Boris Johnson’s enthusiasm is a rare quality which we should not ignore. However, being a prime minister of the UK is never a laughing matter. The job demands diplomacy of the first degree, given that his Brexit policy will eventually lead our country into a disastrous recession and alienate those people whose goodwill he needs most desperately in order to survive. It’s also disappointing, to say the least, that his choice of a cabinet filled with his toadies is beyond comprehension. It is self-evidently made up of people whose political skills are clearly below the norm and are there simply because they do his bidding, come what may in order to retain their jobs.
Nobody in his or her right mind will now deny that Britain is facing the threat of recession after the economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in 7 years, despite the fact that his Chancellor, the ever craven Jafid, still insists ‘that the UK is strong.’ Official data shows a gross domestic product contracting by 0.2% between April and June – the first contraction since 2012, and the worst performance since the 2009 financial crisis. Sterling fell below GBP/EUR1.08 and under GBP/USD1.21 after the numbers were published by the Office for National Statistics last Friday. It marks a sharp reversal from the strong growth of 0.5% in the first 3 months of the year.
That period was boosted by a frenzy of stockpiling of goods and materials by businesses on both sides of the channel, ahead of the then planned Brexit deadline of March 29. The extra demand disappeared in the second quarter as companies cut back buying and used parts of those stockpiles, hitting new output. The contraction could set the scene for a recession – which is defined as two consecutive quarters of falling GDP. In brief, the signs are not encouraging. The PM should change his tactics and embark on a less aggressive policy in order to give credibility to some of his more restrained announcements. We need Europe as a friend, not an enemy.
Johnson must realize that his advent as PM was due to the resignation of Theresa May and he has not been democratically voted by the nation – a precarious situation which he does not seem to realise or even acknowledge. The sooner his followers drum that fact into him, the better the Conservative party will fare in any future election. Corbyn is still a threat despite his dilly-dallying. We must always remember that. I don’t believe the Labour leader has been effective in anything, let alone become a good, decisive PM.
On the other hand, we must not forget the Tories would lose half of marginal seats to the Lib Dems, according to a YouGuv poll of more than 1,200 voters in 20 constituencies with small Tory majorities, and where the Lib Dems have come second in 2017, shows a 14.1% drop in Tory support. The poll, revealing a swing of more than 8% to the Lib Dems since the 2017 election, will act as a warning to Johnson who has put his party on an election footing.
The swing increases yet further if Johnson campaigns for a no deal Brexit and if parties opposed to no deal were to unite on a single platform, the Tories would be defeated in 13 out of the 20 seats. In other words, the PM’s gamble would mark his undoing. His behaviour so far, however, does rather suggest just deserts.