Optimism has become severely underrated in this trough era for British politics. Brexit is taking up pretty much all of our time. We have become bogged down in trade policy debates and are repeatedly smacked over the head by angry predictions of impending catastrophe from joy-hating commentators. Finally, thanks to our sanguine and open-minded new Prime Minister, the tide is turning.
Brexit may have been responsible for catapulting Boris Johnson into Number 10, but barely forty-eight hours in, it is clear that his vision for his time in office extends far beyond it. Despite heaping lavish and fulsome praise on his predecessor, he has left us in no doubt about his desire to dispense with her managerialist style and inject some verve back into our politics.
Most crucially of all, Boris and his consummate team of budding new ministers embody one quality that has not been seen in British government since the Iron Lady herself: a love of freedom. The new government embodies an unbridled and deep-seated desire to rein in the long arm of the state and claw back personal liberty and individual responsibility.
Boris is a lifelong freedom-fighter. He rebelled against his own party on several occasions to support equal marriage and LGBT+ rights long before they were the political mainstream. He has promised to liberalise immigration policy and has even called for an amnesty for illegal immigrants. The regressive and authoritarian sin taxes are for the chop under the new regime.
In good news for people who like to keep their own money, he has pledged to begin chipping away at our historic tax burden. The list of reasons to embrace Boris’s brand of progressive Conservativism goes on and on. His commitments on climate change and sustainability. His zealous devotion to animal welfare. And, of course, the fact that he has just appointed one of the most diverse Cabinets this country has ever seen, which also happens to be chock-full of others who care deeply about freedom.
Liz Truss, who has courted much favour with liberty-loving young Tories, has consistently stood up for freedom. Dominic Raab has written papers calling for sweeping deregulation. Priti Patel speaks enthusiastically about the limitless potential of the free market. Robert Jenrick looks likely to liberalise and revolutionise the housing market.
Similarly, Jacob Rees-Mogg declared recently that “freedom is the answer” to the ensuing housing crisis. Gavin Williamson has persistently voted to give schools more autonomy. Even those who lean towards the centrist wing of the party offer freedom fans plenty of cause for celebration. Nicky Morgan, for instance, adopted Michael Gove’s policies in support of free schools and academies when Education Secretary.
The possibilities here are endless. Boris Johnson’s
rip-roaring freedom government will allow us to poke our heads above the Brexit
parapet for the first time in over three years and see the vision of prosperity
and exultation that lies beyond. We are ushering in a new age in our politics,
and it will be the best in a generation.