LEO McKINSTRY believes Boris must provide sound management to keep us on track.
As the Conservative Party gathers in Manchester for its annual conference, a dramatic conflict exists between their seeming political ascendancy and their government’s looming troubles.
Due to the Covid epidemic, this is the first such gathering since the Tories’ landslide victory in the 2019 General Election, and they remain far ahead in opinion polls almost two years later. Among their accomplishments, they can point to the successful implementation of Brexit, the economy’s resiliency, the vaccine program’s world-beating success, and the growing list of independent trade agreements.
Nonetheless, despite the Tories’ apparent advantage over Labour, the tone in Manchester remains worried and cautious.
“We’re in a downward spiral.” “It starts gradually, then all of a sudden,” one worried MP adds.
The summit takes place against a backdrop of chronic petrol shortages across the country, particularly in the south-east, but this is only one facet of the besieged Government’s mounting tidal wave of problems.
Ministers now refer to the “Effing” issue, which includes steep energy price increases as well as a breakdown in fuel and food supplies.
More problems can be seen in the post-Covid NHS backlog of 5.6 million hospital treatments, as well as in the rise in inflation, which has driven up the cost of living dramatically just as transitory Covid measures like furlough and the universal credit enhancement are being phased out.
Given the size of the government’s debt, Treasury officials are understandably concerned about the likelihood of an interest rate hike to combat inflation.
Manchester is, indeed, haunted by the specter of the 1970s.
Ted Heath, the Tory Prime Minister at the outset of that decade, is nothing like Boris, who lacks his predecessor’s sulky aloofness and neurotic Europhilia.
What’s going on in your neighborhood? You can find out by entering your postcode or going to the website. InYourArea But Heath’s misfortune teaches him a valuable lesson. After winning a landslide political victory in 1970, he promised “a revolution” in British administration, but his promise was shattered by industrial unrest, energy shortages, and skyrocketing inflation, and he was defeated in 1974 by a divided, left-wing Labour party.
Some think that today’s Conservatives require new ideas to escape the same fate. The actual answer, however, is not in new ideas, but in solid national administration.
“Brinkwire Summary News,” says Boris.