Two years ago this month, Boris Johnson declared himself “Brexity Heza” to a colleague in the Cabinet.
A bid to reassure the moderate Tories, their new prime minister was not a ferocious right wing, but in fact had more in common with his former worshiper Michael Heseltine.
Britain’s departure from the EU has certainly happened, but within weeks of Britain’s official departure from the EU, a pandemic landed, proving that the Prime Minister was not really afraid of the intervention of the Hesertinian state.
In particular, the Treasury’s layoff system was the largest direct government support since World War II.
But beyond Brexit, Johnson showed that he wasn’t a free marketer for Suckerite (in fact, Hazeltine, who helped secure his succession as Henry’s MP, was a one-nation conservative. It was his taste).
And his reaction to the recent crisis of rising energy prices suggests that he is certainly open to states stepping into other areas that would offend Mrs. T’s worshipers. ..
Heseltine, when he was President of the Board of Trade in the United Kingdom in the mid-’90s, famously declared that he would “intervene before breakfast, before lunch, before tea, and before dinner.”
Even before Britain woke up for breakfast on Monday, the Prime Minister was at a tarmac in New York parading his own interventionist tendencies.
“We must try to fix it as soon as possible, make sure we have the supplies we want and make sure that the company we depend on does not allow it to fall. Please, “he said. “As the market has begun to classify itself,” there was an important warning suggesting that no modification would be necessary in the long run.
The Prime Minister’s words highlighted his knack for discovering public anxiety, providing a bright sense of security, and explaining things in a user-friendly format (rising gas prices allow TV viewers to take a break from advertising. The kettle was a classic of this genre).
Still, a few hours later, Secretary-General Kwasi Kwaten’s speech at Commons suggested that the Prime Minister’s instincts were not exactly in line with the detailed plans.
The prime minister said he would not allow businesses to go bankrupt, but Mr. Quarten warned that the government would “not bail out failed businesses.”
While Johnson was talking about securing supplies, Mr. Quarten said Britain had enough supplies and “did not expect a supplies emergency to occur this winter.”
Quarten’s prediction that former Prime Minister Edward Heath (which happened to be another one-nation conservative) was absent three days a week and that the lights wouldn’t go out is reminiscent of politics. bottom. The pitfalls of energy supply.
More importantly, his emphasis on “consumer protection” being his “main focus” is the issue of daily bread and butter “living costs” that conservatives affect millions. He emphasized the need to show that he is touching.
But for the government, which is already pushing for tax increases and universal credit cuts, the timing of gas price hikes wasn’t at its worst.
The latest figures from the Resolution Foundation show that energy prices will skyrocket next month, just as the four million beneficiaries face a £ 20 weekly reduction in disposable income. increase.
The fact that 40% of Universal Credit households use prepaid meters shows how vulnerable they are to billing spikes.
When Kwarteng said this winter, “It’s perfectly fine that people can’t warm their homes,” it was difficult to see how he was so categorical without a big new initiative.
One solution could be an extension of the “warm home discount” scheme, which gives a one-time £ 140 discount on winter energy tariffs that the minister said “seeing.”
Kwarteng was particularly shy in detail, but other broader policies include government-backed loans for large companies to take on threatened SME customers, and to drive people away until they are taken over. It may contain some kind of “bad bank”.
Labor and Greens have some power in their argument that the minister ignored the demand part of this equation other than supply.
Kwarteng has asked questions about lack of gas storage, failure of energy efficiency schemes, and inadequate promotion of renewable energy, but perhaps the biggest failure is the complete lack of an overall consistent strategy.
Quarten’s sector is theoretically “for business, energy and industrial strategy”, but within a few weeks of being appointed Secretary of State, it abolished the government’s Internal Industrial Strategy Council (ISC).
The council, led by former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldan, was a way for businesses to collaborate in promoting revitalization.
Given that the ISC wrote a very critical report on the prime minister’s lack of “leveling up” just a year ago, its abolition in March of this year felt revenge cold and helpful.
At the time, Mr. Quarten even hinted that he could abandon the name of his division, saying he wanted to mark “a break from the industrial strategic brand.”
Fast-forwarding in September 2021, the Prime Minister seems to be learning the difficult ways needed to make more strategies and plan ahead.
On Sunday, he appointed Halden as the first head of his new level-up task force.
Installing a true expert to devise and implement a difficult-to-define sound bite strategy certainly makes sense for many Red Wall Tory MPs. In fact, it sounded exactly like Michael Heseltine did.