Schrödinger’s cat is a quantum mechanical experiment in which a feline is locked in a metal box with a radioactive atom and a poison, and is hypothetically alive and dead at the same time, linked to a random subatomic event that may occur. or not happen. Of Boris Johnson and many of his policies, the same can be said.
The British Prime Minister is still alive after having overcome the motion of censure, but some consider him politically dead with more than 40% of the conservative parliamentary group against him; his immigration plan (sending asylum seekers to Rwanda) is alive, but the European Court of Human Rights has left him seriously injured; Brexit is going on and dying at the same time, offering no benefits but a lot of drawbacks (supply problems, lack of manpower, additional bureaucracy, reduced exports and imports…); The same can be said of environmental policy (elimination of carbon emissions by 2050) and fiscal policy (increase in Social Security contributions and corporate tax),
By sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, the ‘tory’ leader appeals to the vote of the working class reluctant to immigrate A weakened Johnson knows that his only chance to win the 2024 elections – if his own party doesn’t kill him first – is to re-edit the coalition of traditional conservative voters from the south of England (the so-called blue wall ) and working-class ex-Labor members. right-wing on social issues (reluctant to immigration, flag patriots, and supporters of toughness to fight crime) who gave him their vote in 2019 to “make Brexit a reality”.
But Brexit, like Schrödinger’s cat, is fact and fiction at the same time. Too much reality for those who yearn for the freedom of movement and trade free of tariffs and controls, but too little for those who dreamed of separating one hundred percent from the European institutions and turning the United Kingdom into a Singapore on the banks of the Thames, with an economy of low taxes exempt from regulations.
Johnson won an absolute majority two and a half years ago as the only person capable of “executing” the 2016 referendum mandate (breaking up the European Union), and his new mission is to “complete Brexit.” This means breaking the Northern Ireland protocol and the aspects of the trade deals you don’t like, even if it means flouting an international treaty, making Brussels the enemy again, and blaming it for inflation and the cost of living. .
The summer of discontent in the UK
Forty thousand railway and subway workers will paralyze the country tomorrow with a strike reminiscent of the “winter of discontent” of the 1970s and 1980s when garbage accumulated in the streets and corpses in morgues because of the union action. But Boris Johnson has so far shown no interest in negotiating and making concessions. Quite the contrary. It is a strike that allows him to stoke the culture war, taking on already very weak unions (only a quarter of the country’s workforce is affiliated), saying that they act against “ordinary people” and throwing them out. blame for the coming economic chaos. All this with a politically strategic bonus: put Labor in the dilemma of whether to be on the side of the strikers as a theoretical party of the working classes or denounce them and confront the unions, which are their main source of financing. Keir Starmer, the leader of Labour, has thrown the balls out in his usual way, not openly condemning the Labor action, but saying that it is not right now and he would not do it. But, as with Brexit, at some point, he will have to make a statement, rather than simply waiting for Boris Johnson to commit political suicide and hand power to him on a platter. The latest polls give Labor a seven or eight-point lead over the Tories, which isn’t much after-party gate. And, most alarming of all, the majority say that, despite all the regrets,
A Johnson on the ropes looks more and more like Donald Trump in his quest for culture warfare to appeal to the English populist and nationalist vote. He does not mind being criticized for sending political asylum seekers to Rwanda despite the denunciations of the NGOs, the bishops, and Prince Charles himself, because he thinks that in this way he recovers a voting bloc that he needs. . He calls out, for the same reasons, the withdrawal of the UK from the European Court of Human Rights, despite the fact that he has nothing to do with the EU (although few people know this).
To recast his winning coalition, Johnson needs the traditional Blue Wall Tories and the Red Wall working classes. He must also keep Nigel Farage (founder of UKIP and the Brexit Party) at bay and prevent a flight to the extreme right. But they are groups with conflicting priorities in Education, Housing, the Environment, and taxation, and different attitudes on social issues such as homosexuality or trans rights. It would be Boris’s greatest achievement, resurrecting after being dead. Not even Schrödinger’s cat…