14 April, 2024

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Britain’s New Prime Minister, Postcolonial Politics & Parliamentary System

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

The ascent of Rishi Sunak as the new British Prime Minister is an individual achievement of stunning proportions. It is also a testament to the positive evolution of the British political system to the point of adopting a non-Christian person of colour and son of immigrant parents as its Prime Minister. While these two facts and the accolades they elicit are all in order, there are also other facts about British politics and the politics of Mr. Sunak himself, provoking justifiably negative criticisms both within and outside Britain. They too cannot be ignored, and they have to be balanced with the positive symbolisms of the recent changes in British politics. 

The sun may have set on the British Empire quite a while ago, but its twilight is still encompassing a substantial portion of the world made up of former colonies and whose political and socioeconomic developments are still intertwined to varying degrees with developments in Britain. Rishi Sunak’s background as the son of immigrant parents of North Indian Punjabi origin, a practicing Hindu, and husband of a South Indian billionaire heiress, has created special acclamations in India. Nothing much may come out of it, but Sunak’s elevation in Britain has brought into relief both the nostalgia and the cynicism that surround the continuing aftermaths of the empire, not only in India but also in other postcolonial societies in the Commonwealth. And in Britain itself.                

A particularly cynical take on the matter could be that with the national economy in the doldrums, British Tories have got hold of an ambitious Indian to clean up their Brexit mess. While acknowledging the poignancy in the current circumstances, one must also acknowledge that someone with roots in former colonies could not have risen to the top in the old imperial centre except at the intersection of the downward trajectory of Britain and the upward trajectory of some of the old colonies. It may not be a coincidence, but India at $3.53T GDP recently overtook Britain at $3.38T as the world’s fifth largest economy, and India is also currently registering the highest rise in real salaries in the world at 4.6% whereas in Britain salaries have fallen 5.6% in real terms due to its 9.1% inflation. 

Political Evolution

A substantively different take would be that while British political society has evolved to the point of accepting women and men of colour regardless of their religious persuasions to the highest levels of power in the county, India has backslid from its early decades of secularism and inclusiveness to the current Hindutva quagmire in which Muslims and other religious minorities are actively excluded and more than occasionally harassed. Exclusion of national and ethnic minorities from high political offices is not something peculiar to Modi’s India. Sri Lanka’s record of exclusion targeting non-Sinhala Buddhists is even more longstanding. There are many other instances in the Commonwealth. 

Sunak’s rise in Britain also bucks the growing anti-non-white and anti-immigrant populism in many western polities. Donald Trump personifies this trend in the US and the fact that he, in spite of all his bullying antics and violations of the law, could still be considered a serious presidential candidate for 2024 shows how deep racist and reactionary populism has sunk its roots in US society. Trump has counterparts and followers in many European countries, especially East European countries. The irony about this populism in western countries is that many older and well-to-do immigrants of colour subscribe to anti-immigrant populism very vigorously. 

The British Conservative Party is now home to many established immigrants of colour who are more vociferous than old stock Britishers about fighting crime, protecting borders and eliminating immigration. Almost all frontline Tories of Asian and African origins subscribe to this ethos of the ‘hard right’ and Rishi Sunak might be a moderate among them. This came out quite clearly in the defensive justification he offered for the reappointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. 

Ms. Braverman had resigned just days ago from Truss’s cabinet for violating the code of conduct for Ministers. The real reason was a clash over immigration policies. Braverman would not stand Truss and her new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, going soft on immigration and viciously attacked the lettuce Prime Minister and expedited her exit. Her return to cabinet is Sunak’s sop to hard right Tories and a payback for her supporting Sunak and preventing Boris Johnson from forcing another leadership contest involving Tory members at large. The upshot was Sunak’s coronation by Tory MPs. 

Immigrant Politics

Sunak, Braverman, and Priti Patel among others are children of parents of Indian origin who migrated from East Africa. They are the successful descendants of Indians who migrated to Africa to work in colonial bureaucracies, but who came under threat when African countries became independent and took to Africanising their states and their economies. Indian and Pakistani immigrants from African countries are a different political constituency in Britain – from those who migrated directly from the subcontinent in South Asia. The latter immigrants are far more socio-economically diverse – from factory workers to shop keepers, professionals, and entrepreneurs than their African Asian counterparts. Their socioeconomic circumstances found a natural ally in the Labour Party, which they have traditionally supported. They may not know the details of Churchill’s vulgar invectives against Hindus, but they remember India becoming independent when there was a Labour Prime Minister in Britain. 

Indian migrants from Africa have different memories and their circumstances are also different. It was Conservative Prime Ministers, Macmillan, and Heath, who allowed their migration to the UK when they came under threat first in Kenya and later in Uganda. And they remember years later a Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, reversing Macmillan’s earlier greenlight to Asian migration from Africa. As well, South Asian immigrants have long distance political agendas and their involvement in British politics is coloured by the political hangovers from their natal countries. Indian migrants from Africa, on the other hand, have no abiding political interest in Africa and have been able to assimilate themselves into British politics without any African hangover.

They are now dead set against any immigration, especially of the poor and refuge seekers. Patel and Braverman are ready to trample over any rights that immigrants may claim under international humanitarian laws. Braverman spitefully calls them modern laws of slavery. Prime Minister Sunak may not be as spiteful of hapless immigrants as his Indian-origin Tory colleagues are, but he needs their support to be Tory Leader and Prime Minister.

Mr. Sunak personifies another facet of the African Indian constituency in Britain. And that is their overachieving success in business and the professions, easily far and ahead of any immigrant constituency in Britain, including their distant kin from South Asia. As repeatedly insisted by the new Prime Minister, his parents were not born into wealth. His father was a GP Doctor in Hampshire, his mother ran a pharmacy, and they saved enough to put their son through Britain’s best schools, and finally to Oxford for a PPE. From there he took to ‘finances’ with an MBA from Stanford and a not too short pre-political career at Goldman Sachs. Rishi Sunak’s political career began not in the traditional trenches of constituency politics but in the financial networks in London that Tories had infiltrated throughout the Thatcher era. It is this experience that is likely colour his politics as Prime Minister and not his cultural inheritances. 

For good measure, Sunak found the love his life in a South Indian billionaire heiress, Akshata Murty, from Mysore. Their combined wealth is double the assets of Britain’s Royal family and that has become both a matter of pride and a point of detraction in British political gossip. Mr. Sunak’s affinal wealth is also a commentary on wealth creation in our time – the exponential fusion of electronics and high finance. Ms. Murty’s parents, Naryan and Sudha Murty, began as young computer engineers with little seed capital. But the IT company Infosys they launched turned out to be hugely successful and elevated them to the ranks of the richest in India. 

Parliamentary System

A third aspect of Mr. Sunak’s rise as Prime Minister is the perennial leadership tumults in the Conservative Party. Sunak is now a beneficiary of Tory convulsions, but he could be another victim as well. Even if he manages to survive the current term of parliament, he is unlikely to be able to win the next election given the steep fall Tories have suffered in public opinion. His economic challenges are not in dispute, but his political challenges are more within the governing Party than they are with the opposition parties. Brexit is at the root of both. But he cannot address the economic challenges without compromising Brexit, and he cannot compromise on Brexit without provoking another internal revolt by Brexiteers. That is his real dilemma.

At the same time, something needs to be said about the resilience of the British parliamentary system that has held forth and in fact worked well, from a system standpoint, through six years Brexit fiasco, Tory infighting and Labour self-destructiveness. Britain did not any ‘aragalaya’ to get rid of Boris Johnson. The British people did not have to march on streets chanting Boris Go Home, but their restive mood was powerfully reflected in the British parliament, where all that was needed to get rid of the Prime Minister was resignations by senior cabinet ministers and enough-is-enough messages from Tory backbenchers. Not even a No Confidence Motion in parliament was needed for the good riddance of bad Boris. 

A few months ago, when President Emmanuel Macron lost control of the legislature after the National Assembly elections in France, a prominent Sri Lankan commentator rhetorically posed a presidential-existential question for Sri Lanka. What calamity, he asked, and I paraphrase, would befall France if it had a parliamentary system and had Mr. Macron not as President but as Prime Minister? The question was vacuous, and the answer then as now is simple. At best, Mr. Macron would have been the Prime Minister of a minority government; at worst, he would have been Leader of the Opposition while leading the single largest party in the Assembly. And France would have been still far better than what is going on in the US, the world’s oldest presidential system.  

The more appropriate question should have been, and it has since become one, is not a question referencing France but Britain. What would be Britain’s plight if Boris Johnson were President and not Prime Minister? Given his reluctance all along to quit, Mr. Johnson would have been Britain’s irremovable President and not a procedurally dispensable Prime Minister. Comparing Johnson in Britain and Trump in America there is certainly something to say about the flexibility in the parliamentary system for changing government heads, mid-term or between elections, as opposed to the virtual non-removability in a presidential system. 

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Latest comments

  • 14
    2

    In this article, I find a statement: ” British Tories have got hold of an ambitious INDIAN (emphasis by me) to clean up their Brexit mess”.

    Really? Is this man Rishi Sunak an “INDIAN”?

    • 12
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      Simon

      “Is this man Rishi Sunak an “INDIAN”?”

      Shall we say an Indian looking, perhaps a coconut, inside white outside brown, or Brown Sahib?

      • 2
        0

        NV,
        .
        Is Barack Obama “KENYAN” ?
        .
        Is Kamala Harris ” INDIAN” ?

        • 4
          0

          leelagemalli

          Please read the following WhatsApp message this morning:

          “When King Charles III is crowned next May a Hindu Prime Minister will leave 10 Downing Street with his Indian wife to attend the ceremony.
          The Muslim Mayor of London will already be at Westminster Abbey.
          Security will be headed by the Home Secretary, a Buddhist.
          The only white holder of a great office of state Jeremy Hunt will arrive with his Chinese wife.
          And the Chief Rabbi will walk from Clarence House having stayed the night as the guest of the King and King Consort.
          It will be a perfect scene modern Britain.”

          Now what do you say to the modern Britain?

    • 4
      18

      Rajan please let’s not be naive! Sunak had applied for a US Green card like our Rajapakse brothers Goat and Basil! As in Lanka there was a Regime Change operation in imploding UK, colonized now by the US empire! The Crashing Empire’s Deep State is using Sunak who was NOT elected in a General Election but appointed by Parliament (like corrupt Ranil Rajapakse backed by the US “Force” according to Donald Lu), as a pawn!
      Sunak represents the Weaponization of the Indian Diaspora. He is the Hindu Saffron wand to lure Modi’s India away from a gathering Russian-led China, India, Global South Asian Shanghai Corporation Unity.. at this time of New Cold War.
      UK, US, Aussi (AUKUS) want to use the South Asian Diaspora which is Weaponized to ensure that India goes with the West against the ‘Rest” and breaks ranks with the Global South this time round. Also, they are promoting brain drain from South Asia in order to re-boot colonialism while stealing talent and natural resources again as World War 3 ramps up!

      • 5
        3

        Dear Dinuk,
        .
        PART A
        .
        Am I right when I assert that all of us reading this are conscious of certain similarities between events in the UK and Sri Lanka?
        .
        On many little points you’re being unfair by the Brits, Dinuk, and excusing Lankan politicians.
        .
        Sunak, as an outstanding professional, has never held anything more than a “green card status” in the USA. Both Rajapaksa brothers were full citizens of USA, and Gota gave up only to be President of Lanka. (I’m being charitable even in granting that!)
        .
        By no means are you justified in equating how Sunak and Ranil Wickremasinghe becoming Prime Ministers. Both the Conservative Party and the SLPP won huge majorities at General elections is true. Whilst there was drama in both Parliaments, the Conservative Party never lost its majority; there was no motion of “no-confidence”. No crossing over of MPs from one Party to another. The Conservative Party changed leaders, and that leader became Prime Minster. It was not the House of Commons that made Sunak PM. After granting that, please fine tune.

      • 5
        2

        PART B
        .
        Now contrast that election of a Party Leader in the UK with the chaos in our Parliament. Nobody is sure who belongs to which Party, and that after election of MPs according to Proportional Representation. Forget Ranil for a moment, think of Diana Gamage; who on earth is she?
        .
        Sajith Premadasa’s SJB that genuinely had support in the county (not mine, though!) found that it had no Registered Party to contest from, and so had to “borrow” a Party from “some person named Diana Gamage” whom almost no Lankan had heard of. After the Proportional Representation Election she was nominated by he SJB. Allowing such persons to cross over is all wrong – Oh Constitutional all right! How many amendments have there been to this blasted Constitution of 1978? CBK called it the “Bahubutha Viyavasthava” and she has been proved right.
        .
        In many senses the Proprtional Representation that JRJ introduced in 1978 was fairer, but he was the first to violate it. There’s no need for me to examine how it was raped to suit the whims of those who had temporary control of the country. Constitutions ought NEVER to be tampered with.

      • 5
        2

        PART C
        .
        In the UK 650 MPs are directly chosen by electorates on a First Past the Post basis. Homework for Dinuk: the distortions above all come from your “contribution”. See if there are MPs now who were elected with fewer than a third of the votes cast in an electorate. Voters cast their ballots in all electorates for named candidates.
        .
        Here’s a gift for you:
        .
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islington_North_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s
        .
        I challenge you: show that some citizens have been cheated out there. I’m sure that some of you anonymous guys have glob-trotted extensively, and yet come up with the nonsense that you have posted above.
        .
        The appearance of that link is misleading. From that one link you could scroll down into the 19th Century! What it shows is that the Labour Party has held the seat since 1937. The sacked MP, Jeremy Corbyn, has won ten elections there since 1983. Even if the Labour Party fields an official candidate at the 2024 General Elections against him, he will probably win the seat. Could that be because he is a terrorist who controls goons there? Judge from this 40-minute interview:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJ6fUCcfb_8
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

    • 3
      3

      Before anyone expects Sunak to perform miracles, keep in mind Sunak has been supporting BREXIT, behind Boris Johnsons policies, and has been the loyal party supporter….just how successful can he be continuing with the same failed policies?

      It is time the British people stopped looking to the Tories for help in getting out of this mess, as they are the same people that put them there.

  • 8
    2

    I have to be guarded against a seasoned writer of the calibre of Rajan Philips. Even then, I dare to venture.
    “They … have to be balanced with the positive symbolisms of the recent changes in British politics”.
    How accurate is the above statement? Is it to sensationalise the ascent of Rishi Sunak to the seat no coloured man could have aspired for, say, a couple of decades ago.
    My qualms is about not anything but calling the ascent, ‘symbolism’.
    Does it symbolise anything. What does it symbolise?
    Sunak’s rise reveals that the ‘whites’ will accept even a ‘coloured’ to pull them out of danger in times of turbulence. No new doors have opened. It symbolises nothing.

  • 12
    1

    nimal fernando

    When the MP’s in UK parliament address each other “my right honourable friend” although some of them are in the opposition and his/her real enemies are on his side. Yet they exchange views and ideas and constructively and fearlessly criticise the views expressed in the house.
    Here is a link to Rishi’s first day at Parliament as prime minister:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHkajV_2U0I

    Why our parliament is completely different?

    • 11
      1

      NV: You asked: ” Why our parliament is different?” My answer is twofold

      (1) PHYSICAL/BIOLOGICAL: The physic depends on what they eat. They eat (staple food) GRASS and drink PUNNAKKU. That you can see from the bulging out “BELLYS” and “Hanging MUSSELS” around the neck.

      (2) BIORTHYTHM: The motivations are “SELFISH” and not tuned to perform as “PROMISED’ and guided by the CORRUPT and MAFIA LEADERSHIP.

      • 9
        0

        Simon

        Thanks.
        Do you think South/North Indian gene has anything to do about it?

    • 8
      0

      Native,

      “Why our parliament is completely different?”

      I believe our parliament is better ……… don’t you? ………. Just look at our achievements!

      I believe, ably assisted by his 37 ministers, Ranil will go down as the greatest leader in the entire human history!


      Is there any reason to doubt?

  • 7
    2

    I heard dont know it’s true or not these Asians from African countries were not welcomed here,Idi Amin first he put these Indians in a plane to send India ,but Indra Gandi refused to take them in and send the plane to UK her theory was you took them away from india for your purpose so you take care of it,(Dhamika perera having so many containers of waste bio too UK fooled him China refused it divert to port of Colombo)

    • 4
      0

      C
      What you heard is in a tiny part true but otherwise false.
      Africa’s Indians who migrated as indentured labour mostly fitted into Africa fully, as in South Africa.
      The middle class was mostly business communities and administrators who did not quite integrate. After East Africa freed itself of British rule, East African Indians were in two minds– to remain or quit.
      As in HK, Britain had a commitment to these people and offered them British passports letting them enter the country without hindrance. Before Amin, Ugandan PM Obote asked the Indians to make up their mind. A good number chose to leave but opted for UK than for India.
      They could not take out large sums of money, and that was a cause of British resentment.
      Amin, Britain’s man to replace Obote in a coup, proved worse for Britain. He made life so hard for the Indians so that nearly all left with little in hand.
      Indians in Kenya were a little better off and about half of them remained in Kenya.
      So life was altogether more complex than an Amin-Indira duel.

      • 4
        0

        Thanks for those details, SJ, which confirm what I felt.
        .
        So, the overall picture is getting clearer.
        .
        But a different picture is that the Conservatives are definitely losing the 2024 General Elections. That has been clear for over a year now. If we don’t hypothesise like that, we can’t possibly act.
        .
        Rishi is an outstanding man; what if he does turn round the fortunes of the country and the people, and actually wins the next elections, which haven’t after all been fixed yet? A miracle! Good for him, and I wish him all success. However, I’m not saying that because I’m expecting some reward for saying this. He will not know of our existence, and he shouldn’t bother with that. He’s got to look after the UK.
        .
        His Party will probably lose in 2024. What he should then do is to rethink his position. He’s so young (for this job, not young to become a Test Cricketer!) that he’ll probably become Prime Minister again. There’ll be plenty of people wanting to be Leader of the Opposition after 2024; let them. He should take a break, relax, be with his family, and, perhaps, make even more money. After that, he will be able to re-assert his political credentials.
        .
        He should not emulate Ranil Wickremasinghe who is a bloody curse to 21 million Lankans (out of 22 million that is).

  • 14
    0

    I have a question. A genuine question.
    Why are there so many articles and so much discussion on this Rishi Sunak capturing the Premiership of Great Britain?
    (CT is not initiating this hullabaloo, I know for a fact.)
    Is it a reflection of our inability to take charge of our political structure democratically?
    Our teething on democracy has a British root. Yet, we are not a democratic country, yet.
    We have never practiced democracy. No wonder, anything democratic takes us by awe!

    • 5
      2

      N
      What makes you think that CT is not up to tricks?
      Do not worry, CT will continue to publish you even if you scold it in raw filth– it is democratic in that respect. It will also not protect you from others who take it upon themselves to denounce you.
      *
      Have you forgotten the excitement about– who was it — Kamala somebody not long ago?
      Sunak deserved greater credit because he got their on pure Tory merit.
      *
      They taught us corruption and we practice it well.
      They taught us double dealing, and we are not bad at that.
      We even speak some kind of English.
      How many things can we do as the British do?

    • 5
      1

      Nathan,
      .
      We rejoice at anything that takes our human race forward (there are some vegans who consider themselves equal to animals – we haven’t reached that level of nobility yet!).
      .
      So, there was rejoicing when half-white Barack Obama became President of the country in which Scarlet O’ Hara suffered so much. I hope that some people are persuaded to read, or at least watch the film, “Gone with the Wind”. She looked white, but some went on a witch hunt.
      .
      There are others whose thinking is so superficial (the majority of the population with whom we don’t interact, probably) that they don’t look at the details and are possibly taking the first steps to migrate to the UK. Why the horrible Suellla Braverman (I haven’t seen evidence of people knowing that she’s a Buddhist) had to be appointed Foreign Secretary, and that Rishi is a devout Hindu, haven’t yet been digested.
      .
      I know that I’m also a fool – but in other ways!

      • 7
        0

        Sinhala_Man,
        You bring out the philosophical part of my make up.
        One who calls himself a fool is not a fool but a dangerous serpent!
        You are not dangerous. Don’t call yourself a fool.
        We all have a certain degree of madness in us. As long as we are aware of that we escape, in time.
        There are many smart people. Those who want to appear smart are not smart.
        (I am tired of my own philosophy. Let me stop here.)

        • 0
          0

          Nathan,
          “We all have a certain degree of madness in us.”
          Some more than others. I think you know too that in Shakespearean and US English, “mad” means “angry”.

          • 2
            1

            OC
            In Shakespearean English you may qualify among the rarely mad.
            I too can make such a bid in my CT transactions, amid ‘madness’ dominating exchanges especially involving infallible soothsayers (and their loyal disciples) who do not miss a chance to claim “I said so **** years ago”.

  • 4
    15

    Rajan please let’s not be naive! As in Lanka there was a Regime Change operation in imploding UK, colonized now by the US empire! The Crashing Empire’s Deep State is using Sunak who was NOT elected in a General Election but appointed by Parliament (like corrupt Ranil Rajapakse backed by the US “Force” according to Donald Lu), as a pawn!
    Sunak represents the Weaponization of the Indian Diaspora. He is the Hindu Saffron wand to lure Modi’s India away from a gathering Russian-led China, India, Global South Asian Shanghai Corporation Unity.. at this time of New Cold War.
    UK, US, Aussi (AUKUS) want to use the South Asian Diaspora which is Weaponized to ensure that India goes with the West against the ‘Rest” and breaks ranks with the Global South this time round. Also, they are promoting brain drain from South Asia in order to re-boot colonialism while stealing talent and natural resources again as World War 3 ramps up!

    • 5
      14

      BTW. Sunak who worked for Corporate America (Goldman Sachs), had applied for a US Green Card ! Just like Lanka’s California domiciled Rajapakse Brothers!
      Sunak’s wife is worth more than the British Royal Family and is a tax dodger! WIth Braverman, Home Sec. These are right wing Corporate US-EU colonized Brown Sahibs to ensure that the softening US and EURO Bondmarket stays up and firm and WHITE racist AUKUS uses its brown faces to continue to extract from the Global South with its corrupt bond traders who have put Sri Lanka and the world into Dollar Debt Trap Colonialism with a US lab-made Covid-19 virus blamed on China!
      Colonialism is being re-booted by the NATO plus white empire WAR MACHINE that plays and markets identity politics – Race/ ethnic caste, Religion, Gender, LGBTQ..XYZ to distract from the fact that the NATO War Machine and Western Military Business industrial complex is the biggest Environmental pollutor on the planet! So much for the UN hotair CoP 27 and environmental hogwash being used to sell western fake Green Tech!

  • 14
    1

    I don’t know if this is the proper space. I am going to let my irritation known.
    I laugh at the silliness of some who remarks, Sunak is an Indian; Sunak is a Hindu; Sunak is this; Sunak is that. NONSENSE.
    Sunak is a conservative politician, head to toe.

    • 0
      0

      An unwanted ‘s’ has slipped out. Sorry.

    • 10
      1

      Nathan,
      There are many Sindhis/ Gujaratis in Sri Lanka, successful way out of proportion to their numbers.
      How do you think think our voters would react to one of them running for President?

      • 10
        1

        old codger,
        How do you manage to pull out such a hypothetical question.
        Sindhis / Gujaratis are so smart that nothing would tempt them to walk into our quagmire!

        • 3
          0

          Then, what made the Indian walk into what is the British quagmire?
          People still joke about Sardarjees a lot the way they did about Irishmen, but Sunak is a Hindu Punjabi– as good as a Sindhi or a Gujarati.

  • 4
    14

    lol, achievement of stunning proportions !!!! He is only there because the other two bufoons before him broke the broke Britan. They are not out of the woods yet. The gilmals they have done with their financial instruments are destroying the pension funds and the economy. Not if this guy fixes the situation I would call it a stunning achievement. The situation is that dire. Most British companies are really suffering due to Brexit and are laying off people.

    But in our case our standards are so low. that as soon as we see some brown skin in some position we think it is some great victory.

    • 8
      2

      a14455
      You have a point there.
      But the man made his way up the rungs of the inherently racist Tory Party.
      Although the times are changing and the Tories have since late last century acted to attract their natural allies, the Indian, especially Gujarati, business community, Sunak’s climbing to a high position in the earlier cabinet is no a mean achievement.
      What he can or cannot is controlled more by forces of global economics.

      • 13
        0

        “What he can or cannot is controlled more by forces of global economics.”

        Including long term policies of undemocratic, greedy, capitalist Chinese leadership.

      • 3
        8

        SJ

        yes you could look at it like that. but I dont think that seat is any more a seat of achievement. It is more like a hot potato that no one wants . ( Not dissimilar to Ranils
        seat)

        But lets see what happens.

        • 5
          3

          a14455
          The man wanted it and got it.
          The question is what he can do with the daft British foreign policy.
          Britain is now accused of wrecking Nordstream-2 by Russia, and there seems to be strong reason.
          That is not a prospect that will please Germany for starters.

    • 11
      2

      “as soon as we see some brown skin in some position we think it is some great victory.”
      USA had a black skin as a President, defence secretaries and had a brown skin as deputy President. However, it is true that black or brown skin is going to change the minds and hearts and attitude of racists, fundamentalists or the people who are on the side of it. For example, among Tamils you cannot get rid of caste differences, religious difference, class differences but Sri Lankans have to learn a lot from the UK. Yes Sunak is from a rich family, he is a capitalist and from the capitalist party. But he did not break the law. He was an elected parliamentarian. He successfully manged his Chancellor job. He was the choice of his party even though he lost in the party members election to previous President who failed within two months in her governance and she resigned but she did not run away from the country. The fact is that he proved his talent and it is his achievement. We, Sri Lankans needs to understand that the country need to come out of corruption at least at high level, we need to get back to rule of law, we need to get out family rule, we need to get out of fundamentalism.

      • 3
        3

        “…had a brown skin as deputy President”
        Who was it?
        And, when did the US start to have a deputy president?

        • 3
          2

          Dear SJ

          There are occasions when I censure your faulting of people for typos, but what you have pointed out here shows how little people care for accuracy. I tried to be honest about not having a desirable level of Sinhalese reading and writing, and the very decent and honest “leelagemalli” with whom I have spoken (WhatsApp) in Sinhalese asserts that I shouldn’t use the handle that I use on CT. All because he imagines that Ranil is our saviour, but I, emphatically, don’t.

          .
          This is far more fundamental. Some may think that you have pointed out only one error by Ajith, who is not a bad commenter.
          .
          You are the wittier commenter, but some may miss the significance of this old man:
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_J._Harris
          .
          Some may miss even the point I’m making, and argue that 84 is not old, and say that I have linked them to something quite irrelevant!
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe aka “Sinhala_Man” who emphatically is not an Englishman!

          • 6
            3

            Dear SM, thanks again for your lies.
            .
            Absolute bullshit.
            I have never assumed that RW is our savior. I never think that AKD or such people can lead our nation. i did say, that RW is the only leader that could do the job right at the moment, but out of any others in power.
            .
            As usual Panini Edirisinha is back in his usual mode. Speaking for others as usual.. What has happened to this man?
            He insists on what I have never told anyone. How can this be?
            .
            I’ve had a few chats with him via WHATSUP (that was long ago) but not sure “sinhala_man” understands good Sinhala though he has been living in SL longer than I did. This I told him again and again. I have also shared, I believe the OLD codger is stable. I respect him more these days. OC and I have a lot to say about the “so-called SLCB bond scam”:
            .

            • 2
              5

              Dear “leelagemalli”
              .
              I don’t like to be called a liar. That’s a serious charge.
              .
              You have said here that, “I have never assumed that RW is our savior.” May not have been exactly the same words, but words which mean the same thing. There are about 36 hours to respond here to this challenge by me:
              .
              Please apologise for calling me a liar.
              .
              I’ll give you this chance: I will keep track of what you’re saying on CT. Is that what you’ve meant by “stalking”? Despite my saying that you’re very decent and honourable, above? If I judge that even after seeing my challenge, you’ve been making other comment on CT, you’ll be sorry for yourself.
              .
              Are we in a competition to see whose language skills are sharper? Your Sinhalese (and German!) are definitely better than mine. Never mind the language of our last colonial master. Are you seriously telling us, you anonymous exile, that a person with my level of spoken Sinhala, is not a worthy citizen of Lanka, whilst a cowardly exile like you is?
              .
              I’m sorry that I’m tired, and the wording of this comment is not great.
              .
              Panini

              • 2
                2

                Dear SM,
                .
                Let the readers decide who you are. It is a procedure that works anywhere.
                Before long, many of us felt that you were more interested in “gossip and hero worship” than anything else. If I am wrong, some will add responses against this comment.
                I really said that I have not even talked to you on WhatsApp 5 times. But how you interpret that as us talking regularly is beyond my understanding.
                I have no doubt, HT and others can approve me for this.
                Now I kindly ask you not to persecute me for any purpose, for I do not respect your nature. Let me be very clear, I don’t care if you continue to harass me or others who anonymously add their two cents, but to continually call me an honest and kind person?

                Looking back , your constant bullying methods, I have no doubt that you have not participated in any opinion polls in your entire teaching career. If they did, they should have added you, you’re probably not being objective.
                I urge you to talk to SJ (a former uni teacher) and he will tell you that there is such a questionnaire given to students to gather feedback on teachers and their abilities.

                • 2
                  2

                  And why don’t you advocate that the people of Lanka select the political leader whom the want?

            • 2
              0

              LM
              “I believe the OLD codger is stable.”
              So far, yes. But thanks anyway.

              • 4
                0

                old codger

                Aren’t you bit exited when you hear from Champa or Grandma thresa?

                • 3
                  0

                  Native
                  I enjoy needling old ladies, especially mildly nutty ones.

            • 5
              0

              Dear LM. It is high time that Editors of CT cut off this guy (S_M). He totally desecrated this intellectual forum perverting it to promote himself telling the world who he knows and what he knows. By using a pseudonym the thoughts and ideas stand out like a lone bright star in a night sky on a dark night. He destroyed the spirit and uniqueness of it by getting personal and failing to respect people’s privacy.

          • 6
            0

            SM
            For long, I followed a golden rule, that was to plainly ignore your comments.
            I breached it when I could not take any more of the NIC harassment, and regret it now.
            I promise that I will go back to my good old practice.

            • 4
              1

              SJ,
              Thank you. I really appreciate your views on the harassment of our so-called “Sinhala man” who does not know good Sinhala with National IDs. You don’t have to respect my thoughts on CT. But to tell you, I have never promoted racism in Sri Lanka. Nor have I evert hurt anyone in our motherland.

              SM’s hunt for national identity cards is beyond my understanding. He keeps talking about my anonymity as if I am the only commenter who behaves like that.

        • 2
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          SJ,
          Thanks for your kind deplomatic observation.
          I looked at the following in a website:

          I know ‘vice’ and ‘deputy’ both mean “next in rank”. In Merriam-Webster, we have these definitions:

          vice:

          one that takes the place of vice-chancellor
          In comparison to:

          deputy:

          a person appointed as a substitute with power to act

          a second in command or assistant who usually takes charge when his or her superior is absent; specifically : deputy sheriff
          So the two have clearly similar meanings, suggesting a person who does not normally carry the full responsibility of a given position, but who can perform those same duties as required or directed to. Also, there are towns with Vice Mayors, and other towns with Deputy Mayors.

  • 8
    0

    Another take would be that the Conservatives suffering under Boris’ lying, cheating and adultery, and trailing double figures in the Polls behind Labour, elected a successful economist and Chancellor who appealed to all factions of the party apart from the Right. This done, neither because of nor despite, his race.
    .
    Suella Braverman’s appointment was to keep the Right wing onside and now that victory has been achieved her future may not be so rosy. It will be very difficult for her to stem the tide of refugees.
    Refugees enter France from the South and East. Why then would the main French refugee camp be built on the Northwest coast near Calais just 50 miles from Britain? Its a deliberate ploy to encourage their refugees to move on.
    .
    Prince Charles was warning about climate change and such matters long before they became popular. Now that he is king he has to remain silent and impartial. Rishi won’t let him attend the COP conference, but Boris has decided to go just to upset the PM.

    • 9
      0

      Paul

      “Rishi won’t let him attend the COP conference, ….”

      I read somewhere it was former Prime Minister Mary Elizabeth Truss (British equivalent of our Mervyn Silva, Wimal, …) who decided on some flimsy reason King Charles’ presence at COP is not necessary.

      “Liz Truss orders King Charles not to attend COP27 climate summit
      King Charles has long been known for his support on the issue of climate change and was thought to be delivering a speech at the annual conference of the world’s nations”
      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/royals/liz-truss-orders-king-charles-28132773

    • 4
      1

      Paul
      “…Conservatives suffering under Boris’ lying, cheating and adultery, and trailing double figures in the Polls behind Labour,Conservatives suffering under Boris’ lying, cheating and adultery, and trailing double figures in the Polls behind Labour…”
      Only the last item matters in Tory politics.

      • 4
        0

        Paul

        “Another take would be that the Conservatives suffering under Boris’ lying, cheating and adultery, and trailing double figures in the Polls behind Labour, …………………….”
        “The Private Life of Chairman Mao
        by Li Zhisui, translated by Tai Hung-Chao.”

        Under the leadership of Mao and Zhou, adultery didn’t matter as both were actively pursuing it and both were well known womanisers nor did the polls. Then why should adultery matter to conservatives?

  • 8
    2

    Rajan Philips has quite rightly made a distinction between the Indians domiciled in the UK.
    The first category are those who went over, directly from India over the years.
    The second category are those who were permitted to enter the UK FROM the East African countries like Uganda etc. Interestingly this category had their origins in Gujarat in India. Besides they are known for their tough business skills,so much so they ran the economy in those African states that eventually led to their eviction.

    Take for Instance Priti Patel who was Home Secy. in the cabinet of Boris Johnson.
    She made life so difficult for Sir Philip Rutnam that he resigned after serving for 36 yrs in the Civil Service. Adding insult to injury she asked her staff to thank Sir.Philip for his services!
    In her place Sunak has appointed Suella Braverman. Though born in the UK her parents too were of Indian stock, mother came over from Mauritius and father from Kenya.Initially she was with Boris,the backed LIz Truss and now she finds herself with Sunak.All within a couple of weeks.Not bad.

    The white British Conservative Party Parliamentarians are now eating humble Pie with the ascent of Indians in British Politics.

    I am afraid that the decorum of Westminster may be a thing of the past……….

  • 7
    0

    Britain’s New Prime Minister, Postcolonial Politics & Parliamentary System

    He will work to country he has the competitive spirit validate your worth. and won and he has money he will not take from the people he will use his money for the people unlike ours Beware ministers who can do nothing without money, and those who want to do everything with money.

  • 3
    1

    Am I naive among such divergent views ? Although I suspect there is an economic strategy in high places of power and world order , there is a trend in western democracies to accept meritocracy in this day and age, at least compared to the east. Roles reversed, I cannot see Sonya leading India or an Indian playing leader in Russia or China ?
    Could this be a reason why folk in Asia gravitate towards the west and keep electing leaders who are ensconed in the west accomplished or not ?
    The US may not be a great country to go by, but I find Scandinavia much more civil, but if one crosses to Russia…….. there is sheer surprise, if not open disbelief at brown success , and this to me reflect a sad mindst
    Some people do believe in change for the sake of change, and can actually ignore skin tones and ethnicity……surprise surprise !
    That said I think Rushi Sunak is a mistake in UKs Tory mess of control freaks.

  • 2
    1

    Sunak was rejected by the Tory Party members in the first leadership contest, they chose Liz Truss. . However he was the first choice of the Tory Parliamentary Party
    The second leadership contest was precipitated by Liz Truss and her new chancellors disastrous mini Budget.
The Tory party was in a dire situation, Labour leading the Tory party by more than 30 points. A general election would have wiped out the Tory Party.
    They have to do something drastic to avoid going to the Members again for the leadership votes.
So they set the bar high for new leadership contest, requiring 100mps to back the nominee. last minute Internal trading and arm twisting means the preferred candidate of the parliamentary party became the Tory party leader and PM.
    The General Public did not choose Rishi Sunak. The Tory Party members did not choose Rishi Sunak.
    Rishi Sunak was chosen by a handful of parliamentary party members.
    Yes Britain have the first Asian PM.To save the Tory Party and to calm the “market”
The white predominantly Christian British public seems to be adopting to the first Asian Hindu as their PM.. It’s yet to be seen if they will elect him in a general election
We will know in two years time.

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