Sunak Has Been Set Up To Fail and the Likelihood Is That He Will

Yves here. Richard Murphy presents a devastating list of the problems facing the UK, how difficult it will be to address them, why the Bank of England is going down the wrong path and how Sunak is set to make his own fundamental errors.

This post has far broader implications that the fate of Sunak. Most of the items in Murphy’s tally apply to the US and Europe.

By Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and a political economist. He has been described by the Guardian newspaper as an “anti-poverty campaigner and tax expert”. He is Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London and Director of Tax Research UK. He is a non-executive director of Cambridge Econometrics. He is a member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Originally published at Tax Research UK

I posted this thread on Twitter this morning:

Rishi Sunak could be a great prime minister. That possibility cannot be denied. Equally, the probability that he will be is very small. A thread…

History does not suggest that many prime ministers appointed mid-term with their predecessor having failed turn out to be great. Sunak has two failed predecessors. That’s really not good.

That Sunak is petrified of the role he is taking on does not help. How do I know he is petrified? First, he spoke to no one during this campaign, not even MPs. Second, his speech to Tories at their HQ yesterday was as wooden as anything Truss has done. He is already overwhelmed.

Third, the issues he has to address justify his feeling overwhelmed, given the near impossibility of appeasing his backbenchers on almost any of them. They could all be solved, but not by a Tory.

They include:

– Brexit, which does not and never will work.
– Division over Northern Ireland.
– Scotland wishing to leave the Union, to which Tories have no answer.
– Covid, which is crippling the NHS with more cases than ever.
– No progress on climate change.

Then there is:

– Inflation, which is not caused by wage demands, meaning what the government and Bank of England are seeking to do by raising interest rates is the wrong solution to the problem we face.
– Strikes, because people need inflation matching pay rises to survive.

Top that with:

– A cost of living crisis, which inflation policy is not addressing.
– Officially encouraged interest rate rises that massively increase the scale of the cost of living crisis. Millions of British people face poverty and even financial destitution as a result.

It’s fair in that case to assume we will have:

– An increase in homelessness as people cannot pay their rents or mortgages.
– Overwhelmed food banks.
– Hungry children, who might be homeless too.

Mix into all this:

– The fact that vast numbers of small businesses are in deep trouble because of interest rate increases and because people who can’t pay their mortgages or rent have nothing left to spend on anything else.
– Unemployment is going to increase as a result.

Then note the problems for a man wanting to balance the government budget:

– Record NHS waiting lists.
– A failing court system.
– Social care beyond breaking.
– Education stretched to its limits.
– Increased defence demand.
– An alienated civil service.

Nothing can be cut.

Sunak’s own policies are only likely to make this worse:

– Unemployment is forecast to increase significantly by the Bank of England.
– Universal credit costs will rise.
– Falling real wage increases push up benefit claims.
– Increasing rents require more benefit payments.

The current cost of living crisis will also cut some tax revenues in real terms.

– Rents, mortgages and food will be a bigger party of spending. None have VAT on them.
– Energy has low VAT.
– Companies not making profits don’t pay tax.
– Nor do most unemployed people.

Sunak won’t be balancing any books any time soon then. But he has to:

– Keep markets happy because that is apparently his main job.
– Fill a supposed ‘black hole’ in government finances without creating new money, which he did during the Covid era.

Sunak has to succeed despite these constraints:

– Crazy demands from across the Tory party, that are irreconcilable.
– Demands for balanced budgets that are exactly the wrong economic policy for this moment.
– A kamikaze Bank of England intent on crashing the economy.

There are policies Sunak could use to address the issues he faces. He could:

– Use QE to fund spending to address the cost of living and continuing Covid crises, quite legitimately.
– Tell the Bank of England to hold or even cut interest rates.

He could also:

– Massively reduce the interest paid by the government to banks in their funds held at the Bank of England.
– Change the rules on ISA and pension saving to provide funding for a £100 billion a year Green New Deal to deliver sustainability and beat recession.

And he could:

– Give the public services and their staff the funding it needs.
– Pay public sector employees inflation matching pay rises to stop them leaving, for good.
– Raise taxes on energy companies, banks and the wealthiest to pay for this, with ease.

But the Tories won’t let Sunak do these things. They will instead demand the impossible from him. Markets might do the same. His inability to challenge the madness at the Bank of England will undermine him. His own lack of a mandate is fatal.

Sunak could not have been better set up to fail by anyone. And I suspect he will fail. But that is not because this country’s problems cannot be solved. They can be, but not by a Tory constrained by that party whilst he is in awe of markets and the Bank of England.

Sunak’s task is impossible because of the constraints imposed on him and those he has chosen. And we will all pay an enormous price for that.

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  1. LAS

    I’m an imbecile about how politics work in England. Why wasn’t a general election called after so many prime minister shuffles? It badly hamstrings the possible policy responses to only have conservative prime ministers at this time.

  2. Massinissa

    I’m not even certain he can make it to the next election, though he can probably outlast Truss at least.. And a cabbage.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      One of my Northern Ireland colleagues suggested that while he will certainly outlast green veg, she has a bet on that he won’t outlive on her late season potatoes.

    2. Wukchumni

      Heard a leek in the office that the cress of the wave took an endive…

      …take kale & carry on, but alas there is no frisée lunch

    3. Alice X

      …probably outlast Truss at least.. And a cabbage.

      Don’t count the cabbage out, they last longer than lettuce. Especially when people are asked to endure austerity from a guy with a heated swimming pool.

      1. sharonsj

        As soon as they described him as richer than King Charles III and an alum of Goldman Sachs, I knew he wouldn’t last nor figure out how to help the average Brit. I don’t really gamble, so I’ll bet my baby carrots against against the cabbage.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      And he too won’t last long. The UK is looking at a revolution at this point. The Queen really exited at the right moment.

  3. Paradan

    Okay so what Sunak should on his first day is get all the MPs together, take them outside, and build a giant wicker economist….

    1. ambrit

      Alas, instead of showing up to the Econo-Roast as the Laird of Summerisle, the shade of the late Christopher Lee would appear as the Lord of Isengard.
      The times are too fell for gladsome tidings.

  4. The Rev Kev

    By the sounds of it, Sunak will be long gone by the time of the next British general election in 2024. It seems that at this point, it is too hard to guess where the UK will be by this time next year much less than by the time of the next elections. Certainly there is no point trying to guess who the Prime Minister will be by next November. What an age we live in. But for now? The dog just caught the car.

    1. Wukchumni

      Kinda has the feel of 1888: the year of the 3 Prussian Emperors, but Sunak would have to make a hasty exit similar to Truss to complete the troika.

      1. ambrit

        Given how spineless and reactionary today’s Labour leadership is, A Government of National Unity led by a “faceless bureaucrat” is not too unlikely an occurrence.
        (The definitions of “national” and “unity” are open to debate, just as is the case here in The Americas.)

    2. Old Sovietologist

      I’m taking a contrarian approach.

      The Conservatives have found the unity of desperation and have recognised the old maxim if they don’t hang together they’ll hang separately.

      It’ll be interesting to see how long this new unity holds. However. Starmer and Labour still have a way to go to No.10. Starmer will have to start earning his corn again by attacking the policies and the record and of course starting to give us a clue as to what a mid-2020s Labour Government might do and look like.

      Starmer is actually dreadful still banging on about “lettuce” The man just has zero “feel and is a total dud.

      If the coming winter isn’t the dystopia predicted and there is little margin for error, then Sunak will be in a decent position.

      The delay of the financial statement suggests to me some very hard conversations within Government and the Sunak-Hunt relationship will be critical. It will be fascinating to see if what is produced in the middle of next month is Hunt’s work or whether it has Sunak’s fingerprints all over it.

      Tax rises and spending cuts are rarely popular and the scope for the latter now isn’t what it was in 2010 for example. The demands on public sector spending are and remain considerable and unrelenting. Knowing Sunak, he will seek all manner of clever ways to raise funds without it impacting too directly on people though business and some other sectors may not agree.

  5. flora

    Sunak is Goldman Sachs (2001 – 2004) as well as WEF. I’m not sure he’d do these tax increases, better govt funding, etc proposals even if his party backed the effort.

    An aside: the central banks and the business globalists have worked together for decades. Now that western finance seems to be coming apart I wonder if the central banks are starting to break away from supporting what is good for the globalists in the attempt to save their own legitimacy. A ‘war’ between nations’ central banks and the globalists? Just a thought.

  6. Tom Pfotzer

    Thank you, Richard Murphy. That was a masterful, thorough, and accurate assessment of the situation. And as Yves points out, it applies here in the U.S. as well.

    The U.S. is a few steps / years behind the U.K., but not that far.

    Great work.


    Even if the proscriptions set out above by Richard Murphy were followed, would it be enough?

    I don’t think backing off QT, or taxing the rich (good idea, tho), or even interest rate reductions will be enough. If social programs are going to be expanded (transfer payments, more Gov’t hiring / pay raises), then money supply has to increase..leading to more inflation….unless…

    the social programs take the form of production capacity increases, then this might work because tax revenues, production (domestic supply of goods for sale), and labor wages would likely increase as the money supply increases.

    Has anyone run the numbers on this in either UK or here in the U.S.?

    Is it time for a Civilian Conservation Corps that builds factories?

    1. QuantumSoma

      Remember, it wasn’t the New Deal that ended the depression, it was “WW2”. Which was a period where the US was effectively a planned economy. There’s no simpler way to solve a bunch of clearly defined problems than to just do it directly. Planned economies really only start to have problems when they outlast their specified goals, and start to stagnate.

      1. Darius

        The Depression was mostly over by 1936, which saw the US economy grow by 12 percent. Then FDR and the Democrats indulged their austerity instincts and sent the economy into a steep recession that took another four years to climb out of.

    2. Karl

      The U.S. is a few steps / years behind the U.K., but not that far.

      I think that’s generous. I think Murphy described the current state of the U.S. right now, pretty much, to a “tee”. One difference is that we in the U.S. have been comfortable with structural deficits lately (hoping to forestall austerity) but when the Dems lose the House and Senate we’ll be back to big fights over the budget every time the debt ceiling needs to be raised. Then renewed austerity will be upon us.

      Reading this list of UK (and not so coincidentally, US) ills reinforces in my mind that “demand destruction” (recession) can no longer be the solution to inflation, whether it is supply induced OR demand induced. This policy falls disproportionately on the most vulnerable (always the case) but now it’s intolerable because, after decades of whittling down wages, there is virtually no margin between demand destruction during recession and widespread destitution. I.e. increased homelessness and other ills, which have already reached the breaking point even before the next recession has fully set in. In short, unlike the past, the side effects of the “solution” are now intolerably worse than the cure. The Fed (and Biden) seem utterly oblivious to this fact. Our gerontocracy are ruling like we’re still in the ’80’s–a supremely wealthy country with a pretty robust working/middle class, and a Cold War to contend with (that is now getting increasingly hot).

      Of course, the powers that be don’t acknowledge any of this, at least in public. We in the U.S., like always (famously) the UK, will try to “muddle through.” That means, basically, kicking the can. At some point, though, you reach a brick wall. Has that time arrived?

      The November mid-terms will be interesting. Speaking as a forlorn Democrat, “interesting”, here, is probably going to be like the proverbial Chinese curse, because Biden (or the Republicans) have no answer for these problems any more than the Tories (or Labour). Murphy does an excellent job of listing the increasingly pervasive and devastating ills they have no answer for.

      After the collapse, which will happen either peacefully or after WW III, I believe a transnational entity will need to be empowered (maybe an empowered U.N.) to set global taxation rates, reduce inequities, set enforceable climate mandates, and make do with a minimal global peacekeeping force. Until then, it seems that muddling through is all we’ll do — and perhaps all we can do.

      1. JBird4049

        The United States does has more buffer because it still has industry that can build stuff, a very large large mass full of resources, and the ability, for a little while more, to pillage much of the planet. There is also the Democratic Party, which at least pays lip service to the idea of a functioning government and so we have small, fuzzy patches of that especially in some Blue areas. The whole country could, possibly, stagger on for another decade because of these resources.

        However, your analysis, I pretty much agree with.

        I am thinking that the national, and much of the states’, government will become Republican. They will promptly put in Austericide for the United States, if for no other reason to punish Americans for not taking jobs that will not even pay for rent, or utilities, or food, which will immediately put them in the same position as the current Democrats. Pushing Pro Life or Pro Choice ideologies are all very nice triggers, but shelter and food are much more mentally concentrating.

        Since most of the political establishment including the main political parties refuse to see just how weak they are politically, as voting against something is not the same as voting for something, sometime in 2024-2028 one or both parties will go the way of the American Whigs; from 2024 onward, will we be in danger of a coup with, for now, Mike Pence and the Christian Nationalists in the lead. It could be a coalition of Conservative Nationalists or National Conservatives, Christian Nationalists, and whatever the political remnants of Neoliberalism and the Pseudo-Left chooses to join. I think Lambert Strether dubbed my earlier description as “National Capitalists.” It would be that in function, but surely the followers of Creel would know of a better name? I await their choice.

        1. flora

          I think a global transnational entity is exactly what the TPP and TPIP trade treaties (thankfully not passed) and the Investor-State Dispute Resolution (ISDR) courts were all about. They were terrible ideas… unless democracy is not important. (It’s not important to the globalists promoting those treaties.) I do not want the WHO dictating US response to disease. The WHO has been as bad or worse (worse, I think) than the CDC, imo. As for a global peace keeping force… The white hats? right.

          Watching what’s happening in my state at 2 weeks before the midterms tells me the GOP candidates are moving slightly left from where they were 2 years ago and the Dem candidates are moving slightly right from where they were 2 years ago. (Do I think that will hold after the election? Depends on the election outcomes I guess.)

          1. JBird4049

            Candidates tend lie especially in tight races. Not everyone all the time on everything, but I would look at what they said last year before looking at today.

            However, since the fecal matter is going to hit the fan soon as in from tomorrow to 2028 depending on everything from the drought to assassinations to whatever, most politicians are going to spew bs hoping to keep the proles under control; there will likely be a few politicians or influential people who will start speaking truth because of the moment compelling them to, but it is likely that they will be a MLK, Malcom X, RFK, or Fred Hampton, instead of a FDR or Lincoln.

            Just recalling American history is scary because the fairly peaceful politics of the past forty years is unusual and unusual long for the United States. Yes, there were protests like the Battle of Seattle or more recently in Portland, but not real, as in guns, violent.

            Of course the suppression of the unions and the co-opting of most reformist movements and organizations meant stopped the violence. The Powers That Be are going to panic and overreact when real violent protests start happening. That will probably happen in the winter or spring if it gets worse enough. And then some politicians will probably start saying what they mean and not what they want. The springs of 2023, 24, 26, and 28 will be the American flash point, I think. The general and midterm elections. The later it is, the more organized everyone will be for everything from protests to suppression, from organizing to fighting. The more extreme the explosion.

  7. Irrational

    Excellent article. I would add to the mentioned small businesses’ problems of higher interest rates and consumer spending the exploding cost of energy. Also a broader European problem.

  8. bassmule

    “I stand here today as a very rich man who is sure he should be in power….Together, we can achieve incredible things—massive profits for our friends, and huge transfers of wealth to the least needy.”

    Rishi Sunak is Prime Minister! (Matt Green)

  9. JohnA

    There are 2 years until the next election in December 2024. The Tory hierarchy plan seems to be to loot as much as possible in that time for themselves and their backers, and then do a runner.

    1. paul

      I think you have it in a nutshell.

      The crazy enterprise zone/charter city idea is the only identifiable policy dear to sunak’s heart, and those are designed for privateering.

  10. Synoia

    This is a smashing success for the US. The EU was damaged by Brexit, and the attack on Russia by the US, through proxies, has dealt a mortal blow to the EU:- Insufficient energy to have a functioning economy coupled with a proxy a war to drain public money away from social programs, and thus further increasing the wealth of the US’ Aristocracy.

    The US Aristocracy can now crush its populace with no counter example of domestic western policy, as was the case with a functioning the EU.

    How soon will the US fully exert a crushing set of policies on it’s populace, based on the excuse of fighting a proxy war with Russia? Weeks or Months?.

    “To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal.”

    — Henry Kissinger

  11. Some Guy

    I have all the respect in the world for Richard Murphy, and this is an excellent summary of the challenges that would be faced by someone who wanted to improve the living conditions for the people of the UK and stop children from being homeless and/or starving, but the overall premise of the article seems off.

    The plan is, Sunak comes in and imposes austerity to stabilize the pound and the financial system (and the energy system) on the backs of the poor/middle classes.

    This is unpopular with the huddled masses, so after a suitable interval, an election is called, and Sunak loses to Starmer, who has been carefully set up as the only alternative, a ‘safe pair of hands’ (meaning: he won’t do anything to ruffle financial market feathers, such as the suggestions in the article)

    Sunak wanders off to spend the rest of his life in do-nothing jobs that pay millions and sleeps soundly on a pile of money, far removed from anyone impacted by his austerity measures.

    Murphy says Sunak is set up to fail, but I have to ask, where is the failure? Doesn’t it seem like it is all going according to plan? (where the plan, for anyone who has forgotten, is: because markets, go die).

    The only recent deviation from the plan was Truss, whose zeal for starving the poor was deemed a little excessive, but this aberration was quickly corrected.

    1. curlydan

      I’m with you, Some Guy. A former Goldman guy now running the show. I think he’s got a shot at threading the needle here through these zillion problems. Partly he can kick the can down the road on climate change. Covid, we’re told, is “over”. Increasing interest rates will throw people out of jobs, increase unemployment, and decrease the urge to strike. It would be nice for him to have an external threat to distract everyone. Russia is OK although that support takes financial support unfortunately. Maybe add Iran or some other country. Or immigration although that would be interesting from his perspective. Then keep saying, “There is no alternative” (TINA) as he guts and privatizes NHS.

      It’s not going to be easy, but that’s why they brought in a GS man!

  12. PlutoniumKun

    Normally, I’d be thinking ‘if only there was a PM who knew enough to do X and Y. But I think the UK is in such a bind right now, I honestly don’t think there is any way out of what appears to be a very nasty few years in front of the country.

    Sterling is under enormous stress, and the new PM bounce won’t help much. The Bank wants – needs – to raise interest rates, but that will push an even more stressed domestic economy underwater. And this of course will reduce the tax take, and so put even more pressure on spending.

    He will most probably try to press the Bank not to raise them too much, and then try to cut back even more on spending in an effort to get the deficit under control, but its pretty basic Keynesianism analysis to see that this will only make things worse. And the bigger the deficit, the more sterling will come under pressure.

    Of course some might welcome a weaker sterling, but this will push inflation even higher, and as Yves has pointed out in the past, the UK had wrecked its industrial base to the point that it could not take advantage of more export opportunities raised by a weak. And of course Brexit makes that much, much worse. So without rising exports and with a crippled domestic economy, there does not seem to be an easy way out.

    The hot money that has for so long underpinned London’s economy is reducing rapidly as the UK falls out of favour for the usual motley band of suspects looking for a nice safe spot to retire.

    For a brief moment I thought that just maybe a highly competent, very strong willed Tory PM could get the UK through the winter and spring and steady things enough without any more self inflicted damage. Even the perception of competence can do a great deal when it comes to stopping a weakened sterling and property market getting out of control. But even in his first day its clear that Sunak is still beholden to the crew of Hayakian diots that have made life hell for Tory leaders since the days of John Major. They may have been humiliated by the disaster of Truss, but don’t expect them to be repentant.

    1. flora

      Good points. “crew of Hayakian idiots” is a great description.

      I think looking back to 2009-10 when all the central banks coordinated to bail out “systemically important” big banks after the great financial crash, zero interest rates (very bad for savers and pension funds), austerity for Main Street and loads of money for the stock markets; I think that’s led up to this moment. There’s no more austerity to be endured and still have a first world country. Things that can’t go on won’t. My 2 cents.

    2. Anonymous 2

      Thank you, PK. Intelligent comments as always. It really is the most unbelievable mess.

      The UK now faces ten bad years, starting in very poor shape. The boomers will mostly retire in the next ten years, those that have not already retired. This is going to increase government expenditure on state pensions and the NHS as health problems mount (probably aggravated further by Covid). The boomers’ retirement will also affect tax take as they will no longer have earnings to be taxed. At the same time there is pressure to increase expenditure on defence (I have some sympathy here as I thought it had been cut too far even before February of this year). The economic future is grim so prospects of reducing the government deficit are slim. It is a measure of the desperation already being felt that there are suggestions that spending on education will have to be targeted for cuts (eating the seed corn?) as nothing else can be.

      Even more fundamental to my mind is the sheer lack of honesty in the public square. There is a conspiracy of silence on the subject of Brexit, with politicians refusing to talk about it, let alone admit the damage that it has done to the economy. The newspapers and other media mostly tiptoe around the subject. The problem, to my mind, is that with so many lies having been spread about the EU and the UK’s relationship with it over the last 30 years, the UK is in a position where it is now very difficult for anyone to tell the population the truth. How do you persuade people that their newspapers and political leaders have been lying to them for 30 years? The psychological barriers are immense.

      Sunak seems to have going for him the fact that he is probably brighter than Truss and less delusional than Johnson but the challenges he faces are huge. The hostages to fortune he seems already to have had to give may well deprive him of any hope of success. He will have to prove himself a political genius to succeed.

      As usual in the UK it will be the poor and the young who will suffer most, targeted already for real wage cuts and tax increases. The sad thing is that it did not need to be this way, but at least four decades of bad government have left their mark.

      1. c_heale

        I think the trigger for an unprecedented crisis in the UK will be the collapse of the housing market.

      2. spud

        i just do not see how brexit can be considered the problem. the de-industrialization from free trade E.U., where germany drooled over the U.K.’s population, forced into buying german stuff, whilst the country was flooded with open border immigrants.

        the U.K. become nothing more than a colony, with the citizens were being breed to consume german stuff, and just vegetate on the dole.

        the U.K. is a mess, but so are all western countries that drank the free trade kool aide deeply.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Please don’t. It’s painful to read something so willfully blind.

          The data clearly shows the UK took a hit from Brexit.

          Countries always do the most trade with neighbors due to lower shipping costs and greater ease of coordination. The UK has put up HARD barriers to EU trade.

          Please tell me how the UK does domestic substitution for its EU imports.

  13. David

    For some time now, western nations have been moving in the direction of having dysfunctional states, where the government doesn’t do much, and you’re on your own. Slightly to my surprise, I think the UK has arrived their first, mostly because so much effort has gone into destroying the state machinery which kept it working reasonably well until recently.

    When I look at the UK now, I’m more and more thinking of countries like Lebanon, where the state exists on paper but hardly functions, the political system is a joke, and everybody has ultimately to shift for themselves. The problem is that Lebanon has an alternative shadow government of clans and religious factions, but the UK doesn’t. I therefore fear social breakdown in a way that I would never have expected before.

    Ironically, the UK’s best hope is Europe. Not because one will rescue the other but because things are likely to become so bad here, both economically and politically, that Sterling, for example, will ultimately stabilise against the Euro. And I don’t imagine the US will be far behind. Three economic actors sinking at the same time.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I think someone expresses your ideas very well in this substack…

      Hindsight of course can always make the politicians and statesmen of the past look more impressive than they did to contemporaries. But its not hard to look at the current crew around Europe and the US and wonder how on earth this bunch got in charge. I really struggle to identify any individual or group of individuals who rise beyond mediocre, and many are much worse than that.

      I mentioned a while back that I thought Corbyn was done within 2 days of his election to leadership. He had to immediately show he could take charge and he failed to do that. Perceptions matter, especially to those only semi-interested in politics. I think Sunak has failed at this hurdle too. He had one chance to show that he was in charge and at least the worst of the obvious crackpots wouldn’t get a sniff of a seat at cabinet. But he failed at that, and I think this will doom him.

  14. John Beech

    Seriously? What idiot buys this clown’s position? That Sunak is afraid of the job? Are you kidding me? Let’s look at the facts.

    1. The guy is brown in a racist country. Means he works 3X harder to make it.
    2. The guy’s worth more than the King of England. Afraid? I doubt it.
    3. All the yammering about Bank of England, right? Wait until recession exposes the flaws in the Euro. Suspect it’ll make Brexit seem prescient when Germany finally bows to pressure to monetize the debt of southern countries. The City wanted no part of that, I am certain!

    I could go on but in a phrase, Charlie Brown said it perfectly about that article and by extension the author . . . good grief!

    Me? I’ll take the over on expectations. He may well go down as their greatest PM ever. Give him a chance. Then again, I wanted Romney. Still would. In fact, I’d take his competence in a New York Minute aver what we have and anybody on the bench waiting their ‘turn’.

    1. JBird4049

      Ah, but it is not competence or good government that the powerful want, it is subservience to maintaining the wealthy their power and comforts. For them, competence is a bad thing.

      As long as Sunak, or anyone else really, take that as their mandate and ignore the suffering and increasing anger of the lower 90% along with the collapse of functional government, he will be in danger of failure. From both the population and the powerful.

    2. c_heale

      The Bank of England is a major part of the problem imo. There is no way of getting any kind of grip on the UK’s problems until it is renationalised.

      The EU going into a deeper recession will only make the one in the UK worse.

  15. .Tom

    Sunak is preceded by two failed Tory PMs in this term but I think the run of failed Tory MPs starts with Cameron. It was in the Brexit referendum that power shifted to those who offer incoherent sets of promises. All PMs since have had to go because they could not square a circle with PR.

    But what has Labor to offer that’s substantially different? And I don’t think the SNP really wants independence. They seem to be happy to continue doing what they always do, blaming Westminster and delaying taking real action.

    There’s a need for some kind of constitutional reform that can yield a party with actual popular legitimacy, as opposed to lesser-of-the-evils, and without the baggage of career MPs. Could that be party born from a general strike? Idk how this works. Please educate me.

    1. paul

      And I don’t think the SNP really wants independence.

      I know they really don’t want independence.

      They are now a short money, clueless NGO focused on their own lifestyle politics,and have not lifted a finger (except the middle one) to advance independence in the last eight years.

      blaming Westminster

      Exactly, they have actively devolved (!) into a symbiote to those awful tories.

      Today in holyrood they are introducing a whipped bill to allow men to assume women’s rights on no more than a whim.

      Which is what the nation, in such challenging times, is not clamouring for in any way, and probably never will.

  16. Novus

    This report is missing one budget item-UK soldiers deployment to Ukraine.

    It’s the UK that rejected the peace plan brokered by Turkey in March/April and decided to rather send the MI6 and mercenaries into Ukraine.

    The US is preparing a coalition of the “willing/unwilling” (remember Powell?) for Ukraine and I don’t see who the participants are going to be except for UK, Poland, Romania and the 3 tiny Baltic states.

    Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe after Russia and the coalition of the unwilling should be ready to deploy at least 300,000 troops in order to match the Russia’s increase!!!

    Poor Sunak,

    You need troops (100,000?), equipment (stock already depleted!), energy (price to the roof!) to manufacture equipment and bullets, etc…

    You’re toast, I bet a general election is at the corner waiting for the labour to taste the Brexit and UkroNazistan soups!!!

  17. Tom Bradford

    When I embarked on my working life in the mid-1970’s I did a stint with the Inland Revenue. At that time, I recall, the top rate of Income Tax was 83% with a 15% Capital Gains Tax on top of that for ‘unearned income’, so some people were paying 98% tax on interest and dividends.

    I’m sure I don’t remember people taking to the streets, or even much social unrest at this crushing tax burden imposed by the Labour Governments of Wilson and Callaghan.

  18. The Rev Kev

    The Duran dropped a video called ” Globalist, technocrat Prime Minister” and I can very much recommend listening to it. It brings up a lot of very important points such as the fact that Sunak was dropped into the job but as such, has no power base or popular support to fall back on. Boris was in a superior position here but he was told to stand down. Sunak will have no maneuverability in his domestic policies but will have to do what his backers want and his foreign policy will be whatever Washington tells him it will be. And one consequence will be that Lloyd’s insurance may be going down in flames which was once a British jewel- (18:23 mins)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its a good point about Sunak. So far as I can see he doesn’t have a faction backing him. He is clearly popular with senior MP’s and the City, but the various infighting packs and party members don’t trust or like him. This makes him very vulnerable to any twist and turn of fortune, or for that matter, any whim of a few offshore newspaper proprietors.

      1. Ignacio

        If someone thought that Prime Ministers could somehow be muppets in the hands on hidden interests, then watched the process of selection by the Tories, the comments from Craig Murray, plus those mentioned by Rev Kev at the Duran are an eye opener. If we further look at the spectacle of those US Democrats that stampeded after signing a letter asking for something as ‘outrageous’ as negotiations the picture of these post-democratic states with weakened leaders and representatives is… [find here the proper adjective].

        1. Anonymous 2

          British Prime Ministers have been puppets for a long time now. John Major was the last PM to try to stand up to the press barons – and look what happened to him! One Sunak backer who has been identified is Rupert Murdoch. Indeed the whole Truss fiasco was arguably the result of a disagreement between press barons, as Rothermere (the Mail group owner) backed her against Sunak against Murdoch’s wishes. Which shows that Murdoch is the savvier operator.

          It seems to me misleading to characterise Sunak as a puppet of globalists. He is of course a Brexiteer, and Brexit is of course largely discouraging international trade for the UK, which is the source of many of the current problems because the UK is dependent on international trade for its prosperity. What he is at least in part is a puppet of the press barons, whose privileged exemptions from tax he will doubtless protect zealously.

  19. David

    The problem hasn’t fundamentally changed since we were having the same discussions about May in 2018. That is, to say “how long will X survive?” is only a valid question in the form of “how long before a suitable replacement is found for X?” Britain has to have a Prime Minister, and what may keep Sunak in power is that the various factions within the Tory Party can’t agree on who will replace him. After all, it’s no good knifing him if the candidate of your bitter enemies then climbs to power over his body.

    1. Ignacio

      I was stuck by this phrase i “found” in some commentary

      “In reality, the story is of a series of personal failures of character, intelligence, leadership and political management, of a type and extent that any electorate has a right to assume their politicians know how to avoid

      My immediate thinking was that even a leader came out with the necessary intelligence etc. as assumed by the electorates, even with a program of sorts, objectives etc once they are in the position, they find that the rudder is not as manageable as they though, the crowd that should be managing the sailing rig find the ropes cut, the sails burning. Objectives are soon forgotten and they turn reactive to whatever comes from the different spheres of influence (EU, international affairs, corporate system… not forgetting the pirates of the media)

      1. David

        True, that’s what happens in politics all the time. But in days gone by you did at least get the impression that they were trying.

  20. everydayjoe

    UK is being given too much respect. It has a GDP that is similar to India’s! But gets too much respect well after the empire has collapsed/shrunk. If Soros can single handedly collapse the Pound, that too 30 years ago, it does not say much about UK does it! so it really does not matter anymore . Revolving door of PM’s only underscores my view of UK as a has-been- power trying to be relevant.

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