The tedious and interminable gameshow-styled spectacle of the Tory leadership contest(s) seems to have finally concluded… after weeks and weeks of smug, embarrassing bullshit.
Apparently, we finally have a winner: in the form of Rishi Sunak.
I guess he gets to work for Alan Sugar now? Or am I thinking of some other group of insufferable, smug bastards stabbing each other in the back and vying for the ‘top job’ so that they can service the needs of millionaires and billionaires… all while ordinary citizens of the 6th largest economy in the world somehow find themselves wondering if they’ll be able to pay their energy bills, afford their weekly groceries, or put enough food on the table for their kids?
I mean, can we even say ‘winner’ in this context? He lost the first contest to a woman with all the intelligence and charisma of a… well, of a Liz Truss. And it’s only because her five-minute stint as PM went down (entirely predictably) like a lead balloon that he was able to lunge back into the fray.
Just to recap: the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was forced to resign after eating some cake and drinking wine, and then a predictable flurry of Tory opportunists vied for power, with Rishi Sunak eventually losing to the least suitable candidate for PM in history… and then Truss fucked up royally in just a few days, and within a few weeks she herself was forced to resign, paving the way for another leadership contest… except this time no one could be bothered to compete for power again, so – aside from a tame and deflated second attempt by Penny Mordaunt and a brief hint of a 2005-Liverpool-Champions-League-Final-style comeback by the ousted Boris – the ‘winner’ Rishi Sunak pretty much waltzed in to No.10.
Which, let’s be honest, is not a worst-case scenario: even if it isn’t anything to be happy about either.
It should never have been Truss in the first place: it’s difficult to fathom any reason why the Tory membership would’ve voted for Truss over Sunak. Some said it was racism. I hesitated a little with that, preferring to think it was more about Truss and Kwarteng’s economic plans basically consisting of performing sex acts on billionaires, the donor class, and mega-corporations, while simultaneously sticking the middle finger up at the rest of the population.
But then again, Sunak and his wife are millionaires from highly privileged backgrounds, and it’s hard to imagine they give that much more of a fuck about ordinary people than Truss does. So maybe it was just racism? Or the Tory MPs just have slightly more common sense than the Tory membership?
Either way, the rabid claims on Twitter that Sunak’s appointment as PM is some kind of ‘globalist coup’ are stupid: the same sort of nonsense to be expected from amateur ‘truthers’ and hashtag spewers who think tweets are a suitable platform for any kind of meaningful commentary or analysis.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just Twitter dregs pushing the globalist coup narrative: among others, Nigel Farage (a man who lost all remaining shreds of credibility years ago, especially when he started following Trump around like a love-sick teenage girl) pushed the same conspiracy, insisting Sunak is a globalist puppet who’s been installed by the World Economic Forum.
I mean, presumably to hurt Brexit, I guess? I don’t know, that’s what Farage’s opinions usually come back to: even though Sunak is entirely a Brexit enthusiast, so this makes no sense. In fact, Sunak voted for Britain to leave the EU in 2016, as compared to Liz Truss – a Remainer and former Lib Dem who somehow transformed herself into apparently a hard-line Brexiteer.
A ‘coup’ against who or what anyway? If Sunak becoming PM is a ‘globalist’ plot, then they’re saying… what, that Liz Truss was some kind of woman of the people, looking out for the little guy? The woman who, during a cost-of-living crisis that is bearing down on the majority of the population, wanted to cut tax for the wealthiest 1%.
A ‘globalist plot’ to install Rishi Sunak? I don’t think it is. I think it’s something far worse: something far more depressing.
On the reverse side of this, all this talk in the media of Sunak’s rise to Prime Minister being some kind of great moment for multi-cultural Britain is also mostly shallow narrative-spinning in order to gloss over the fact that a government that’s been in power for 12 years has refused to admit that its virtual collapse in the last few months has rendered it unfit to govern.
This government doesn’t have a mandate anymore. It was Boris Johnson that won an election: we’re now two Prime Ministers beyond Johnson, and it isn’t at all clear what this government’s mandate *is*, or whether it has any popular support.
And Rishi Sunak isn’t some rags-to-riches story about a working class underdog who worked his way to the highest office in the land. Sunak was born into privilege, is a product of all the elite institutions (so was Boris), married into even more wealth, cut his teeth at Goldman Sachs… if it wasn’t for his skin colour, he would be regarded the epitome of the upper-class Tory elitist trope.
The media focus on Sunak becoming PM as a narrative of multi-cultural Britain is also somewhat to gloss over the fact that Sunak shares most of the same hardline views as some of the most despised government ministers of recent times, like Pritti Patel and Suella Braverman. Sunak, for example, is entirely a supporter of the Rwanda scheme: and one of his first acts, as was widely discussed in recent days in the media, was to re-appoint extreme, people-hating ideologue Suella Braverman as Home Secretary… just days after she was shamed into resigning.
And, not one to be outdone, Sunak has actually said he wants ‘hatred of Britain’ to be classified as extremism: and, essentially, that anyone deemed to be disloyal to Britain should be referred to the Prevent programme (previously reserved for Islamist extremism and far-right extremists). He isn’t clear, of course, what any of that means in practical terms: if you’re frequently critical, for example, of the British government or of British foreign policy, are you supposed to get referred to Prevent?
At any rate, it’s obvious that Sunak isn’t anything like the ‘softer face’ of the current Tory horror-show that some sympathetic media has tried to portray him as: again, this is all just narrative-spinning in order to smooth the transition. He certainly isn’t as in-your-face vile as Liz Truss, that’s for sure: he’s just more subtle.
He also – and I’m sorry to be blunt about this – comes from a cultural background that is rooted in a caste system that regards the social hierarchies very strictly as being fixed for life. Again, sorry to be blunt about this, but this also explains why people like Pritti Patel and Suella Braverman are the way they are: culturally speaking, the caste-based order is that the lower classes are meant to stay lower classes, the poor are meant to stay poor, and society is governed by the wealthy: and not just the wealthy, but by hereditary wealth.
So, you know… nothing good has happened here.
It’s just the end for now (we assume) of a game of musical chairs… by a political party and establishment that simply wants to hold on to power. And they knew Truss didn’t have a chance in hell of holding on: just as they knew Boris had lost too much credibility and run out of good will from the general public.
It isn’t a ‘globalist coup’, it’s just business as usual.
The key difference is that Sunak is seen as a predictable, stable operator, and therefore preferable to the unstable wild-card of Liz Truss.
Any government or party that had any respect for the British public or for the spirit of a democratic system would’ve allowed for a snap general election – which they could’ve done at *any point* in the last several weeks.
Now, obviously a party that is at such a low in terms of public opinion and popularity would not want to call an election that they would inevitably lose: however, when your party has fucked up so badly and has actively become an embarrassing satire of itself, you would think it would be time to throw in the towel and let the ‘will of the people’(that favorite mantra of the Tories in 2016) dictate the next course.
But this lot preferred to let its members privately vote for a walking catastrophe of a PM in Liz Truss: and then, when that went south, they had their sitting MPs vote instead for her successor. All without the general public – a general public currently being beset by a spiralling cost of living across the board, inflation, the ongoing effects of over a decade of austerity policies, and other problems that this government has presided over – getting any say in the matter.
At a time where extraordinary financial hardship is hitting the general public, Rishi Sunak, it turns out, has more personal wealth than King Charles… he’s literally richer than the King.
Sunak’s background is in banking and hedge-funds. He was apparently a millionaire already in his twenties. As The Week reports, ‘He was a partner at the hedge fund TCI, where bosses “shared nearly £100m after an audacious stock market bet that lit the touchpaper on the 2008 financial crisis”…’
You could argue he’s literally the last person, as far as the optics go, who should be leading the country during a cost of living crisis and the aftermath of years of Tory-sponsored austerity: but the Conservative party really is at this point scraping the bottom of the barrel – that’s how they ended up with Liz Truss in the first place.
Let’s be clear: all that’s *left* in the Conservative Party is the bottom of the barrel – and these people running the government in the last several years do not give a shit about ordinary citizens of the UK, about the ‘common good’, or even about how they come across. Truss even came into office openly boasting that she didn’t care if her policies were unpopular.
All this being said, for Nigel Farage to conspiratorially point out Sunak’s Goldman Sachs background is just about as hypocritical as you’d expect Farage to be: given his own background in the finance sector, his relationship with Brexit tycoons like Arron Banks, or the fact that some of his favorite people, like Steve Bannon and like the leaders of the AfD in Germany, are also ex-Goldman-Sachs people.
Likewise, focusing on Sunak’s supposed connections to the World Economic Forum is questionable too. While Sunak, particularly via his millionaire wife and in-laws and their business interests, does appear to have connections with the WEF, so does – inevitably – pretty much anyone who rises into the higher echelons of politics or business. Those organisations are all-pervasive, after all.
In fact, Sunak’s ‘predecessor’ Liz Truss was also being conspiratorially linked to the WEF by online ‘theorists’ just weeks ago, some claiming she was an agent of the ‘Great Reset’. So, you know, the armchair conspiracists on social media can’t seem to make their minds up as to who the bad guy is.
You could argue that the real ‘coup’ was against Boris Johnson: which is fine, but Boris’s rise to Prime Minister was itself being pushed by shady millionaires with private interests. And if Sunak ‘betrayed’ Johnson by abandoning him and launching his own leadership bid, Boris had already played that game himself with Theresa May prior to his own campaign to be PM.
That’s how these people operate – nothing new here.
It’s as I’ve argued before: all of these supposed conflicts and struggles, and these schemes and counter-schemes, are elite-level affairs – in which neither side, winner or loser, has any interest in the common good of the general population. At best, you can see some elite infighting and some minor ideological schisms: but, again, it is not about *us*.
Whether it’s Leave or Remain, Boris or Sunak, Sunak or Truss, this economic plan or that economic plan, none of it is designed to benefit *you*: it’s all self-serving, elite-driven dealings and double-dealings. For ordinary people, especially online, to get sucked into this soap opera and take sides or to passionately identify with one cabal or the other is just stupid.
But we’re in the Age of Stupid – so, you know, if that’s what you’re into then knock yourselves out.
But they don’t care about you. None of this is about you. It’s all about them.
But I’ve given up trying to explain this to people. If you think people like Nigel Farage and Jacob Reese Mogg, or Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak or Boris Johnson, are looking out for your interests… well, good luck to you.