Just one day into his premiership and it’s already clear that Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson means business. The question is: what kind?
There’s wielding the knife and there’s wielding the knife, and Johnson, with his merciless cull of Theresa May’s deadwood from his new cabinet, has moved with the alacrity of the leader of a right-wing coup rather than a democracy to assemble around him a cabinet of ideologues, Russophobes, and politicians from the far reaches of the swivel-eyed margins.
Johnson has breezed into Number-10 with the energy of Winston Churchill and the delusions of Anthony Eden, the feckless prime minister who led the country into the disaster of Suez in 1956. The boundless confidence he radiates is that of the newly installed leader of a Roman satellite state who’s received the most important endorsement of all – not that of his own people – but that of Caesar (Trump) in Rome (Washington).
Throughout the still unsolved Skripals case, Raab was a regular fixture in the British media crying “Russia! Russia! It’s all Russia!” despite the lack of conclusive evidence to support such a charge.
Among the IEA’s more extreme recommendations are the complete privatisation of healthcare, minimal regulation of financial markets (this despite the 2008 financial crash), and an end to controls on tobacco advertising.
For such people the state does not exist to protect the rights and welfare of the many, but to ensure the freedom of the few to amass as much wealth as possible from the labor of the many with little or no interference. Tax is a dirty word. Regulation is a dirty word. Health and safety are dirty words. As for workers’ rights, you must be having a laugh. This is a government of the 19th century, by the 19th century, and for the 19th century, where those are concerned.
Looking west to Washington, Trump knows that in Boris Johnson he has himself a reliable ally in the war against political correctness, ID politics, and multinational trading and political blocs. He knows also that the no-deal Brexit that Johnson and his team of ideologically-driven zealots are determined to achieve will make the UK putty in the hands of his administration, allowing it to drive the kind of free market bilateral trade agreement he relishes.
Just as a society gets the criminals it deserves so it gets the governments it deserves, with in many cases it being impossible to tell the difference. Bungling Boris, the feckless British foreign secretary, has suddenly metamorphosed in Dynamic Boris, Britain’s new prime minister, standing on the shoulders of his political hero Winston Churchill, determined to Make Britain Great Again.
In truth and in fact, a no-deal Brexit Johnson government will be just as great as Trump allows it to be. Because in leaving the fire of Brussels this is a government that will jump straight into the frying pan of Washington.
Hold onto your hats and grab your popcorn, because the political version of Apocalypse Now has just begun.