July 15, 2024

Boris Johnson faces the next test

Boris Johnson faces the next test

London Time could not have been worse: In the midst of the biggest strike waves in 30 years, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had to face an important mental test on Thursday.

Two by-elections to the House of Commons are taking place in Dverton and Honiton in the Conservative South and Wakefield, the former Labor stronghold in the North, which could further weaken the ailing Prime Minister.

After all, the ever-worsening economic crisis is threatening Johnson. Inflation rose to 9.1 percent in May, the highest level in 40 years.

Labor disputes threaten in many areas

Manufacturer prices also rose 22 percent. The sharp rise in the cost of living is the main reason why more than 40,000 railway workers in the UK are on strike this week against higher wages and job cuts.

With economic growth stagnating and GDP declining, there is no quick way out of the crisis. Nurses and teachers also threaten industrial action.

The government is trying to counter this with direct financial assistance to consumers and companies. “We are using all the tools we have to fight inflation,” Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said. At the end of May, the treasury chief launched a package of aid equivalent to 17.4 billion euros, somewhat financially funded by energy companies.

Rail Stir in Britain

Passengers wait at Euston train station during a nationwide strike by train workers.

(Photo: dpa)

“We’re heading for a recession in the coming years,” predicted former Conservative Treasury Secretary Kenneth Clark. The loss of confidence in the British economy is now reflected in international currency markets, where the British pound has lost more than 12 percent against the dollar over the past year. This makes imports more expensive and raises prices further. Catherine Mann, an economist and member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, is calling for a rapid rate hike to support the pound’s external value.

The Bank of England recently raised its core interest rate to 1.25 per cent “only” a quarter of a percentage point, although inflation is expected to rise to more than eleven per cent in the fall. Central Bank chairman Andrew Bailey acknowledged that he was largely “weak” against the rising tide of inflation.

The Prime Minister wants to stand in support of the unions

Politically, Johnson cannot accept such a surrender and fights the crisis with the promises of perseverance and modernization. He wants to stand up for striking railway workers: the prime minister has warned that if the government accepts the union’s wage demands, the railways will go bankrupt. In addition, inflation will continue to be a fuel.

However, it is not clear whether he will seek public opinion on his side in the labor dispute. This is because while many Britons are annoyed by the railway workers’ strike, they are also showing understanding to public sector employees who have to accept real pay losses for years. In both the Devon and the Midlands constituencies, the rising cost of living is a major issue in the election campaign.

Election campaign in the north of England

Labor Party election poster in Wakefield by-election on Thursday.

(Photo: Reuters)

Johnson was embroiled in a dilemma: he could only win the Labor-led Wakefield constituency traditionally held by the Tories in 2019 because their leading candidate had promised living conditions in the poorer north. Be like those in the north who match the rich south.

After winning the election, .5 5.5 billion went to the north of the country in the first round. However, the economic crisis has now also caught up with traditionally conservative farmers in the south, who now feel abandoned by their government.

Conservatives have a sexual problem

But there are also local issues that do not flatter the conservatives. In Wakefield, Tory MP Imran Ahmed Khan was forced to resign for the crime of sexually abusing a girl.

During the House of Commons debate in Deverton and Honeydon, Conservative Neil Parish lost his seat for viewing pornography on his smartphone. One of the strangest things about British politics was that he later apologized for looking for tractors and accidentally landed on a pornographic website.

Further: “Summer of discontent”: 40,000 railway workers on strike in Great Britain from Tuesday

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