Finance Monthly - August 2022

and macroeconomic issues – not political slogans; outlining the key objectives necessary for the UK to remain relevant in the modern Global Economy and how we get there. There is absolutely no reason the UK should not succeed. Many of the key parts are in place. Our national finances were strained, but not irretrievably damaged by the pandemic. The economy is functional. There are wage inflation strains – that can be addressed. We remain a wealthy, diverse and demographically advantaged nation. The UK is strong in terms of global softpower – and still punches above its weight in terms of military strength. The danger is that our increasingly factionalised and populist politics remain unfocused on the key economic issues to solve. These are essentially simple – and I’m sure the strategists in Treasury have already got the plans on file ready to hand out to whoever wins: • Addressing the immediate issues of inflation, debt and growth. • How to improve national productivity, promote invention and stimulate the innovation of new industry and business. • Coping and paying for the threat of a global recession. • Reopening trade with Europe to mutual advantage. • Re-establishing energy and food security across the region. • Addressing new threats – like a renewed refugee crisis. • Putting in place an effective and costed energy transition policy that addresses growth alongside ESG. • Reforming the business of government; balancing budgets, reforming the NHS, improving education and defending the nation. • Build a more equitable society by providing social care & support, while ensuring equality and social justice? The issues to solve range across the micro and macroeconomic spectrum - policies to boost productivity, invention, and innovation, facilitating trade and export growth, optimising tax structures, securing micro and macro funding structures, determining and funding the changing role of state and maintaining the UK’s soft and hard geopolitical power in a constantly changing world. Simples. They are long-term objectives, and all of them could be done with enough political willpower. Politics is the business of being elected and staying elected. Since Brexit, making the country actually work has been somewhat neglected. Populist politics and polarisation have dominated the agenda. Even though the Tories were left internally riven by the referendum, they had two key vote winners: i) Jeremy Corbyn, the left-wing leader of the Labour party horrified many natural Labour voters, and ii) a popular populist leader in Boris Johnson who exploited his personal popularity and Corbyn’s unsuitableness to win a landslide in 2019. Boris’ swift tumble from grace will become another footnote on how all political lives are doomed to Fron t Cove r Fea t ur e 12 Finance Monthly.

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