Tuesday, 29 September 2020

With 'friends' like these...


I’d really like to believe that the gist of this story isn’t true. The problem is that the idea that the PM would implement measures to control the pandemic which are wholly inadequate, which he knows to be wholly inadequate, and which go against the scientific advice he’s received purely in order to avoid losing his Chancellor is completely credible. Given that his sole motivation in most things is what’s good for Boris Johnson, and that he can read as well as anyone else the stories that his own stock with his party is going down whilst Sunak’s is rising, letting the Chancellor loose on the backbenches is one of the last things that he wants. Tying the Chancellor in to his own sinking ship is a much better strategy – from his perspective at least.

The source of the story seems to be one of those ‘anonymous senior Tories’, in this case, a supporter of Sunak who is trying to present the message that Sunak has saved the economy whereas Johnson would otherwise have sunk it.  The irony is that the next few months are likely to show just how big a disaster Sunak’s handling of the Exchequer has been. Jobless totals are going to rise as the furlough scheme comes to an end and the replacement scheme effectively incentivises employers to sack half their staff rather than carry on in the hope the jobs will still exist post-pandemic. With hundreds, probably thousands, of companies likely to be tipped over the edge as an intentional result of government policies, and the pending Brexit chaos still to hit, a large number of chickens are going to be returning to their roosts. The irony is that Sunak’s chances of succeeding Johnson would probably be better if he found some great issue of principle which would enable him to return to the backbenches before all this happens. With ‘friends’ like the Tory briefing on his behalf, he hardly needs enemies.

1 comment:

dafis said...

So Rishi is more credible than Boris ? Not a major attainment on any scale of credibility. Balancing the needs of the economy while the authoritarian impulse runs rampant across the many wings of the Tory party is a tough call. Rishi may still be trying to do so whereas Boris can't see wood for trees, yet doesn't like firm advice, unless it comes from Dom Corleone Cummings.