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It's always jam tomorrow, never reality today for Boris Johnson

It's always jam tomorrow, never reality today for Boris Johnson


Aside from the bombast, the jokes and the Johnsonian style of speech, this speech was notable for what it lacked: a serious assessment and response to the challenges we face.

It was also a master class in defining the grand vision, that he alone would be the Prime Minister capable of revolutionizing the country, unlike the decades of drift and hesitation of previous conservative leaders of the last 30 years, only his proactive government could finally keep its promises.

Yet given the challenges the country faces, from supply chain issues to ever-rising gas prices, the omission of any reality check was shocking. Response from large companies and PME was informative.

The prime minister has for months dismissed their concerns about labor shortages and the export of red tape. His passing praise of technological unicorns will have done little to mend fences. Many business leaders have condemned the government's response to these problems.

Johnson's position reflects the tension at the heart of his government. Brexit has been supported by two groups with diametrically different views on what it means.

For some like Lord Wolfsonof which column in the standard highlighted a wider divide that dominated the conference, it's a chance to embrace global competition and, if necessary, continue to attract foreign workers.

For others, notably Red Wall voters, it is an opportunity to lift the immigration drawbridge and for the government to intervene more.

And therein lies the significance of yesterday's speech: Johnson has planted his flag firmly in the Red Wall camp. We can therefore expect tensions within the Brexit coalition and the Conservative Party to increase, especially as the cost of living increases.

Given the Prime Minister's rhetoric, it appears he is preparing the country for a long climb to the sunny highlands. He will tell how it will take time to wean the UK economy off cheap EU labor, how new infrastructure projects in the North cannot spring up overnight and how the pandemic has delayed all his brilliant projects.

It will be jam tomorrow. Again.

Learn more

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With more jokes than policies, Johnson ignores the crisis




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