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From Britain with Love: The Fascinating Race for Number 10

Number 10

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Following Boris Johnson reluctant departure, the question of his successor as Prime Minister of Britain has sparked fierce speculation inside and outside the UK. The country’s irreplaceable support for the Ukrainian people gave Johnson immense popularity abroad, even if Brits have a hard time believing that. A soft alternative at Number 10 might be detrimental not only to the Ukrainian cause, but also to the world. Ukraine, after all, is the West’s last front, and its defense is imperative. Such task cannot fall on the weakened shoulders of Europe, with always-in-two-minds Scholz and not-enough-seats-at-parliament Macron.

This is — once again in history — a  job for the Saxons.

The candidates for the Conservative Party’s leaders are former chancellor Rishi Sunak and former Secretary of State Liz Truss.

One marvelous fact about both these candidates is that the two of them are under 50 (44 and 47 respectively). It is not my intention to sound gerontophobe (we all plan to get there, don’t we?) but the challenges we face need fresh, energetic thinking. To change the world, we require people who actually understand it.

The race’s diversity cannot be overlooked and understated, a product of the UK’s successful cosmopolitan model. Born in Southampton, Sunak is as British as a scone, but his Indian descent (although both his parents and his grandparents lived in Africa) is proof of the enviable multicultural British approach.

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Truss wouldn’t be, of course, the first woman to make it to Number 10… and that’s awesome. The glass ceiling isn’t a thing on the other side of the pond, where people are judged by their talents and capabilities.

However, the most fascinating aspect of the British race, is that both candidates claim to be the most Thatcher-like figure. Sunak is here in mild disadvantage, as his tax rises under Johnson were subject to pitiless criticism. Nonetheless —and this is how intense things are— Sunak has been defended for his approach. “Margaret Thatcher was a fiscal Conservative who did not cut tax until we had reduced inflation. She was honest and did not believe in nonsense,” said conservative heavy-weight Chris Patten.

Patten’s words target Truss’ “radical” tax cut plan which, according to the candidate, “will reward people for their hard work and effort, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. You cannot tax your way to growth.”

Furthermore, Truss intends to opt for a more aggressive stance facing Putin, and warns that Sunak might soften the UK’s commitment to Ukraine.

We’ll have to wait until September to see the UK’s choice, but the race itself promises to be more entertaining than all BoJo’s parties combined.

Pris Guinovart is a writer, editor and teacher. In 2014, she published her fiction book «The head of God» (Rumbo, Montevideo). She speaks six languages. Columnist since the age of 19, she has written for media in Latin America and the United States // Pris Guinovart es escritora, editora y docente. En 2014, publicó su libro de ficciones «La cabeza de Dios» (Rumbo, Montevideo). Habla seis idiomas. Columnista desde los 19 años, ha escrito para medios de America Latina y Estados Unidos