There are no doubt some of you reading this who think American national interests stop at out borders. You are wrong. The unfortunate neo-isolationist tendency amongst certain factions in both parties is as dangerous now as it was when global war clouds were brewing in the 1930s.
Ignorant citizens prefer to stick their heads in the mud and pretend that what happens on the Rhine or the Amazon doesn’t effect Main Street U.S.A. Well, it does. Right now, the action is in London.
Recently the American-born Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned his office over several minor scandals. He was pressured into it by party leaders. That can happen in a parliamentary system. Too bad, Johnson was a fine PM.
If their House of Commons, akin to our Congress, passes a “no confidence” vote in the prime minister then the PM is obliged to resign. It would be like if our House passed impeachment against a president and then the chief executive would automatically leave office, not waiting for a Senate trial. Johnson was looking at a no confidence vote in the near future. So he resigned instead of being forced out.
That means the Conservative Party, not that conservative by American standards, needs to choose another prime minister. This happens by an initial vote by Conservative members of Parliament to whittle the competitors down to two from several.
Then a national vote of Conservative Party members, a bit like a national primary, happens and the party leader, who is also the PM, is chosen. The two who made the cut are Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Truss is the current Foreign Minister and Sunak is the former Finance Minister. One of them will be PM. Johnson is heading a caretaker government until the choice is announced by Conservatives in early September.
The British Conservative Party is similar these days, in American terms, to our moderate Democrats. They haven’t had a real conservative in office since Margaret Thatcher in the late 70s and all of the 80s. British Conservatives support strong gun control, nationalized health, and green policies as a matter of course. Yes, they are conservatives. The term is varied across the world, to a point.
But the Conservative Party is also very pro-American, economically generally conservative as we know it, and Trumpian in its working class appeal. The opposition Labour Party would make AOC feel right at home.
Truss is more conservative, also quietly backed by Johnson, and her gender makes her attractive to much of the Conservative Party membership. Sunak is of Indian heritage, wealthy, and is perceived by the media as young and dynamic, much the way Tony Blair was perceived in 1997. The British press is definitely pro-Sunak.
My call is that working class elements in the party will give the win to Truss, though Sunak will put up a very good show. It could go either way. Both would be good for America and both are infinitely better than any Labour PM. Though, watch for a Johnson comeback in several years. Just like Churchill in 1945, he’s not nearly done with politics.