top of page

Who is Boris going to disappoint first?

WITH a campaign, and now a whopping parliamentary majority, built on contradictions, Prime Minister Johnson has set the scene for disappointment.

He starts from a low base.

Despite his impressive command of parliament, the best part of 60% of the country didn’t vote for him so are already disappointed.

The young will be an easy cohort to let down first.

For a start, they voted Corbyn, and he’s finished, so he can happily ignore them.

For a second, there’s evidence that they’ll become conservative in good time. Here’s a thoughtful but depressing article on the subject.

Live and work freely in Europe? Sorry. We need to keep immigrants out and that means keeping you in.

A lessening of the debtload for going to university? Nice try. Degrees are expensive. You gotta pay for them.

An expansion of the housing stock so that home ownership becomes a probability rather than... blah blah blah? Hmm. Nice idea in theory but it doesn’t really wash with our rural base. Read this by Sam Metric to understand why.

So the young are cast to the political hinterlands until, well, they get old.

But what about people who actually voted for Boris?

He has successfully persuaded working class folk in the north to back a party that has always stood for and been bankrolled by, swashbuckling southern financial types.

In essence, Workington man voted for protectionism, and swashbuckling southerners voted for the opposite.

The cracks in that coalition can’t be papered over for long?

The swashbucklers dream of a Singapore-on-sea. What that means is an unencumbered, deregulated free flow of goods, capital and, yes, people.

For that, they needed a no-deal, or much looser arrangement with the EU. What they’re getting is the deal negotiated by Mrs May, that they so despised.

And even if there was a chance of a much looser Brexit, it too would disappoint.

As an example of why that's the case, look at the British island of Jersey, which isn’t in the EU.

Contrary to popular belief, and despite its dodgy offshore reputation, Jersey actually is quite highly regulated, in theory, by itself.

In reality, when the UK or EU pops out a new regulation pertinent to Jersey’s industries, Jersey’s parliament photocopies it and waves it through, without ever getting a say, because if they didn’t, their companies wouldn’t get to do business in the EU.

Whatever kind of Brexit we eventually get, life, commerce, etc, will go on much as before, except Britain will have to take rules set by its economic rivals rather than having a seat at the table.

So with everyone that hated Mrs May’s deal disappointed, attention must turn to the working class folk who backed Johnson’s dishonestly simple ‘Get Brexit Done’ mantra.

The great contradiction of the Brexit promise to 'take back control', outlined above, and the Great Lie - that foreigners are the source of our problems - are about to be exposed.

Outside the EU, free of immigrants, wages won’t start booming.

Johnson’s promise of 40 new hospitals - nothing to do with the EU - fell apart as the words left his mouth.

The social care that your parents or grandparents so badly need? No plan.

Funding schools so that teachers don’t have to hold raffles to buy books? Not really on this Old Etonian’s agenda.

Twenty thousand new cops? Sorry, didn’t realise that we don’t actually have anywhere to train that many. It's a bit like when we promised thousands more GPs without actually having a plan for finding them.

On almost every front the Tories are bound to disappoint on a practical level.

AND they’re probably going to be buffetted by a recession.

But hey, Workington man, we got Brexit done, right? Kind of. See above.

All of this, by the way, is without even mentioning Scotland, which is experiencing a whole other stratosphere of disappointment.

And Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson starts out with a country that already holds him in low regard.

His low bar is bound to move lower.


bottom of page