Boris Johnson met with the Queen to receive his invitation to form government at 3:34 this afternoon (24 July) in London, after Theresa May tendered her resignation. Now the Queen can go on her vacation to Balmoral. Boris faces a very busy and tense schedule when he enters #10. He has given his first speech upon his arrival at #10 to a rowdy crowd in attendance, promising steadfastly to leave the EU on Halloween day, along with a raft of other promises, as all politicians do. Now that we have a time for the start of his government we can see what is more likely to play out in the months ahead.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and take in what is happening. It is not just in the UK, but worldwide. We have a reality TV star in the White House, an actor who played President in office in the Ukraine, right wing governments in Italy, Hungary, Brazil and the Philippines, neoliberal technocrats posing as representatives of the people in Canada and France, reactionary leaders in Israel and the US, MbS in Saudi land – one gets the idea that these people are in place to accelerate the demise of the old order. If so, they are doing a very good job of it. And now add to the mix Boris, who some call ‘Britain’s Trump’. Trump actually cited that, too. Says BoJo will do a good job. Most people disagree. Trump also says that people love him (Trump) in the UK. Most comments I have seen differ on that point, too. We’ll get to the chart shortly.
As with any administration, the new leader’s cabinet picks will tell a story about what they will be working toward and why. The rumors are flying at the moment. Johnson’s key advisor is said to be one Dominic Cummings, the Vote Leave campaign manager who was found in contempt of Parliament four months ago for refusing to appear before MPs. His focus will be on policy. He is a contentious and abrasive character. The other is one Sir Edward Lister, who was Johnson’s advisor when he was mayor of London. He will be chief of staff at #10. He also ran up a large bill of undeclared expenses while under Johnson’s mayoral tenure.
The new Chief Whip is Mark Spencer, a relative unknown but said to be a nice guy and even-handed, and he makes great pies. They will need him to mend fences within the party and out. Priti Patel is Home Secretary. She was involved in a scandal for having secret meetings with the Israeli government (14 times) while on vacation and had to step down. Expect anti-Semitism smears against opponents. Dominic Raab is First Secretary of State, a hardliner on Brexit. This guy didn’t even know Dover was a major transit point when he was Brexit Minister. Ben Wallace is Defense Secretary. He was a Remainer prior to the 2016 referendum, and he is noted for his unfounded smears against Jeremy Corbyn. But he is also one of the few MPs who has actually served in the military. Sajid Javid has been appointed Chancellor (Treasury Secretary). He is noted for his dog-whistling politics and race baiting. But he also advocates for economic shock therapy once Brexit takes place, if ever. Be concerned.
And then, there are the people who were cut – one of the most severe purges in recent British parliamentary history. Boris cleared out 17 in what has been called a ‘summer’s day massacre’. He has basically purged the cabinet of Jeremy Hunt and the latter’s supporters. Hunt has resigned. Progressives will cheer. What is evolving from this cabinet is one that will push hard for Brexit and favor all the policies for which the Conservatives are known, those same policies that are really behind the disgruntlement of the populace. More on that in a bit. On the whole the new cabinet was described by Pete Wishart, member of the SNP as “the worst since Thatcher”:
“Boris Johnson’s nightmare Tory government is shaping up to be the worst since Thatcher – packed full of extreme Brexiteers and rabid right-wingers who want to drag us back to a bygone era… which Donald Trump or Nigel Farage would be proud of – with members that want to scrap the Barnett formula, privatise the NHS, roll-back workers’ rights, undo the welfare state, cut taxes for the rich, and even bring back the death penalty.”
Then, in his first speech as PM at Downing St., Boris outlined his platform. As noted, it sounds like a prelude to a free trade deal with the US, with plans to relax regulations on GM foods, cutting taxes “to promote investment”, hiring an extra 20,000 police “to make your streets safer”, a commitment to free ports, and so on. Given all this, what does the chart of his administration tell us? The chart is below (bigger):
The dynamics for Boris’ administration are stressful, as one might have expected. Mars is elevated in Leo in the 9th house square the Horizon axis, with Scorpio rising. The Sun is at the apex of a ‘finger of the world’ triangle, with a Jupiter/Neptune square at the base. It is an aspect pattern that is often found in times of pressing social needs and the need to fully demonstrate solutions to those needs. The challenge is to take concrete action, clearly demonstrated. The combination of these planets is problematic in and of itself, though, leaning toward a lack of self-control, irresponsibility, speculation and deception – either of oneself or in deceiving others. The placement of the Sun is thus particularly important, no less so because it represents leadership in general.
The Sabian symbol for the solar degree is, “An epidemic of mumps”. Interesting, given the mood in the UK now. The Sun is just over in the 9th house from the 8th – the 9th representing overseas matters, foreign affairs and exchange and the judiciary – and indeed, all of those areas need addressing with this administration, Brexit being the prime example. The Sun rules Leo, and co-rules the 9th house, with Leo being intercepted. The Mars square to the horizon from the 9th will not help in the case of negotiating Brexit, either. It is a chart that actually favors a hard Brexit in a way, but which at the same time shows a weakness in getting it done.
The base square of the finger of the world is quite mystical, and inclines toward belief in things that are not materially viable. This government is seen to be disconnected from the realities faced by the public. It is a great aspect to have for writers and visionaries, but not in the case of a government that actually has very serious material concerns to address, both at home and abroad. This is further aggravated by the Uranus square to the Sun, adding a note of adventurism, overt independence (probably disconnected from the public) and at times a reckless attitude to affairs. Add to this that the Sun is the exact midpoint – the strongest in the chart – of a wide moon/Uranus conjunction, and instability is further increased. It will give a temperament that will love a good argument/debate, be self-willed and independent, but it will wear on the nerves quickly and be roused to strong emotions easily.
The only stabilizing factors to the entire setup are the trine of Ceres to the Sun, showing that women would perhaps provide a calming and more cautious note to his administration. But then, that depends on the women, too. To use an American corollary, if he were US President, would Boris choose a Nikki Haley or a Tulsi Gabbard for foreign affairs, for instance? Priti Patel is not exactly a calming influence. The other stabilizing factor is the Mars trine to Jupiter, which gives a general optimism. It is also a great aspect to have for business, which is what the Conservatives are all about. It is one of the ‘wealth aspects’. On the other hand, it gives a tendency to embark on large gambles and it is not an aspect that inclines one to be interested in small details. There is a lot of devil in the details the UK must work out in the immediate future.
Then, there is the quincunx of Mars to Saturn, speaking of devil in the details, which is an indicator that the right use of energies has to be learned and brings lessons thereby. It is an aspect that will give a tendency to drain this administrations energies in a haphazard, non-productive fashion, thus taking away from the benefits of the Mars/Saturn trine. It is also a combination with those two planets that will introduce a note of hubris, for which the British upper classes are known, and of which this cabinet is comprised. This is further shown in the midpoints (under the chart wheel in the figure), which are explained on the chart.
Then, we see the Aries Moon is conjunct Eris and forms the apex of a t-square with a Venus/Pluto opposition at the base. Venus is also conjunct Mercury. In other circumstances that Mercury/Venus conjunction would be great for any administration, contributing idealism and an ease in communicating with the public, as well as expansive diplomatic ability. However, with Pluto and Eris involved, it can be a sabotaging and divisive configuration. And square to the Moon, the conjunction lends an antisocial note to this administration, leading to disengagement with the public, when the opposite is actually needed. The same applies to foreign governments.
This entire configuration will strongly intensify the emotional atmosphere in the UK, and probably much of the world, too. We are already seeing protests on Downing Street. It will galvanize public opinion, further strengthening the divide between Leavers and Remainers in the Brexit battle, and will do little to unite the nation, especially with Eris at the apex of the t-square. It is also likely to bring up quite a few issues for women in the UK. Boris shares something with Trump in that regard. He is known for his peccadillos and also for his ‘adventures’ with women.
This brings us back to the Brexit question, which brought all this about in the first place. Most Europeans think that the UK will leave the EU on Oct 31st. Most Britons think not. Even Nigel ‘Mr. Brexit’ Farage says that the Brexit deadline will be extended past the 31st, and that an early election is likely. If so, it is not looking good for Boris. We are hearing the same sorts of things out of Johnson that we heard from Theresa May when she assumed the premiership. And it is interesting to note that she never brought up the idea of a no-deal Brexit with Brussels in her negotiations. The EU has been very clear – either leave with the deal agreed on under May (which Parliament never passed), or leave with no deal. But then, there is always the possibility to rescind Art. 50 and bury Brexit for good. Those words are not in Boris’ vocabulary. How does this sort of scenario show in the UK chart?
The key all along with Brexit has lain with the solar arc of Pluto to the UK Ascendant and with the transit of Saturn opposite the UK Moon. Saturn is retrograde now, will make its direct station on 19 September at 14 Capricorn, near the UK Sun, and pass the opposition with the Moon for the final time on 14 December this year, having been within a degree of orb since the 5th of that month. Those transits/directions show setbacks for the government and further angst for the populace. On 31 October, Mars will be on the UK south node, with Saturn at the bending of the nodes and on the nodal/Vertex MP. The mood in the nation looks to be anything but festive, and we will probably be seeing some very lively parliamentary proceedings during the period. This brings us to the opposition to the government. There are two considerations.
Firstly, as to opposition parties, one has to look at both the administration and national charts. The opposition parties are going to be quite energized on Oct 31 in the UK chart, with Jupiter transiting trine to the UK Saturn, the latter ruling the 4th house (opposition parties). The opposition opposes Brexit and/or no-deal. In the admin chart the situation is somewhat similar. There is nothing helping the government on or near the day. Instead transiting Mars is square to the admin Saturn, transiting Neptune is sesquisquare the admin Sun and quincunx the admin Neptune, the latter ruling the 4th house (opposition parties). The latter will be a strange sort of activation, and will be worth watching. It could hold some surprises.
As one Conservative MP has stated with Boris Johnson’s coming to power, “The circus has come to town.” His administration will certainly receive copious media scrutiny. It is less than 100 days to the Oct 31 deadline. There is little time to get anything done about Brexit. It would take either a completely reckless approach to matters, which is possible, but with parliamentary opposition to a no-deal Brexit still strong it is doubtful anything will come of it. Farage was probably correct. And with Saturn still to make its final transit opposite the UK Moon, and not until after the deadline, people who are holding their breath for Brexit to happen then should probably breathe. The fight is not yet over.
However, there are some parting points to keep in mind. Boris Johnson’s cabinet represents the very reason there was a Brexit vote to begin with. It was the Conservatives who pushed it, and it was their policies over the past four decades, aided by ‘New Labor’, that have caused the British to register their protest vote to leave the EU, prompted by the decline of their living standards. The Conservatives played their cards well with that one. The EU was not the problem. It was made the scapegoat. It was the cover story used by the Conservatives to push through their furtherance of the same policies that have driven the social decline in the UK. It was the failed policies of successive UK governments that have brought about the present state of affairs. Leaving the EU will change none of that. The UK is living in Thatcher’s museum.
If all this sounds harsh, it is more in the nature reality. The chart of this administration is not one marked for great things, unless that great thing is to bring about a disruption of British life. But BoJo’s administration is certainly going to shake things up, and when the dust settles, that may just be a good thing. People will be far more aware of what is facing them, at least regarding Brexit and the British government. A revolution would seem to be on the cards, at least a democratic one, and this government may be the catalyst for it. So, hold on to your bowlers, fascinators, or whatever your headwear of choice. The circus has begun and the drivers for change in the UK have just pressed down hard on the accelerators.
Featured pic from Politico