MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, October 6, 2021 (AFP) – “High wages, high skills, high productivity” was the promise made on Wednesday (6) by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to his Conservative party, in defense of a major reform, after Brexit Britain from the European Union, frees the British economy from its dependence on cheap foreign labor.
Faced with long queues at gas stations, empty supermarket shelves, and merchants’ warnings of a bleak end of the year due to severe labor shortages, Johnson argued that all this pain was short-lived, fleeting, and well worth it. .
Boris, in his closing address at his party conference in Manchester, in the non-industrial north-east of England, said, “The answer to the current tensions, which are essentially the result of economic revitalization, is not to use the same old lever of unbridled immigration.” , who traditionally vote for the left.
He insisted that the UK should abandon an “old broken system” based on “low wages, low growth, low skills, low productivity, all made possible and facilitated by unbridled immigration”.
Instead, he called for investment to bridge the huge disparities between the wealthy city of London and the rest of the country, prioritizing infrastructure, housing, education and business development that would make it possible to pay better wages to well-trained British workers across the country. .
“Our job as governors is to advance opportunity,” he said, calling for a reform that “no government has had the courage to tackle” so far.
“Yes, it will take time and sometimes it will be difficult, but that was the change that people voted for in 2016,” he insisted.
The date refers to the referendum that chose Brexit, with 52% of the vote, which, after years of political chaos, resulted in the United Kingdom leaving the European Union permanently, on 1 January this year.
– Lots of humor, little action – Filled with traditional sarcastic humor, the Prime Minister’s speech offered more charisma than concrete measures, amounting to bonuses of up to £3,000 (US$4,000) for recruiting teachers and promising inaccurate results for massive public investments.
“It was a fun speech,” 50-year-old marketing expert Jacqueline Hampson, who attended her first conference after joining the party last year, told AFP, “and we need an injection of that energy.”
“Without a doubt, we have to keep our finances in check and maintain the confidence of the financial markets,” Charles Pott, 82, said of possible tax increases.
As for labor representatives close to the opposition Labor Party, whom Johnson attacked and ridiculed in his speech, his message represented nothing but the “words of a political clown”.
It launched “slogans about the difficult details, at a time when costs are soaring, inflation is a real concern, subsidies have been reduced for millions of people, there is massive food and fuel shortages and a very real climate crisis,” according to the Secretary-General’s analysis. From the powerful transport union TSSA, Manuel Cortes.
– What about climate change? Within weeks of hosting the COP26 climate summit in the Scottish city of Glasgow, Johnson tackled climate change as a spinoff.
“The design of the world will be put to the test. Can we keep Paris’ ambition to stop global warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius alive? Government cannot act alone, and taxpayers cannot do it alone,” he said.
He called for private sector involvement, citing, for example, the offshore wind turbine fields off the British coast.
With the usual self-confidence, the day before the Prime Minister pedaled an electric bike, climbed on an electric tractor and played with a jigsaw puzzle to assemble a carbon-neutral home at the exhibitor booths at the conference.
On the whole, however, in Congress, unlike Brexit, climate change has been pushed to the background – a “bad sign”, in the opinion of Rebecca Newsom, policy officer at Greenpeace UK.
On Wednesday, Johnson even attacked those who have been protesting across London for weeks against the government’s inaction on climate, and who are turning to civil disobedience.
He criticized that “those people who cling to the roads I do not call legitimate protesters, but rather a nuisance that obstructs ambulances and prevents people from living their daily lives,” praising that his Minister of Interior is promoting “new powers to put them in.” Prison is where they should be.”
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