It’s hard to believe that things could get worse with Johnson gone, but they are, and we’ve not yet hit rock bottom. We’ve only had the economic agenda for this paradise for the superrich that they’re seeking to create. There’s still their social agenda to be rolled out and believe me that’s going to be worse.
Within the space of a week, we’ve gone from living in what seemed like Ruritania to being part of a gigantic experiment, as economic and social policies are tested on the entire populace of the UK. Gone is the vision of a Brexit UK becoming some unleashed North Sea version of Singapore with business booming. Instead, its to be some low tax Valhalla where oligarchs and others can plank their money and hedge fund managers can laugh all the way to the bank.
The economic agenda has gone from lifting the cap on bankers bonuses and cutting taxes to nearly crashing pension funds and sending interest rates rocketing. Talk’s of the Bank of England base rate going to 6% and that means higher overdrafts and mortgages. Businesses closures will follow as interest rates rise. The misery that’ll bring to homeowners will be worse than that of energy rises. Johnson was reputed to have said “F business” but Kwarteng seems literally intent on doing it.
But that’s only the economic side. We’ve still to see the social agenda but all the hints that have been dropped are truly horrific. Failing to raise benefits and pensions in line with inflation would cause misery. The pain worsened by the knowledge that it’s to provide for tax cuts for the wealthy. Hopefully another U Turn will follow but what remains is still grim.
It’s clear that massive public expenditure cuts are coming. The Bank of England may be working overtime printing money, but that quantitative easing is going to shore up the pound. There’s nothing left to replicate the Covid bail out. Departmental cuts in health and other social departments will be frightening. Winter flu’s coming and probably another Covid variant with it. When we should be shoring up creaking services, Truss is intent on tearing them down. But its all part of the plan of rolling back the state or rather the welfare state. Indeed, changing the NHS to an insurance scheme’s now mooted by Tory outliers. The state can support the City but not its citizens.
Kwarteng’s been grim but don’t think there’s going to be any respite from other’s in Truss’s motley crew. Priti Patel was appalling as Home Secretary. A nadir it seemed had been reached with her cruel and heartless policies. But wait! Her successor is Suella Braverman. She smiles more and doesn’t smirk when unleashing misery as her predecessor did.
However, anyone anticipating a more benign regime’s soon going to find otherwise. As Kwarteng has lurched to the right so will the Home Office and other departments. As their policies create a rise in crime, they’ll react with repression. Migrants might well find that there’s worse than being sent to Rwanda. The attacks on worker’s rights will make Thatcher’s attack on the miners, the Ridley plan or even Norman Tebbit all seem moderate times.
Frankenstein was at least fiction. We’re got to live in this nightmare.