The parliamentary vote on welfare has passed comfortably enough for the prime minister, but an ugly war over funding his welfare reforms is raging in the conservative press. Charges of treason and “disgrace”, addiction to tax hikes, being an ideological void – and even murdering conservatism – are all on Boris Johnson’s doorstep.
And the closest he has to friends in the media. The left-wing press may have racked up its own claims that the new tax regime will hit struggling employees while leaving wealthy retirees and high earners untouched, but most of the harshest criticism still comes from the right.
Write in the The telegraph of the day On Thursday, Allister Heath, editor of Sunday’s title, frantically attacked the PM’s reputation. “Shame on Boris Johnson and shame on the Conservative Party.” They have dishonored themselves, lied to their constituents, repudiated their principles, and treated millions of their supporters with utter contempt, “Heath said. Brittany ”and a caption proclaiming“ Conservatives have ransacked their intellectual traditions for short-term political gains. »
Fraser Nelson, editor of the venerable right-wing newspaper the Spectator, had no nicer words for Johnson, although he certainly did not declare a secret victory for socialism.
Under the claim that Johnson’s cabinet presided over the “reversal of the welfare state,” Nelson explained the mechanisms by which this trick was carried out. “The traditional logic of the welfare state – that those with power and money help those who have less – would be overturned… Some will help families who can never be called rich. But after the NHS waiting list starts to shrink, the tax becomes an insurance scheme for nursing homes, and the refusal to impose a means test has big implications. “
On the eve of the vote, the Spectators Economics editor Kate Andrews alleged Johnson had “reneged on manifesto promises left and right” and is now reveling in the growth of the “great state”.
She was concerned, she added, that the NHS hole would drain all the new money. “Unless decades of politicization and idolatry of health services are reversed overnight, and it becomes politically possible to criticize health services, it seems like an almost impossible situation. The only guarantee, then, is a new, higher tax burden. “
Another pair of missiles launched on the eve of the vote came from the Telegraph. Robert Taylor claimed Johnson was “addicted to big government” predicting further tax hikes, while Camilla Tominey, the newspaper’s deputy editor, said Johnson was ashamed “as he sounded the death knell for the newspaper. conservatism ”. She argued: ‘Mr Johnson’s suggestion that the public feel in their bones the need to spend more on the NHS seems to miss the point that most would rather it be government money than their own hard earned money. “