If only we could be dull again
There was a time not so long ago when Britain was regarded as a dull nation.
For some, this reputation was down to our gloomy weather and the fact that cod and deep fried chips is our national dish, while others pointed to the politeness of our society as evidence of our dullness.
But it has been at the very top of public life where we have led the way when it comes to ‘normal’. Regardless of your views on the monarchy, there can be no argument that our Queen is anything other than safe while her Governments have generally been sensible – even if the lights did go out for a bit in the 1970s and there was that time when we invaded another nation based on duff information. Compared to other European countries, we have always been stable.
But now it seems the average Brit has had enough of being labelled as boring and is biting back at the ballot box. Last Thursday’s political explosion made for one of the most astonishing nights in recent British history.
The establishment was so convinced that nobody would vote for an ageing left wing political leader, they thought even a cardboard cutout would lead the Conservatives to a crushing victory. But, in Theresa May, the Tories chose someone even more one dimensional to take on Jeremy Corbyn. And boy were they punished for it. There will be many out there who will argue that it isn’t the Tories who are most damaged, as the uncertainty of a minority Government is sure to have far-reaching ramifications.
Much has been written about how May’s decision to call a snap election was arrogant, but it has been argued that any political leader would come to the same view, especially when they had such a slender majority as the one she inherited. What was arrogant was the view that all May had to do was simply turn up. We now know that was a huge mistake and, on the eve of the start of negotiations of the Brexit deal, we appear to be more rudderless than at any time in living memory.
One thing is very clear: not even the brightest minds can tell us what is around the corner.
What many would now give for us to be boring again.