icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

BoJo’s cabinet is a free market Taliban unleashed

John Wight
John Wight
has written for a variety of newspapers and websites, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal.
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.

Also on rt.com Ready for Brexit & election? BoJo MASSACRES May's cabinet to install hardline Leavers

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.

Also on rt.com Send in the clowns… Johnson brings farcical but dangerous dimension to international relations

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 in 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.

Also on rt.com PM Boris Johnson addresses MPs for first time, signalling new tougher approach to Brexit

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

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Podcasts