I’m in row 11 C of the 15:50 Aer Lingus out of Heathrow. I’ve missed the hurricane, but it’s still a bit too wobbly up here for my liking. The pilot, who sounded disturbingly like Ross O’Carroll Kelly, promised a smooth journey. At least he has a sense of humour!
I’m leaving London and while I’m bouncing around in the air above the UK, it’s a good time to assess economic turbulence in our closest neighbour.
It was a long time coming, but now it looks as though it’s here: the Brexit wobble in the UK. The newly released numbers make for worrying reading. Inflation is up, and growth, along with foreign investment, are also down. The commercial property market in London is rapidly weakening and rate hikes are likely to prevent sterling from falling further.
This may all just be end-of-cycle stuff. After all, Britain has been growing for eight consecutive years now and I’ve been inclined to believe that some of the Brexit negativity was a bit hysterical, at least initially. But there’s no getting away from the smell of diplomatic incompetence, spiked with human ambition.
The shambolic state of public leadership in Britain is now worrying as the Tories are limbering up for another round of infighting. We see Brexiteers turning against themselves as the difficulties with exiting the EU become apparent. Anyone in the Tory ranks that is regarded as being “soft” on Brexit is deemed a “traitor” in the increasingly shrill popular press. This is a sure precursor of a leadership heave.