The end of a depressing era in Britain – I hope.

Britain votes for its next government tomorrow. It is definitely the end of an era. The polls (haha) tell us the present Conservative government is heading for a crushing defeat – maybe the worst in its nearly two hundred year history. If so, a depressing era in British politics will come to its well-deserved end. After the feeble premiership of Rishi Sunak and, before him, the failures that were David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, please let us find deliverance from that terrible day when we learnt that all the lies of the BREXIT referendum had led us, almost literally, to walk off a cliff, like The New Yorker’s brilliant cover from 4th July 2016.

I had always been a bit of a politics addict, but I got depressed in 2010, when David Cameron redefined what we understand to be leadership – it’s not leading, it’s cynically and weakly following populist headlines – and my political mood got worse with BREXIT and has stayed low ever since.

Today, the day before tomorrow, I am feeling optimistic, but still a bit worried. Yes, Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, and probable next Prime Minister, is a good man, a clever man, outstanding in almost every way apart from his self-marketing skills. I want to believe that he can and will succeed in bringing Britain back from the edge and help make the country a modern, fair and tolerant nation. I was going to say “a fair and tolerant nation again”, but I’m not sure, like the USA, it has ever been the great modern liberal nation that it should be. All the seeds are there, if only our politicians could lead the way.

Things can only get better as the slogan went, not fully aware of the hidden irony. They can and will, I am sure, I want us to return to the EU, but, I want more than that. We all deserve much more than that. I want us to start along that path of being a tolerant, egalitarian, nation of grown-ups. We need put away childish things, like The House of Lords, the aristocracy of elites, the fear of not being like our grandparents’ parents, they weren’t always right and they certainly weren’t free. We should give up those dreams of fictitious golden eras, and then maybe we could see the pride that can be won by citizenship in a community of equals, not subjects of our masters, equal citizens, no matter what race, class or nationality. You know, the stuff we could have got right a very long time ago but didn’t. Can we start tomorrow with the new government, I hope so.

But, no matter who becomes the British Prime Minister tomorrow, there’s still the problem of this man……but at least the era of Britain’s terrible prime ministers seems likely to end.

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