Mayor Boris Johnson loses the plot – which party is he dying to lead?

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This article first appeared in my bi-weekly Tomograph newsletter just overa  week ago, but perhaps merits a wider audience. To receive this weekly newsletter with exclusive articles on hot shares, investment and economics plus links to all my articles on 10 US and UK websites click HERE The London Mayor wants to be the next leader of the Conservative party. He cannot hide his naked ambition. And as such Boris is now issuing populist press releases or sending out messages he thinks will win votes via fawning journalists at every opportunity. His latest effort was just pitiful.

I am not a fan of Call Me Dave. I do not really care which of these two chancers leads the Tory party as neither has done a proper job in their life and – as far as I can see – neither has a Scooby Doo about how to solve the UK’s problems. But this week it was Johnson who lost the plot as he called on the Government to stop talking austerity and to kick-start confidence by building more houses and investing in great public works schemes in transport and infrastructure.

It could have been Ed Balls issuing this release. I thought Boris was meant to be a Tory. And more to the point, intelligent.

Britain is running a huge budget deficit. Our taxes are too high and our National Debt is – at this rate – heading very rapidly towards a level where it will pass the point where it starts to restrict growth. Britain is going bankrupt. For all the talk of austerity (which Boris wishes to ban) the Government is spending more than it did last year and the deficit is still out of control. We are going bust.

So suggestions that the Government should spend more are just plain lunacy. Moreover as a Tory Boris should appreciate that Government spending must ultimately be paid for by taxpayers either now or later. And under what conceit does he think that Politicians will spend other people’s money more wisely than individuals spending their own.

Take housing. There are almost one1 million unoccupied houses in Britain. So why the hell should Government borrow more money to build even more? How about Boris and Call Me Dave takes action to force local authorities to get unutilised accommodation back into use as they sit on much of the empty estate. How about offering big tax breaks to private landlords to get them to let out their properties even if it means cutting rents? Lower tax receipts on lower rents are better than no tax receipts on no rents.

Only a politician could think that with one million empty homes in Britain that what a bankrupt country needs to do is add to the taxpayer’s burden by …building more homes. As it happens the history of state constructed homes is a dire one. They are historically unloved and unliveable in. If there is a demand for housing let the private sector fill it. Why does Boris wish to mess with market forces using other folk’s money. All that does is create debt and asset bubbles.

Governments do not grow an economy. By increasing debt (deferred tax) and taxes they suck vitality out of the sector that does create real jobs and wealth (the private sector). Surely a real Tory would appreciate that? If Boris wishes to grow the economy he should be calling for measures such as: the abolition of the minimum wage, a scrapping of all employment legislation, the phasing out of employers NI contributions (a tax on jobs). But what Boris really wants to do is be Prime Minister.

I have not worked out whether Call me Dave or Red Ed is more despicable and useless. The latter is an unreformed lefty. The firmer is a true heir to Blair. Both should be replaced. The Boris agenda puts him in line to apply for either job.

Eurosceptic libertarian Tom Winnifrith writes for ten US and UK websites on shares, business and politics. For a bi-weekly newsletter with links to all his articles plus exclusive content like the piece above click HERE

You can also follow Tom on twitter @tomwinnifrith

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  1. John says:

    “How about offering big tax breaks to private landlords to get them to let out their properties even if it means cutting rents?”

    No. High taxes (say 5% of the selling price) on empty properties. Don’t want to pay, sell it to someone who will pay or use it. Think the tax is too high, put your money where your mouth is and sell it to the government for 20x the tax. Exemptions for second homes where there is no housing pressure, e.g. farm cottages.

  2. C H Ingoldby says:

    The idea that more government is the answer really makes me wonder what question he is trying to answer.

    Johnson just went down in my estimation.

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