Don’t tell me it’s a coincidence that the day the Chancellor of the Exchequer visits the HQ of the National Grid that the lights went out across Britain. We should be told if he said: “What does this button do?” just before much of the nation was plunged into darkness on Friday evening due to two power stations simultaneously being taken offline.
The cynics amongst us might point to the fact that this unique nationwide event became the “splash” headline across TV and radio, knocking the dreadful economic news off from the top spot. So, in case you did miss it, this week we discovered that the British economy shrank in the past three months – the first time it has done that in almost a decade. The indicators are also poor, meaning that as the next financial quarter closes on Brexit day, we could well be in a recession. What a fantastic way to start “regaining control”.
Economists explain that the number-one way of handling a recession is to slash interest rates to stimulate spending. Oh blimey, our interest rates are already close to zero, so there is no room for manoeuvre there. That means the only real option is an increase in national debt to finance consumer spending, with increased austerity to make up the difference.
Now, don’t go telling me that I’m a “doomster” or a “gloomster”. I’m only repeating what the Government has been explaining. They admit that “no-deal” will have an economic consequence and have released various statements in the week to let us “in” on their plans. They clearly know it is going to hurt, but combine that pain with a recession and the agony is going to continue, say some economists this week, for at least 20 years.
Indeed, the initial shock of “no-deal” is likely to be so financially painful that arch-Brexiteer Michael Gove proposed this week that the banks should be forced to close in the days after 31st October to help minimise the harm. His spin on that, though, was that it would give us a national opportunity to celebrate Brexit. Some hope.
Meanwhile, up in Scotland and over in Northern Ireland, it seems that many people are already celebrating. Polls there show a surge in support for independence, with more people in Scotland now supporting a break-away from the UK at the same time as dramatic growth in belief in a united Ireland. But that may also be another coincidence. Both of these rises in the desire to separate from the UK followed the visits of Prime Minister Boris “get off my laptop” Johnson. He turns up in Edinburgh and Belfast and the following day support for the United Kingdom drops. Don’t tell me that’s just a coincidence.
The Cabinet continues, though, to press ahead with what most of them voted against just a few months ago. They are presenting a united front for “no-deal” saying it is what the nation wanted. There is, of course, no evidence whatsoever for that claim. Yet, the Prime Minister who was not democratically chosen by the people of the UK claims he has to deliver “no-deal” because to do otherwise would disrespect democracy. Forked tongue.
The betting in Westminster is that the Cabinet is presenting this united front so that they can call an election and win it. But this week Tory donors said they would only support funding of an election campaign if Boris were to join forces with Nigel Farage in an alliance with the Brexit Party. Strange, isn’t it, that just as the Conservatives face a potential recession in their funding, the country is staring economic hardship right in its face. Another coincidence?
No-deal will not only hit the nation hard, but it will also hit the Tory party in its pocket. That, my friends, is where Boris and his cronies will start to see sense. They will realise that the only way to ensure the financial future of their party and avoid it being taken over by (as my Mum calls him) “Nutty Nigel”, is to help improve the financial future of the country. And almost every economist (including Brexit supporting ones who have advised Boris) now agree that the best way of doing that is to stay in the EU. Indeed, even the “remain” voting Chancellor must agree with that. Otherwise, why would he be putting in place massive financial plans to cope with the monetary chaos?
It’s no coincidence that the lights went out mysteriously, that the break-up of the UK is being forecast and that the Tory party donors are saying “we need Nigel”. It is all part of the same plot – to crank up the tension towards the end of October so that Boris can ride in on his white charger and say: “Phwoar, phwoar, phwoar, must save the nation, Socrates, Athenian polis.” Which roughly translated means, “We must do what the ancient Greeks did and save our nation by coming together with our friends and not separating.”
It’s all a massive plot to make “no-deal” so precipitously frightening that Boris can “save us all” by cancelling Brexit. And that’s the day the Daily Telegraph will publish the other article he wrote back in 2016 in support of “remain”.