After months of zombie government and vacuous leadership, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has finally departed Downing Street to give way for the new leader, Elizabeth Truss. As the country’s 56th prime minister, many will ponder the likelihood of new policies, legislation, and reform.
Before we discuss the Truss tenure, we should assess the record of the last regime and identify what exactly went wrong. Let’s hope that our new leader will not mirror errors.
Mr Johnson, the greatest political communicator of our age, was able to effectively deconstruct the red wall and convince the masses to support his cleverly coordinated ‘Get Brexit Done’ campaign.
His successes end abruptly. On the first major issue of Brexit, Johnson only half-delivered, failing to free Northern Ireland from the shackles of European bureaucracy, return jurisdiction to British fishing waters, leave the ECHR or take advantage of Brexit opportunities.
If Johnson was serious about national independence, he would have made use of Britain’s recaptured sovereignty and heavily deregulated.
Instead, when COVID-19 struck, Johnson made the emotional decision to lockdown on 23rd March 2020. During periods of multiple shutdowns, Johnson introduced vaccine passports, fines for sitting on park benches, political policing of protests, vaccinations for 5-11 year olds, virtual learning, high borrowing and irresponsible spending policies (with £261 billion of taxpayers money squandered on COVID regulations), a COVID only health service, national house arrest, mask mandates and bans on visiting dying relatives and praying to God.
The COVID era operated under the fallacy that state interventionism could minimise the spread of viruses. Totalitarianism grew in the West under the guise of helping to ‘stop the spread’. This was an abysmal miscalculation.
Another Johnson failure was the channel migrant crisis. The red meat proposal of the Rwanda Scheme, one that was specially engineered to look as if the government were doing something about the crisis, was doomed to fail from day one thanks to our membership of the European Court of Human Rights. This has encouraged the criminal enterprise of human trafficking to persist. In fact, more than 25,000 illegal immigrants have arrived this way this year.
In terms of cost of living and inflation, Johnson has not helped struggling families make ends meet with his wild spending strategy. Whether it’s the excessive funding of a foreign war, or extortionate hand-outs during COVID, his solutions to real-time problems were reliant on the nanny state, as opposed to innovation, wealth creation and free market enterprise.
Overall, Johnson’s time in office has been anti-conservative. He has catered to the SAGE gloomsters, pandered to the woke brigade – (having jumped on it himself a few times), invested in expensive long-term eco-centric projects, failed to control the nation’s borders, trashed education with ruthless lockdowns and allowed the NHS to reach an all-time high waiting list.
Recent speculation in the media has spoken of the likelihood of a Johnson comeback in the foreseeable future. In his leaving speech, the ex-PM said “like Cincinnatus, I am returning to my plough”. This is fairly significant since Cincinnatus returned to Rome again after returning to his plough and was appointed leader.
I find it hard to believe that Johnson would want to return as prime minister given how little decisions he actually made himself. Whether it was Mr Cummings and the Get Brexit Done campaign, Rashford and the free school meals scandal, or COVID lockdowns and Public Health England, Johnson seemed totally incapable of making any independent decisions.
Whether you are a fan of Johnson or not, there is no denying that he will quite happily agree with the last person he meets – especially if it appeases conventional wisdom.
Now, on to the future. Truss makes many promises, but will she walk the walk? Will she be the Thatcherite she has been depicted as by the media, a deregulator, tax cutter, supply-sider and free marketeer? Or will she go back to her former beliefs of republicanism, Eurofantatiscism and liberalism?
Well, throughout the campaign, she has promised to ‘start cutting taxes from day one’, and scrap the planned rise in national insurance, corporation tax, and green levies. On immigration, she plans to increase border force capacity by 20%, change the UK Bill of Rights to be tougher on illegal migration and expand the Rwanda plan. She also wants the police to investigate all burglaries, end the policing of ‘rows and hurt feelings’ and increase defence spending by 3% of GDP by 2030.
My advice to Liz would be to wholeheartedly embrace conservatism. Do not be afraid to fight the woke brigade, climate alarmists or mainstream media.
Her first priority should be to get a hold of the energy, cost of living and inflation crisis. She must seek peace in Ukraine and turn the UK energy independent – through use of fracking, North Sea oil and coal.
Taxes should be cut immediately, and interest rates increased, to end the trend of mad borrowing. She should balance the books and lower spending, whilst at the same time, being a nation that is productive, self-sufficient and a net exporter of goods.
On other issues, we should leave the ECHR to help make the Rwanda scheme work, de-wokerise education and the police, and make the NHS work by cutting red tape.
I remain slightly more optimistic, regarding illegal immigration, after the appointment of the social conservative Suella Braverman. A staunch Eurosceptic, Suella set the ambitious target of ‘no boats crossing the channel’.
Trust has much to do. Whilst we should remain sceptical of her, we should want her to succeed in what is a time of crisis.