At the start of a new Carolean Era. Wow, I’ve been wanting to say that for some time. Yes, it’s a new era in this country. In Britain, we mark the passing of history by reference to the monarch of the time. Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian, Elizabethan and so on, it’s a tag to place a period in history. They are often associated with national accomplishments, culture and styles that were fashionable.
It’s a blustery wet day in London and King Charles III is being crowned sovereign. Apparently, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II had to contend with wet weather too. At the age of 73, King Charles became the oldest person to accede to the British throne. I’d say in 2023, we can no longer say that 73 is old. There are numerous Heads of State across the globe who can top that easily.
We don’t do this designation act with politicians, but we do use a shorthand for their time in power with a reference to their approach to the job or an iconic slogan or two. Thatcherism, Blairism, the white heat of technology or you have never had it so good, or things can only get better.
What’s great about the beginning of the Carolean Era is the signals of political change. Hopefully we will no longer need to hold our head in our hands in astonishment at the utter folly enacted by our elected representatives. Well, maybe less so as we run up to a General Election.
This week’s local elections in England are an awakening. Voters have decided – enough is enough. There are a more than a thousand less Conservative Party councillors in the country. This is democracy at work. I’ll quote Dick Nolan, who wrote in The San Francisco Examiner in 1966: “Politicians are like diapers. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.”
The Conservative Party has performed so badly over the last decade they deserve to be put out of power for the next decade. Now, extrapolating from this week’s political earthquake to the result of the next General Election is a doggy business. That said, the trend seems set and the expectation is that a political change is inevitable.
Although, I feel secure in saying this there’s always at least one catalyst that can upset this prediction dramatically. For this I’ll go back to Mrs Thatcher. What would the politics of Britain look like if the Falklands War of 1982 had not occurred? This short international conflict transformed the climate of the day and, no doubt the Prime Minister. However, people might think of the successes and failures of that time the result was the strengthening of her premiership.
Local elections recent held the Conservative Party to account in one way. The bigger story will be written over the next 18 months or so. Mayism was chaotic. Borisism was a total disaster. Trussism was insane. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s time in office maybe as that of John Major. The boy with his finger in the dam awaiting a flood of change. Let’s see what the country looks like after a weekend of pomp but also of reflection.