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Loveable as it is, Italy has long been the laughing stock of Europe — one of several reasons we in the UK have cited for our gratitude for the first-past-the-post system of Parliamentary Democracy. That’s warranted. Since WWII, the Italians have averaged one government every 1.11 years. It’s already into its second one of the year. 

It’s funny. In the UK, with our incorrigible sense of British Exceptionalism, we find such things funny, even charming. The dear Italians are being silly again. Their political instability is of little consequence; they’re a minor player in global politics. In the UK, however, the integrity and success of our parliamentary democracy has never been questioned. Or rather, it never seemed necessary to question it. 

Now, however, that’s all changed. Our national arrogance — a giant Colossus, straddling and reassuring us of our greatness — has been hit in the face with the blunt force of everything from a baseball bat to a hypersonic missile. This year, we’ve had more governments than the Italians (three), and we’ve had more Conservative chancellors in the last four months than we’ve had Labour ones in the last forty years. 

Recent events have reduced the UK to a shrivelling wreck. Now we know how far we have fallen after 12 years of Conservative government. On the global stage, we have lost all credibility. Our markets, once the envy of the world, are as alluring as those of Greece. The City, once a steelclad valley of temples, is but a ruined shrine of forgotten gods. Global Britain, the nebulous child of Brexit, is a stillborn, a foetus devoid of all features. 

In 2016, Brexiteers promised that the British economy — or, the Global British economy, should I say — would surpass that of Germany. At that point, the British economy was 90 percent of Germany’s; now it’s less than 70 percent, according to Mark Carney. Carney also mentions how average real wages have not increased in a decade. The last time that happened, a bearded radical named Karl Marx stroked his beard and wrote a manifesto. Even with an economically literate government, average real wages won’t recover to pre-Crash levels until 2025. The Institute for Fiscal Studies warns that we have a 70 billion black hole in the public finances; to fix this, they say, 15 percent cuts would be necessary in every department other than health and defence over the next ten years. Education, then, could lose 10 billion over 10 years, transport 4 billion, and Scotland 6.3 billion. 

Now, Liz Truss has resigned. She is gone and, hopefully with her, the ludicrous Thatcherite world of cuts in tax and spending, and in tearing up regulations and workers’ rights wherever possible. It has not worked … 12 years of Conservative leadership has quietly sickened the country. We need a change — not only of political parties, but of the political system. Now we need a General Election and a Labour Government. We must banish the Conservatives into the wilderness for enough time that they might rediscover their identity and return as a credible opposition party, so that the country might, once again, have a healthy parliamentary system.

Until then, put your feet up and relax — in New Italy, the pasta might be dry, the pizza laced with pineapple, but at least the Government’s wildly unstable.  

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