By Russell Bruce
Johnson’s speech to the virtual Tory conference underlined just how far from reality he and his ministers are. He has just about managed to get that Covid 19 is serious but his government’s handling of the pandemic is miles away from any sense of competence.
Trump on the other hand believes he has conquered the virus and is back in the White House, a Covid hotspot where the virus is endemic among those who took so little care to protect themselves in the contorted belief they were sending a positive message to America and the rest of the world. The White House has a global responsibility because what America says is heard around the world and influences others especially with the rise of the far right and false understanding of what freedom and freedoms mean in developed and supposedly democratic societies.
Trump is back governing by Tweet.
Government by bluster and Tweet
The links, hopes and plans between Johnson’s Brexit Tories and Trump’s raw red Republicans are certainly causing deep concern in Scotland and increasingly in England. Yet Johnson is holding on to a poll lead over Starmer according to the latest Savanta ComRes poll.
Every country is having to borrow to keep their population and businesses from going under but not all can be saved according to UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak. It is the most unprecedented time of social and economic disruption since the Spanish Flu, in the wake of the hardships of WW1, and the plagues of the Middle Ages. The UK/US pact under Trump and Johnson is especially dangerous because both are disrupters and nothing good will come for either country of what is not and will never be a harmonious relationship. Trump doesn’t do harmonious except perhaps with Russia.
Just don’t mention Brexit
We should not be surprised that Johnson did not mention Brexit once in his conference address. Have we heard the last of ‘Get Brexit Done’ ? It is not going at all well and will result in a massive meteoric hit to the UK economy and social well-being come 1st January 2021.The EU will never walk away from the table because blaming the EU when the shit hits the fan is the Johnson scheme as he has nothing else. Johnson is now threatening to walk away next week.
The EU understood Covid plus Brexit would create a ‘nuclear’ economic strike on the UK and they sought to ease the difficulties by offering an extension to the transition period. Without hesitation, or thought for the consequences Johnson rejected the opportunity. The social and economic mess that will unfold in January 2021 is on the head of the Naked Emperor and no amount of hair ruffling will comb that away.
“Nearly 50 unhinged tweets from the president in 2 hours”Tweet from the Lincoln Project @Project Lincoln
Just as Trump is displaying no competence in economic or business matters with his loss making golf courses and nil or $750 dollar tax returns the Apprentice President has finally fallen behind Biden in opinion polling on the economy. And Johnson will have to face the wrath resulting from essential supply chain disruption when the full impact of his Brexit project dawns on a weary and worried UK, even the bit that is forever England.
Borders, customs paperwork and lorry parks
Taking back control means hard borders, delay in the movement of essential supplies destroying just in time processes for everything from tomatoes to thousands of components and supplies needed by the manufacturing with service sectors and lorry parks taking over much of the Home Counties. Was any of that mentioned by Dominic Cummings, now in charge, along with Michael Gove, of borders, customs paperwork and lorry parks. Scotland did not vote for this in 2016, 2017 or 2019.
Then we have the the constant series of fiascos over the handling of Test and Trace in England and the contracts handed to inappropriate companies with no experience of the markets they bid for, all without due process. That has taken huge junks out of the supposed £350 million for the NHS. Contracts handed to companies with no experience of the areas they were levered into but whose sole attribute was connection to the Leave campaign. Perhaps these are the businesses Rushi Sunak says he cannot save.
Trump thinks the strength of the US stock market is down to him. When he called off talks with Democrats on a new round of payments to US citizens – the stock market tanked on the news. To underline the extent of US big business disengagement with Trump, 3500 major US companies are suing the US government for his China tariff policies. Corporate America is far from being at ease with a second Trump term given their experience of the last four years.