The Brits vote tomorrow on a new government. Rarely has the US had so little at stake. The three main parties are represented by inept and unserious men, and all the difficult questions facing Britain – on immigration, terrorism, the financial illness of the welfare state – have been swept off the table.
The current Labor prime minister, Gordon Brown, played smart boy to Tony Blair’s popular boy for so long he gives the word “dour” a bad name. The Tory leader, David Cameron, stands for nothing beyond semi-youthful enthusiasm. Nick Clegg, the Social Democrat, is a slickly packaged bundle of destructive ideas.
The best commentator by far on this sad electoral moment has been Jon Stewart.
I love the Brits. I have visited the UK more than any other country, and hope to do so again, volcano permitting. Whether the present administration knows it or not, the US needs a nontrivial Britain on the world stage, to help shoulder the burden of freedom.
Here’s hoping they find their way back.
UPDATE: Apparently, they won’t for a while. The votes are in, and the result is a hung Parliament. Melanie Phillips writes: “Everyone lost!”
So now all is murk. And no, the likely political paralysis is not good at all. But then, no party was offering any prospect of getting to grips properly with anything important anyway. It is the condition of British politics, and beyond that the state of British society, which is not good at all and of which this election result is an accurate reflection.