IT’S true. You really can’t fool all of the people all of the time, as Boris in full Barnum and Bailey mode will ultimately find out.
It is one of the unlovelier aspects of his administration – and we are rather spoilt for choice here – that when several different varieties of solid matter connect with the fan, they can always find someone else to blame.
It’s quite clearly the fault of business and industry that they failed to plan for all the labour shortages they were assured would never happen in the wonderful world of Brexit.
And who else to blame but the perfidious European Commission for the fact that there is now a “border” in the Irish Sea; a border the PM assured the Northern Ireland Unionists was absolutely never, ever going to happen on his watch.
New checks? Pah! Inverted pile of piffle! Nought but a Remoaner work of fiction! Until his chickens came home to roost – or would have done if he could only find a bloody lorry driver to transport them.
As for David, Lord Frost, principal architect of the hardest possible Brexit; now the hapless negotiator who has the effrontery to blame the EU for agreeing to the protocol he designed to, altogether now, GET BREXIT DONE.
Whilst the country is now increasingly undone, the country is looking on in disbelief as some of our most illustrious traders, and many of our major industries find they can’t supply produce without the skilled labour force now banned as uncontrolled migrants.
Worse still they are having to pour away, or slaughter, or dump all manner of foodstuffs which will never now reach the food chain. Pigs slaughtered not for bacon and pork, but for lack of abattoir staff. Milk literally going down the drain. Seafood and fish products rendered too rotten by Brexit bureaucracy.
Global Britain? More like bankrupt Britain.
But look, over here! Over there! Everyone is suffering the same! It’s a global crisis! It’s the pandemic! It’s absolutely any blasted thing except the fault of a government dwelling not so much on a different planet but in an entirely separate universe.
The unpalatable fact for the Westminster government is that whilst the world is indeed experiencing collective difficulties over things like gas prices, and labour, this is immeasurably easier to deal with when you are part of a marketplace with free movement of workers and a common energy policy.
Why would an HGV driver come over here on a short-term contract when he can access long-term security of employment in Germany? And what a commentary on the Home Office’s perverse migrant policies, that it has been reduced to begging some of the workers they deemed surplus to requirements to please come back for a bit a dig their tormentors out of a hole.
As not unfriendly outlets like the New York Times have pointed out, Britain is unique in that it chose the moment of maximum pandemic peril to shoot itself in both feet. The government which intones that a referendum on Scottish independence is unthinkable at a time of Covid, used that precise moment further to sabotage its own economy.
You may recall that one of the crucial bonuses of Brexit was going to be a mouth watering trade deal with America, on which uncle Joe Biden, fearful for the Irish peace process, has just poured ice cold water.
Instead the hapless Liz Truss, she who trumpeted about trade deals sometimes only slightly worse than we already had as an EU member, did deals with folks like the Aussies whose farming methods successive UK agriculture ministers said we would never, ever accept.
Now she’s been let loose in the Foreign Office. You have to feel for them. Johnson, then Raab, now Truss. They may well ask what they have done to deserve such serial humiliation.
Government by cheap slogan is just that. It is neither a detailed plan, nor anything resembling an admission that it has acted in ideological haste so that the rest of us may repent at leisure. Brexit, once the cure all word on every Tory’s lips, never dares speak its name these days.
The Tory conference mantra was a “high wage, high skills” economy. What’s wrong with that? Let me count the ways.
First off you can’t wave a wand which will a) deliver an instantly retrained workforce b) get people laid off in Cornwall to drive lorries from Coatbridge and c) do either of the above whilst still persuading enough people to plug the resultant gaps in other sectors.
Oh, and give no comfort whatsoever to all those public service workers whose pay is frozen.
Plus who will replace the care and health workers who legged it back to Europe when Patel put the welcome mat in the shredder? Or the seasonal and experienced workforce who came over her to pick our fruit, pluck our turkeys, and pick, prep and pack our vegetables? A shortage of drivers and farmworkers is serious enough. What about the frail elderly left without sufficient carers to keep them safe?
Here is a news flash Mr Johnson. There is not a four deep queue of newly redundant, post-furlough workers in all manner of white and blue collar sectors with a burning desire to take up a new “opportunity” in UK slaughterhouses.
It’s not fair to blame his government for making policy on the hoof, because they’re not making policy at all. Oh how his audience chortled as he gagged his way through 45 minutes of cabaret without a shred of actual, visible planning.
Some of them must know, in the dark hours of the night, that in an age crying out for seriousness and pragmatism they have managed to elect a court jester. And foisted him on the rest of us.
Not having two coherent, thought through policies to rub together would be bad enough, but here we have a government who considers it ethically acceptable to rob the poor whilst failing to tax those of the rich who stash their wealth out of the reach of the taxman.
Whether that uplift on an already piss poor Universal Credit was meant to be temporary or not, it was introduced at a time of real need, but less need than now with rising food and fuel prices and a tax hike just round the corner.
To cut that benefit now is not just utterly immoral, but will result in the kind of family hardship about which not a one of Johnson’s well heeled colleagues have the smallest clue.
A chancellor whose missus is richer than the Queen, and, as the National reported, a Scotland Secretary who unblushingly took massive farm subsidies whilst nodding through Universal Credit cuts.
Not to mention a cabinet which has more multimillionaires per square inch than Monaco.
YET they are all also MPs. They will find ,as the chill winds of economic downturns blow through their constituencies, all the old mythology about trusting the Tories with the economy will have a very hollow ring.
What you can trust them to do is feather their own nests, whilst quite failing to register the pain of poverty now afflicting working and non working families alike.
Failing even to grasp that there are people – single parents, full time carers, disabled, chronic invalids – and many more citizens for whom the chat about high wage, high skill futures is utterly irrelevant.
I have lived involuntarily through many Tory administrations, as a Scot who has never voted for them, but I have never encountered a government as incompetent, blundering, and downright malign as this one.
This winter they will be inflicting pain and hardship on many millions of people whose only fault is failing to have been born with the silver spoon of entitlement in their mouths.