Last Sunday’s actions startled and upset the former First Minister. As Socrates never mentioned, she wasn’t the only political leader suffering a nightmare. Take a number and the media will get to you—there was so much discontent.
Trump was unhappy about new accusations and court appearances. A Commons committee ruling that Boris Johnson misled to MPs over Partygate upset him. His accolades list was destroyed, too. “I’m broken-hearted,” said Nadine Dorries, who lost her peerage.
Humza Yousaf felt horrible for his predecessor, calling her detention “personally quite painful”. Finally, Silvio Berlusconi died. That’s a gripe.
When events occur simultaneously, they are bundled into one news tornado. Like Dorothy in the twister, we watched as a house, Nicola Sturgeon, a tree, Boris Johnson, a picket fence, a cow, two guys on a boat, Nadine Dorries, and Neil “Nicola Sturgeon is a national disgrace” Oliver sailed past in one minute. Nicola’s in good company. A rough week, huh?
Commentators suspected a label-worthy event
One publication declared that Ms Sturgeon and Mr Johnson’s fortunes had ended. Another said goodbye to populism, adding Jeremy Corbyn. One writer sensed a new seriousness.
Politicians joined quickly. Energy secretary Grant Shapps said the world has changed. Johnson’s drama has exhausted everyone. Mr. Yousaf called Westminster’s “third-rate political soap opera” enough.
As a longtime member of the commentariat, aka the Gob on a Stick Brigade, I’m not one to dismiss a phenomena, no matter how artificial. I’ll take Pirandello’s Six Columnists in Search of a Theme.
Propriety requires proof, and I’m not sure the “end of an era” side has much. First, the proponents. Politicians, not columnists, benefit most from the belief that the present crises are peculiar to the age and will blow out with Johnson, Trump, et al. Thus, your Shapps, Sunaks, Yousafs, and Macrons may remove themselves from failure. The show’s continuation depends on this.
But history is full of political scandals, many worse than today’s. Wigs, breeches, top hats, flat caps, Savile Row, and M&S. Folly, temptation, and ignorance will endure regardless of trend.
As envisioned, the system takes over to fix problems. William Hague, former Conservative leader, responded to Boris Johnson’s witch-hunt accusation in The Times on Tuesday. “The powerful are investigated for alleged misdeeds, courts are fearless, parliamentary committees try to do their work, political parties—at least in Britain—try to cleanse themselves of leaders whose standards are not high enough,” Mr. Hague said, calling for Elgar.
Others feel that only elections can reset politics. However, its impact is uncertain. Is this UK seismic change like 1945? 1997-style reform? Or more make-do till a working majority arrives? How would Scotland change?
The ever-helpful Neil Oliver suggests using Scotland as a model for England. Mr. O thinks it’s bad. The GBNews broadcaster called politics a soap opera with little real-world relevance. “Look under the bed for political solutions to Britain’s problems.”
We weren’t told where or what to look for.
An age is ending, but not as we know it. Recent developments are part of an ongoing worldwide transformation. The rise of China, Brexit, and AI shape history, not some privileged oaf screaming out of parliament.
If we learn from the last decade, we can change locally. For instance, not putting all your hopes on one individual. Complex issues have no easy answers is another.
New politicians would also be welcome. Builders, not destructors. People who have raised a family on little. Someone who says you can have what you desire, but it will cost a lot. Imagine that. I prefer someone who worked.
Change takes time. It’s easy to blame a few people or a vague era. Easy but incorrect.