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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Boris must take three steps to save himself

The uproar and sloganeering in the Conservative Party is over. But the captains and kings to be had have not departed. Boris Johnson won Monday’s trust vote, but can’t ignore the depth of the opposition.

Speculation about how long the prime minister might last is ultimately futile. The course of future events is yet to be shaped. Mr Johnson has been empowered to give the government a fresh start. He deserves that opportunity when one sees what he has done for the country since becoming the Prime Minister.

But he needs to move on. The investigation by the Committee of Privileges is still on – it could easily come to some hard conclusions and face real problems if the MPs, the party and our voters do not see a new positive agenda by then that would be appropriate to stick with. Will have. as Prime Minister.

“Getting ahead with the job”, as he said in this week’s cabinet, will not be enough if the new job is the same as the old one. If so, then the new boss will not be like the old boss.

Changing your instincts and fundamentals of behavior especially under pressure is the hardest thing in the world. I understand why many people say that the Prime Minister will not be able to do this. But I know he is a remarkable person and very different from other politicians. We should not assume that change is impossible until it is proved.

Every PM has weaknesses and blind spots. The issue is whether they are able to compensate by finding the right people, taking good advice and setting clear policy direction with broad support. Mr Johnson probably has between now and the party convention to show he can do it.

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The main concern I hear from party members and potential Tory voters is not about PartyGate. Good or bad, people have made up their mind about it. It’s that they don’t understand what the government is trying to do and why. Worse, to the extent that they understand it, they don’t particularly like it. They feel that the government has to face many difficult problems. They are willing to loosen it up a bit. But they want to know how it’s trying to solve them and they want it to do so in a conservative way, not a high-cost high-spend collective way.

At present, the government seems to be surrounded by troubles. Like the cockpit of a crashed plane, the dashboard lights flash all red. It is for the government to decide which problems should be dealt with now and which problems can be left for later. It means a plan: a strategy.

I hope the Prime Minister will now do three things.

First, immediately, stop the aircraft hitting the ground. Reverse tax increases and reliably commit to future deductions. Start fracking, be clear that North Sea gas is fundamental to the future, and remove VAT from energy bills. Announce a Brexit Opportunity Bill that largely sunsets EU legislation. Remove most UK tariffs immediately and remove the rest over three years. And End the Online Harm Bill: Bring forward only non-controversial elements, and don’t kill free speech and the rest of our tech industry along with the rest.

Secondly, to make aircraft re-flyable and to establish a strategy for productivity and growth, a 10-year conservative plan to restore the viability of the British state, based on liberty and individual liberty not collectivism: small government, a free habitat. Markets, an energy strategy that reduces carbon emissions but prioritizes security of supply, improves education, a modern NHS, benefits only those who need them, rewards for those who save , which includes pensions, a reformed civil service and a stronger union.

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All this clearly can not be done on the hoof. To accomplish this, it needs a serious strategy with proper preparation. It will take some time. We should aim for a positive resolution in the next manifesto aimed at those who can see that the country is facing serious problems and want a serious plan to deal with it.

Finally, stop the aircrew squabbling. The new No 10 team has improved things, but it is still not doing well. Mr Johnson should focus on what he is good at as chairman of the board – at selling and explaining – and get a serious deputy, whether the chief of staff or the deputy prime minister, who prepares and delivers strategy. could. The ministerial team needs a refresh, but once it is done, ministers should be allowed to get on with their jobs, within the overall strategy, and stand on achievements or results, not on But whether he did well in the Today show or not that morning.

It is ambitious. I can see why many people think that the Prime Minister cannot accomplish this. He doesn’t like bothering people. But any serious planning means making a choice. Many of us still want him to be successful and will support him if he shows a sense of purpose.

But he has to show that things will be different now. If he does not want this conservative government and his own leadership to be united with Nineveh and Tire, he needs to move on and fast.

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