Moya Lothian-McLean

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It’s Not Going Well for Britain’s New Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak, Britain’s prime minister, has a plan for the new year. In a speech in early January, he set out an agenda to resuscitate the country and save the Conservative Party, now in free fall. “We will halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats”, he intoned.

You’d be forgiven for hearing a note of desperation. Mr. Sunak, after all, entered office with a mountain to climb. The cost-of-living crisis is just the start: Wherever you turn, strife seems to rise to meet you. To name but a few, there’s the health care crisis, the housing crisis (both ownership and rental), the education crisis, the child care crisis, the transport crisis, the climate crisis and, not least, the constitutional crisis threatening the end of the union with Scotland.…  Seguir leyendo »

Britain Is Melting

Britain’s chickens have come home to roast.

A dependably temperate climate has this week given way to extreme heat. “HOTTER THAN THE SAHARA”, bellowed the front page of the aptly titled tabloid The Sun on Monday. Worryingly, it proved to be a rare instance of accuracy from the paper. By midafternoon that day, British meteorologists confirmed that England, Scotland and Northern Ireland had all experienced the highest temperatures of the year so far. Wales went one scarier, breaking its record for the hottest day not once but twice.

For all the problems they pose, temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, tend not to be too disruptive for continental Europeans.…  Seguir leyendo »

Boris Johnson Is Revealing Who He Really Is

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, bruised by scandal and faced with an alarming rise in coronavirus cases, is refusing to change course. “We have a chance,” he bullishly proclaimed on Jan. 4, “to ride out this Omicron wave without shutting down our country once again.”

Public health experts may disagree. Yet Mr. Johnson is at least being consistent — not only with his conduct throughout the pandemic, where lockdowns were a last resort and restrictions were to be shelved as soon as possible, but also with the political platform that elevated him to the highest office. After all, this is the man who rose to power — bringing about Brexit in the process — on the promise to restore “freedom” and “take back control.”…  Seguir leyendo »