It sometimes takes an outsider to blow a fresh perspective through the UK media’s hot and fetid coverage of an incestuous party political leadership race.
In an article for The Australian, Economist Henry Ergas provides his own analysis on the convulsions currently sweeping through British politics as the Conservative Party seeks to elect its third leader in six years.
Comparisons with events in the early twentieth century are striking with the sense then as now of an era drawing to a close:
“Angry electorates had lost any appetite for compromise; a public mood of exasperation poisoned relations within and between the parties, while intensified competition for votes encouraged political leaders – along with the burgeoning popular press – to push rhetoric to its extremes, staking out positions from which there was no retreat.
To make things worse, Victoria’s heirs lacked her decades of experience, and partly by accident, partly by design, fuelled the tensions they should have pacified. Little wonder, then, that political rivals morphed into enemies and that the disagreements that are democratic politics’ daily bread escalated into intractable disputes.”
The turbulence which now rumbles beneath the political establishment spells trouble for whoever takes over. Harnessing these divergent chords into a tune which the nation can unite behind will be the ultimate test of whoever succeeds Boris Johnson.
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:
Photo: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty