[For our first guest commentary, I’m pleased to share a note from across the pond by my friend Guy English, of Cornwall, UK.]
It’s blowing, it’s raining, feeling rough.
Really, the general situation is getting me down. Always the optimist, that veneer is wearing thin, right through in patches. At one level, it’s the whole planetary situation; above (or below) that is whether your bully-chicken president might start a nuclear war by accident or on a whim; and then right up front is the prospect of a Trump figure in charge of our island. Is this really the best we can do?
All these people come and will go, but the damage we seem about to suffer is in my view irreparable. As my spouse remarks, when the first Queen Elizabeth came to the throne we were an insignificant offshore island with poor weather. When the Second leaves we shall be exactly that again.
I ceased to be defender of Empire (as I was brought up) years ago and detest the jingoistic chants of the Brexit mob about regaining our buccaneering past, supported by endless war-film repeats and incessant anniversaries of particular slaughters. But I would like to think we could recover some shreds of integrity as a country: pushing for climate action, for human rights, for peace, against plastic. Instead we support Saudis in Yemen — or anyone else who will buy our main export, weapons — and boast of our carbon reduction while opening coal mines.
Our likely new PM (refuse to say leader) had a fight with his girlfriend to which police were called this week. When questioned by a journalist, he said, “People are not interested in character.” I suppose that was indeed answer enough.
Johnson has done nothing to justify the PM post; he will have to deal with the Europeans he insulted as the worst Foreign Secretary ever; and he is no less hostage to his party than was his predecessor. But neither PM contender actually has answers. Surprised they both don’t want the other to win and burn.
Here is a London friend’s current take on the political scene:
It is well known that Boris [Johnson] was born in New York and is eligible to become President of the US, while Donald [Trump]’s mother was born in the Hebrides, so he is eligible to be PM in the UK.
But the real joke would be for each to spend one week a month in each other’s house. No one will notice. A fat, blond, lascivious liar will appear at the door and make some vacuous statement, and the press will not know which one it is.
Indeed there will be a prize for the first to identify which overweight adulterous bastard it is today.
Your field of competing Democrats looks ridiculously large — one would expect them to destroy each other. Process sounds good on paper but does it bring out the best person? How often? Tell me something good!