Sunday Blog 4: March 1 2020

A Government Under Pressure

Things do not always go according to plan, yet for Boris, Cummings and Gove, so far things have worked out rather well. Javid, who had become infected with the narrow Treasury mantra that the financial core of the nation was only about good housekeeping, was given the heave-ho in such a way as to own his own sacking. Clever. The master plan for a no deal Brexit was rolled out, disguised as a set of red lines to which it is impossible for the EU to agree. There has been very little push back. The initial stages of the coronavirus emergency appear to be well planned and the policy of keeping ministers with their noses to the grindstone and not spouting off to the media held firm.

Suddenly things took off in the wrong direction. Across the world markets have panicked, fearing that containing the spread of coronavirus causes enough disruption to trigger a recession, even before it becomes a pandemic, leading to the biggest market crash since the banks went bust in 2008. Taken together with Brexit, which makes the UK a financial loner unhitched to a bigger minder, this puts huge pressure on the Budget to come up with a credible and economically viable programme for the biggest economic stimulus in living memory. There was no doubt advance thinking for a post Brexit boost, but notĀ  in step with recession brought on by an unforeseen pandemic.

Suddenly the Home Office blows up, I mean politically. As far as I know never has a Permanent Secretary (CEO) of a Great Office of State resigned and sued the government for constructive dismissal for any reason. And certainly not because of the alleged behaviour of their Secretary of State. Wow. Even for Boris that is big. The problem for the country is that forĀ  gang master Cummings it is just the beginning. According to reports he has a hit list of mandarins. Maybe it is about time for a shake up, but now surely is the wrong moment to start it.

And of course there are still the floods. Not everybody is happy with the government’s performance on that front. Especially those who have lost everything.

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