In British politics, hypocrisy is not a handicap

Abdulai Mansaray: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 October 2022:

British politics is in danger of becoming the world’s most revered comedy show on the planet. What makes this unenviable accolade glaringly true is the fact that, Britain’s inglorious past of invade, conquer and colonise has been one of the most epoch-making times of modern history.

The story of the last century would not be complete without mentioning the role of “Great Britain”, in shaping the political, social and economic status quo of all that it encountered. It is therefore very easy to see why the British see themselves as the High Priest of anything and everything “democratic”.

Emerging from its feudal system, Britain became the self-anointed disciple to spread the word of democracy around the world. It is therefore not surprising that though it does not have monopoly on the concept of democracy, many see Britain as the yardstick to calibrate democracy. If the last events are anything to go by, it is safe to conclude that the Conservative party is undergoing an abrupt change in the form of mismanagement.

Recent events in Britain have presented us with the classic paradox of democracy. As a concept, many see democracy as the nearest form of political perfection; thanks to the illusion that democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. While others see democracy as “a government by discussion”, the British Tory party has been treating us to a jamboree of political musical chairs.

There is always a danger lurking in reckless change, but there can be no greater danger than blind conservatism. The Tory party got rid of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for what many regarded as the protection, promotion and upholding of conservative values. The less said about Boris Johnson’s tenure of No 10 Downing Street, the more energy efficient for the planet. It was very easy to define conservatives in terms of what they opposed. We saw the Tory party engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy. If today’s events are anything to go by, disposing of Boris Johnson was nothing more than a symbolic gesture of the Tory party’s continuous quest for superior moral justification for their selfishness.

One of the icons of British politics and the Conservative party in particular Winston Churchill once said, “Some people change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party”. What we are witnessing here is people using conservatism as an excuse in their loathing to adapt themselves to the fast-changing conditions of modern-day politics. While they try to bury their glorious orthodoxy in a treacherous pit of spurious conservatism, the political lechery that is served to the public is nothing short of a move towards a chaotic darkness and a return to a primitive state.

In their pretence to invoke change, deposing Boris Johnson is proving to be a classic example, that political change is never born from immaculate conception. Who would think that after an overwhelming majority to get rid of Boris Johnson, there would be people clamouring for his “immediate “return. He has not even completed his allocated holiday period.

We know that in politics, some people use change to promote their careers, while others use their careers to promote change. You don’t need an Einstein to conclude where the current crop of the Tory party membership belongs. After a summer of political wrangling and horse trading, the British equivalent of the American Electoral College (Conservative style) selected Liz Truss as the candidate to lead Britain out of the jaws of economic collapse.

Liz Truss was the designated and responsible political clinician to rehabilitate Britain from the national self-harming consequences of Brexit. Serving as the harbinger to the Covid and Putin’s wet dream in Ukraine, the latter provided convenient canopies to disguise the damaging impact of breaking our entente with the European Union. It was hidden in plain sight, that anyone taking the mantle to lead Britain out of this national self-harm would require a monumental astuteness in the nation’s economy. The watch word was: The economy, the economy, the economy.

What has been nauseatingly put on display is the classic hypocrisy that has been coming from Westminster these days. The shock and awe with which politicians and especially Tory members received Lis Truss’ economic policies has been appalling. In trying to pay virtue to vice, the hypocrisy from the Tory party has been nothing short of vile. Liz Truss was selected on the back of her package of tax cuts and spending increases. The former Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng became the first casualty and fall guy for such a disastrous economic policy.

During the hustings for the Premiership, did those who selected Liz Truss not know then, that their £45 bn of unfunded tax cuts was fiscally irrational, unaffordable and inflationary? Why was the corresponding spiralling cost of mortgages and a run-on pension funds a big surprise to these “queen makers”?

Liz promised to reverse the increase on National Insurance contributions. The then Chancellor, Sunak had presided over the massaging of the British economy, keeping the country going during the pandemic. He engaged in heavy lifting, borrowing a lot of money to provide basic life support to the economy. In order to put the economy in a recovery position, Sunak promised to raise taxes and N.I contributions.

Liz Truss promised a quick fix that defied every economic principle under the sun. With the cost-of-living threatening air traffic, her tax cuts and freeze on energy bills was music to the ears of the long suffering masses.  Many hailed her gladiatorial approach to big business. So, why are the Tories acting as if the budget was a surprise? Were these not the same policies Lis Truss promised and delivered?  Liz truss delivered exactly what she promised during her campaign.

Did they not heed the warnings of Rishi Sunak during the hustings? Did they expect to soar with eagles when they chose to fly with crows? So where is the surprise coming from?  Now that Sunak has been proved right, why did the Tories vote for Liz Truss, instead of Sunak? Don’t answer that, we know the answer. While Liz Truss sold political expediency to the Tory selectors, Sunak auctioned commercial and economic logic that was rejected. Just like the promises and fantasies with which Brexit was wrapped in, is the latest political offering symptomatic of Britain’s propensity to become a serial national self-harmer?

As if that was not enough, the Tories in their eternal wisdom are now calling for the reinstatement of Boris Johnson.  As part of the spectrum of delusion, Boris cut short his holidays to answer the call of duty; “your country needs you”.

The Tory party is going back to scrape the bottom of the barrel; a clear sign that this party has limited or no acquaintance with reality. Since it has clearly demonstrated its incapability to change the situation, should they change themselves. With the Conservatives trapped between the jaws of practicality and morality, the clamour for Boris’ return has given them the dilemma to choose between what they think is right and what is practical.

Is the party facing the tragic ritual of sacrificing ethics at the altar of expediency? The latest political shenanigans are just a gentle reminder that there are no morals in politics. Does this remind us of the Republican Party in the USA?

The right-wing media that thrust Liz Truss down our throats is now working relentlessly to do the same with Boris Johnson. What this shows us is that politics is a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. Boris was deposed based on moral considerations. The right-wing media is now ready to re-sell a rehashed Boris, as a man who has passed his political MOT in 8 weeks. Does this mean that nothing is irreparable in politics?

Again, you should never underestimate the ego of a politician or stupid people in large groups. In jets Boris, as if politically reincarnated to lead Britain to the Promised Land. Having disposed of Boris for largely moral considerations, is the Tory party ready to make moral compromises? With gas prices and cost of living threatening air traffic, some of us will want drilling rights to Tory heads if hypocrisy goes to £50 a barrel.

Now that we see the two faces of the conservative party, you wonder which one they would be wearing next week. Now that people have realised that we need more unemployed Tory politicians, the call for a general election could not be louder. Is the Conservative party all sail and no anchor.

So, what do we make of the latest political waves?

With Boris hurriedly but safely back to honour his national call of duty, what are the potential interpretations? A toad does not venture out in broad daylight except something is after its life. Did he get an overwhelming assurance from his party, enough to curtail his holidays? Is the suggestion of Boris as a replacement of his replacement the tory party’s way of demonstrating how bad Liz Truss has been? Or is this how the Tory party is manifesting its opinion of the British public?

Does this mean that the standard of British politics is competing with the strength of the pound in the devaluation race? Or is it a demonstration of the political malaise that is trending on Tik Tok? Whatever your opinion may be, the world is on a spin. And it’s not looking good.

Don’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Noble faces hide filthy ways.

2 Comments

  1. Boris Johnson might be popular with the membership of the conservative party and some communities that voted for him in the so-called former Red walls of Northern England ,:communities that have always voted for Labour but in the 2019 British General elections flipped sides and for many voted for the first time for the Conservative party , because of the Boris Johnson charismatic effect . The vast Majority of this Red wall voters voted for Johnson because he took the UK out of the EU.But on the other side of the coin ,there was no thought up plan for what comes next. Plan B.Hence the problems today .Boris Johnson is the only conservative politician that is able to reach across communities ,rich ,poor, black and white all feels he understand their pain. The bloke you can have a pint with in the pub. A fact that have deluded many British politicians. To continental Europe the election of Johnson was seen as the British sense of dark humor taken too far. But to some he is seen as the best thing that happened to the UK .And after COVID19 hits the UK and the way he handled the invasion of Ukrain by Putin’s Russia ,he proved he is capable to rise up to the occasion when challenge .The closest British politicians that mimic the Johnson popularity with ordinary working class people was former Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair, until the disastrous invasion of Iraqi in March 2003 to disarm Saddam Hussein’s WMD .The fact Boris Johnson was elected Mayor of mostly Labour supporting city of London proved to many of his fans and enemies , he posseses enormous qualities of political pulling power .

    Today the same argument being used by his supporters to bring back Boris to have a second shot as a British prime Minister against his former chancellor Riski Sunak ,who is also making his second bid to be the leader of the Conservative party and effectively the Fourth British Prime Minister since the UK voted to leave the EU back in June 2016. Make no mistake all the UK troubles started when they joined the EEC in 1973 and abandoned the Commonwealth and voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and finally left the EU in 2020.Although they have left the EU , the arguments about the EU continue to play a major part on British political psyche .Is like the UK wants to be out of the EU and take back control of their lives but at the same time they can’t live without the EU. All the political upheavals happening today in British politics has it’s roots with in the EU. If Boris Johnson was indeed to make it back to 1O Downing Street as Prime Minister , he will be the second person to do so for more than hundred and forty years after William Gladstone. Bill Clinton, was named the come COME BACK KID ,after he was re-elected for the second term .Boris Johnson, will be the British version of that .Unless Boris Johnson bows out of this race , it is very difficult to see how anyone can stop him becoming the next Prime Minister again .The arithmetic inside the parliamentary party is against him in favour of Rishi Sunak. Indeed, the toxicity of division that run through the conservative party is now public .

    No one should underestimate the work the next party leader has in hand to bang heads together and tell his party members to look at the big picture .They have two years to turn the economy around and mitigate the predicted defeat they will suffer in the hands of the Labour party .Which is now leading in every opinion poll .And if the general elections were held today the Labour party under Sir K .Stammer will get a stummping majority .Clearing the way for a next Labour government .That is why the Consevative government of former Prime minister, Liz Truss was reluctant to call an early general election .The fact that majority of the British public are in favor of an early election and still believe in the political circus playing out with in the conservative party in choosing their next leaders shows the British sense of “KEEP CLAM AND CARRY ON “is part of British tradition. To outsiders is just mind boggling .Any other country around the world the public will be out in the streets demanding an election. But that is not the way the British does things .They believe in the rule of law and the process set up by previous generations .Everything will be back to normal .This choas and confusion is just for the short term. The UK is still seen as the mother of all democracies .In the present contest if the conservative party membership were to be involve in selecting the next leader all bets are off .As the rules stands , each potential candidates wanting to lead the conservative party have to have the support of hundred elected Parliamentary conservative members which Mr Rishi Sunak have, already secured .Then if Johnson secured the same and stays in the race is then turn to the membership of the conservative party where Boris Johnson seemed to attract more support than his former chancellor. By Friday we should able to know who is going to move in at number 10 Downing, street .Whoever becomes the next British Prime Minister has his work cut out for him. They should hit the ground running .

    The Liz Truss/Kawsi Kwargten experimental mini-budget have thrown the Bristh economy in to a tailspin and rattle international money markets. And with interest rate rising ,with additional cost to fixed-term mortgages that is coming to end going up for holders , and the cost of living crises and energy cost going up for both private and commercial buineeses, it is not going to be an easy ride for anyone who moves into 10, Downing street. In other to steady the ship , the new prime minister, will have to have a broad church of conservative Members of Parliament in his cabinet .The left , right and centre of the party have to have a representative in that cabinet table .Failing which , it will be more of what we have witnessed in the last few months .Britain the mother of parliamentary democracy is becoming more like how the The Eoconomist put it :”WELCOME TO BRITALY “.The politics of the UK is now synonymous to Italy where they change goverments and Prime Ministers, every other day .As a member of the G7of industrial nations and the leading support the UK is giving to Ukrainian the world can ill afford political instability in this great country

    • In case you don’t know, Boris Johnson would not be running for the premiership again. If you look keenly through my article, you’ll find the clues right there.

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