A No Longer ‘Great’ Britain

The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom has suffered a disastrous election result, unlike any in its very long history.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak left No.10 Downing Street and resigned in defeat. A new Labour government has been ushered in with a huge majority. Many well-known Conservative dignitaries and cabinet members embarrassingly lost their own constituencies, including former prime ministers, deputy leaders, and party heads.

In the UK, a political party needs 326 seats to win, a milestone Labour now commands with a majority of more than 170 forming the next parliament. This scale of victory is similar to that exhibited by Tony Blair back in 1997. The low turnout of 59 percent is in part to blame, but the causes go much deeper.

Because of its strange electoral system, Britain can see large discrepancies between the share of seats won by a party and its share of the popular vote.

Here are the actual 2024 election results demonstrating that effect.

Labour took 412 seats with just 33.8 percent of the vote,  gaining 214 seats over the last election in 2019.

Liberal Democrats have now 71 seats with 12.2 percent of the vote, a gain of 63 seats.

The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) now has 9 seats, which is a loss of 37, down from 48. All seats are in Scotland.

The Greens had 6.8 percent of the vote and  7 seats.

The Reform Party with 14.3 percent of the votes, got only 5 seats.

You will say, something is wrong with this math. It doesn’t seem right or fair. Yes, but it is the British “first past the post” system of democracy and it is certainly not proportional.

Will the nation stand for it any longer? The whole system has been seriously called into question.

Labour, under boring Keir Starmer, who ran a “Ming vase” campaign of avoiding controversy, slid into the driver’s seat as a big government, high tax, globalist, woke, and immigrant-loving left-wing socialist and could remain in power for a decade. The result is that a Britain that is less great by the day falls out of the prevailing world trend toward right-of-center conservative nationalist parties coming to power from Italy, France, Argentina, and India to the United States (with Trump), Hungary, and most of Europe.

Britain is the outlier.

Truthfully, the United Kingdom is pretty much a myth nowadays, with Northern Ireland perennially beset with its own breed of sectarianism and Scotland wanting more devolution, if not outright independence. The empire is a relic of the past and today’s Britain is a middle power, at best. Coming to terms with this history has proven difficult even for Anglophiles. The so-called “special relationship” with the United States is less and less important and will sadly never be what it was in the days of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

So, when did Britain go into decline?

The statistics showing Britain’s sharp decline are too many to list in full but consider these.

The Suez Crisis of 1956 confirmed Britain’s formal decline as a global superpower, and the handover of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997 symbolized for many the end of the British Empire, though 14 overseas territories that are remnants of the empire remain under the Crown. That number has gone down nearly every year as even the Commonwealth becomes a shadow of its former self.

The British economy for years has seen meager growth, only 0.1 percent in 2023. It is still the sixth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product (GDP), ninth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP), and 21st by nominal GDP per capita, constituting 3.1 percent of nominal world GDP. Yet all these numbers are in decline.

Worse, the country ranks 20th in the world in the corruption index and has been rising up the rankings. Nothing works—not the trains, NHS, or the border.

Perhaps most compelling is that seven in 10 Britons see their country in decline. The country’s voting pattern also shows what could be called the metropolitan effect where the cities and all the immigrants vote left and the towns, shires and countryside remain traditional. This appears to be a sociological fact in all democracies today.

Parts of Britain want to leave, the Irish question remains, and the Scottish rebellion hardly disappeared.

The SNP loss in Scotland is most monumental, however, as they are seen as corrupt and having been in power for too long. Scottish Labour swept the entire country and made the broader UK Labour landslide possible.

Looking behind the real numbers, however, shows that what has been called a massive tidal wave is, in fact, about as shallow as a pond. Labour has weak leadership, lacks in charisma, tends to tax far too much, and tries to nationalize everything. Even the BBC, a media entity, is a government agency.

The real question falling out of this election is the present state of British conservatism. Does it have a future?

Staying in power for 14 years, over five different prime ministers, with little to show for it, led to their complete defeat. Many people just wanted a “change,” which was the theme of the Labour platform.

There is, however, little difference between liberal leaning conservatives and their democratic socialist rivals on fiscal policy, health, immigration, defense, or the economy. The Uniparty approach to governing failed.

All this allowed Nigel Farage, the cleverest British politician of his generation, to commence a new party called “Reform,” and to storm the land to amazing result based on a right-of-center platform of popular sovereignty, national conservatism, and anti-immigration.

Farage will have to be taken as a real player now that he sits as the MP for Clacton-on-Sea and has a vibrant following, a huge social media following, other members of parliament joining with him, and is a better, more forceful opposition to Labour than the feeble, divided, and leaderless Conservative Party.

Face it, the Tories are coming apart at the seams and cannot stich up their poor performance or divisions. They may be like Humpy Dumpty, who could not be put back together again. One wing is still in love with posh pro-EU David Cameron and his ilk, and the other wings can’t agree on much. All they produce is infighting and backstabbing.

The best thing for them to do, and maybe the only hope to put the “great” back into Britain, is to elect a leader on the right like Suella Braverman to form a coalition with Nigel’s Reform Party, making him co-leader.

Anything less is sure to fail and further the decline of whatever remains of Great Britain … or is it, Little England?

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