News that British Prime Minister Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson is to raise taxes to record peacetime levels illustrates a deep truth about politics: the man who rules his tribe may do what it takes. In theory, raising taxes is anathema, a sin, a contradiction, a nightmare to all Conservatives. Tory newspapers thundered against-but they will fall into line. Tory backbenchers fulminated. But they voted for it last night. Because their tribe had done it, and not the other tribe, whom they hate.
Clever leaders know this, and act to get their way. Nixon knew he could deal with China and the USSR. Who could doubt the credentials of the commie-loathing Richard Milhous, whose record was impeccably right wing? He’d never sell us out, the deal must be right. Whereas any Democrat leader who had swanned off to Beijing would have been crucified as soft on Communism. De Gaulle supported the Algerian settlers before selling them out. And the impeccably anti-Bolshevik Hitler could easily deal with Stalin when the time came. “If our side does it, it must be right” is how the tribesmen think. Johnson hates taxes; so when he raises them it must be necessary. Because a thing is right when our tribe does it, and only then. That is how the tribesmen think.
Whether the results are right remains to be seen(there is a crying need for social care reform in the UK). But Johnson himself needs to be careful. History records another rightwing nationalist, popularly throwing around cash and promises, riding a coalition of rich and poor. It was Juan Peron in Argentina. And look how that turned out.
#juan peron #boris johnson #tax rises #social care