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Boris's Blundering Brilliance
This "lovable buffoon," as he's called now by journalists and politicos as well as former Labour voters turning Tory in focus groups in the Midlands, has skillfully maneuvered toward a full term as prime minister and perhaps toward an era in British politics when the Conservative Party is defined less by Thatcherism than Borisism. Through complete lack of principle, endless charm, and ruthless ambition, he has managed to bring about a possibility that, not too long ago, probably only he allowed himself to fantasize about: that he would become not just prime minister but a significant one.

[...] Johnson's ideological flexibility was key - so much so that it led him to resist the more doctrinaire forces in his own party. As mayor, Johnson complained about the austerity measures of the Tory Cameron government. And as prime minister, he has immediately ramped up public spending on the police, schools, and hospitals. He shelved a previous proposal to lower the corporation tax and has focused on raising the income threshold at which Brits pay the equivalent of the Social Security tax and on raising the minimum wage nationwide. He has urged people to "Buy British" - a slogan anathema to market economics. Whether this is posturing or serious, no one knows exactly, but it sure is a sharp move rhetorically left for the Tories, away from the wealthy and austerity and toward the working poor and debt.

by das monde on Mon Dec 9th, 2019 at 09:56:39 AM EST
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