioned anywhere now. Without Carrie and her coterie, with Cumming leading from behind , the Tories would have had a chance.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

I agree Anna, No 10 was Carrie’s personal fiefdom until Lord frost put an end to her political chicanery. She also got rid of the thinking brain in No 10 and it wasn’t Johnson. Without Cummings Johnson was dead in the water.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

I agree Anna, No 10 was Carrie’s personal fiefdom until Lord frost put an end to her political chicanery. She also got rid of the thinking brain in No 10 and it wasn’t Johnson. Without Cummings Johnson was dead in the water.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 year ago

I always like and admire Aris’s work. Here he is dancing with Joseph Chamberlain. I will just say that Sunak has performed more U turns than E Heath, and is patently not up to it. Borus at least produced the vaccine, something not nentioned anywhere now. Without Carrie and her coterie, with Cumming leading from behind , the Tories would have had a chance.

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
1 year ago

First off, congratulations to Aris Roussinos for his undoubted talent in wielding the pen, as exemplified by his potent use of adjectives and adverbs. This style is perfectly fitting for an opinion piece. Furthermore, he is not wrong in his surmise of the Conservative party and was spot on in pointing out that this disaccord is indeed world wide. Where he is off piste is believing that the Labour party has anything in its arsenal to deal with the future. No one at present has. We are all in the grip of a seismic shift of matrix and values will be very different once the dust has settled. We can only tread water whilst waiting for the next generation to mature. But for a flavour of the future look to the techie giants.

Alice Rowlands
Alice Rowlands
1 year ago

Yes I think the tsunami of change that is coming our way will have as great an impact as the industrial revolution did. Currently no party is addressing this issue properly. What is going to happen to what Yuval Harari calls all the useless people when the technology revolution really gets going? And that would be most of the current workforce engaged in fairly simple, repetitive admin tasks. And that is a great many people.

Alice Rowlands
Alice Rowlands
1 year ago