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The General Election: The Forbidden Dream of the UK

  • Opinion

By Tumininu Peters, BA Politics and International Relations

Envision a performance in which the actors, inconsiderate of their audience’s irritation, utilise a variety of deceptive methods to prolong their time on stage. 

Sounds familiar? Welcome to the world of modern British politics. During this extraordinary performance, a significant juncture develops that can destabilise Rishi Sunak and his Conservative government — the simple proposition of a general election. The implications of this predicament for their reigning power and the demonstration of their political acrobatics are far too difficult to fathom. Yet, a majority of British citizens long for this prospect, as it presents an opportunity to liberate their voices from the last four years of political turmoil. But with no signs of the election meant to be held by January 2025, what elements have contributed to a general election’s transition from a necessity to a painstakingly delayed and luxurious affair? 

Under three ineffective leaders and three turbulent governments, the Conservative Party has been enmeshed in a series of unfavourable policy decisions and scandals, resulting in a deterioration of its current public image. However, they believe that each of their actions has contributed to the betterment of the country. To validate their limited set of accomplishments, they implemented a variety of policies, including the prohibition of fracking, which would not have necessitated a ban if it had not been for the negligence of the briefly serving Liz Truss; as well as the economically inevitable claim of halving inflation and the government’s repeated commitment to maintaining the triple-lock pensions. It is critical that we, as a nation, truthfully evaluate the Conservative Party’s tangible achievements. Yet, the only thing that comes to mind is their 13-year track record of preventing Labour from assuming power. However, given their lower living standards, sluggish economic growth, and widespread scandals, one might question their success in even keeping Labour out in the first place. Despite this, no election is currently scheduled, leaving Britons with no immediate opportunity for change, as the party persists in its pursuit of political power while failing to acknowledge its current failures. Instead, legislative measures, such as the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act of 2022, have been enacted to establish an equitable and all-encompassing electoral procedure, allowing the continuation of their unfavourable governance while imposing the consequences of their rash decisions on the public. 

Incompetence has highlighted the Conservative Party’s inability to fulfil its responsibilities while maintaining fiscal standards, resulting in a decline in public confidence, including within the party itself. A recent parliament petition saw almost 280,000 individuals express their desire for an immediate general election.

“The raucous applause that greeted Johnson’s victory in 2019 now appears subdued and lacklustre.”

The raucous applause that greeted Johnson’s victoryin 2019 now appears subdued and lacklustre. Even the scathing resignation letter penned by Suella Braverman that garnered significant media attention just a few weeks ago, shed light on the obvious lack of respect among those working under Sunak’s premiership and only emphasised his lack of “real intention of fulfilling [his] pledge to the British people,” which has only caused increasing dissatisfaction among members of his own political party. Given these circumstances, one might wonder what conditions must be met for our long-awaited dream to come true. The survival of the democratic process is dependent on the honesty and integrity of its leaders. Have we not expressed our dissatisfaction with the current government deeply enough? 

Nonetheless, it is critical to emphasise that the consequences discussed cannot be attributed solely to political leaders. Despite widespread exposure of Boris Johnson’s numerous scandals as a Member of Parliament, his involvement in fabrications at The Times, and the derogatory language he employed during his tenure at The Daily Telegraph, the overwhelming victory of the 2019 election can be attributed to the majority of voters who perceived him as the most suitable candidate to lead the country. Surely, his lack of integrity and proclivity to exploit language for his own convenience would have been evident. Yet there was a paramount shock when he failed to adhere to his own manifesto’s goals, weaponising ignorance as a covert channel for his ruthlessness over his three-year premiership and his remarkable ability to deceive through the Partygate scandal.       

Still, in sympathy with the public vote of confidence, the extent of Johnson’s recklessness and deception was unforeseeable. As for our current unelected prime minister, his continuing inefficiency has only been a slap in the public’s face, who did not even have the opportunity to vote him in. Thus, when our forbidden dream of a general election comes to fruition, it must be remembered by Britons that the last four years have been utter hell, and we can no longer underestimate the enormous ramifications the next leader can have on the direction of this country.

The coming times are unpredictable, but the British public has the right to an immediate general election. This rotten government has only worsened the country’s situation in their 13-year reign and they are no longer fit to govern the country. I fear that if they continue to do so, the consequences will be disastrous.

Photo Caption: “I Protest!” (Credit: Tumininu Peters)

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