I have been watching the leadership contest for this country’s new Prime Minister with ever increasing despondency. It already seems ludicrous or perhaps undemocratic as well as ludicrous, that the Prime Minister is elected by such a small group of party members. Party members I suspect who do not reflect a wide social sphere but are largely older white males and not a reflection of the wider community or a wider socio-economic spectrum of society. With the first past the post voting system the governing party always wins with less than 50% of the electorate voting for them, often substantially less, and then from the minority winning vote what feels like a handful of party members selects the Prime Minister.
If that was not bad enough once we have a new Prime Minister there is no requirement for a general election to endorse or give credence, authority for the government under the new leadership. The cry from the candidates is that they are simply going to continue with the mandate which the party received at the last general election and continue with the same policies.
This is the system and until the political parties have the will to change it by the opposition parties working together it will continue. So the country is set to have one of the two remaining candidates as the new Prime Minister. Neither fills me with any hope and the front runner, Liz Truss, fills me with horror hence my feeling of despair. There seems to be nothing about her that would make me feel she was fit to be Prime Minister and able to deliver a new start from the previous incumbent. In fact she does very little to distance herself from Boris Johnson’s premiership.
I do not think that those who worked hard and tirelessly to oust Boris Johnson from No 10 Downing Street contemplated the possibility of a new incumbent cut from the same cloth, that things could get even worse. I am afraid it is too late. The right wing of the party, much favoured by Party Members who have the vote, have put their weight behind her. I am not sure why unless they feel she can be manipulated to adopt their agenda as they pull the strings of their favoured puppet. I fear that her ambition will allow her to do whatever is necessary to become Prime Minister.
Senior Tory Party members are coming out desperately tying to support Rishi Sunak to stop the Liz Truss bandwagon basically admitting that she is not up to the job. Michael Gove describes Liz Truss’ campaign as “a holiday from reality”.
Matthew Paris has described her “as an empty vessel there is no more to Truss than than meets the eye”, also, “There’s nothing there… nothing beyond a leaping self-confidence that’s almost endearing in its wide-eyed disregard for the forces of political gravity… Liz Truss is a planet-sized mass of overconfidence and ambition teetering upon a pinhead of a political brain.”
Former Prime Minister, John Major, has demolished the record of the present government over the last three years and how it is challenging the very basis of our democracy. He lays the blame firmly on our Present Prime minister and those around him in the cabinet which includes both of the candidates for Prime Minister.
Everything in the country is a mess, nothing, really nothing is working as it should. When Jacob Rees-Mogg was asked recently what was working well, after a pause he replied with “we are doing quite well in the Test Matches”! Cost of living crisis, energy crisis, water crisis, sewage in the sea and on our beaches polluting our rivers, NHS in crisis, strikes on the railways and tubes with more strike action to come. Corruption on an industrial scale with contracts for mates, efforts to limit the scope of leftie lawyers who try to hold the government to account, limit the use of judicial reviews. On and on it goes……
This will appear as an anti Tory political rant. In fact it isn’t particularly. It is a plea for some common sense, some gravitas beyond politics. For politicians of whatever political persuasion to act for the benefit of the people, for the electorate who put them there and not act for their own best interests. I feel that this is a time when the best politicians of whatever political party should work together, restore faith in the political system and to get to grips with the overwhelming problems the country faces. Of course this will not happen. It seems to me that the best hope for change is that the new Prime Minister is so dire that there is a general election within months to put an end to this awful state of affairs.