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Verso : The Meaning of Boris Johnson
This leads to the cul-de-sac represented by Boris Johnson. Again, he has his own bombastic style of empty bravado, and plenty of Tories find him a beguiling and charismatic figure, but the core of his programme – the deliverance of Brexit regardless of its consequences – is exactly the same as May's. With the Brexit Party coming first in this year's EU elections, he knows that if the UK does not leave the EU by 31st October, it will be the ruination of his career and the likely death of the Conservative Party. For Johnson, this must be avoided at all costs, because a split right opens the possibility of the 1980s in reverse – a period of Labour hegemony while its parliamentary opposition is divided. The rhetoric may change, but the extreme short-termism is set to continue.

Johnson has become Prime Minister because he is the embodiment of Tory decline. A mouther of empty quips, a chimney of hot air, a man for whom the descriptors limited, lazy, and decadentfit like a tailored suit. He is the chosen man because he is the Conservative Partyin 2019 – the condensation of its frailties and crisis tendencies in a single figure.

If you think David Cameron and Theresa May were terrible Prime Ministers, Boris Johnson is about to educate you.
UK  politics  ToryParty  JohnsonBoris  history  membership  socialMobility  middleClass  ThatcherMargaret  MinersStrike  NewLabour  Blairism  CameronDavid  finance  debt  crisis  austerity  publicServices  MayTheresa 
july 2019 by petej
mainly macro: Brexit. Of course everyone hates a compromise, but like much else its the best option, isn't it?
According to IPSOS Mori, only a few percent of people thought the EU was an important issue in 2010. In 2015 it only occasionally reached double figures. This strongly suggests that people voted Leave not because they wanted to leave the EU for its own sake, but for what they believed would be a consequence of leaving in some other dimension. This is the key to understanding why a compromise does not work.

Most Brexit voters will not be moderately happy with a deal that makes them worse off: they will not be happy at all. Most Brexit voters will not be moderately happy with a deal that gives the UK less say in the rules the UK has to obey than when in the EU: they will not be happy at all. A true compromise is something that gives each side something, but the incredible thing about Brexit is that what most Leavers want from Brexit is not possible, yet most politicians and much of the media refuse to tell them that.

The curse of Brexit is that anyone enacting it will be unpopular, not because most Leave voters do not get all they want but because they do not get anything they want. In fact, like the snake oil analogy, they will probably be worse off or have less say. Brexit was always a fantasy, and anyone who makes Brexit concrete will fail to deliver that fantasy. As most politicians have not had the courage to call Brexit out as the fantasy it is, voters are likely to blame the politicians who fail to produce their fantasy rather than blaming themselves.
UK  EU  Brexit  Leave  delusion  economy  publicServices  sovereignty  compromise  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=Wren-LewisSimon 
january 2019 by petej
Economist Paul Johnson: ‘We are nowhere near out of austerity' | Business | The Guardian
Even without Brexit, the challenges facing the UK would be formidable. With Brexit, they look cataclysmic. “The economics are obvious,” he says. “If you make trade with your biggest, nearest and richest trading partner more expensive, you will make yourself worse off. The truth is there is no dispute about that. Of course there is a case for Brexit. It’s just not an economic case. It’s a controlling-immigration case. With everything – and this is what’s frustrating about a lot of political debate – there are trade-offs. Do you want control of your borders or do you want to avoid taking a hit of a couple of per cent of GDP? You can’t have both.
economics  economy  UK  austerity  policy  cuts  publicServices  tax  NHS  welfareState  HammondPhilip  politics  democracy  Brexit  JohnsonPaul  IFS 
march 2018 by petej
Capitalism’s new crisis: after Carillion, can the private sector ever be trusted? | Politics | The Guardian
British company law does not require companies to declare any purpose when they incorporate: indeed, the whole British ecosystem is organised to put short-term financial priorities first, and all the other things that make a company great – its people, its relationship with its customers, its capacity to innovate, its declared reason for being – in second place. Bad economics married with Britain’s unique institutions delivered what we now have: a rogue form of capitalism.
Carillion  outsourcing  privatisation  PFI  publicServices  MajorJohn  NewLabour  Serco  G4S  Learndirect  capitalism  purpose  profits  short-termism  finance  dctagged  dc:creator=HuttonWill 
january 2018 by petej
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