An Unprecedented Crisis Has Unfolded In Britain
Britain has been caught up in an unprecedented political crisis over the last two weeks. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned after being pushed out of office. A leadership crisis is affecting the UK today amid soaring inflation, the cost-of-living problem, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Even so, the high-voltage political drama that gripped the UK for the past two weeks shows irreparable damage to democratic institutions and a panicky lack of confidence in the democratic system. Where did the UK come from? There is also a close focus on the British political crisis among Indian analysts.
Indian-origin Rishi Sunak is being treated with exaggerated jubilation by the media. As of the latest survey, Sunak lags behind Liz Truss in the race for 10 Downing Street. Foreign governments and corporations are obsessed with Indians making it big there. Therefore, it seems likely that a long-term benefit from the ongoing political crisis in the UK will come to India. In this context, we must ask: Does a man born in India in power necessarily support India?
After the scandals broke, the Boris Johnson government was in a full-blown crisis. Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak resigned as his senior-most ministers within a few days. After they both quit, a rebellion ensued against Boris Johnson’s leadership. Johnson’s government lost five cabinet ministers, lost another, had two cabinet ministers resign, and lost over fifty junior ministers and officials.
Throughout the episode, the British Prime Minister was portrayed as disgraceful. Johnson appeared to seek a five-year term. His decision to resign was the only choice he had after witnessing mass resignations within the government. There is no doubt that this reveals how machinations and manipulations have corrupted the British democracy.
A Series Of Scandals And The Loss Of Faith
During the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour’s demise in December 2019, Boris Johnson and the Conservatives seemed destined to dominate UK politics over the next five years. In the end, however, the Johnson government was rocked by a series of scandals that ultimately cost him his job. Due to this, there is a growing lack of faith in British democracy. ‘Partygate’ sparked it all.
Boris Johnson government officials in the scandal held parties in stark violation of Covid-19 lockdown norms. Downing Street hosted some of these parties. Staff excessive drinking and vomiting were also detailed in a report prepared by a senior civil servant. A miserable scenario was that Johnson himself was fined for violating the lockdown rules by attending a birthday party. These controversies have led Britons to lose faith in British democracy.
The IPPR think tank and the Observer recently reported that young adults are losing faith in the country’s democracy due to the effects of the refugee crisis. According to the survey, only 6 percent of voters believe that their views dictate government policies and decisions. They believed that significant donors, businesses, lobbyists, and media groups shape government policy. Furthermore, scandals have been revealed since the party gate incident.
A scandal involving Chris Pincher brought Johnson’s government to its knees just days before he resigned. Tory lawmaker Chris Pincher was accused of groping two men at a London club in 2019. As a result of these allegations, he was forced to resign on June 30 as a government whip.
A probe into alleged sexual misconduct against Pincher in 2019 led to Johnson being accused of not acting against him. The Johnson government set up a flimsy defence of the Chris Pincher scandal, adding to the problems. Only days later, a spokesperson disclosed that Johnson knew of the sexual misconduct allegations, while the government claimed he was unaware of them on July 1.
Understanding The Obsession With Rishi Sunak
Making big outside of their home country is a shared obsession for Indians. Indians who succeed in the Western world can easily be found on Facebook, YouTube, or blogs. This shows Indian soft power. Feeling satisfied seeing familiar names, surnames, and skin colours are pretty misplaced. We are living in a time of political crisis in the UK.
As opposed to believing that a leader of Indian origin will necessarily support India, India should place its hopes on a leader who can ensure stability in the Indo-British relationship. Other Indian leaders exist in Western countries as well. In addition to being a woman of Indian descent, Kamala Harris is the US Vice President. Her friendly overtures are rare, however.
The domestic audience they have to address is often racial. There is no exception to this rule when it comes to Rishi Sunak. It is not necessarily a good sign for India’s relationship with the UK if he achieves the highest office due to his distant Indian background.
It is important not to get carried away by emotions and rely solely on the prospects of an Indian-origin leader in the UK after Boris Johnson‘s unpleasant resignation. The UK’s democratic ethos faces a tough challenge, so it is best to wait for its return to stability rather than looking forward to an Indian-origin leader.
Edited by Prakriti Arora