Yet Boris Johnson and his party seem so full of confidence that the Prime Minister has flown off for a mid-crisis break on the Costa del Sol.

It also includes a two-bedroom apartment with private access.

His last break was a radically different summer staycation in Scotland which he had to cut short because of security concerns.

He picked a cottage in remote Applecross on the north-west coast in August last year when Carrie was still his fiancée.

Questioned on the fears Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was unable to guarantee there would not be interruptions to gas supply this winter but insisted he was 'as certain as I could be' it would continue.

However, his allies will argue that his last proper break was on the Caribbean island of Mustique in early January last year – since when he has nearly died from Covid, lost his mother, divorced, become a father, remarried and prepared to welcome another child, all while dealing with the UK's gravest crisis since the Second World War.

Take a holiday '.

Boris Johnson and his pregnant wife Carrie are taking a foreign break at a £25,000-a-week Marbella hideaway owned by the Prime Minister's wife's close friend and Tory peer Zac Goldsmith

' i don't think he's focused on the job in the way that he should be.

' I think you'd be hard-pressed to say the country is in a very good state at the moment.

Yet more boosterism to tide him over a difficult political period.

And today when many developing countries have learnt to produce the same quality of products – but can sell them more cheaply – it is nothing short of disastrous.

It is essential that we drop the damaging notion that manufacturing no longer matters to Britain and that we can rely on the growth of financial services instead (stock image)

Britain must start to see itself in a 'race to the top ', supplying world markets with attractive, innovative goods.

Nothing will be gained if politicians and commerce continue to blame each other for our parlous situation.

We need companies like Apple and products such as the iPhone which sell at premium prices around the globe.

It will only happen, in other words, if British companies put innovation and creative product design at the very heart of their business.

But it is hoped some time in the luxurious hillside hideaway will give him time to recharge. The main house is set on three levels and sleeps 13. It includes a two-bedroom apartment with private access

Today, we live in a highly competitive world economy – and Britain is taking a beating.

It's a list worth noting.

Remember, British research, design and engineering continue to produce high levels of productivity and wealth.

It is a sad fact that our decision to replace the business of making things with low-productivity services – think call centres or Deliveroo – is the main reason we 've had such a slow rate of growth in recent years.

The Costa del Sol is popular with prime ministers: Tony Blair and his wife Cherie stayed at a friend's house in the village of Benahavis, which was visited by Michelle Obama in 2010

One of the reasons that Singapore is the wealthiest country in the world – if we leave out tax havens – is that, while it has roughly 25 per cent of its economy in high productivity financial services, it has deliberately ensured that another 20 per cent of its economy remains in high-class manufacturing.

Secondly, the Government needs to make good on its professed support for science and innovation.

In view of the skills crisis the country faces, we must speed up the introduction of the new T-Levels, a new national system of technical qualifications understood by both students and business, and promote them, instead of behaving as if we had all the time in the world to train the technicians and technologists which our industry so desperately needs.

Finally, the Prime Minister is right to say that levelling up the poorer regions of the country must be a key part of the Government's strategy.

Carrie Johnson is a close friend of Lord Goldsmith (pictured left, with Health Secretary Sajid Javid out campaigning in 2017)

But we should be clear that regional inequalities are a long-standing problem which will not be easy to solve.

We have had 90 years of policies attempting to boost growth in the regions, but the gap in performance has widened over this period.

Matching our competitors will not be easy, but it is the only option.

Brexit is causing calamities that show no signs of easing; and the government's handling of the pandemic has been largely awful, with a cost measured in tens of thousands of lives.

The Prime Minister has flown to Marbella with his pregnant wife Carrie and their 17-month-old son Wilf, who is enjoying his first foreign break

Part of 2021 ’ s all-enveloping strangeness, they seem to think, is the fact that Johnson affects to be so upbeat while so many of the relevant numbers suggest chaos and uncertainty.

In fact, looking back, this is the one bit of the current picture that should be completely familiar.

Westen ’ s basic points were as much grounded in neuroscience as they were in politics, and continue to speak as pointedly to Britain as they still do to the US.

Taking back control was never going to come without costs, and a measure of chaos may be what it takes to finally manoeuvre our way to what the prime minister calls a "high-wage, high-skill, high-productivity economy".

Plenty of security officials and police activity have been spotted around the property over the last day, after Boris' trip was revealed yesterday

Many people won't believe that story.

And even if the country's problems deepen and Johnson ’ s narrative is undermined, there are aspects of recent history that will shore him up.

The pandemic caused the kind of disruption many people considered beyond anyone ’ s control, so you couldn ’ t blame the man in charge ( a view of things that seems to be lingering ).

So too are the deference and collective masochism that have sometimes opened space for people on the right to characterise pain as the proof of policy success.

The estate, known as Torre Tramores, is a short drive from the picturesque village of Benahavis, and has its own helipad to make sure VIP holidaymakers can arrive and leave without being seen

Part of her project was the creation of a political culture in which those at the top could claim that huge issues were best left to the market.

The joker is no longer funny when he's slapping on the sunblock while the country he is supposed to be running faces empty shelves, soaring energy prices and threats to shut factories.

It's as if the lazy PM is desperate to prove Keir Starmer ’ s jibe that he ’ s "trivial" actually gives him the benefit of the doubt.

Everyone deserves a break yet Johnson's holiday, five weeks after his last one, is no laughing matter.

Mr Johnson's holiday there is likely to be seized on by critics, who will point out that he has left the country in the middle of a fuel crisis and with families facing a predicted 'winter of discontent', surging energy prices and stock shortages. Picture

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