Boris Johnson’s ruthless purge of Cabinet and hard right shift looks like preparation for an early election. Reminds me of 1984 at home, as a right wing coup is on the way. He lied his way to Brexit – will it work again?
Johnson’s rejects the Irish backstop and promises to leave the EU by Halloween “No ifs or buts.” No deal is therefore most likely, and since it is not acceptable to Parliament he may choose to take the issue to the electorate before the reality of no deal bites too hard.
Some idea of the real policy agenda is found in Britannia Unchained, produced in 2012 by five new Conservative MPs, three of whom are now in Cabinet. Two of the four so-called great offices of state are held by its co-authors. Dominic Raab is Foreign Minister and Johnson’s effective deputy, and Priti Patel is Home Secretary.
Writing the New Statesman, George Eaton says;
For libertarians, the appeal of a no-deal Brexit, as threatened by Johnson, is precisely that it could create the conditions to impose policies unachievable in normal times (just as the 2008 financial crisis helped enable austerity). As Milton Friedman once remarked: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
That’s what happened to us in 1984. I can still recall my horror when I found the typewritten draft of Economic Management left by Simon Walker on the Labour Party office photocopier on the Monday after the 1984 election.
Expect Johnson to promise the earth as he did in the referendum, and the Conservatives managed by Cummings and Crosby to run a very nasty and very personal attack on Jeremy Corbyn.
The good news is that personal attack is no stranger to Corbyn. Johnson has already tried to argue that he is “for the many,” but a Cabinet that has 64% of its members who were privately educated gives the lie to that.
The proverb says “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” The fool’s role is to distract from what is really going on. Watch this space.