One of the first British press magnates, Lord Northcliffe, said a century ago: Nothing interests people more than a war or a royal funeral.
Now we have both: the war in Ukraine, which occupies the daily headlines and hours of television space everywhere, and the King of England II. Elizabeth’s official mourning.
No one better than the former colonial power to hold a funeral at this height, and no one better than the public broadcaster to convey to the world images that fascinatingly combine mourning and anachronistic procession.
For a few days, His Majesty and the Defender of the Cause (Anglican) subject may have forgotten about the problems facing their country and which, despite the Government’s reluctance to accept them, did not cease to grow even though they had decided to accept them. turn your back on the mainland.
Among other factors, problems such as the sharp rise in both gas and electricity bills, a sharp decline in GDP, and an economy in severe crisis with inflation approaching double digits due to a certain weakness in the country’s economy. It imports not a large part of its gas and crude oil, but more than half of the food it consumes.
The United Kingdom, among other things, almost until 1947 i.e. World War II. Five years after Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, she had to see how her colony, India, progressed and progressed in economic power. For example, Indian motor giant Tata has acquired iconic brands traditionally associated with Crown, such as Jaguar, Land Rover or Daimler.
Fate also wished that the monarch’s death nearly coincided with the appointment of Liz Truss as prime minister following the embarrassing resignation of her co-religionist, Boris Johnson.
He was a rabid republican in his youth and opposed it before he enthusiastically embraced Brexit – and a politician from which we know particularly alarming statements for a moment of maximum international tension like the present.
Thus, according to many British media, Truss responded in an interview with a journalist from the Times Radio station who asked if he was willing to launch a nuclear strike against Putin’s Russia if necessary, even if it meant “global destruction”: it is an important obligation of a prime minister. And I’m ready to do it.”
Truss seems even more combative against Russia than his incumbent predecessor, if possible, and therefore told Sky News television that if the West does not stop Putin in Ukraine, no one will be able to stop him and other European countries. will be threatened.
He noted, among others, that the Baltic states and Poland, which are already part of NATO and which the Alliance would have to defend directly in case of attack, would risk the outbreak of a large-scale war as a result. .
However, this guarantee of security, which was not given in the case of Ukraine, makes it highly unlikely that the Kremlin leader will one day decide to invade any of these neighboring countries, as he risks getting an immediate response from NATO. and a nuclear war.
It’s worth remembering here what happened in 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labor opposition leader, was asked if he, like Liz Truss now, would order the heads of the British Armed Forces to eventually launch a nuclear strike against the enemy.
Corbyn later responded negatively, making him an easy target for criticism not only from the “Conservatives” but also from the far-right factions of his own party who were “unfit” to one day place him as Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, two weeks before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, something that did not happen to his successor, current opposition leader Keir Starmer, answered “of course” to the same question. But none of this is talked about these days.