Out of the pan . .
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more depressing, along comes the Tory leadership race. Do any of them look any better than Theresa May? The paucity of fresh thinking is perhaps astonishing, given how much time the wannabes have had to prepare themselves. But it seems, apart from their cloned Brexit angles, their main ambition is to further deligitimise public expenditure by promising further tax cuts, and inter alia perpetuate austerity – whilst not, of course, ‘balancing the books.’ Most egregious (as ever) is the wretched Johnson, who promises a tax cut for the wealthy, to be paid for by one off money set aside by Philip Hammond to offset the inevitable post Brexit slump. So Johnson wants to make a recurring commitment from a one-off fund. There’s an Eton education for you. In the long run the only way to pay for it would be either cutting spending further or increasing other people’s taxation, but probably a combination of both.
But Johnson is playing his cards right. The complainants in the media moaning that he is not talking to them seem to overlook the fact that his number one priority is getting Tory MPs to vote him onto the final ballot. He’s only bothered about 300 or so electors at this stage. As regards a media profile, he already has one, so why bother with that? All the other candidates are way behind in that department. And once Tory MPs have made their final choice of two to go forward, the only electorate Johnson needs to worry about are Tory party members, and I suspect he doesn’t really have to worry too much about them. No wonder he’s promising tax cuts for the wealthy – he only needs around 60,000 people to vote for him to become Prime Minister.
I have yet to hear any of the candidates speak of climate change. That’s not a vote winner is it? What we are hearing quite a lot about (apart from tax cuts) is how they will make the UK prosperous, will solve the housing crisis, improve education, etc., etc. So they will address their own failures. What a laugh. There’s only one positive thing we can hope for in this race is that they tear each other to shreds and provide Labour with a generous font of damaging quotes.
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