Föhrenbergkreis Finanzwirtschaft

Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Johnson’

Cummings is now a laughing stock. Alas, so is Britain

Posted by hkarner - 31. Mai 2020

Date: 31‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian by William Keegan

The guru of Brexit and the 2019 election has been exposed. But the economic and social damage is well and truly done

Dominic Cummings: digging himself deeper.

My father, who was of Irish extraction but hailed from County Durham, used to say: never kick a man when he is down. After the shambles of Mr Dominic Cummings’s recent excursion to Durham, one might be tempted to make an exception to the rule. But there is no need. The prime minister’s once‑valued adviser has been kicking himself – but not in the colloquial sense of expressing regret for his actions.

Deeper and deeper he dug himself in, as one terminological inexactitude led to another, and the rule‑breaker failed lamentably to justify breaking government lockdown instructions for which he was at least in part responsible.

Now, I have never, to my knowledge, met Mr Cummings. But what amazes me, and almost everyone I know, is how this first‑class clown could have acquired a reputation for having anything resembling a brain. His snivelling appearance before the media in the garden of No 10 was a classic of its kind.

The eye test has made him an international laughing stock; and, while we are on the subject of sight, his supposed foresight in forecasting the outbreak of the plague must be making George Orwell laugh in his grave. In 1984, Big Brother’s team made forecasts once they knew the result. Cummings appears to have tried the same but was found out. The guru can, it seems, be sensationally incompetent. If only he had manifested such incompetence during the referendum campaign and the 2019 general election. In those days he was, alas, far more successful in distorting the truth. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Britain Bigger Than Brexit

Posted by hkarner - 27. Mai 2020

American rubbish! (hfk)

Date: 27‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

Reviving the U.K. economy is now Boris Johnson’s challenge.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson .

Brexit negotiations between London and Brussels have resumed, and rarely has that issue been less important. What matters now is how both sides plan to recover from the coronavirus recession.

The biggest opportunity is Britain’s. The EU looks set to spend years mired in impossible arguments over how to pay for the pandemic’s costs, especially in nations with weaker fiscs. Brussels plods onward with its project of expanding Europe’s bureaucracy and regulatory micromanagement, Germany was slipping toward a recession even before the virus, and Emmanuel Macron’s reforms are stalled in France.

Alone among Europe’s large economies, Britain entered the pandemic crisis in good health with improving confidence and a government, under Prime Minister Boris Johnson, capable of governing. Mr. Johnson’s challenge now, far more than Brexit, is to leverage those advantages into a strong recovery.

Britain chose early in the pandemic to subsidize 80% of wages for furloughed workers, up to £2,500 ($3,000) a month. That has kept workers more closely attached to their employers, but at a stupendous taxpayer cost. The issue now is whether those businesses will survive. Data this week showed joblessness and social‑welfare claims skyrocketing in April. Reopening the economy—most of it, and quickly—has to be the priority or nothing that comes after will alleviate the mounting damage.

One immediate challenge will be fiscal policy and especially taxation. Early rounds of coronavirus spending pushed government borrowing to 2.8% of GDP in the financial year that ended in March, and government debt is now 98% of GDP as revenues fall and pandemic spending rises. Mandarins in the Treasury say higher personal or corporate tax rates will be necessary alongside government spending freezes.

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Trump, Putin and Bolsonaro have been complacent. Now the pandemic has made them all vulnerable

Posted by hkarner - 19. Mai 2020

Date: 18‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian Simon Tisdall

The world’s strongmen may well end up paying a political price for their cynicism and incompetence

If Boris Johnson is mishandling the pandemic, he is not alone. Falsely claiming everything is under control, dodging responsibility, hiding from public view, exploiting the crisis for political gain, mounting artificial distractions and blaming the media: these are common behaviour patterns exhibited by some of the world’s most powerful – and shifty – leaders.

Will they pay a price for their lethal incompetence and cynicism? It’s possible some will, though it may take a while. The pandemic is changing political calculations around the globe. Leaders who looked invulnerable suddenly appear less so. That in turn could shift the strategic calculus and alter the balance of power between countries in ways both unexpected and permanent.

Donald Trump’s performance is a lesson in how not to handle an emergency. It may become a compulsory case study for future students of crisis management. Trump minimised the threat early on, offered phoney assurances, and failed to make a plan. He has since accused China of deliberately spreading “plague” while weaponising the crisis to smear his Democratic rival, Joe Biden. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Inside Boris Johnson’s Tangle With Covid‑19

Posted by hkarner - 17. Mai 2020

Date: 16‑05‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Little heeding the disease at first, Johnson resisted hospitalization after getting infected and fought against being put on a ventilator

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remotely led a coronavirus meeting two days after he tested positive.

LONDON—In a side room of St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, doctors faced a decision. Prime Minister Boris Johnson lay sick in the hospital’s east wing, struggling to get enough oxygen. Doctors were thinking of putting him on a ventilator, a step that is often a last resort for Covid‑19 patients.

Mr. Johnson grew agitated. Avoid using a ventilator if at all possible, he told his doctors.

He worried that even if he shook off the disease, the process of sedation and inserting a tube into his lungs would force an extended recovery, said a person familiar with his care. That would leave the leader of Britain sidelined while a pandemic raged. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trump is handling coronavirus so badly, he almost makes Johnson look good

Posted by hkarner - 3. Mai 2020

Date: 02‑05‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Jonathan Freedland

The only thing protecting the prime minister from harsher criticism of his failures is that the US president’s are even worse

This government should be on the rack. The evidence that it botched crucial decisions at crucial moments is piling up. The litany is now so familiar it barely needs repeating, from the failure to secure personal protective equipment for frontline workers in health and social care to the 11 lost days of delay before imposing a lockdown that has proved essential for saving lives.

 You can focus on specific judgments: why did ministers allow mass gatherings, from racing at Cheltenham to a Stereophonics gig in Cardiff, ignoring the warnings that such events would be a virus‑fest? Why did it initially tell people to stay away from pubs and restaurants, but simultaneously allow those places to stay open? Why did the government call a halt in March to testing and tracing? If the answer is a lack of capacity, then why did it not immediately set about recruiting the “army of contact tracers” that will be required if we are ever to emerge from our homes? Why the focus on mega‑labs, rather than seizing on the offer of small laboratories to do testing for their local hospitals, which, as Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, has argued, could have made those hospitals “safe places”? Why the rules initially limiting tests to those NHS employees with symptoms, which, as Nurse puts it, allowed staff to be on wards “infecting people”? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Coronavirus: Johnson faces lockdown dilemma as scientists warn over grim data

Posted by hkarner - 27. April 2020

Date: 26‑04‑2020

Source: The Guardian

Prime minister returns to work on Monday to cabinet at odds over easing social distancing

The number of new cases of Covid‑19 being diagnosed is still much too high to allow any easing of the lockdown soon, leading scientists have warned, as the virus death toll in UK hospitals passed 20,000 on Saturday.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, described the figure as a “terrible milestone” and a “deeply tragic and moving moment”. She said it showed the need for the British public to “stay strong” and remain at home for the foreseeable future.

A further 813 deaths were reported in hospitals, taking the UK total to 20,319. This figure does not include deaths from Covid‑19 in care homes, hospices and in the community.

As ministers came under increasing pressure to ease the lockdown from the business community and Tory MPs concerned at the plight of small firms in their own constituencies, scientists said the drop in new coronavirus cases being reported daily was disappointingly slow.

Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government’s Sage group of Covid‑19 experts, said if the lockdown was eased now, the newly enhanced testing and contact tracing system being put in place would be swamped.

“The strategy behind plans to lift the lockdown is based on the idea [that] you could then control the epidemic by testing people for infections before tracing their contacts,” Edmunds said. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson is the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time

Posted by hkarner - 21. April 2020

Date: 21‑04‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Polly Toynbee

The Sunday Times revelations confirm all our worst fears: the prime minister’s handling of coronavirus has been shockingly complacent

‘No one forget his cheery 3 March boast that he was still shaking hands with virus‑sufferers. Nor that he was at Twickenham for a rugby match on 7 March.’

Everything unravels with almost indecent speed. After a brush with death, the prime minister is still recovering at Chequers when one of his many supportive newspapers drops a grenade straight down his Elizabethan chimney. No period of grace and convalescence: the Sunday Times didn’t even wait for him to stumble back to Downing Street before firing off its devastating attack on his cavalier incompetence over the coronavirus outbreak.

What makes the insiders’ account so devastating is that it chimes with everything everyone already knows about Boris Johnson’s character. An unnamed “senior adviser” to Downing Street “broke ranks” to say: “What you learn about Boris was he didn’t chair any meetings. He liked his country breaks. He didn’t work weekends. It was like working for an old‑fashioned chief executive in a local authority 20 years ago. There was a real sense that he didn’t do urgent crisis planning. It was exactly like people feared he would be.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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After coronavirus, Boris Johnson’s Tories will be a very different party

Posted by hkarner - 16. April 2020

Date: 16‑04‑2020

Source: The Guardian Martin Kettle

A brand built around Brexit and the anger of the left‑behind is becoming much less relevant in the shadow of pandemic

‘The idea that Britain should be a Brexit buccaneer, throwing itself into the arms of Donald Trump, seems even more irresponsible.’

It is only four months since Boris Johnson led the Conservative party to a historic victory. His 80‑seat majority seemed to recast the electoral landscape for a generation. It also marked another milestone in Brexit’s transformation of the Conservative party from the party of business to the party of the flag. Today, that seems like another world.

Everything has been upended by Covid‑19. The business of government is wholly taken up with protecting public health, keeping the economy on life support and, in Johnson’s own case, his personal survival. Today the national lockdown is expected to be extended into May.

It seems likely that the Britain which eventually emerges from the coronavirus crisis will be a country of a significantly different temper from the Britain that went into it. Nobody can be certain about the degree of change. The possibility that the economy may shrink by a third, with millions of job losses, is a reality check about a more enduringly difficult new normal. The post‑pandemic Conservative party must adapt too. But in what ways? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson’s illness has darkened Britain’s mood

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2020

Date: 09‑04‑2020

Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The illness of a man who once divided the nation has united it

Boris johnson has always believed that history was not made just by vast impersonal forces but by great men and women who change its course through their sheer talent and willpower. His admiration for Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher springs from this worldview; so did h

Just as Mr Johnson was fulfilling his ambition, with a recently acquired 87‑seat majority in Parliament and grand plans to build a new one‑nation Conservatism that might yet win him membership of the great‑men club, the vast impersonal forces hit back. On March 27th Mr Johnson revealed that he had covid‑19. On April 6th he went into intensive care. The government is in the hands of his cabinet and the first secretary of state, Dominic Raab. Mr Johnson’s Brexit plans have been sidelined in order to fight a rearguard action against a disease that is locking down the country and tanking the economy. The prime minister who wanted to be defined by Brexit will be defined by covid‑19.

Mr Johnson’s condition is all the more shocking because he is normally such a force of nature. He has been blessed (or cursed) with Falstaffian appetites: witness his two marriages and a third in the offing; his five acknowledged children and another on the way; his string of mistresses; his enthusiasm for food, wine and, of course, cake; the mound of books and articles that he has produced while also pursuing his political career; and his extraordinary ability to light up a room. He has also been an omnipresent figure in British public life for several decades: editor of the Spectator, star columnist on the Daily Telegraph, mayor of London, principal Brexiteer, foreign secretary and tormentor‑in‑chief of his predecessor, Theresa May, until he finally got the job he always wanted. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Boris Johnson’s bluster on Brexit is about to face reality

Posted by hkarner - 5. März 2020

Date: 04‑03‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Rafael Behr

The prime minister sold the UK a dream with a casual disregard for reality. The EU trade talks will test his bombast

‘Boris Johnson likes deals for their instant retail value in domestic politics, believing that problems in the small print can be blustered away.’

Bad ideas blunt the sharpest minds, and Boris Johnson’s intellect was hardly an instrument of surgical precision before it rubbed up against a hard Brexit. The prime minister is no fool, but his talents are ill‑suited to crafting a new relationship with the EU. Johnson’s cleverness is rhetorical; his unique talent is for lifting spirits while lowering expectations. His upbeat bombast is laced with self‑deprecation conveyed in his artfully tousled appearance and the elongated ums and ahs that signal improvisation, although the lines are scripted.

The whole act is a wink inviting the audience in on a joke, the butt of which are “doomsters and gloomsters” who try to hold Johnson to his word. He persuades his fans to take their satisfaction purely from the experience of being persuaded. To be seduced by him is to forgive him in advance for underachieving. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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