• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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BusinessDay

A new political reality in the Uk

Keir Starmer

Once again, democracy has shown its strength in the UK. The people have voiced their dissatisfaction with the Conservative government through the ballot box. The official residence and office of the UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street is now occupied by a member of the Labour Party, following their victory in the recent general elections. The transition of political power from the Conservative Party to the Labor Party was widely reported as a peaceful and orderly transfer, with goodwill from all parties involved.

Sir Keir Starmer of the Labour Party has succeeded Rishi Sunak of the Conservative Party as the new Prime Minister of the UK. Unlike in some countries, there have been no court cases or election tribunal petitions against political parties for electoral malpractice in the UK.

Read also: What Starmer’s election victory means for japa

“Starmer’s pragmatic style differs from his predecessor’s chaotic tenure, with a focus on national service over party politics.”

Sir Keir Starmer is the new Prime Minister of Britain, known for his methodical approach and background in leadership. At 61 years old, he is the oldest to hold the position in decades, despite being in parliament for only 9 years. Starmer’s pragmatic style differs from his predecessor’s chaotic tenure, with a focus on national service over party politics. While some criticise his charisma and consistency, supporters view him as a stable presence in a time of political uncertainty.

Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party lost the election for not keeping their promises. Instead, their time in office spanning 14 years has been marked by a slow economy, poor public service and multiple scandals, which drew criticism from various scholars globally and within the UK. The Institute for Government, UK, posted an article titled “Magical Thinking About Government Needs a Dose of Reality,” on their official website that:
“The UK’s political parties are not being honest with the public about the situation in which the country finds itself – the implication of persistent low growth, long term underinvestment in public service, and significant public debt ballooned by the pandemic.”

According to a prominent Prime Minister Biographer, Anthony Seldon, Rishi Sunak lacked vision and experience, while Boris Johnson was described as “awful.” Liz Truss was deemed “hopeless” but also “destructive and fascinating.”

Seldon also mentioned that Sunak is focused on science, AI, markets, and finance, but lacks a comprehensive theory for governing and a clear project for his time in power. But Sunak has apologised to the Brits for his poor performance in office as the PM.

As expected, the new PM declared that the country has voted for change, and “it’s time” for reset. But some public intellectuals have expressed their feelings that the new PM is coming in for a “changeless change.” “We must return politics to service,” Starmar said repeatedly during campaigns promising to put “country first, party second,” following 14 chaotic years of Conservative rule under five different prime ministers.

Safe haven

Without delay, Starmer has formed his cabinet with Rachael Reeves as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. According to Reeves “I want investors to look at Britain and say it’s a safe haven in a turbulent world. A place where I can invest with confidence in a world where perhaps other countries are tilting to more populist politics.” She however, affirmed that “change will be achieved only on the basis of iron discipline.”

Read also: UK PM Keir Starmer announces scrapping of Rwanda deportation plan

Industry

The Confederation of British Industry declared that “now is the moment to get behind growth.” While manufacturers organisation Make UK said that “Labour faced an urgent need to kick start the UK’s anaemic growth levels in recent years and boost investment in our infrastructure.”
Tax is expected to go up to fund public service.

Although some experts are of the view that there is so much to what one can increase debt to, the Labor Party has an ambition of hiking defence spending to 2.5 percent of GDP from around 2 percent.

Starmer pledged to steer the UK towards “calmer waters” after 14 often turbulent years of conservative rule. “You have given us a clear mandate, and we will use it to deliver change, to restore service and respect to politics, end the era of noisy performance, tread more lightly on your lives, and unite our country.”

Leadership to the World

Since Brexit in 2016, there has been perennial debate about Britain’s place in the World. Despite being a member of the UN Security Council, G7 economy and a nuclear power, the exit of Britain from Brexit, according to some critics, has diminished the voice of the UK on the world stage. Some scholars have argued that in the international stage, it’s difficult to quantify how much power a country has.

The greatest hindrance to the UK’s global influence since 2016 has been its instability and domestic political confusion. That is why some public intellectuals say that if you cannot provide certainty at home, what you say or do on international issues don’t carry much weight. The situation is worse for developing and less developing nations.

Political stability matters to your allies. As an advocate of change, Starmer can now guarantee 5 years of consistency to the world, which means that his views on foreign affairs can be taken seriously.

In Ukraine, it is predicted that Starmer will maintain the UK government’s support. There are expectations that the relationship with Europe will be improved but he has ruled out rejoining the EU or any of its institutions. Concerning Israel, the position of the UK is that Israel has the right to defend itself. But it’s most likely that the new PM will be under pressure to restrict arms sales to Israel if they are to be used to commit war crimes. Will Labour improve Britain’ place in the world? Time will tell. But one thing is certain.

Keir Starmer and his foreign secretary will face challenges in their early decisions on foreign policy. The test will be whether his foreign policies will rebuild the UK’s influence, reputation and interests in the international environment.

MA Johnson, Rear Admiral (Rtd).