The Sick Man of Europe
The term “The sick man Europe” is supposed to have been uttered by Russian Tsar Nicholas I. The sick man in question was the Ottoman Empire. At the moment the answer to the question “Who is th sick man of Europe” would undoubtedly be the United Kingdom.
The Conservative Party has had 4 Leaders during the 12 years in government. The country has had 4 Prime Ministers.
David Cameron 2010 – 2016, Theresa May 2016 – 2019, Boris Johnson 2019 – 2022, Liz Truss 10 Eylül 2022 – 20 Ekim 2022.
During this period the Party has alwyas been in turmoil. The main reason has been membership of the European Union. A huge section of the Tories campaigned for Brexit, thinking that that would free the UK from European interference into UK’s affairs. They thought they would re-gain sovereignty for the UK.
Cameron had promised a referandum on the issue if he was re-elected in 2015. Re-elected he was. On 23rd June the Referandum he had promised took place. The result was a narrow victory for Brexiteers. The Referandum was not binding. Cameron who opposed Brexit could have ignored the result, and put the vote to the Parliament, hoping that the result would have been to stay in EU. He did not. Instead he decided to implement the wish of the narrowest majority of people, thus throwing the country into an unknown abyss. UK left EU on 31st January 2020. The real divorce took place on 31 December 2020.
Boris Johnson who had been dreaming of being the UK’s PM for years was not a Brexiteer either. But as an opportunist he campaigned for Brexit in order to fulfil his dream. It was due to the lies of the leading figures of the Brexit campaign that the campaign was successful. Who could forget Boris saying “If we stay in EU, 80 million Turks will come to UK”. He denied saying this, but it was proved that he had indeed utter those objectionable words.
The Pandemic has delayed the signs of the effects of Brexit. But as we are coming out of the Pandemic, the clear disastrous effects are starting to be seen more clearly.
Boris’s Premiership coincided with a very difficult time for the country as well as the whole world. His government made many mistakes in the beginning of the Pandemic, causing the avoidable deaths of thousands of people, among whom were the most vulnerable old people in carehomes. The speed by which the vaccination process started was one success of his government. However, the UK still ended up in the 7th position in the list of countries with most deaths as a recult of Covid-19.
Boris’s end came as a result of his numerous indiscretions, above all the Partygate scandals. As thousands of people were unable to be near their loved ones at the time of their passing, he was attending parties and celebrations in contravention of the Covid rules. In the end his own party had had enough. The resignation of some of the influential Ministers from his Cabinet brought his end.
After 6 weeks of ugly leadership contest during the Summer, Tory members who had the last word went against the wishes of their elected MPs and voted for Liz Truss.
While Boris was the first PM who was charged by the Police for breaking the law, Lizz Truss became the first PM lasting the shortest time in that position. Exactly 45 days.
The beginning of the end for Truss was the Mini Budget on 23 September. Her friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng announced a series of radical reforms in the tax system in line with Truss’s policy of “Growth, Growth, Growth”. However Kwarteng’s Mini Budget rocked financial markets and caused a revolt in her own party. Sterling lost value, the mortgage rate went up to nearly %6. Mortgage offers became rare. The Bank of of England, IMF, The World Bank all criticised The Kwarteng / Truss Budget.
In order to save her own position Truss sacked Kwarteng, making him the scapegoat for her own mistakes. She appointed Jeremy Hunt, an MP who had supported her opponent, Rishi Sunak in the leadership contest, in Kwarteng’s place.
The first thing Hunt did was to reverse nearly all the measures in Kwarteng’s Mini Budget, thus humiliating Truss, and giving the impression that he was in charge, not Truss. Her departure became imminent, and on Thursday, 20 October she resigned.
The UK is now waiting the result for the new Leadership election. We will find out who the Country’s new Prime Minister is in a remarkably short time, on Friday, 28 October.
Incredibly, one of the candidates for the contest is Boris Johnston. He did after all said “Astalavista baby” at the end of his leaving speech only 6 weeks ago! He is yet to announce that he is going to stand for the Leadership contest, but it is claimed that he had obtained the support of 100 MPs in order to be able to do so.
So far, only Penny Mordant, the Leader of the House of Commons and Rishi Sunak, the ex Chancellor, announced thet they would be standing.
Many Tory MPs are supporting Boris due to his success of winning elections. In other words they are putting their own interests above the national interest. They are willing to support a man who is being investigated by the Standards Committee to determine whether or not he had lied to the House of Commons.
On Monday by 2.00 p.m. we might know the outcome of the election. If only Sunak has 100 votes of the MPs, he will become the PM. İf Boris too has the necessary 100 MP’s support the vote will go to the 170 thousand members. Mordant does not stand a chance. Last time Conservative Party members supported Liz Truss against Sunak, a candidate with Indian background. Will they learn from their mistake and support him now? I doubt it.
Responsible Tories, yes there are some of them around, want to go forward, not back. They want someone who will bring their fragmented party together. Based on his past record, Boris is higly unlikely to succeed in this task. However, unfortunately if the vote goes to members, he is most likely to win the contest and yet again be forced on the whole nation as the new Prime Minister. Such depressing prospect. No wonder why young people have totally lost their interests in politics.
The whole world is following the farce that is currently taking place here in UK with incredulity.
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I thought they said '70 million Turks' Ertanch