A simple message stated with intense frequency, secured a "stonking" mandate for Brexit and an eighty seat majority in the House of Commons for Boris Johnson and pals.
"Get Brexit Done" the basic message, with auxiliary support for "health" and "law and order". It was the biggest Tory win since the eighties and the biggest Labour Loss since the thirties.
Masterminding the campaign was Isaac Levido, the 36 year old Australian protege of Lynton Crosby. The Tory slogan was linked to a relentless determination to stay on message. Ruthless execution was displayed. Jacob Rees-Mogg was locked up in a dark place following his Grenfell gaffe. Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns was sacked when a former aide was accused of interference in a rape trial.
Dominic Cummings stepped aside, Budgets didn't run to a suitable wardrobe for the "eminence grise". It was enough for the architect of strategy to step aside for the estate agent of the campaign. As Levido explained, "It's about getting your message across as many times as possible". The message included a "Love Actually" clip with the Prime Minister doorstepping a female voter. A for your eyes only "political billet doux" was offered with sound track, to the exclusion of a man in the house ...
For Labour, the result was a resounding rejection of a left wing manifesto and the a big "No to Jeremy Corbyn". The Tories questioned the spending plans as the campaign just kept on giving. Labour strongholds yielded under the bombardment. Dennis Skinner, MP for Bolsover lost his seat as life long voters moved to the right. "I have voted Labour all my life" said a former miner in the constituency, "but I just didn't like Corbyn or his cronies".
Confusion over Brexit cost votes for Corbyn. Assertion over Brexit cost votes for Jo Swinson. The Lib Dem leader lost her seat and leadership of party. Nicola Sturgeon was triumphant with a clear SNP majority in Scotland. The shadow of toll roads along the M6 looms, as the push for independence returns.
Corbyn will resign as leader. Boris Johnson will reshape his cabinet. We will leave the EU at the end of January, talks will take place to shape the trade relationship of the future.
Let the spending begin. 20,000 more in police service, 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 more doctors. More nurses, more doctors and a "crash team" for the economy. Growth is flat lining in the U.K. It will have to be a "stonking" budget. The election result will boost confidence in the short term. Uncertainty about the trade deal with the EU and calls for a referendum in the North will overshadow any short term exuberance as the New Year unfolds ...
The Democrats move to impeach ...
In the US, the impeachment process moves forward. President Trump will be just the third of forty five presidents to be impeached. Acquittal is surely to follow in the Senate. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority leader has promised to work closely with the White House to ensure a "fair trial and a first class rebuttal" of all charges.
Donald Trump has already called the process "Impeachment Light" just two counts "abuse of "office" and "obstruction of congress" are on the ticket. The President listed many more claims which could have made the charge sheet, including bribery, corruption and profiteering from office.
Trump's approval ratings are unmoved by process. The Republican heartland is unswayed by the Democrat latest move. The economy continues to do well despite the Trump trade policy. The latest job figures point to continued growth into the final quarter of the year. Unemployment is just 3.5%. With no recession or inflation in sight, the Fed made no change to interest rates this week. No rate changes planned for the foreseeable future, the decision was a further boost to markets. So what was really on the President's mind?
The President took time, to lash out at Greta Thornberg. The young climate activist made the front cover of Time magazine as Time person of the year. A spot reserved for the President in his own mind at least.
"So ridiculous" Trump tweeted, "Greta should work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend, Chill Greta, Chill!" The sixteen year old responded with a twitter troll adjusting her twitter profile to respond to the leader of the free world's advice.
"What if Trump weren't nuts" the headline in Politico on Thursday. John Harris author of the "Altitude" column points out a disrupter with a smidgeon of self control would be remaking American politics and coasting to reelection. Instead we have a raging narcissist, who picks fights that no other President would pick.
Let us not forget, when asked about dealing with rocket man Kim Jong-Un, Trump explained :
"As far as dealing with a madman is concerned, that's his problem not mine ..."
Trump gets his trade deal ...
Markets rallied in the US and China this week as negotiators announced the outline of a phase one trade deal. The planned tariff hikes on Sunday will be abandoned. Some existing tariffs will be cut by 50%. The Chinese have agreed to restore some $50 billion dollars of agricultural products.
Trump needs a trade deal with China in the run up to the election. The USMCA trade deal with Canada and Mexico moved through congress this week. A "massive" deal with Boris Johnson is already in the pipeline. A softer touch with the EU is on the horizon. Into the New Year and Trump will focus on reelection.
With strong stock markets in support, "It's the economy stupid". The Fed will play it's part in the run up to the election. If only Trump would dial down the obsession with tariffs, the US would be a better place.
The campaign plan is well set. The Trump base secure. Impeachment will consolidate the process of re-election as the Democrats struggle to find a credible leader. A move to the left with Elizabeth Warren or a one term President with Joe Biden, hardly a great option to dislodge the incumbent ...
That's all for this week, have a great weekend. We will be back with more news and updates next week ...
The Saturday Economist
John Ashcroft publishes the Saturday Economist. Join the mailing list for FREE weekly updates on the UK and World Economy.
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