The new Prime Minister takes office; standing in Downing Street he pledges to make Britain a global success story, to reform public services and to deliver what matters to the British people. The opposition demands an election and speculation is rife about a snap poll in the autumn.
Despite the similarities, this is June 2007 and the contrasts between the start of Gordon Brown’s premiership and Boris Johnson’s are clearly stark. Brown came to power at the end of a period of sustained economic growth when the big global economic questions that dominated the twentieth century had seemingly been settled. Before the 2008 crash there was a consensus amongst politicians of left and right that global capitalism had prevailed to the benefit of Britain and the task was to not rock the boat. After all, there was, famously, ‘no alternative’.
Fast forward to 2019 and underpinning Johnson’s premiership, so far, is