The political and media establishments seem obsessed with things that do not matter at the expense of things that do. This mid-term government is exhibiting many unwelcome characteristics. It introduces a succession of small-scale measures while having no discernible theme that would give a unity and purpose to its actions.
The government might think that it is failing to put its message across, but the reality is that it does not have a message. It should use the summer months to plan an autumn offensive that can reinvigorate it and send a powerful and clear signal that it is determined to lift the UK out of its present difficulties. It should unveil a growth strategy to stand alongside any cuts it might make in public spending.
It should allow small firms to have workers registered as self-employed. No single measure would do more to loosen up the labour market and create the new jobs. It should remove the taxes that pander to envy without raising revenue proportionate to the harm they do to wealth creation. It should repeal the taxes that fall upon capital, the source of the investment crucial for expansion. The aim should be declared in ringing tones to be that of turning Britain into a low-tax, wealth-friendly, growth-oriented country, a magnet for investment and talent. It should commit to expansion, not retrenchment.
A government which did that would find a country that not only understood what it was doing, but approved of it. The Adam Smith Institute stands ready to help it in this endeavour, but time is short. Autumn would be a good time to launch it.