Blain’s Morning Porridge Oct 20th 2022 – There is a Canker in Britain that has seized the minds of Government. Time to remove it.
“Things can only get better… Things can only get better…”
This Morning: Something is rotten in the state… A deep rooted canker underlies the current crisis. Removing it will give the UK a real chance at some kind of Brexit Bonus, Growth and Prosperity. But we have to change, and change utterly.
Liz Truss is not the problem. She is just a symptom. She will be cauterised.
The UK’s democracy and politics is floundering in a chaotic sea of crisis and confusion. It was the sad looking Tory MP last night asking all these ministers with their red cabinet boxes if it was “worth-it”? Or was it the MP on Radio 4 hectoring us how the Conservatives remain the natural party of Government – really? The self-destruction of the Conservatives begs many questions. Where have all the good men and women gone? Whatever happened to doing the right thing?
This morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme I was asked what it all means for voters struggling with rising mortgage rates. Not good I’m afraid.
The bad news is the UK’s Virtuous Sovereign Trinity of Political Competency, a Stable Currency and a Sustainable Bond Market has been tipped. Interest rates will continue to rise to address inflation (now “inflated” by the currency) and bond yields will rise on uncertainty. The only way to address this scale of crisis is a dramatic shift – and I dared to say it on National Radio, a market commentor calling for a General Election.
And even then, it’s not certain a new Government will be able to deal with, let alone rectify the absolute economic omnishambles they will inherit after 12 years of Conservative … well, I won’t call it good government.
At times like, deluged by confusion and darkness, there is really only one thing to do… get out the Works of Shakespeare and consider out some suitable quotes…
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark England.
Shakespeare got it. Hamlet, his tortured tale of betrayal, corruption, and indecisiveness at the court of Elsinore, is about great issues of politics and the state. Its increasingly clear there is a cancer tearing out the soul of Britain’s conservative party, and to quote the Bard’s Danish play again: “Diseases desperate grown, by desperate appliance are relieved. Or not at all.”
(Were it Rishi Sunak sitting on the throne surveying the spilt goblets, wrack and ruin around him, I would probably write: “The serpent that did sting they father’s life, now wears his crown.”)
Britain needs to root out the canker, be decisive and pray Fortinbras marches in at the end to build a brighter future.
Global Markets are watching the UK bemused and stunned.
How could one of the leading democracies tumble into chaos in just a few weeks? If it can happen here – who is next?
UK markets will remain volatile while this chaos continues – and the events of yesterday show the amplitude of the chaotic wave is unlikely to change anytime soon. Liz Truss will continue to be overwhelmed by the mounting distrust and conflict within her own party.
Markets know that.
Traders are watching shocked at the slow motion trainwreck of UK Inc, but they are analysing the opportunities. In the next few days things could get even more chaotic as the government self-destruction deepens. Markets want to see credible solutions – and frankly that’s not going to happen under the current riven, fratricidal bunch of maniacs.
I expect a buy-the-fact rally when the General Election is called.
But even then the questions will remain multiple. How quickly could Labour restore stability? Will they prove any more aligned in their purpose? Will the mounting economic catastrophe they inherit be solvable, or will it overwhelm them? How good and realistic is their growth plan? Can the notoriously divided socialists hold together (as they did under Tony Blair)?
Labour has one massive advantage – they are not riddled with the Cancer of Brexit.
(Before you dismiss me as a Remoaner – I was one of the useful idiots who voted to leave. I was wrong. But what is done is done.)
Liz Truss got one thing right – she made her own decision to engage with President Macron of France and attend the Prague summit, demonstrating to Europe a clear break with the Boris era. It wasn’t just the insults and the buffoonery, but I don’t think we appreciate just how much Europe hated Boris and the damage he did to our trade and prosperity prospects. Nor do we understand just much Europe would like us re-engaged – although they deeply fear our future constancy.
Last week I told the story of how Cruella Braverman was out canvassing support for a leadership bid of her own. A Tory MP told me she prefaced her pitch with how Truss had betrayed Brexit by attending Prague and coddling up to Macron. Now we know why the right-wing frothing-at-the-mouth wing of the Tories have their knifes out for Truss. No wonder her Cabinet now contains committed Sunak supporters…
The problems we saw multiply in the wake of Brexit have metastasized into a cancer that’s ripped away the…. Enough… Enough of this Tory Civil War.. let’s deal with the cancer at its core..
Brexit got done… except it didn’t.
Brexit was supposed to be about establishing the new UK as a confident, mercantile global trading partner, the place where new industry would be welcomed to partner up our skilled workforce, unmatched financial skills and global soft power, and to be part of a glorious future of growth and prosperity.
If ever there was an opportunity for the UK to soar in a burst of creative company formation, trade deals and a jubilee of red-tape cutting, I must have blinked and missed it.
I don’t particularly care that the true Believers are blaming the Remoaners for the missed opportunity. We are where we are. We are out of Europe – but to generate growth and prosperity any sensible man knows its not what you wish for, but what you can achieve that actually matters.
What the UK can maybe achieve is a reproachment with Europe. That is critical as part of any growth strategy. It does not mean giving up our independence or sovereignty, but simply to re-engage, get the best terms we can, and move forward. We hold a significant hand – energy, gas and defence.
The Conservatives can never lead reengagement with Europe. Labour might be able to do. I briefly met Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal-Democrat leader, the other night on a radio prog, and he may have a role to play establishing trust.
A large swathe of the Tories (largely the ones who voted for Truss) will want to fight the coming election on a Get Brexit Done/Protect Brexit platform. They will set it as a flag under which to energise hard-line Brexit support.
The more pragmatic and honest Conservatives will see the game is over and campaign to move the party back to a sensible footing and real growth strategies.
“Things are never as bad as you fear, but never as good as you hope”.
Five Things to Read Today
Thunderer – Starmer must show there’s a point to Labour
Out of time, but not out of hope… Things can only get better….
Strategist – Shard Capital