The chairman of NatWest understands the problems facing the UK – why can’t Rishi Sunak?

Last Updated: February 9, 2023By Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Rishi Sunak: the economy is beyond the understanding of this former Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is now the UK’s prime minister.

This Writer is guilty of terrible omissions in my political viewing habits; I keep forgetting Robert Peston’s interview show.

This week, he was talking to Howard Davies, chairman of NatWest, along with Labour’s John McDonnell and Ruth Davidson of the Conservatives, and it was Mr Davies who proved most interesting.

He laid into former PM Liz Truss, who has claimed she was brought down by a mythical “left-wing establishment”:

His words were supported by Mr McDonnell, who explained how he had planned for a future Labour government in 2017 and 2019 by liaising with the relevant economic movers and shakers in order to be sure that everybody knew what he was planning. He considered Truss’s failure to prepare as “incompetent”:

Mr Davies also described the economic levers that he believed were tipping the UK into recession – including Brexit, despite Tory claims to the contrary:

And he said although the recession was likely to be shallow, it would be hard to bring it to an end because the government has no plans to do so:

This is unsurprising. If a government refuses to accept the reasons for recession (like Brexit), then it is unlikely to be able to plan a successful way out.

But that leaves the question: if Howard Davies can recognise the problems, why can’t Rishi Sunak?

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