Few people want to admit that we are not in control of ourselves and that we are at the mercy of events. Of course, such thinking can lead you to self-pity. It also requires us to recognize the dignified role that luck plays in our lives.
Political leaders tend to exaggerate their ability to shape the world in particular. Their work demands it. “Knowing your limits” is not a very motivational slogan for the bus side.
The Prime Minister fell into this trap last week when he claimed ownership of the supply chain crisis – disappointed some conservative colleagues. All parts of the plan, he suggested. He argued that the turmoil we face was the transition to a high-wage economy and the price paid to reduce our dependence on low-wage foreign workers after Brexit.
This is dangerous. Boris Johnson argues for major changes in the UK economy, with the prime minister skeptical of his destination, without full control of the lever, and his demand for companies to raise salaries.
Rishi Sunak is now openly distant from the prime minister’s economic vision, and raising wages without increasing productivity simply boosts inflation and defeats the goal of paying more to workers in the first place. I insist that it will be.
Of course, the prime minister is a bold political gymnast and often needs to free himself from the problems he has created or encourage them.
However, the factors behind the gas price crisis and Mr Johnson’s inflationary dismissal of the Grib could soon come back to annoy him.