The British government wants an economic boom


TER modern Conservatives only have two emotional realms: arrogance and panic. Before the Chesham and Amersham by-elections on June 17, the whole country, with the exception of the decadent cities, was proud to be painted in Tory Blue soon. After a majority of more than 16,000 Conservatives turned to more than 8,000 Liberal Democrats, long-time Tory voters think of Sher ruin as they escape fears of new high-speed links and homes, back to Labor.

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Both arrogance and panic are exaggerated. In a poll published June 21, the Conservative Party outperformed the Labor Party by 11 points in well over 100 polls in a row. The workforce comes under the blunt Sir Kiel Starmer. The Liberal Democratic Party returned to its protest style when the 2010-2015 coalition with the Conservatives faded into wide memory. The emerging Greens continue to disrupt the votes against the Tory. But the by-elections showed something. The Conservatives have serious problems with growing politics.

Governments love growth for the obvious reason: the more growth it has, the healthier its finances and the easier it is to do fun things like tax cuts and higher public spending. But they also fear it because it annoys people. High immigration, both a cause and a consequence of the growth, bothered many Britons and voted for Brexit. And usually there are no new housing developments or railroad lines to offend and organize the quiet people.

This universal problem is particularly serious for the Tories. Boris Johnson tells voters his version of Brexit will keep taxes low and pensions high while keeping what matters most to them (the big one for the National Health Service and Beat’s new Bobby Battalion). ) has seized power by promising to allow more spending. He’s a cake-eating politician who breaks the promise of the Flash project, a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland. New royal yacht! In addition to the huge unplanned expenses to fight Covid-19, there are financial nightmares. Without faster growth, only higher taxes and lower spending can end the nightmare.

But Johnson’s voters are ambiguous about growth. You could theoretically agree, but disagree if it affects your life. A loyal party is like JRR Tolkien’s hobbit who just wants to live in a manicured hobbit hole overlooking rivers and meadows. In the 2019 election, more than half of Tories voters were over 55 and a third were retired. An unbalanced percentage owned their own home and was on the defined benefit plan. For them, growth is just a downside. When the economy stagnates they are still cozy and cozy, but when it is booming they find the trains crowded or their view ruined. may be.

Compared to voters who doubt the need for growth, it will be difficult enough if growth can be achieved easily. However, many economists believe that the aging Western nations are entering into a Japanese-style stagnation. After a brief post-pandemic boom, they expect growth to level off at around 1.5% per year, well below 2.7% in the early 2000s, not to mention over 3% as it was in the 1960s. .. You suspect that politics has found a new formula to replace the now outdated, decades-long legitimacy of the free market. Again, these problems are particularly serious in the UK. It has long since eaten up the unmanageable consequences of privatization and deregulation. What remains has shrunk and is difficult to achieve.

The government is deeply divided on these issues. Johnson instinctively takes the side of the big government. He compared himself to Michael Heseltine, a leading critic of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, who promised to “intervene before lunch, tea, and dinner.” Its Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is more market-oriented, with his commitment to “upgrade,” the use of policies and spending to drive growth in backward 1970s-style areas. I fear that this can lead to waste and relief. -Out of a failed deal.

The government has some decent growth ideas. It is right to plan more for the infrastructure in the north that has remained unchanged for a long time. It is also worth upgrading Britain’s gruesome professional education and capitalizing on its excellence in life sciences. But this not only requires slogans and speeches, but also what the German sociologist Max Weber called “the slow boredom of hardboard”. You will also have to take on the hobbits and, instead of ascending, perhaps widen regional disparities. For example, the best way to turn the UK into a scientific superpower is to focus development on the already crowded and prosperous golden triangles of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Dig in

But coupled with resistance from Tory voters, the unrest at the top of the government could make the slow boredom of hardboard impossible. Politics will collapse between prime ministers. Insiders have complained that Johnson’s great promise was dashed by Snacks’ failure to make money. Shire’s Hobbit argues that a house is certainly needed, but while it’s the most expensive and sophisticated place, it should be built in the north or town, rather than in his backyard. Last year, the back bench rebellion forced the government to abandon the house building algorithms that aim to remove politics from planning.

It could just remain symbolic politics with little impact on growth, like the free haven, which Johnson recently highlighted as one of the key dividends of Brexit. The loyal party can be happy, and the Tories can keep winning. However, the children of Brexit voters who were left behind are still lagging behind, and Shire Hobbit children cannot afford their holes. â– â– 

This article was published in the UK part of the print version under the heading “Growing Pains”.


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