UK

Top trumps democracy

A premier picked by 180 politicians… in top trumps democracy Britain is beaten out of hand by China where 2980 vote in their leader.

Britain’s democracy, so hailed around the eh, United Kingdom, seems to be dwindling before our eyes.

Never mind that less than half of the public (43.6%) voted in the Conservatives… that’s just the British system.

And that’s not the last time you’ll hear that disclaimer in this State of the Nation address.

The British system

No laughing matter: Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer

Back in June 357 Tory MPs prompted their own leader to eventually quit after 148 of them had refused to give him a vote of confidence.

Which triggered the MPs’ second favourite candidate Liz Truss to get the doors of No.10 Downing Street.

After, of course, she beat MPs darling (those not in the cult of Boris ‘Cincinnatus’ Johnson) Rishi Sunak 81,326-60,399.

You keeping up… it’s just the British system.

And then when Truss fell on her sword after 44 days the ruling party just changed the rules.

We won’t bore you but they facilitated a position where their next leader might bot even have to be endorsed by Tory members.

Handy when those members had voted against him in the run-off with Truss.

Mother of all Parliaments

Make him PM: The Speaker

All of which you can learn more about with a visit yourself to the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’.

Where you can watch the Conservatives and Labour tear strips out of each other at the House of Commons.

Or have a guided tour, a house tour like no other.

Whisper it maybe around the Commons though but it’s not actually the Mother of all Parliaments at all.

Isle of Man to Iceland to Iraq

Old geysers: And parliamentary geezers

There are other older assemblies… one even in the United Kingdom, in the Isle of Man, the High Court of Tynwald.

Sounds very Game of Thrones.

Although that is disputed by the Icelanders who date their Althing back to 930.

And whose Vikings you should imagine were a lot better behaved than the MPs in the House of Commons.

Our Western-obsessed perspective assumes of course that we are the cradle of democracy.

When there is evidence to suggest that the earliest known legislative assembly or ukkim was in Erech, Iraq c.2800BC.

Well, it has a claim to be the cradle of civilisation so it figures.

Cradle of democracy

Spoiled and ruined at the Acropolis in Athens

If you want to cling to the comfort that democracy is a European construct then you can retrace its origins in Athens.

And we all know that Boris Johnson is a Classicist.

And so all democratic roads led to Rome where prior to Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon they were very proud of their republic.

You can learn more about Boris’s hero Cincinnatus who was dragged from his plough to return to save the state.

It wasn’t just Boris who was inspired by the old Roman.

The founding fathers of America looked to Ancient Rome for inspiration when setting up their institutions.

American experiment

Hail to the Chief: Issy, George and Jimmy

With George Washington himself having resigned his position as Commander in Chief only to be asked away to lead his country.

So where do we all sit then with top trumps democracy, no not him, The Donald?

But the card game where we compete on a list of strengths against each others.

The thing is though that you probably wouldn’t want the British card at the moment.

 

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