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The End of an Era: What comes next for the UK?

It is a very tough time for British politics given the transformation its identity politics is bound to undergo – first, as a result of Brexit and secondly, as a result of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, is a vital focus for England both locally and internationally. Let us look through the political reality of Great Britain throughout these past three years.

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Boris Johnson

Starting with Boris Johnson: Despite the popularity that he currently enjoys in northern Europe for his exemplary support of the Ukrainian people, he has never been popular in British political circles. For example, the influential writer Sonia Parnell has characterized Johnson’s politics as “an ideological emptiness beneath the staunch Tory exterior”, after which she continues that his political visions are imbued with overly pragmatic elements.

In addition, the “partygate” scandal, his flagrant violation of strict regulations set by his own government during one of the most challenging periods of the Covid-crisis, has not yet been forgotten. In fact, it is likely that, due to the war in Ukraine and the uncertainty unleashed by it, he was able to keep his position in government for a year and a half. However, he still had to resign in the end.

Who is Liz Truss, and what does she represent?

A politician with libertarian preferences, Truss, Britain’s new prime minister, is a classic “war hawk” whose foreign policy strategy consists of clear, controversial statements. For example, she called on Britain to reduce its economic dependence on China and Russia, and supported the British government’s diplomatic and economic sanctions against China, including banning the Chinese ambassador to the UK, Zhen Zeguang, from entering Parliament in response to China’s sanctions on Xinjiang, and accused Rishi Sunak, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury of “seeking close economic relations” with China. Truss is also known as an active supporter of Taiwan’s political sovereignty and acknowledges China’s ethnic genocide of the Uyghurs.

Is it possible to agree with the above-mentioned facts? Of course, however, the country’s prime minister has to be extremely careful with their words, especially when the UK is currently facing the following six main challenges:

Rising inflation
Inflation currently exceeds the 10 percent mark, and the Bank of England predicts it will reach 13 percent in the coming months. As a result of the Queen’s death, this forecast will naturally worsen as the need to print currency in a modified form arises (her face is on British money).

The war in Ukraine
Boris Johnson’s fiscal donations to the embattled country brought him widespread fame. How will Liz Truss approach the conflict when its resolution is not yet visible? Will she help a partnering country without harming her own? These questions currently remain unanswered.

Conflict of interest with China
Despite Truss’s arguments for reducing economic dependence on China, any reduction in trade with China would likely put further pressure on the British economy. Therefore, the new PM finds itself between a rock and a hard place when it comes to her attitude towards China.

The healthcare crisis

According to Jeremey Hunt, former health minister of Great Britain, the current healthcare staffing crisis is the worst one they have ever faced and combined with an even more stressful waiting list for the patients, it is considered to be one of the most difficult challenges for Liz Truss currently.

Disagreements in her own party
Her own political party is rebelling against her, one-third of which did not even support Truss going to the second round of the elections.

Challenges with Western partners
Lastly, a bad attitude towards the new prime minister from key Western partners, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden’s administration, the latter of which is critical of Liz Truss’ position regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol, is undermining her position as leader of the country.

Conclusion

To summarize, Liz Truss must learn the language of diplomacy because from now on, she will have to speak on behalf of her people, voicing their positions in the international arena, meaning her and British citizens’ views must start to align in a more sophisticated manner.

As mentioned above, Queen Elizabeth II is not just a fictitious monarch – she was closely related to the identity politics of the United Kingdom: she has gone through 15 prime ministers and six armed conflicts and is considered a symbol of modern Britain.

Queen Elizabeth II was the first female royal to serve in the Second World War, the princess who never left Buckingham Palace during a single attack on London, the monarch who completely modernized the constitutional monarchy and put the royal family at the service of the people: the British people were not intimidated by a weak prime minister as long as they were supported by the Queen.

Her death marks the end of an era. What remains is the hope that the United Kingdom, as one of the most vital actors in the West, will continue to correctly influence the current political climate, despite its own crisis.

Putin’s Basilisk

In 2017, Putin stated that the one who became the leader in AI would be the ruler of the world, adding that it would be undesirable if someone obtained a monopolist position and that Russia would share its discoveries with the rest of the world. It was likely his way of affirming dominance while letting the world know that Russia is ready to expand its intellectual boundaries. Putin even tried monopolizing the crypto market: when the central bank called for a ban on cryptocurrencies, Putin was against this decision. During a call on January 26, a month before invading Ukraine, Putin stated the potential and advantages Russia has in this field. This could have been a first red flag: If Kremlin was already planning an all-out war, they were likely expecting sanctions, hence, giving alternate ways of securing wealth a thought.

Is there a Global Post Colony?

Uniting all post-colonies as a global post-colony is a notion that diminishes the historical, historiographical and cultural differences present in each post-colony around the world. Therefore, unifying colonial legacies and treating them as a homogenised unit disregards their experiences, which damages their diverse yet relative historical progress. Instead, one should aim for an alternative perception of understanding a global post-colony, as the idea is not completely unworkable but provides a strong epistemological foundation to combat Western hegemonic discourses.

Using Social Media to Value Public Science

Since scientific knowledge doesn't become depleted when shared, and once published in the public domain it is available to be accessed by anyone, it can be characterized as public goods. CERN, as a large-scale multinational scientific establishment, presents an ideal example to study the public value of scientific output. The study summarized below, published by researchers at the University Santiago de Compostela as part of the Science Policy Reports book series, constructs the perception of the public towards scientific activities at CERN by analyzing big data collected via Twitter posts.

Inventing the Islamic ‘Golden Age’

The Muslim Golden Age is a historiographical creation like many other conceptions that influence our view of Medieval history. Muslim culture and civilisation flourished throughout an age of exception stability and wealth until at least the early thirteenth century (Kafadar, 2010). The Golden Age highlights the greatest achievements accomplished by the Muslim world between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, with the Ottomans and Mughals, who are normally disregarded, being included as part of this time period.

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