The rapid replacement of one Tory prime minister by another has underlined how Britain isn’t any sort of real democracy. Three prime ministers in three months. Four chancellors in four months. Three home secretaries in less than two months. And none of us had a vote at any point.
In fact nobody voted for Rishi Sunak. His appointment was stitched up behind the scenes without MPs or Tory members—let alone the tens of millions affected by his rule—having a say. It’s not just a new tenant enjoying the pampered comforts of Number 10. Policy shifts to a new austerity regime that will be unveiled on Monday.
Former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King was asked if he would compare the cuts being planned to the austerity between 2010-15. King replied, “In some ways it could be more difficult.” He added, “That doesn’t make a very happy picture for the next few years, but what we need is a government that will tell us honestly there is a reduction in our national standard of living because we’ve decided to confront Russia.”
Shouldn’t there be a debate about that? A vote perhaps? Sunak has no democratic mandate as he pushes forward the cuts. Democracy also shrinks as the Tories plan new anti-union laws and force through the Public Order Bill. We should protest and strike to force a general election. But we can also demand a real democracy where ordinary people control society.