And so, it has come to pass that the UK has joined America and elected a misogynistic, sexist and racist politician who is more pomp than plan to the highest office in the land.
That’s right Boris Johnson, a man better known for calling Muslim women letterboxes then being foreign minister, is now our Prime Minister. Although this looked like the only likely outcome since May’s departure, it doesn’t make it less terrifying.
And that’s because we truly don’t know what is going to happen next. Boris is a politician who has a penchant for the unpredictable – whether that’s yoyoing between remain and leave or making up lies about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. While this unpredictability is often heralded as a strength in the right-wing ‘press’, this same ‘skill’ threatens the stability of our currency, economy, society and union as we sleepwalk towards no deal.
Well maybe sleepwalk is the wrong phrase. It’s more like a sprint of a brisk jog towards no deal. At least that’s what it looks given the makeup of the cabinet. You despite Boris’ promise to appoint ministers that represent “modern Britain”, Johnson’s cabinet is packed full of arch-leavers and individuals who have spent the best part of 3 years lying to the public about the benefits of no deal.
Only 24% of ministers are women (compared to 51% of the general population), 64% were privately educated (compared to 6.4% of the general population) and 48% are Oxbridge graduates (compared to 1% of the general population). From these statistics, it looks like we may have seen the first lie of Boris’ premiership within minutes of his appointment (I trust it won’t be the last!).
This cabinet, along with the new £100m Brexit advertising campaign, suggests that no deal is more a policy rather than a last resort. Although this sounds frightening (and trust me it is), I also have hope that a new breed of young socialist politicians can rise from the ashes of post-no deal Britain. Like we have seen in America with the emergence of Ocasio-Cortez and Omar, a dramatic downturn in public support for the status quo opens new opportunities for a different way of conducting politics. The opening of these opportunities was my only positive thought on Tuesday 22nd, the rest were all negative and fearful of the mess we have got ourselves into and the messes that are still to come….