Boris Johnson has always displayed self belief. This reached a new peak when he claimed he wanted to move on from Partygate after a 'decisive' confidence vote.

Decisive it certainly was, in that it was the worst in memory for any Conservative party leader – suggesting the only viable 'moving on' option would be under a new leader.

However while those with an interest in their party rather than themselves might have made that decision, Johnson will never show humility. Instead, like a desperate gambler with a hopeless hand, he will try to reinvent his government to bring back the days when he was being lauded by the party faithful for delivering Brexit.

A big question is whether there just might be something in this for farmers. The farming lobby has been eclipsed under Johnson, who sees farming and food as industries of the past. That stance continues despite the food crisis, but if Johnson is to show Conservative credentials, he needs to see green outcomes as a by-product of farming and not as the reason for its existence.

Interestingly, on the rebel MPs he must convince to have a future, commentators said there were two groups – the red wall Conservatives who took safe Labour seats in the general election because of Brexit, and what were dubbed 'red trouser' Tories.

This is a reference to a group all but forgotten under Johnson – these are the MPs that represent once rock solid shire counties where agriculture remains an important issue. Pleasing them might change who Johnson views as potential allies – and they are more likely to come from rural areas and farming than from green pressure groups.

Despite Johnson's enthusiasm for their ideas, the green lobby remains hostile to his party. He may not be able to see it, but they are having the last laugh – getting all they want without having to show any political support. By contrast, those who were its traditional backers are being ignored.

The suggestion now is that the government will find ways to offer tax cuts, but to do this it needs to stop spending. That is something Johnson finds impossible. His problem remains that he is a leader who wants to be liked and admired, but with lies, half truths and Partygate that ship has sailed. Great political leaders may be admired but they are not always liked.

In the war of words over Ukraine, credit this week must go to the European Council president, Charles Michel, who caused a walk out by the Russian ambassador to the United Nations. That happened because he, rightly, accused Russia of using food as a 'stealth missile' aimed at developing countries that can no longer afford to access the food they need.

That the EU position caused such offence to Moscow is evidence it is taken seriously as a global power bloc. That it has steered away, at a massive cost, from reliance on Russian energy is evidence that it is willing to take a moral stand. This is a significant sacrifice for many of its 27 member states, but its moral compass is not in doubt.

Despite the cost of this stance, the EU economy is faring reasonably well. It has a good grasp of what it needs to do to maintain food supplies and achieve greater long term food security; its food exports remain strong, and after a blip it is again opening up its balance of trade gap between imports and exports. Its economic growth prospects are more assured than the UK.

This makes it a bad time for the UK to try to reawaken Brexit enthusiasm by confronting the EU over the Northern Ireland protocol, much as it needs to be changed. That has to happen via diplomacy and not through legislation to make a lame duck prime minister, who should have resigned, appear strong.

Johnson is risking tougher controls on UK exports to the EU, when the UK is at least a year away from being able to introduce parallel customs checks on EU imports. He is risking this when wanting to cut taxes, despite Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development figures this week showing that, Russia apart, the UK is the only major economy for which the economic growth forecast for 2023 is zero.

That is neither a good platform for tax cuts or for a trade war with Europe over a deal the UK signed, knowing it would create a border down the Irish Sea.