Boris Johnson Solidifies Lead: Pledges to Cut Taxes When Prime Minister
BJ’s Campaign to Lose
- Pledge tax cuts appealing to the Tory base. The party is so fragmented that appealing to the base makes perfect sense.
- The court tossed out a private lawsuit against Johnson over alleged Referendum lies. The lawsuit was so absurd, it was guaranteed to help Johnson.
- Chances for rival Michael Gove, the best hope of Stop Boris Movement, are sinking fast over cocaine usage. Apparently it went up Gove’s nose but not Johnson’s.
Gove Q&A on Cocaine
In an afternoon speech, Gove tried to defend his cocaine position.
Q: You have a lot of supporters here. But you must know your campaign is in real trouble. When you were a prominent figure before you became an MP, you thought it was OK to snort cocaine. Then, as justice secretary, you were prepared to send poor people who did the same to jail. People do not like double standards.
A. Gove says he has reflected on this. He would ask people to judge him by what he did as justice secretary. He encouraged people to to accept that people should be given a second chance.
That defense was a flop.
I Thought It Was Sugar
When ridiculous defenses work, it’s smacks of something far more fundamental: The party did not want Gove.
Gove did himself in, not cocaine. Gove was willing to ask for another Brexit extension.
That was political suicide.Cocaine hypocrisy obviously did not help.
Problem With Jeremy Hunt
Thanks to cocaine-gate, Jeremy Hunt is now the second favorite behind Johnson.
Like Gove, Hunt is willing to have another extension.
That will matter at some point.
The Guardian Live Blog reports 1922 Committee Confirms 10 Candidates on Ballot for First Vote.
Art of Not Doing
“Boris Johnson is dominating the campaign, despite being largely absent from it. The former foreign secretary is refusing to give broadcast interviews, and his campaigning consists of private talks with MPs, plus the odd intervention in friendly newspapers (mostly the Telegraph, which pays him handsomely for his column). Yet what has been striking today is how all the other contenders are defining themselves in opposition to him, by stressing the need for serious leadership or a fresh start etc.”
Johnson’s Shut Up and Dance With Me Campaign
Johnson may not be giving interviews but he did do one critical thing: appeal to the base with tax cuts.
Matt Hancock, Dominic Raab, and Michael Gove – criticized the tax cut directly.
“One thing I will never do as prime minister is to use our tax and benefits system to give the already wealthy another tax cut,” said Gove
Kiss them all goodbye as hopeless. Gove did himself in. The rest, other than Hunt, never had any real chance in the first place.
Over the weekend we got a glimpse of the Brexit dynamics we are likely to see under a new Tory leader. Boris Johnson proposed two fiscal measures likely to create significant new facts for the UK’s future relationship with the EU. One is a refusal to pay the £39bn, the negotiated total financial settlement included in the draft withdrawal agreement. The other is a massive Salvini-style income-tax cut, in the form of an increase in the upper threshold for the lower tax rate of 20% from the current £46000 to £80000.
- Boris Johnson is building up his lead in the Tory leadership race with the promise of a dramatic income-tax cut.
- This is strategically a smart move, as it shifts the debate away from Brexit to a domain that is popular among Tory members.
- Tax cuts would make it harder for the UK and the EU to negotiate a future association agreement, as the EU could come to regard the UK as a tax haven.
Strategically Smart Move
- Shut up and dance. Johnson is not talking much with the media. The less you say to the media, the less likely you are to get trapped into offending someone.
- Does £46,000 (roughly $58,000) constitute being wealthy? Johnson’s tax cuts primarily benefits the middle class ($58,000 to $101,000). Gove ridiculously attacked the cuts as a benefit to the wealthy.
- Johnson also discussed not using the £39,000 Brexit breakup fee for other things.
- The EU does not like tax cuts and may view the UK as a tax haven. Via points 2 and 3, Johnson purposely gave the EU a strong reason not to deal. This increases the likelihood of no deal even if Johnson’s official stance is to negotiate.
- Being willing to deal but making it difficult or impossible to do so is brilliant.
Shut Up and Dance Musical Tribute to Johnson
Prepare for No Deal
This is likely to come down to Hunt vs Johnson.
Prepare for Johnson and No Deal.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock