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Tory Brexit drive behind divisions with business

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Issue 2684
The Financial Times refuses to back Boris
The Financial Times refuses to back Boris (Pic: Financial Times/Flickr)

The Financial Times newspaper and The Economist refused to call for a vote for the Tories.

Both are utterly dedicated to pro-capitalist policies, and their refusal underlines a long-term problem for the Tory party.

Historically the Tories have faced their most damaging crises when they stray from the views of sections of big business.

That is what is they have now done over Brexit and other issues.

Of course both newspapers were clear they don’t want Jeremy Corbyn.

The Financial Times wrote, “The party most distant from FT values—and whose policies are most perilous—is Labour under Mr Corbyn.

“Labour aims to reverse, not revise, the Thatcherite revolution of the 1980s.”

The Economist added, “Mr Corbyn’s ruinous plans at home and bankrupt views abroad mean that this newspaper cannot support Labour.”


But they then went on to denounce Boris Johnson. The Financial Times said, “In normal times all this would argue for support for the Conservatives. These are not normal times. This Tory party is high-risk.

“Mr Johnson has played fast and loose with democratic norms. His word is rarely his bond.”

The newspaper concluded that it wants a vote for “internationalist, pro-business MPs”.

The Economist said Johnson has absorbed the lesson “that there is no penalty for lying or breaking the rules”.

“This chicanery corrodes trust in democracy,” it said. “For all these reasons this newspaper cannot support the Conservatives.

“That leaves a low bar for the Liberal Democrats, and they clear it.” 

Splits on the right can become an opportunity for the left to fight and win.

But it’s not just the right that is split.

Disgracefully the New Statesman magazine—always seen as pro-Labour—refused to call for a Labour vote this time.

It said, “The essential judgement that must be made is on Mr Corbyn himself.

“His reluctance to apologise for the antisemitism in Labour and to take a stance on Brexit, the biggest issue facing the country, make him unfit to be prime minister.”

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