Opinions on Boris: Johnson’s Westminster Cabinet is Far to the Right of Thatcher, a 19th Century Throwback

ER Editor: Please note that at ER, we are strongly for national sovereignty and democratic freedoms, and are thus for Brexit. Any criticism of Johnson is made independently of his seeming ability to get a No Deal Brexit delivered. John Wight below, however, makes an excellent and unfortunate point about what Johnson will achieve for Trump through his version of Brexit.
And we also recommend this piece by Finian Cunningham titled Boris Back to the Future – of Victorian Empire and Poverty. Of note: 

What should be alarming is the way Johnson has immediately packed his new Cabinet with hardline Conservative Brexiteers who invariably share a gung-ho neoliberal ideology on economic policy as well as hawkish foreign policy. His new foreign secretary is Dominic Raab, who like Johnson, suffers from rabid Russophobia and delusions about the Skripal saga as a Putin-ordered assassination plot.

In his bid to become new prime minister to replace the hapless Theresa May, Johnson said he was committed to raising tax breaks for the rich and to lowering corporation tax. This is the same failed economic policy that has resulted in massive inequality and poverty in countless other nations over many decades. No more so than in the US and Britain, where rising poverty levels are reversing previous historic progressive gains in those societies.

The only way that a Brexit from Europe would work would be if British politics and economics became dramatically democratized based on the priorities of working people and their families. The neoliberalism of the EU (albeit softer than that of the US or Britain) is worthy of contempt and repudiation. It is understandable why a majority of Britons voted to leave the EU.

But what they will get under a Boris Johnson “independent” Britain is an elitist country geared to attract foreign capital at any cost with tax breaks for the rich and corporations. Public investment promises can be taken with a pinch of salt. The new hardline Conservative government under Johnson will pay for wealth incentives by hammering the wider working population with even more vicious economic austerity.

It’s not going to be pretty for Britain in the next few years. Already disturbing signs of social breakdown (homelessness, poverty, in-work misery, crumbling education and health, and crime) will become magnified as Johnson and his Neo-imperialists in government chase after their illusory plan to “Make Britain Great Again” – à la Trump.


Johnson’s Westminster Cabinet is Far to the Right of Thatcher

I can only imagine that the media people who are saying that this is the most right wing cabinet since the 1980’s were not sentient in the 80’s.

Thatcher never had a Home Secretary remotely as illiberal as Pritti Patel, never had a Foreign Secretary remotely as xenophobic as Dominic Raab (far right on meme), never even had a Chancellor as anti-State intervention as Sajid Javid (though came closer there) and never had a Defence Secretary as bellicose as Ben Wallace.
Even Thatcher’s final and most right wing Cabinet contained figures like Ken Clarke, Chris Patten, John Major, Virginia Bottomley, Douglas Hurd and William Waldegrave. All Tories with whom I have fundamental disagreements, but every single one of them is far, far to the left of virtually all of Johnson’s appalling cronies.

Thatcher deliberately and cruelly wrecked the social democratic society in which I grew up, with the aim of destroying any ability for working people to be protected against the whims of the wealthy.

But Thatcher never introduced privatisation into the NHS or state schools – that was her acolyte Blair. She maintained free university education in England and Wales. That was destroyed by Blair, too. We should be more rigorous than to accept Thatcher as the definitive most right wing government possible. It is not only lazy, it obscures the fact we now have the most right wing British government since 1832.

Pritti Patel is a Home Secretary who admires the approach to law and order of Benjamin Netanyahu and voted against a measure to prevent pregnant asylum seekers being slammed into immigration detention pending hearing. Savid Javid is a Chancellor who materially caused the problems of British Steel by, as Business Secretary, vetoing in Brussels tariffs against dumped Chinese steel. Dominic Raab is a foreign secretary who negotiated a deal with the EU, then resigned because it was so bad.

This is the biggest political shock to hit the UK in my lifetime, and it is potentially worse than Thatcher. Here in Scotland, we need to move immediately for Independence. The time for talking really is behind us.

Original article



BoJo’s cabinet is a free market Taliban unleashed


BoJo’s cabinet is a free market Taliban unleashed
Just one day into his premiership and it’s already clear that Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson means business. The question is: what kind?

There’s wielding the knife and there’s wielding the knife, and Johnson, with his merciless cull of Theresa May’s deadwood from his new cabinet, has moved with the alacrity of the leader of a right-wing coup rather than a democracy to assemble around him a cabinet of ideologues, Russophobes, and politicians from the far reaches of the swivel-eyed margins.

This is a cabinet of men and women for whom the British Empire did not die but instead went to sleep, with their role, when it comes right down to it, to rouse it awake in the hearts and minds of the British public at home, while acting on the world stage as if it’s return is what the world desperately needs.

Johnson has breezed into Number-10 with the energy of Winston Churchill and the delusions of Anthony Eden, the feckless prime minister who led the country into the disaster of Suez in 1956. The boundless confidence he radiates is that of the newly installed leader of a Roman satellite state who’s received the most important endorsement of all – not that of his own people – but that of Caesar (Trump) in Rome (Washington).

Whilst foreign secretary, Johnson was more Catholic than the Pope when it came to attacking Russia; in 2016 going so far as to call for demonstrations outside the Russian Embassy in London over Russia’s role in the conflict in Syria. And the man he’s picked as his own foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, is cut from the same cloth.

Throughout the still unsolved Skripals case, Raab was a regular fixture in the British media cryingRussia! Russia! It’s all Russia!” despite the lack of conclusive evidence to support such a charge.

Even more worrying where Raab is concerned is his association with the extreme free market think tank, the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA). In fact, the IEA is less a think tank and more a free market Taliban presenting itself as one, boasting a membership of cranks who make Maggie Thatcher look like Lenin’s wife.

Among the IEA’s more extreme recommendations are the complete privatisation of healthcare, minimal regulation of financial markets (this despite the 2008 financial crash), and an end to controls on tobacco advertising.

The IEA’s unofficial parliamentary Conservative wing is the Free Enterprise Group. Established in 2010 to tie in with the election of the then new Tory-Lib Dem coalition government, its members, along with Dominic Raab, include James Cleverly, Kwasi Kwarteng, Matt Hancock, Priti Patel, Sajid Javid and Chris Skidmore.

What all of the above have in common is their inclusion in Boris Johnson’s new cabinet.

For such people the state does not exist to protect the rights and welfare of the many, but to ensure the freedom of the few to amass as much wealth as possible from the labor of the many with little or no interference. Tax is a dirty word. Regulation is a dirty word. Health and safety are dirty words. As for workers’ rights, you must be having a laugh.

This is a government of the 19th century, by the 19th century, and for the 19th century, where those are concerned.

And yet there are many workers who will support this government. Why? Simply because of the sense of purpose, energy and ideological conviction it has already infused into the UK political arena. It is a political arena that had become as stale as month-old bread over a Brexit crisis, rendered worse by a May government and Corbyn-led opposition in making a virtue of triangulation.

Looking west to Washington, Trump knows that in Boris Johnson he has himself a reliable ally in the war against political correctness, ID politics, and multinational trading and political blocs. He knows also that the no-deal Brexit that Johnson and his team of ideologically-driven zealots are determined to achieve will make the UK putty in the hands of his administration, allowing it to drive the kind of free market bilateral trade agreement he relishes.

The NHS appears now more vulnerable than ever, as does the other few remaining not-for-profit public services in Britain – the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for example – as US corporations and their shareholders shiver with excitement at the prospect.

Just as a society gets the criminals it deserves, so it gets the governments it deserves, with in many cases it being impossible to tell the difference. Bungling Boris, the feckless British foreign secretary, has suddenly metamorphosed into Dynamic Boris, Britain’s new prime minister, standing on the shoulders of his political hero Winston Churchill, determined to Make Britain Great Again.

In truth and in fact, a no-deal Brexit Johnson government will be just as great as Trump allows it to be. Because in leaving the fire of Brussels, this is a government that will jump straight into the frying pan of Washington.

Hold onto your hats and grab your popcorn, because the political version of Apocalypse Now has just begun.

Original article



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1 Comment on Opinions on Boris: Johnson’s Westminster Cabinet is Far to the Right of Thatcher, a 19th Century Throwback

  1. Agreed, he misses this. I just googled Thatcher+Israel and got an interesting piece titled Britain and Zionism: Did Margaret Thatcher betray Balfour?

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