The penny hasn’t dropped for many that we are about to go over the edge of a very steep financial cliff. Figures of a 2.2% contraction in the economy in the first quarter followed by early figures of a 20.4% drop in April alone betray a reality that says the UK is economically dropping like a stone.
Of those many, the few who really shouldn’t be there amongst them are the Members of the Government themselves.
Yet to observe the way that Boris, Sunak and Gove are swanning around like they are on the verge of reinventing the economic wheel, it is impossible to conclude anything other than the people running this Country should be the last ones involved.
It takes more front than seven Boris buses to proclaim you are about to be the saviours of an economic crisis that you actually created. But front isn’t something that the Johnson Government is short of. And front is all they have when it comes to covering their tracks.
There was a distinct lack of originality in the thinking that has led to countless job losses, business closures and all the other reckless policies born of the mother of all avoidable public policy travesties – the Lockdown itself.
Now, when we are so very desperate for a change in thinking that will not only save us from collectively dropping any further, but will make the best of the opportunities that the crisis has created, we are instead being treated to yet more shoehorning of old political ideas. This time they come from post-depression American economics and are being pumped into an unprecedented scene where none of the usual or tried and tested economic theories or ideas will apply.
Talk of restarting the economy with huge cash injections and years of infrastructure projects might make great headlines for Boris et al. But these are not the policies that the UK needs as we head into what are sure to be very uncertain times.
The pretence that this mess will be simple to solve needs to be ditched right now. People should to be treated like adults. They need to be told what to expect and be engaged so that they understand that whatever their background, whether they are employees, self-employed, company directors or corporate leaders, we are all in this together and we all have to play a very big part in putting right everything that is now wrong.
To try and give CPR to a system that was already broken before it was thrown under a bus is very cynical. It would be irresponsible even if it were possible to return the economy to where it was before the start of the COVID Pandemic. Regrettably it is not.
With the UK now beyond bankrupt, we need political leadership that looks forward in very different ways and forms. The free market economics that the Government wants to champion only work when there is a fully functioning marketplace that is able to perform.
Right now there isn’t. And what the Conservatives need to do as a priority is rethink what they are going to do.
It doesn’t matter what source or political direction the ideas come from. Getting the UK out of this mess is now all about identifying and implementing what will work.
It isn’t about reading a book, studying classics or looking at the leadership giants of history and cherry picking what you think will work.
The system now provides capitalism for the poor and socialism for the rich. That must now change if any good is to come in the chapter of our history that comes next.
Policies that continue to promote this disparity simply will not do.