Boris Johnson has no excuses for Brexit now; he must deliver – Bernard Ingham

HAVE you ever been on the wrong side of right? I was last week. Apologies to one and all for under-estimating the British public’s political judgment, economic nous and plain common sense.

Boris Johnson alongside the new intake of Tory MPs.

I forecast a Tory election majority of around 50 and you delivered a commanding 80. Theoretically, it could have been 110 but for the Brexit Party’s intervention in target seats.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Our politicians now have no excuse. Brexit must be done and dusted and the plethora of economic, social and infrastructural needs of the whole of Britain effectively tackled.

Boris Johnson during a meet and greet with newly-elected Tory MPs.

Boris Johnson will be judged entirely on his performance against his promises.

His majority – while perfectly adequate for a Parliament – is flimsy because of the Labour Party’s confused approach to Brexit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for photographs as he welcomes the newly elected Conservative MPs at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, after the party gained an 80-seat majority in the General Election.

Once Brexit is out of the way and with a new moderate Labour leadership, if such is possible, he will be up against it in 2025 unless he can summon up the nation’s blood to drive Britain forward.

What happens to the Labour Party, the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats will make his life easier or more difficult.

It will be easier if Momentum’s malevolent hold on the Labour Party is maintained, though it will do our democracy and governance no good; if Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party recognises its achievement and calls it a day; and if the Liberal Democrats realise they are as politically irrelevant as the Greens.

But can Labour break the hold of the hard Left/Momentum on the party and return it to mainstream politics? I have my doubts, especially as the Marxists have blamed Brexit, the media, “thick” voters, indeed anything but themselves, for their abject defeat.

They are so steeped in the class war that they simply cannot believe their totalitarian, revolutionary, spendthrift, unpatriotic and worryingly racist stance had nothing to do with their rejection.

And, with a few courageous exceptions, the supposedly moderate majority of the party has so far run a mile from challenging them.

As for the Scottish Nationalists – effectively Jeremy Corbyn in a kilt – they will be a blot on the political landscape so long as they treat the English, who keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, as the oppressor. We can expect continuous trouble from their lusting after EU subservience.

Having wooed the Scots this week, the Prime Minister should immediately ask the independent Office for Budget Responsibility to set out the Scots’ net benefit from the 312 year-old Union and how much the EU, shorn of British contributions, would have to find to maintain their lifestyle.

He might also usefully call for the figures for Wales and Northern Ireland to make the nationalists think about where their interest lies.

This brings me to tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech setting out the Government’s programme for 2020. Clearly, Brexit is the urgent priority to end the uncertainty, implement a democratic vote and clear the decks for action on public services.

The big issue is whether Boris Johnson will be tough enough to do this without throwing our flimsy financial position deep into deficit. So-called One Nation Tories are subject to the same economic laws as was Margaret Thatcher but tend to be as wet as whistles and expensive with it, though cheap compared with Corbyn.

To show his mettle, Boris should make it clear tomorrow that everyone, wherever they live, has a part to play as well as a right to a share of the benefits.

He should start by announcing legislation to ban strikes in all public services. The taxpayer should not
have to pay twice over for withdrawals of labour – both through taxes and inconvenience.

Similarly, he should banish Extinction Rebellion and other demonstrators to designated demo areas and make it illegal to interfere with the free passage of citizens whether on foot or in vehicles.

He should then tell local government, central government departments, NHS officials, crime commissioners and chief constables and academia that he expects them to cut out waste and do their job much more efficiently in return for extra spending and control of immigration.

As for industry and commerce – the source of our wealth – they should be told they should thank their lucky stars that they have a Tory government and not Corbyn. After all, their excesses were his best recruiting sergeant.

As the servant of all the people the Government is all in favour of entrepreneurial flair provided it recognises its responsibility for self-restraint.

In short, Boris’s signal via the Queen tomorrow should be: “I mean business. My watchwords are freedom and fairness under the law.”