What the F*** is Going On?: A Comprehensive Guide to British Politics
It’s been a chaotic few months. Henry’s been shagging Henrietta who’s also been seeing Harry who then had that one weird night you don’t talk about with Henry. And that’s just the news from inside our flat. But the parallels with number 10 Downing Street are astounding, whose master bedroom has seen a similar number of visitors (who’s to say who’s been shagging who, but we’re sure there’s been A LOT of action). It’s not easy to get to grips with what’s going on and, given that we aren’t 100% sure either, we thought we’d read a few books (we read one Guardian article) and break it down for everyone else. After all, can’t have the girlies being plagued by insomnia caused by not understanding the nitty- gritty of UK politics.
As national treasure Julie Andrews famously said: let’s start at the very beginning. Rumour has it it’s a very good place to start. Well, not the actual beginning. July. Because, frankly, we’ve got the memory of a goldfish (it’s kinda sexy though — didn’t you know boys LOVE girls with the memory of a goldfish) and a word limit. Cast your minds back, if you will, to July 7th when everyone’s least favourite Etonian finally got the boot. No, we aren’t talking about Henry Harvey-Henry being escorted out of The Rule, we’re talking about big man Boris. Unfortunately for you all, we can’t actually remember what he said as we were too taken aback by the frankly gorgeous man who put the podium up, but the general gist was that the Johnson family were making a swift departure (not before using Chequers one last time).
After some brutal auditions, subtle digs and incredible performances that caused viewers to cheer, groan and cry, Jeremy Hunt and Nadhim Zahawi (think of that first one as Liam Payne — he’ll have to wait a bit to have another go) did not make it through to Judges' Houses. Read: they were eliminated after the first round of voting in the Tory Leadership Contest. Following what felt like an age, there was shock and despair in equal measure as the two finalists were eventually revealed to be Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Sad to report there was no sing-off, and Liz beat him to it. Don’t know quite how she achieved this, but probably because the phone lines were only open to 0.32% of the UK adult population.
Not only did Liz win the top job, but she also got a gorgeous new house, complete with £840-per-roll gold wallpaper on the 5 September. Having already alienated potential bestie Nicola Sturgeon — calling someone an attention-seeker never was a good way to make friends — things weren’t off to the best start. She announced her cabinet two days later. Think of this as creating a group chat with all the girlies and calling it “Day 1s”, because they’ve been there through thick and thin and you want to reward them. The lovely Liz then had a busy couple of days meeting not one, but two monarchs. Not that we’re superstitious (only a little stitious), but something wasn’t adding up, and looking back maybe the vibes were off from the start.
After National Mourning, things got spicy, and not in a good way. The mini-budget was announced by Liz’s pal and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, which triggered a state of chaos only rivaled by the queues for the buses at May Ball last year. Everyone’s falling over, very confused, and there’s no-one there to save you. So you just flail (and maybe call Daddy). In this case, Daddy was the Bank of England, who felt the need to step in following the pound dropping to an all-time low. Needless to say, the finance bros were not happy (still not totally sure why we can’t just print more money but hey ho, that’s for another column) and the discontentment spread internationally, much like the pictures of Matt Hancock having a steamy snog (which we can never unsee).
After more U-turns than the Starfields’ refund policy, Kwasi had to go and Liam Payne — wait, no, Jeremy Hunt, stepped back onto the stage to wow the judges (the British public). Given the bar was so low you could trip over it, he did a comparatively good job and has impressively retained the role, which is more than you can say for most of them. This, however, led to a truly bizarre fever dream in which Jeremy Hunt seemed to have a lot more control over the situation than our own Prime Minister. But don’t worry, she was quick to reassure us she’s a fighter, not a quitter.
The next day, it turned out she’d got a bit muddled (Liz clearly never paid attention in syntax lessons). She’d clearly meant that she was a quitter, not a fighter. So, the moving vans pulled up to Number 10 once more, as did sexy podium guy (which coincidentally is when we started being able to concentrate on the whole thing again). And because it wasn’t enough fun the first time, there was a second leadership contest and BoJo sent the UK a proverbial “U up? X” text as soon as he heard she was single. He really went all out to try and win her back, even sacking off his holiday to come deliver flowers in person (the flowers actually turned out to be a rather boring speech). After a whole load of back and forth, we were left with dishy Rishi. And that, for the moment, is the end of that. (We hope).