ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Chickens of British Multiculturalism Come Home to Roost

Brexit and the Rise of Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak’s rise as British Prime Minister, the obsession with immigration, and the continuing dominance of Brexit are instances of the deep-seated problems of British politics, aggravated by over a decade of austerity. The British political establishment shows no signs of the profound political rethinking required in the aftermath of the damaging effects of Brexit.

Britain was not ready for Rishi Sunak as the first Asian-origin Prime Minister in early September of 2022. Back then, his rival Liz Truss defeated him in the race for the Conservative Party leadership. “Ready for Rish!” was Sunak’s leadership campaign slogan. After seven chaotic and disastrous weeks of the hopeless Truss premiership, which saw her tax-cutting plans crash the eco­nomy and spook financial markets, the Conservative Party was ready for Rishi to come and steady the rocky British boat. Despite all the celebratory brouhaha, here in India, Sunak’s rise was necessitated by the base survival instincts of the Conservative Party. The Conservatives cling on to power and avoid elections fearing the kind of opinion poll leads that the Labour Party has enjoyed since Truss’s incompetence.

Sunak’s elevation has also been hailed as an example of Britain’s multicultural success with parallels made to Barack Obama’s election to the United States’s (US) presidency in 2008. The first Black man in the White House was symbolically significant, if for nothing, than for Obama’s sublimely uplifting oratory. The first Asian-origin man in 10, Downing Street, however, is incapable of such rhetorical flight. If Obama was justifiably criticised for failing to rein in the financial interests of Wall Street, Sunak is completely in hock to the financial markets, reinforced by his background as a hedge-fund manager.

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Updated On : 19th Dec, 2022
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