LAST week economist and analyst Ewen Stewart wrote on the existential challenge facing Britain. It should be the first thing the new Prime Minister reads when she arrives in Downing Street.
The problem is more than economics, though that is staggeringly huge; it is more than political, though the consequences of delivering the opposite of what you promised, as Johnson did with his catastrophic imposition of a Chinese lockdown and shutting down the entire economy (his decision over the Ukraine war was but the last straw) is too. It is also more than a matter of formulating the right fiscal policies to restart the economy, realistically set out by Stewart here. The problem is most fundamentally about culture: ‘If Britain is to survive in any recognisable form, a total and utter change of direction is required and urgently. So far I am not hearing that echo from the bridge,’ he says.
We have to pray that echo could be heard in Ms Truss’s victory speech yesterday when she said, ‘I campaigned as a conservative and I will govern as a conservative.’ To convince us of that she must acknowledge where twelve wasted years of a feckless, ‘conservative in name only’ virtue signalling (the opposite of virtuous) government has led us – to near national suicide.
Stewart is one of the very few economists who has got it right from the start and understands these various dimensions to the problem. Here is a reminder of an interview with him nearly a year ago on the folly of lockdown, the start of the energy crisis and looming inflation, before people knew where Ukraine was on the map.