The FT is one of my main anchors when it comes to understanding world events. But when it comes to Britain, the FT itself is part of the game and its often surgically incisive scalpel is traded for a feather that one needs to dip in ink and carefully and eloquently scribble with, without ever bleeding any of the actors.
Even the NYT and Washington Post aren’t able to deeply analyse just what is rotten in the state of Britain. One or two domestic Dutch papers seem somewhat apt to me but with an audience of merely 17 million, they rarely meet FT’s quality standards, and their views aren’t too relevant anyway.
And so I am somewhat lost. It seems to me that neither May nor Corbyn are even remotely PM material. It seems that both party platforms are based on ridiculous and outdated suppositions. It seems that Britons have a choice between two parties neither of which entertains a narrative that is modern and bears close scrutiny. I find agreement with that analysis in this comment section and see the same point of view in the comments section of many other papers, but it doesn’t really float up. The FT and many other papers somehow remain convinced that this is business as usual and in doing so, perpetuate it. Because May and Corbyn read the FT and realize that it’s bad, but not disastrously so. But obviously Brexit is disastrous.
There is something rotten in the state of Britain, and political renewal that neither party can bring is essential. Neither the Tories nor Labour offers a narrative that is relevant in today’s world, their existence is intricately linked to each other because there rarely is anyone else they need to defeat. And so they entertain the same positions in the same struggles, moving only slightly, as the world passes them by. I don’t pretend to have a solution for Britain (or the US for that matter), because moving to direct representation is at this time not a plausible solution. Both parties too much depend on the plurality system for their survival. But at this time the representative system itself is what is bringing Britain down, and an understanding of that failure is the first step towards some relief. There’s really no hope for a positive outcome for Britain at this time though, with rationality being nowhere in sight.