Boris Johnson’s well-deserved political demise came, as it often does, for the wrong reasons. His various peccadilloes and mistakes, and his failure to recognize them in a manly, timely and unequivocal manner, no doubt point to character flaws, but character flaws are what we expect of our politicians and aspirants to power. They entertain us.
The real problem now is finding someone better than Johnson, not in the sense of someone who dispersed his seed less carelessly than he did, or who isn’t a happy topping having forbidden such happy topping to others , but someone better at economic policy sense – that is, someone who believes in the economic principles that will deliver the country from the terrible mess that Johnson left behind: stagnation, high inflation and taxation, a Incompetent state more prominent in the economy than ever before, and indebtedness on a vast scale. scale, thanks to the money printing and corrupt (and corrupting) largesse of government.
Johnson was unlucky, of course, in the difficulties he faced that weren’t his fault. What the British leader would have wanted to do in the face of European Union enmity – quite predictable, but unprepared by the British political class, most of whom wanted to stay in the Union anyway – while having to do facing Covid The -19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, with all their ripple effects?
But politicians should be judged on how they treat the world as it is, not how they would have if things had been different or better. And to be fair to Johnson, he had some successes. He supported the successful development of a Covid vaccine, which took courage, as the political price of failure would have been high. He bypassed bureaucracy to launch a rapid and successful mass vaccination program. He was the first to lift Covid restrictions against the advice of many scientists, who would have kept us locked down while there was someone left in the country with a sniffle.
He was by far the most far-sighted of the Western European leaders on the war in Ukraine, although he might have been less so if Britain had drawn more energy from Russia. Yet, for whatever reason, he has been more supportive of Ukraine than any comparable leader, and that counts in his favour.
Sadly, this all pales into long-term insignificance compared to its economic profligacy, the bill of which is now coming due. Johnson’s government has spent untold billions supporting people who didn’t need support – in part, of course, because it’s been generations since our bureaucracy even tried to distinguish between deserving and undeserving. deserving, even denying that such a distinction should be made. A close neighbor, for example, received $50,000 without being seen, when he didn’t need it.
After spending much of his career poking fun at the nonsense of extreme environmentalism, Johnson did an abrupt U-turn (under the influence of his wife, it’s widely believed) and chained Britain’s economy with its net zero carbon emissions policy, ending hydrocarbon exploration at precisely the worst time in history to do so. The politics were ridiculous in the first place, a cowardly surrender to adolescent utopianism; and, thanks to Johnson, many more poor people could die of chills in their homes next winter than they otherwise would have had he had the courage to face up to this obvious absurdity at the start of his term as Prime Minister. Also, Britons are expected to convert to electric cars, but without electricity to charge them.
Promising a low-tax, low-regulation economy, one of the vaunted benefits of Brexit, Johnson raised taxes to their highest levels in decades to pay for outsized social programs, largely to protect the assets of the elderly, and did nothing to counter the additional bureaucracy caused by Brexit. All politicians have to be shameless to some degree, no doubt, but Johnson was exceptionally good at this art.
In retrospect, Johnson did not deserve to be prime minister. The problem for Britain is that it’s not clear anyone else in the current scene will either.
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