The Conservative Party will soon have a fresh, new leader, and the country a new Prime Minister – but what we need is some fresh economic growth.
For those of you who have not noticed, inflation is at 9.1%, its highest since 1980. Also, at their highest since the 80s, is Kate Bush, whose song Running Up That Hill has soared back into popularity. Our friendly suits at the Bank of England certainly have a hill to run up, or, walk up (you know, stability) and Andrew Bailey says he is going to sort it out, no ifs, or buts.
The economy is currently on its but (see what I did there?) and it certainly doesn’t look like it will be running up anywhere, anytime soon. Of course, we were up there, but the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that the economy slowed to a halt, and spending diminished. In the aftermath of mask-wearing, vaccine-injecting pandemic-ing, our Conservative government’s best idea was to continue with the increase in National Insurance tax (yes, a tory government raising taxes in a recession, thanks Rishi).
But of course, the word INFLATION springs to mind (at a rate of 9.1% as a matter of fact). The rise in prices and the squeezing of household incomes have prompted some unions to take action, with railway workers walking out on strike earlier last month. The Postal Service has recently announced that it will also join the ranks of the striking, with the CWU assistant secretary stating that “the Senior Post Office leadership have wilfully refused to set out a sensible and fair pay agreement”.
If we ask our suits at the Bank of England however, I am sure they do not share the same sentiments. The UK’s central bank expects the CPI to rise to 11% before the year is up, and pay increases will just result in a wage-price spiral. Yet, Threadneedle Street is under siege, as Tory leadership contender Tom Tugendhat accused the Bank of England of stoking inflation through bond-buying. I’m not sure Bailey will back him for the premiership.
A surprising effect of this Tory leadership race is the rebirth of Thatcherism (this really is the 80s!) with the former chancellor and current 1st place runner Rishi Sunak saying he’ll deploy “common sense Thatcherism” and “run the economy like Thatcher” (there go the North’s hopes for being levelled up). Rising star Penny Mordaunt, who has already fashioned herself as PM in her campaign, has stated that she will ignite the “Tory sense of self” and announced her plans for a modern economy focused on growth and competition. We certainly need a bit of growth, but until the right candidate walks into Number 10, we are in for an uphill battle.
We need to get our act together, Boris Johnson’s resignation signals to British politics that the party is over, time for actual leadership from our leaders.
The current cost-of-living crisis and the UK’s flirtation with recession means we may see a return to the new-right policies of the Thatcher days, or, as Rishi likes to call it, “common sense Thatcherism”. But if common sense is one of his campaign policies… what the hell have we been using up until now?!
Edited and Reviewed by Tanish Bagga.