Friday, 20 January 2017

Has Theresa got a mandate for a new economic model?

The Times carries a very interesting article by Philip Collins questioning the basis upon which our PM can threaten to turn the UK into an entrepreneurial, low tax, low regulation economy.  I thought a rejoinder was in order:

So let me get the argument right. The great British population (or I should say a minority, sub-sample of the population) voted to leave the EU. A variety of opinion polls have discovered that the Leave vote was influenced by immigration (not sure from where but never mind), lack of control), straight bananas and a substantial cash bribe. Our then Prime Minister has a hissy fit because the GBP did not do what it was told and spits his dummy out, taking out the rest of the Cabinet with just one shot. Singing La-La-Land he disappears from public view.

But cometh the hour, cometh the man - in this case a woman - who decides that she really, really knows why the public voted the way it did. It was because a sizeable proportion of the population had been left behind - the old by time, under-achievers by achievers and those who wear a rust belt by those who wear (red) braces.

In flights of logic, lofty in their opacity, she appoints a small group of political failures to provide her with some clue what to do next. The only advice that comes through loud and clear is: 'if Nigel's happy, we're happy'. So be it, the only question to answer was what was Nigel's big thing? Immigration. We all know that migrants from the EU look and dress like arabs/chinese/afghans (delete as applicable) form disorderly queues, take our jobs, and sponge off our welfare system. So, having got that sorted out, our new Prime Minister decides that Brexit no longer just means Brexit, Brexit means Nigel. Brexit means abandoning the single market and if that means abandoning our own single market as well so what? The Scots and the Northern Irish are just a band of trouble-makers anyway.

That's clear then, even though her party won the 2015 election on a manifesto commitment to the Single Market let's abandon it, and if the EU doesn't give us what we want we will transform our economic model to be really nasty to them in exchange. We know that we can trump any bad hands the EU decides to deal us and, when the time is right, Sir Nigel will get his just reward. So, the current leadership of the Tory party is deciding to rewrite the governance, economic and social basis of the United Kingdom with no mandate apart from the result of a referendum on who could tell the biggest porkies to the British public. A-may-zing!

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