45 Days of Chaos

Life – Terror. Ecstasy. Fight. Denial. Flight. Failure. PAIN. Forgiveness. Reconciliation. Hope. Love. Peace – Death

22nd October 2022 – The UK’s economic outlook has been downgraded from “stable” to “negative” by the rating agency Moody’s because of political instability and high inflation.

Moody’s said the change in outlook was driven by “heightened unpredictability in policymaking amid weaker growth prospects and high inflation” and “risks to the UK’s debt affordability from likely higher borrowing and risk of a sustained weakening in policy credibility”.

Rating agencies rate a country on the strength of its economy and provide governments with a score based on the likelihood that they will be able to pay back debt.

Official figures revealed that borrowing swelled to £20bn in September. This follows 45 days of what can rightfully be described as, utter, shambolic, incompetent chaos. Two chancellors, two home secretaries, one PM gone. Serving under two monarchs, Liz Truss has made history as Britain’s shortest ever serving Prime Minister. She should have listened to her dad!

Since July, the government has churned through four chancellors, in Rishi Sunak, Nadhim Zahawi, Kwasi Kwarteng, and now, a fifth in Jeremy Hunt. Sunak resigned from the role shortly before Truss’ predecessor, Johnson, was outed from the government. By the time Ms Truss’ premiership began, she had anointed Mr Kwarteng chancellor, but he would last only 38 tumultuous days before his exit was confirmed. His resignation, ahead of a humiliating mini-budget U-turn, made him the second shortest ever serving chancellor. The shortest ever serving chancellor, Iain McLeod, died in 1970 after 30 days in office.

The PM and her Chancellor’s, now infamous ‘mini-budget’ collapsed the financial markets, triggering mortgage chaos, and a government Bond-selling emergency. The government’s unfunded supply-side reforms were described as an ‘economic experiment’ on the British public by Labour opposition leader, Sir Empty Suit Starmer. After initially saying it would scrap the 45p rate of income tax for people earning more than £150,000, the government backtracked amid widespread condemnation of the measure. How could they get things so wrong?

Soon afterwards then-chancellor Kwarteng bowed to pressure to bring forward the publication of the government’s medium-term fiscal strategy to explain how the government would account for the debt created by its plan. But Kwarteng was quickly supplanted by Jeremy Hunt, who accelerated the government’s U-turns – ripping up the remainder of the mini-budget in a bid to plug the multi-billion pound hole in the UK economy, and soothe spooked markets.

Where will it all end?

Another Tory government ending in disarray, another unelected prime minister pushed out of the door, a self-inflicted financial crisis, a looming winter of discontent. Brexit, Covid, political scandals, economic rout: Not even the most rose-tinted Tory would disagree that it’s been a terrible few years for Britain.

Focus has once again turned to yet another leadership contest, potentially three candidates including a disgraced, dismissed, former Prime minister who is currently still under investigation by the parliamentary Privileges Committee. Media fuelled ‘speculation’ suggests that Johnson may attempt to return as Prime Minister. 

The majority of Tory MP’s in favour of a Johnson return are seemingly uninterested in the past 45 days, nor the previous three years leading up to this current mess that this current Tory government has led us into.

It is clear, the Tories are purely focused on winning the next general election. Despite being 30+ points behind in the polls, with Johnson at the helm, they believe they still might. They are shamefacedly, prepared to let the country go even further to the dogs providing they can keep their noses in the political trough. As long as they can keep their parliamentary seats, FUCK everything and everybody else.

Within hours of Truss’s dismissal, the sheer mention of the name Johnson has gained, significant, early momentum. Undoubtedly, aided by disproportionate, (BBC), biased, media coverage, platforming, dozens of MPs publicly acclaiming Johnson, all proclaiming he will improve the party’s polling. None even hint as to how his appointment might improve the current situation for the citizens of the UK.

However, if the Parliamentary Privileges Committee finds that Johnson did indeed mislead MPs over party gate, the former Prime Minister would be facing a potential suspension from the House of Commons and may even be forced to resign a second time, if re-elected next week. Seemingly, fewer Tory MPs worry that this will only plunge the party back into chaos. One Conservative source, “It is amazing that some Tory MPs want Boris back, saying ‘they think he can win them the next election’.

Paul Bristow Conservative MP for Peterborough, when asked about the scandals that the disgraced Johnson faced during his time at No 10, he said “I think we need a proven election winner. And the only person that I could see that could win us back those seats is Boris Johnson.”

Marco Longhi, MP for Dudley North, wrote on Twitter “Come back Boss. The country needs you, you’ve had a long enough break.”

Similar views have been echoed by Jane Hunt, the MP for Loughborough, saying she’s “backing Boris” and Amanda Milling who represents Cannock Chase.

Conservative sources claim that if Boris Johnson returns as prime minister he could be ‘gone (again) by Christmas’, due to damning new evidence about the Party Gate scandal which brought him down. Several people familiar with the Privileges Committee’s investigation into whether Boris Johnson misled MPs over parties in No10 say that ‘a large amount of damaging evidence from inside No10 has already been handed over to Harriet Harman’, who is chairing the inquiry. The Labour MP is particularly focused on what happened in Downing Street as the scandal unfolded last December.  

Depending upon the results of this weekend’s, frantic, inward, political manoeuvres a potential (maximum) three candidates, Johnson, Sunak & Mordaunt, could emerge. Once again, the choice of Britain’s next prime minister might be devolved to Conservative party loyalists willing to stump up a membership fee.

This tiny ‘selectorate’ of around 160,000 people is known to be mostly wealthy, older, white, propertied and male. But the Tory party has refused to disclose detailed demographic information to the media, on the grounds that the leadership election is a “private matter for members” and the Conservative party “is not a public body and … does not carry out public functions”. Whatever the exacts of this group, there is little doubt that their majority would prefer Johnson, seemingly purely as he is a proven winner.

Win at all costs, fuck everything else?

Meanwhile, within the ideological parameters of the rising Tory right, Tory (government) incompetence has been a drawn-out, damaging distraction. A critical Summer, ill-spent on (leadership campaigning) ‘trashing solar farms’ and defending the undefendable, e.g. sending refugees to Rwanda, whilst Britain’s European neighbours acted to protect citizens from the impact of the energy crisis.

France has limited wholesale energy price rises to 4% for a year (they can do this as the UK sold them our Energy Companies), our financial misery is keeping the French warm! And, Spain has imposed huge windfall taxes on energy firms and capped increases in gas prices. What have ‘we’ done to protect and care for all our citizens?

If the Tories did give an actual fuck about ‘you or I’, about ‘levelling up’, if they genuinely cared about actually doing their jobs, representing those who elected them rather than just gorging their own snouts in their own capitalist ideology. The modern Tory, 21st century, career politicians, with their, Willy Wonka, Golden Tickets (Tory Parliamentarians), surely, they would never even consider, for a nano second, even saying Johnson’s name out loud.

WB Yeats’s lines capture the truly parlous state in which the Tory party finds itself right now.

‘Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/ Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,/ The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/ The ceremony of innocence is drowned;/ The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity’.

Many Tories still believe Britain’s narrative should be about Empire and past glories, that our history should never be questioned, and that we can continue to bestride the globe and bend the world to our will. In short, that we can turn the clock back to a small state pre- (second world) war economy. Many more are prepared to put their own interests above their, elected, responsibilities and obligations

There is a simple solution…. Don’t vote Tory.

Thanks for Reading

Peace

Published by Riff

Husband to my inspirational, (long suffering,) wife Gail, father to two, amazing (adult) children, Aubrey & Perri, teacher, former guitarist, recent 'granda(r) to my beautiful grandson Henderson, with another two on the way. I Love people. I love my family, my incredible friends, I have love(d) what I do (my Job), I love Music, Glastonbury Festival, Cars, Everton .... I love many things but, most of all, I fucking love 'life'.

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