Monday, 9 July 2018

What a shambles

Within 36 hours of Mrs May proclaiming Cabinet unity on her Brexit plans, her Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has described the process and the outcome as ‘like polishing a txxd’ and her Brexit Secretary, David ‘Bulldog’ Davis has resigned as he believed the plans were fundamentally flawed.
In truth, they’re both right. And that was inevitably the outcome of trying to manage the contradictions of the fundamentalist Brexiteers, who made so many completely unachievable promises, and the soft Brexiteers who know that without a deal with the EU, the UK’s economic prospects are, at best, challenging and, most likely, awful and fundamentally damaging.
At least David Davis has had the guts to resign. Although, in truth, this is mainly because his own negotiating strategy had been completely useless. This lead Mrs May to take over his responsibilities last week, including taking the key civil servants out of the Brexit Department and putting them directly under her control in No 10.
Meanwhile, the ever-opportunist Boris Johnson, whose whole political strategy has been solely driven by his own ambitions to be prime minister, has declared himself officially fully supporting Mrs May’s plans whilst, at the same time, leaking stories to the media of him describing the plans as useless. Nothing new there.
It is a shambles and, at this rate, we’re heading for an even bigger shambles economically.
So, perhaps now is the time just to take stock of the last 8 years of Conservative government with a few facts:
  • Wages are lower in real terms than in 2010 and are falling
  • The gap between lower and higher earners is increasing. FTSE100 CEOs are now paid 160 times average earnings.
  • 3 million people, that’s 1 in 10 of the workforce, are now in insecure jobs (no guaranteed hours or employment rights) and the number is rising with 883,000 already being on zero-hours’ contracts
  • The poorest 10% pay 42% of their income in taxes, whilst the richest 10% pay 34%
  • 30% of British children now live in poverty, the highest since 2010, and the number is rising
  • Almost 60% of those living in poverty are in working households. It’s little surprise that nearly 1.4 million foodbank parcels were distributed last year.
The Conservatives have led us in to this mess and there is no sign of their having any strategy or policies to get us out of it.
What a shambles.