Boris Johnson Resigns: Britain Is Now Years Away From Having The Political Leadership It Deserves

The United Kingdom isn’t presently dealing with just a Boris Johnson problem. It’s suffering — and suffering really is the word — from a political class lack of leadership problem...

Like the muscle of a broken arm, a nation’s political class withers and atrophies for want of the proper use. After decades of rule from Brussels, it will take Britain many years to grow a new generation of truly worthy leaders from scratch.

While the ruling Conservatives rightly shoulder the lion’s share of media scrutiny as the current governing party, there’s no doubt the parties in Westminster and beyond in the devolved administrations appear to harbor a large share of sexually dangerous predators, antisemites, frauds, substance abusers, and much else well beyond the average you might expect to find in the wider population.

This is not unique. Money, commercial interests, supranational organizations, pressure groups, and a constellation of thousands of other probably well-meaning but ultimately putrifying influences have pushed and shoved politicians, political parties & entire governments in the direction of those narrow concerns, relieving politicians of the need to think; or for that matter, to even act in the interests of the constituency who elected them. Look at all of the special interest oriented thinking also currently dominating Washington, Paris, & Berlin to know.

This ultimately translates into a lower class & quality of politicians in higher levels of power & authority. Mediocrity breeds even worse & tends to create a negative feedback loop to sustain itself. This is exactly the position where the UK and most Western Governments find themselves now.

Britain’s politics are troubled by a blend of all those problems, but unlike most nations, they have managed to successfully escape one massive part of that trap. The UK has — more or less — freed itself from the realm of European Union rule.

For more than five decades, The United Kingdom was governed by remote control from Brussels through its membership in the European Union; and frankly, it shows. The avalanche of legislation that regularly rains upon EU member states’ capitols from the Brussels center each year remains stupefying and dominates practically every area of national life. As a result, national politicians at even the highest level are rarely called upon to think or act for themselves at all, so much has the degree of their decision-making been taken from them. Most of the new laws at the nation-state level are reduced to the parroting & implementation in local form, of EU diktats from above.

Britain’s current political class exhibits a worrisome tendency to agoraphobia (the fear of being confined in a gilded cage for so long, that liberty appears to be frightening). And that anxiety is very likely something they will require a very long time to grow out of. A Britain under the dominance of the European Union, even for Brexiteers, is the only arrangement most top politicians have known for their whole adult lives.

In some regards, a nation’s political class really is like the muscle on a broken arm. It either heals & gains tone and utility with continued use; or, it withers away without. This metaphorical arm of politics in the UK has remained broken & unused for such a long time and the muscle is only now being used properly — without Brussels’ direction — for the first time in years. Back-to-back challenges like Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic showed how much the political class was well out of its depth, and with little wonder. Britain has a long history of great statesmen but unfortunately has had no need for them in recent memory.

Unfortunately, this inadequacy is not anything the present crop of political leaders will just be able to quickly out grow. The enormity of the responsibility involved in actually governing effectively as an independent country will need to be cultivated in an entirely new generation of future political leaders; and such leaders of the future, whomever they maybe, are probably still only teenagers now.

Labour’s leader just belatedly announced his party will no longer seek to rejoin the EU and has vowed to instead to finally make Brexit work. However, he doesn’t really believe this & knows his party doesn’t support him. The public knows it too. This would require such a considerable change of the present mindset that it can’t possibly happen until all of the present Labour front bench either die off or go into retirement. And unfortunately, it won’t all just come to an end when the present batch is completely gone: it will require their appointees, and their appointees’ appointees to pass the power before any real strength in leadership finally has a chance to reassert itself.

Hard times create strong men; however, the only question remaining is how long that process will take. Boris Johnson may be gone for now, and whomever replaces him will probably be as bad if not worse: however, better days will slowly come. Perhaps a scant comfort for now. The best hope for the UK now is to minimize any further damage the present political class may create in hopes there will still be a country left to hand over to a future generation of more capable and enlightened leaders, the strong men and women this current age of weakness & corruption will shape.

Good luck.

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