Cross-border Talks spoke to the Poland-based sociologist and activist from the Naprzod foundation (transform! europe’s Polish partner) about the fall of Boris Johnson in the UK. We also examine the current condition of the Tories, wonder what the Labour party can do in this situation and what has been the UK’s strategy for repositioning in the world after Brexit.
Veronika Salminen: Welcome to the next episode of Cross-border Talks. Today we will have a look at what has happened in British politics in relation to the resignation of Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party, Boris Johnson. We will try to have a look at the situation in Britain more generally because we know that there are certain problems at the moment. We will also have a look at the situation in the Conservative Party and we will have a look at the future of of conservative party and British society and politics. My name is Veronika Salminen and me and my colleague, Vladimir Mitev will be today’s moderators. I am glad that Vladimir can now introduce our guest who will speak more in a more precise way about British politics.
Vladimir Mitev: Thank you Veronika! We will be speaking to Gavin Rae, who is a Brit and also a member of Transform Europe’s Polish partner Foundation Forward or Foundation Naprzod. He is a sociologist and an activist and he is also a member of the Labour Party in the UK. So he will certainly have a lot of insights to provide us with. And Veronika, maybe you could initiate the first question.
As everybody knows, on July 7th, Boris Johnson resigned as a leader of the Conservative Party and therefore also as a prime minister of Great Britain. And we know that he is seen as a controversial personality or person in British politics in general. So my first question is going to be very general. I would like to just hear from you what is your opinion about how much Boris Johnson can be seen as a successful or unsuccessful prime minister and politician? We know he, for example, in 2019 became prime minister with quite a successful election, on the other hand, we know that he is the third Conservative Prime Minister and leader since 2015, if I remember correctly, who had to resign in the middle of the governing period. So how successful/unsuccessful his politics has been and how to understand basically his politics, considering the issues in British society?
Gavin Rae: Thanks for the invitation! Firstly, on Johnson. I mean, it depends what the perspective is. He’s successful if he did what he was required to do. He’s successful in that he can win elections or he could win elections. Remember, he was elected twice as mayor of London, beating the far left candidate and previous mayor, Ken Livingstone. He was then elected as leader of the Conservative Party and then won the election, as he said, in 2019. So he has quite a formidable record as somebody that can win elections. He is primarily successful in that he did what he said he would do, which would get Brexit done. And this was something which was proving extremely difficult for the previous administration of Theresa may. And he came in with a programme that he would do Brexit. He would get Brexit carried out, implemented, and he managed to do this. So in this sense, he was successful.
Now, to understand this, it’s to understand the position of where Britain is and what is the policy of the ruling establishment in Britain at the moment? Brexit used to be a minority position within British society and within the British ruling establishment. It changed over the years and Brexit became the leading policy of a section of the ruling elite. And what this essentially means, if you take away a lot of the gloss and so on and so forth, what it basically means is, it is entrenching a right wing course within British politics and the Americanisation of British politics. It means a continual process of austerity, of low regulation, low taxation, pushing down the rights of workers, coupled with a right wing programme of reactionary populism, racism, anti-immigrant sentiments, and so on and so forth.
This is the strategy of a section of the ruling elite and the Conservative Party support. They see Brexit as being a mean to complete Thatcher’s revolution or maybe never complete it, but further the Thatcherite revolution, because as we all know, the European Union is a neoliberal entity. It’s an entity which entrenches neoliberalism within, it is anti-immigrant, etc., etc. We all know the problems of the EU. But it does provide some protections and some obstacles. A European form of capitalism, which has existed over the previous few decades, is slightly more progressive in the American neo liberal Anglo-Saxon form of capitalism. And so what Brexit is, is a way of removing these obstacles and opening up a new round of rightwing, neoliberal, neoliberal policies.
Johnson was successful in this. Johnson completed this. Now, where he hasn’t been successful is actually how all his policies have affected the British population, starting with COVID. 200,000 people have died in the UK from COVID – 200,000 people. This is a human catastrophe and Britain isn’t alone in this. But from the beginning it took a policy of herd immunity. Putting profit before people, allowing continuous waves. We have another one at the moment to go through the British population and regardless of the human cost that this was, they say this was worth taking in order to try to protect the economy, which it hasn’t done, of course. With waves of COVID, it’s impossible to have proper economic activity when you have such a high level of of of disease going through the population.
We have a situation where the health service is on its knees. 6.4 million people are waiting for routine treatment in British hospitals – this is the highest amount in recorded history. And, you know, so on this level, it was an utter disaster.
On the economic level, the British population is suffering from the policies of Johnson and his government. Over the past five years. The British economy is growing on average by half a percent. It’s essentially stagnation. Currently, inflation is approaching 10%. The retail prices index has increased to 11.8%. Real wages year on year are falling by almost 3%. So you have a cost of living crisis, which of course isn’t unique to the UK, but it’s been particularly strong in the UK. This inflation is caused by supply chains and COVID. From the war in Ukraine and in Britain. It’s also been exacerbated by Brexit. So you have this triple whammy hitting, hitting, hitting the British economy. So in this sense, no, he’s been an utter failure.
Johnson has proved to be somebody that was useful for Conservative Party and the Brexit project. He is somebody that comes from an extremely wealthy old Tory environment essentially feels entitled to do what he wants. So in the middle of the pandemic, when people were in lockdown and couldn’t see their families, people couldn’t visit their dying relatives in hospitals, Boris Johnson was organising parties within Downing Street and so on. A whole number of other things he’s done. I can’t forget most of the things this fool has done over the times, but a whole series of just activities, I mean, even at the moment we have a, we have the temperatures have exceeded 40 degrees in the UK. This is again exceeding records in England. And when there was an emergency state meeting which is called the COBRA meetings organised this week to discuss this and he was organising and attending a party at the Prime Minister’s residence in Chequers.
So this is somebody who has no feelings of even responsibility in periods of crisis. In terms of pushing along the project of the Tory Party and Brexit and neoliberalism and Americanization of British politics, Johnson has been successful in terms of the cost to the British population. It’s been a disaster.
You see Johnson as a person or as a politician who was in charge of prolonging the neoliberal project in Britain. Britain was actually the pioneer of neoliberalism during Thatcher’s time, and COVID probably showed all the failures which are here of neoliberalism. It doesn’t work. However, I read comments about Johnson’s success in the 2019, which was, first of all, of course, he promised he would finish Brexit, which was the one point. Second point I heard the term called One Nation Conservatism, where he made an impression probably on some working classes, because we know that he took over over in some places where Labour Party was quite successful before, which were the places meaning the election, election or districts which were in the hands of of Labour Party before. So he was successful in this by promising some kind of consensus. So what about this, this kind of consensus? Was it so straightforward that he really was just an agent of neoliberalism or he was able to manipulate the public only by this one, one nation conservatism to create the false consensus or it was basically the happenings or the establishment actually changed the course of these promises.
I mean, it’s, as Marx said, once a tragedy, twice a farce. The tragedy was the Thatcher neoliberal, neoliberal revolution, if you like, Thatcherite policies which deindustrialize large parts of the country, including areas of north of England, the closure of the mines, shipyards, steelworks and so on and so forth, and left these very industrialized, atomized societies. And then the farce, of course, comes when the Conservative Party, a Thatcherite not not in any way a one nation Tory, because there is a strand of one nation conservatism which goes back particularly into the fifties and so forth, which was a kind of built around a sort of welfare consensus to an extent. And, you know, this was then using the dissatisfactions of these communities in order to push a populist agenda. And this is what, of course, Brexit was, which we go back then to 2016, David Cameron and so on and so forth.
And, and what they were doing at this point with Brexit and subsequently with Johnson and so forth, to use the dissatisfactions and to say, you know, particularly what I mean, the populist message. It went like this: the reason that your wages are low, the reason your public services are not working, the reason that you are exploited at work and so on and so forth is the immigrants, is the EU bureaucracy. And this wave of immigration which has come in, particularly from Eastern Europe after 2004. So this was the populist message. It wasn’t the one one nation conservatism, whatever it was, it was a new type of populism which hadn’t been seen, maybe not in the world, but in the UK, hadn’t really been seen before to this level.
When the Conservative Party began to claim to talk for sections of the working class, what they promised was this so-called leveling up because there was a very deep divide between the north and the south in the UK. I mean there’s large areas of poverty in the south, you know, still, but as a whole and large, you know, sort of lack of infrastructure development and investment over the years into inter services and transport and so forth. So they promised they were going to do this investment and level up none of them. None of this has happened. In the end dissatisfaction is growing again within these areas towards the present conservative government.
And what they try to do is to sort of relaunch various of these cultural wars, particularly against refugees or particular refugees – the refugees who were coming were coming from the Middle East and Africa, etc., and trying to build up these kinds of divisions within society in order to mask the real social, economic division and power structures which exist in the UK.
So in a way I would say it was a manipulative, cynical, deliberate policy which didn’t have any substance behind it.
But on the other hand, if we look at the personality of Johnson, who is really something else than the classical Tory technocrats, which we have seen before, you know, somebody like this is able to do such a huge career. If somebody like this is able to manipulate the public opinion, he’s able to be prime minister three years in the very harsh conditions of the first Brexit and then, of course, COVID pandemic. What does it tell us about British politics and British society? What is going on with British society at the moment?
It shows a very divided society. It shows a society which is in crisis, it has got deep economic divisions. As you know, the UK was one of the first to introduce serious New Labour. We were pioneers of neoliberal reform. And we’ve seen the effects of this. We’ve seen corruption in all areas of British society.
I mean, if you go even before Brexit, there was a wave of different scandals concerning corruption of politicians and lobbying called cash for questions. You had corruption scandals in the media, in the police. You had the financial crisis of 2007, 2008, you know, with huge financial deregulated bubbles within the City of London and so forth, and then moving into the whole Brexit of it, etc., etc.. So it shows a society which is divided and the political class which is unable to maintain the consensus. The Conservative Party has traditionally been the party of government in the UK for a long time and at times has run in a relatively consensual way at the moment. They don’t have the social economic conditions to do this and they’re the only answer to this is increased Thatcherism, increased austerity, tax cuts and so on and so forth, which make the situation worse.
There’s no real alternative vision of any sort within the Conservative Party. Johnson pretended he had this idea that he was going to level up investment into areas of the north and so on. But actually, in reality, there is no vision, no no idea which is which is beyond deepening the present course of of of what British society is on, as well as not mentioning the whole situation, as well as the the possibility, possibility of the breakup of the UK through the independence movement in Scotland and the and the move towards unification in Ireland and which, which, which are huge issues which are continuing, which are placing a further pressure upon upon British politics.
Can we say about Boris Johnson that he was something exceptional? I mean you can choose a negatively or positively exceptional politician in the British landscape in recent decades.
Exceptional. Yes, he has an exceptional personality. I mean, exceptional is a difficult word because it can kind of give an indication, but it’s something extremely talented about things that make it seem sort of above others. Now, he did have a talent, particularly before he became prime minister. And people saw what he was like when he actually ruled. He had this talent of sort of using humour, mocking himself, the fact that people were calling him Boris and not Johnson, all of these kind of creating this sort of lovable sort of rogue type of type of image, you know, the sort of not quite sure what’s going on, but it’s Boris. And in the end, everything, everything works out okay.
You know, he appeared in the nineties and early 2000 on comedy shows and used satirical programmes and crafted quite cleverly the image of a sort of posh Tory with a sense of humour. And, you know, he wasn’t perfect, you know, he’s not, you know, and he’s not this shiny politician who did everything correctly. He made gaffes. He made errors, but people kind of liked it. And that was you know, many people have tried this since. I mean, he was, you know, very good at this. And I wouldn’t write him off in the future.
I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Boris Johnson. How exactly does he return? I don’t know. But we certainly haven’t seen the end of it. So in that sense, yeah. As an actual somebody who can lead and run a country. He’s, he’s just exceptionally awful. He’s been somebody which has been, you know, incompetent. Untrustworthy. A liar. The one who was fundamentally carrying out political policies which have been extremely harmful to the vast majority of the population.
Okay. Let us move away a little bit from the person of Johnson. Now, there is a contest for the leadership of the Tories and maybe it also tells something about both the Conservative Party and the British political system. I remember that even these days there are great heat waves all over the UK and Western Europe. Everybody is talking about that. But it was noticed in the media that the discussions which these candidates for leadership hit were not dealing with almost nothing on climate change. Rather, they were approaching issues like transgender-ism, toilets, etc.. So what does all this tell about this leadership contest? This contest for the leadership of Tory tells about the Conservative Party in the current situation in the political system.
I mean, I think it shows what a crisis the British Conservative Party is in. I mean, my opinion is that Johnson would have gone last year if they had a serious alternative to replacing the Conservative Party. They are normally very quick and decisive when they decide to change a leader. I mean, they can be brutal in this and then they unite around a leader, you know, I mean, the left can have a lot to learn from them in a sense, the way they once they make a decision, they unite as a class and in the society there are people who are there to replace Johnson. I mean, just in terms of forgetting the policies, just in terms of as politicians, as characters and so forth. So the divisions are rising for Brexit. Although the British Conservative Party was for a long time divided on Europe, once Brexit happened and the referendum had happened, there was a certain unity within the Conservative Party around getting Brexit done and covering certain divisions within the party. Nowadays it’s becoming more and more difficult to control and to maintain the unity in the party. And we have this. Quite bizarre at times in leadership contests where there’s very little policy being discussed. They’re sort of trying to outdo each other on who can be the most Thatcherite. And, you know, there’s I mean at the moment it’s unknown how much people are following this. But the basic situation with the Tory Party leadership contest is they go through a series of rounds to the vote until they get to two candidates and then the membership of the party votes on, on, on, on the candidate who will be the candidate who will be leader of the party. We’re left at the moment with three candidates.
The two main ones are Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. Sunak was Chancellor with the Exchequer, that means finance minister in Britain. He’s a banker, very wealthy, married into an extremely wealthy family. And he has a kind of policy which is a bit, in Tory terms, middle of the road. He’s trying to continue this deregulation process. He’s promised that he will, for example, review over 2000 laws which are on the UK’s statute book, which came when Britain was a member of the EU and reviewed them all and abolished many of them, which are essentially protections to a large extent. But he is promising fewer tax cuts than the other candidates.
His main rival is Liz Truss, the foreign secretary since 2021. Her media image is very poor. She’s a very low quality candidate, somebody that makes gaffes and shows lack of knowledge and so on and so forth. But she’s fighting on a hard Thatcherite position of cutting taxes and you know, at this point and cutting taxes for business in particular. She even has quite interestingly spoken about a deficit funded tax cut policy. So we’ll go into debt to fund tax cuts, particularly for businesses with higher defense spending. She’s extremely aggressive in her foreign policy and openly supported the idea that British volunteers should go to Ukraine at the beginning of the war. I mean, this is actually illegal. It is legal for British citizens to go and fight somewhere else, as volunteers it is actually legal. But she was openly supporting it and pushing it and so on. She has this image of trying to cheat.
She tries to even present herself physically looking like Thatcher in how she dresses. I mean, Thatcher is probably the person I’ve hated more in my life than anyone else, but she was a high quality, high class politician. She had an intellect. She had an ability which people like these trust simply don’t have. So Truss is pushing on this. She is being supported by the most extreme Brexiteers.
And then you have this sort of third runner, Penny Mordaunt, who has come up, who seems to be just trying to capture, support wherever she can. She supports tax cuts. She has the same essentially international policy and so on and so forth. Where you’ve talked about trans rights, for example, is that she once when she was in, she was defense secretary at some point or in some positions she had she’d come out in some position on a fairly progressive line, on some policy, on trans rights, about, you know, how people should be termed and so on and so forth. I can’t remember the details exactly. And then she has been obviously attacked on this massively by the Tory Party. She then rolled back and said obviously not. So part of this populism is to just as you say, are talking about access to toilets or whatever or whatever, just to make a big issue out of something. And to use it as a way of essentially showing how reactionary you can be on this issue of climate change. I mean, they all say what they’re supposed to say, but we support zero net zero by 2050, which they agreed at the COP 22 and all of this. There’s no policies by the government to get anywhere near this. There were a number of candidates, including Penny Mordaunt, who have been shown to have been funded by climate deniers, sort of organisations and so on. So no, I mean, I mean Britain’s, you know, you literally have around London, the Southeast and so forth. You have a number of fires breaking out and trains not running. And so British infrastructure is not built and hasn’t been updated in order to deal with such temperatures. And these people are talking about toilets and stuff, you know? I mean, it’s really sort of that pathetic, you know.
Hopefully there are other parties as well. And for more than 12 years the Labor Party has not been in power. So one could ask himself and that’s also my question to you, how is all this, what is the reaction of the Labor Party to that and what are the perspectives of the Labor Party in this current situation?
I mean, the prospects of a Labor Party, if you just think of it in purely electoral terms are relatively positive. It looks like there could happen the same thing which occurred in 97 when there was a Tory collapse. I mean, all the talk at Tony Blair on Third Way and all of this sort of stuff, essentially 97 and the election of labour was at the Tory party collapsed and the whole period of divisions and corruption scandals and so on and so forth, which left the Labour Party in a position to return to power in 97 for the first time. The previous was 74, 75.
So there is a strong possibility that the Labour party is leading in the polls at the moment. And whoever becomes leader of the Conservative Party is going to find it very, very difficult to turn things around because of the cost of going into the winter. I mean, we all know this in all countries at the moment with the energy issues and food issues and so on and so forth. All of this going through continuous waves of COVID, which is going to be a pushing down of living standards which are going to make this government very unpopular. Now, perhaps they’ll get through it. You never know with the you know, the conservative parties are masters at winning this. And maybe they’ll call an early election when they think they can win it or something. But it’s going to be very difficult for them. And this leaves the door open for the Labour Party, which I think have a strong possibility of winning the next election.
Now the Labor Party itself. You know, in the British establishment, the conservative party is the party which which generally rules, but if a Conservative party can’t be in power for whatever reason, then the next task for the British establishment to ensure that the Labour Party is run by somebody that isn’t a threat. And it’s currently run by Keir Starmer who isn’t a threat to them and essentially has the same policies with of course subtleties and differences and rhetoric and so on.
There’s no economic alternative of any of any essential differences. You know, they won’t cut taxes to the same extent and so forth. There’s no programme of large public investments and redistribution, which, for example, the Corbyn leadership had. He supports increasing military spending. He didn’t support the RMT strike; he actually told members of the frontbench that they can’t, they weren’t allowed to go on to the picket lines when the rail workers were on strike last month. And he’s even come out as somebody that crafted his image as being the pro-EU person. He’s come out recently saying Brexit is irreversible, even to the point that they won’t consider returning into a single market, you know, similar to Norway or something like this. So they won’t even get to trying to renegotiate into a soft Brexit.
So his policies are not a threat of a strategy of Americanisation, the right wing trend within British politics. As he stood in the leadership election after 2019 on the continuity platform, he said that he supported the 2019 manifesto. He said that he respected Jeremy Corbyn. And of course he said we’re not going to do anything the same, but he gave some image of that. He was going to continue this project, you know, in a different way, but essentially continue the project which had been started by Corbyn and led to this large rise in membership of the party and so forth. And now he’s rejecting all of this of nationalizations of, of, of higher public spending. He’s now reversing this. And Corbyn, remember, is not no longer Labour MP. He suspended him as a Labour MP and he remains suspended. And he has done what he was supposed to do, which is defeat the left. That’s his role. That is what Starmer is there to do.
Starmer is there to marginalise the left. Corbyn came too close in 2017. He was a few thousand votes away from winning or at least from defeating the Tory majority. A report has come out this week, an internal report, the Ford Report, which has shown that in 2017. There were staff working in the British, in the Labour Party office who were moving resources away from seats where they were left wing candidates and seats which could be won and putting them away into more right wing candidates and safe seats – they essentially were sabotaging internally. The election campaign in 2017, I’m not saying that Labour would have won if they hadn’t done this, but it shows the level of attack inside and outside the Labour Party and the threat that they saw of a socialist becoming Prime Minister in the UK, which is simply unacceptable. So Starmer has been there to defeat the left.
He may end up winning power. It may fall in his lap. But if it does, I mean, my prediction would be and I wouldn’t put this with any confidence because anything can happen at the moment in politics. My prediction would be that Labour will end up forming a coalition or minority government. And that Starmer will become more unpopular than Johnson within six months. I mean, because when the Labour Party is attacking the working class, its support falls much quicker than it does because we expect to be hit by the Tories. I mean that’s what they do. So in this sense on the, you know, to be positive, I mean because I prefer a bad Labour government to a Tory government.
I prefer Labour. I’d prefer Starmer to be Prime Minister, not Johnson or Liz Truss or Sunak or whoever. But it will essentially be a continuity government in many ways. And they’ve ruled out a number of things. I mean, they’ve. For example, I don’t mean, I can talk briefly about Scotland that Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister in Scotland, has said that she wants to have a referendum in 2023. This is now going to the Supreme Court because the UK government doesn’t want to agree to this and Starmer has said he won’t agree to a Scottish referendum. He said he won’t negotiate with the Scottish Nationalist Party after an election about forming a government. Even though it’s probably not a way he’ll be able to form a government without the Scottish Nationalist Party. So there’s a whole whole series of difficulties and complications and so on. And as I said, you know, this is in jeopardy, as I said as well, on the strikes, there is a wave of strikes at the moment, the most famous has been. Of course, it’s got a lot of publicity, I think it has been to the rail workers strikes, the RMT strikes over pay increase of pay and against the laying off of workers. And this is what has been different here is that this has got a lot of public support. Even though rail strikes were a pain, a pain for everybody. You can’t travel. You can’t get to work. You can’t go. It Is very annoying for people. But they’ve got a lot of support in society because people understand. I mean, you’ve got 10% inflation. People understand that wages have to go up and you start to now get that the postal workers have just voted for strike and the teachers are balloting for strike and so on and so forth. So this sort of and I don’t think this is a uniquely British thing.
I think at the moment real wages are falling, strikes will increase. And in the UK, this is happening. So there is a sort of growth of a labour movement beginning. I wouldn’t go to read some things I think are exaggerating this at the moment. Trade union membership is still far below what it was 20 years ago or so, certainly in the 1970s. But there is an increase in industrial action. There is an increase in support for strikes and industrial action and this will place a certain pressure on the Labour Party. I don’t expect there will be any significant political change in the Labour Party soon, but there is evidently an increase in working class activity.
Do you think Americanization, which you mentioned a few times, is the only way to describe the repositioning of the U.K. in the world? Maybe it’s more complex. Maybe the UK also has its remains from the empire in the Middle East or in other regions. What characterizes this repositioning of the UK?
They would love it that nothing, nothing, nothing would make, especially the Conservative Party, say more to be the empire and the great power. And Britain rules the waves and to be a military which is feared. But it’s not. It’s not. It looks like Britain barks at the world at the moment and threatens, you know, things that it will come and. You know, you get this feeling that Liz Truss is the worst in this. You know the British army will be coming in fighting directly with Putin’s army soon or taking out China in the South China Sea with a couple of boats. It’s a joke. China is an independent superpower, military power. Then Britain’s got can’t do anything of any significance. When did Britain independently last win any form of military conflict or engage? I can’t remember anything.
It’s a minor power, an important power. It’s a nuclear armed state. It’s a and it’s got relatively large military in West European terms, at least in European terms. But it is an economy, it is a military which is completely reliant upon the US and and historically tends to do what the US says. So when there’s wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, wherever it will, it will be there doing it, doing its bit. But it’s politically economic and military being put more and more into an alliance or with the United States. That was Johnson’s project.
I remember when Trump came to visit Britain. I can’t remember when it was, but this is when Theresa May was prime minister. The first he went and visited Boris Johnson, talked with one of the first persons he visited and spent time with. And then Rishi Sunak was off in the United States speaking with us health, private companies and providers about how they can start buying up parts of the NHS and so on and so forth.
My fear is that Britain’s strategy at the moment is to deepen its alliance with the US on every level and to, to further itself away from the European Union. Obviously you can’t count Britain as a European country, but just being an island doesn’t, doesn’t allow you to sail away. Its economy and so forth is tied in. This is the big difficulty of Brexit, is that you are cutting all of these. Ties, trade ties, human ties and so on, freedom of movement and so on, which is very damaging to, to, to the economy. But that’s the strategy. That’s that’s the policy. And this is where they’re running it. And I don’t think that statement will change this either.
Just on international policy at the beginning of the war, Starmer said that to his MPs and said any MP, which openly criticizes NATO will be expelled. Now we can have different views on Iraq, on the Ukraine war and exactly what’s happening. But, you know, in the British Labour Party, there always was. A current of peace and anti war. Minority, normally very large in the Iraq war, but normally a minority, but always there, the likes of people like Tony Benn and so forth in the past and have always had this, this, this, this policy. And to say that you can be expelled for criticizing later or suggesting that NATO has any role in the current conflict, it just hows the state to someone of British politics.
So I think our time is up. We thank you very much, Gavin, for your time and for your insights into the current happenings in Britain. We could nicely see that even Britain exited from the European Union and finds its new position or tries to find its own position in the world. It has the very same problem as we know in Europe. Actually, I would say if I was observing Johnson particularly and his thing, which we knew from the Czech politics already ten years ago, we call it governance by scandals, which is the specific way of governing. So we could see that actually Britain is not so exceptional in many ways, unfortunately. We unfortunately can see that the political turbulence is here and unfortunately is going to continue because the times are such. And until we don’t find the exit from the interregnum, probably we will see more of these happenings. So thank you very much for your time. This is the end of our episode. And we will just remind you that if you like our interviews, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. We also have other podcasts and we also have Facebook, Telegram and other ways to communicate with us. Thank you very much and have a nice day.