With a significant Conservative majority, free marketeers can breathe a collective sigh of relief. But, far from taking a step back, business must become more engaged with government and much better at making the case for the contribution that business can make to society and the economy.
A clear majority
Boris Johnson has won one of the most decisive election victories in recent political history. By giving the Conservatives a majority of 78, the largest since 1987, the Conservatives have broken the deadlock that had taken over British politics since the 2017 election.
The pound has reacted strongly to the new-found certainty that business and the economy have not had for years. Pundits are focusing on the certainty this result will mean for Brexit. The result also gives business a new certainty. It will not need to adapt to the whims of a Marxist government with little regard for private property and which might bankrupt the country.
What next for the Conservatives in Government? Now the real contest for power and influence.
The Conservatives have a clear majority. But the struggle for power is not over. Factions within the party will now vie for control, to implement their version of conservatism.
What’s the likely impact on business and economy? Here we look at the two likely factions and what to look out for over the next few days.
At the end of January, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. When she does so, Dominic Cummings – the most powerful political advisor in a generation – will achieve his life’s purpose and political ambition. According to insiders, his departure from politics will shortly follow.
Two powerful factions are in fierce competition to become the dominant political force upon his departure. The result of this internal power struggle will have a far greater impact on business and the economy than the pantomime of the General Election.
British politics moves at remarkable speed. With the results of the election hot off the press, Boris will be expected to fully constitute his Government in the coming days.
The Conservatives pledge to ‘get Brexit done’ (you may have heard about this) and the imminent return of MPs to Parliament, further heightens the urgency.
In 1973 Stanford Professor Mark Granovetter’s “the strength of weak ties” argued that weak links, between people with different opinions, help new and unfamiliar ideas spread.
Sam Dumitriu, research director, The Entrepreneurs Network
One silver lining to Brexit for sceptical liberals like myself is that it’s an opportunity to have a more nuanced and intelligent debate on immigration. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but since the referendum attitudes have shifted. Both Remainers and Leavers are more positive about the effect of migration on the UK.
Progress in the immigration debate depends on the public having access to all of the facts. But we at The Entrepreneurs Network noticed there was a gap in the debate. Too often the media focused on whether or not migrant workers took jobs or drove down wages. They neglected the job-creating impact of immigrant entrepreneurs entirely.
By Morgan Schondelmeier, head of development, Adam Smith Institute
A few years ago, the Adam Smith Institute – an economic policy think tank in Westminster – decided to adopt the moniker ‘Neoliberal’. Derided by some as emblematic of a corrupt, greedy, and destructive world order, ‘neoliberal’ has for many years been a term of disdain used by the left to describe those with whom they disagree. By reclaiming the term, proponents of neoliberalism feel able to change the narrative back to the principles which define our views; freedom, liberty, security, and compassion.
By Alex Pearmain, co-founder, One Fifty Consultancy
“Covfefe”. Even typos can structure a news cycle, when you’re a tweeting president. Such is the impact of digital tools on our political discourse, strategy and tactics, that the 2019 general election looks set to be the first principally digitally driven UK campaign.
This is against a backdrop of allegations of foreign interference, illegality and general mania about anything involving the word ‘data’. But how did we get here, and what can it point to about how we shape a better political future?
By Guy Corbet, Fourteen Forty
Just when you think there isn’t room in the world for another business index, the very smart people at communications agency Portland have created the Total Value Index.
It compares the contribution that individual British businesses (and sectors) make to our world, based on their simple proposition that “value = profit + purpose”.