Platform & Mockery

It’s accurate to say that there will be a new leader of the British Conservative Party. An announcement is expected and there’s not much that can derail it. Up and down the country the members of that national political party have been twiddling their thumbs and marking ballot papers.

To me, the use of the word “new” is to stretch the langauage to the far corners of the Earth. The politician backed by the pollsters to win is nowhere new on the block. What’s fascinating is the two Conservative candidates for Prime Minister (PM) have been spending their time rubbishing the record of the last decade of Conservative Government. Funny old world.

In a huff from starting blocks The Mail, newspaper, has screamed unfair because mainstream comedians love to mock the likely winner of the Conservative Party’s selection process. This is mega silly. Mocking our leaders is as British a British can be. Recently, I was in the V&A[1] in London and I couldn’t resist a look at the Spitting Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher. If anything, in terms of mockery, we are getting tame. Leaders of any poltical creed are fair game in a free country. Often the humour is spiky but shines a light on a truth. That is so much better than the playground bickering and insults that are gaining momentum among the far right and left.

Exercising a lot of media pundits is the question of when there will be a General Election. The drop-dead date is at the end of 2024. So, practically, any new British PM will have not much more than 18 months to make a big show, and shift the agenda onto their ground. Tough task at any time.

Today’s News suggest that this natural poltical ambition will be incalculably difficult to deliver. The phrase: “Events, my dear boy, events,” comes to mind. When asked what troubles a PM, former PM Harold Macmillan[2] answered with those words. It’s become a popular quotation and so true.

Past events linger. Banking crisis, Brexit, COVID and international tensions. Current events are unpredictable. War, Energy prices, Inflation and the Climate Crisis. Future events often give no notice. None of these are small. All we need now is another troublesome Icelandic Volcano to burst into life.

By the way, Harold Macmillan was the target of wonderfully sharp mockery by a cartoonist called Vicky[3]. His works are a good study of British culture and society in the 1950s – 60s. I expect poltical cartoonists will be happy to mark this day as a good one for future work.

POST 1: There are 605 days until the 2nd May 2024, a likely date for the next General Election. The last one was 998 days ago, meaning we are 62% of the way through the current Parliament. Much can happen.

POST 2: It is my great pleasure to introduce the new British PM Liz Truss ‘Cheese Speech’ to Conservative Party Conference 2014 – video Dailymotion


[1] https://www.helenacurrycreative.co.uk/margaret-thatcher

[2] British Conservative politician who was Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963.

[3] https://www.cartoons.ac.uk/cartoonist-biographies/u-v/VictorWeisz_Vicky.html

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