It’s interesting that Theresa May has got rid of George Osborne. She’s brought on a new chancellor who seems to be stoutly rejecting the austerity that defined Osborne’s tenure.
Now, what politicians say and what they do are very often different things, so we’ll see how the austerity or lack thereof really plays out, but Osborne’s proud austerity has been the defining feature of the modern Conservative party. To now start backtracking on that is huge.
There’s an analysis hiding in here that austerity and its effects are probably the single biggest justifiable driver of the brexit vote, and Theresa May recognises and feels motivated to act upon this. A lot of people who don’t normally vote felt sufficiently disillusioned by the modern political climate that they attended a polling station to give the establishment a black eye. For the average member of the working or not-so-working class, leaving the EU won’t solve any problems. But removing George Osborne just might.
I feel reasonably optimistic at the moment that Theresa May is smarter than the average brexiter and realises there’s bigger issues at home.
If she’s serious about improving the economy for poorer people, she’ll end up in a conflict with the more enthusiastic brexiters who think that leaving is worth the economic hit. David Davis, minister for brexit, has been making noises implying he wants to leave at any cost. But it’s not his choice, and Theresa May’s messages on the subject seem much more cautious.