Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|October 17, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor’s Desk

Parliamentary pantomimes

Many entrepreneurs in Africa must have looked across the Mediterranean Sea in the last week with a mixture of incredulity and amusement.

For the Mother of All Parliaments in London  – which for long has been telling the world about democracy – has shown us all how quickly it can descend into farce.

Yeah sure, Europeans may have mocked bumbling and clueless African leaders from Amin to Bokassa.

Yet, increasingly, the Europeans should look in the mirror before they preach governance to Africa.

Italy has elected one of the most right-wing governments in Europe after years of turbulent government.

It was a well-worn joke in the bars of Africa: “ In most countries they have the government of the day; in Italy they have the government of the week!” Cue guffaws of laughter and a sense of superiority among the line of white English-speaking men at the bar.

Now that sense superiority  is coming home to roost with Britain’s stumbling government that has gone  through four Prime Ministers in just six years. Another change is looming as I write.

What makes me mad is that the declining calibre of the people going into  Number Ten Downing Street amid all of these parliamentary pantomimes.

Most of the British premiers weren’t balls of fire, but most were hard working politicians who did usher in some kind of change for the people who voted them in and could travel through Africa. and around the world and be taken seriously

Clem Attlee, Harold Wilson, John Major and Ted Heath may not have set the world alight, but compared to the recent crop of prime ministers they look like Alexander the Great, Abraham Lincoln and Zeus all rolled into one.

It is sad that an erudite man with roots in Ghana will go down in history as having one of the shortest-stays in the job of Chancellor of the Exchequer – just 38 days. The next shortest was 30 days by Ian Macleod who died in office in 1970.

Kwasi Kwarteng, born in London and educated at Eton, was made a scapegoat for the disastrous mini-budget, based on tax cuts and borrowing, that knocked the economy sideways and dragged down the pound.

Now a lot older and a lot wiser; I am sure Kwarteng will make a comeback somehow, but the parlous state of politics in the country, that claims to have given Parliament to the world is disgrace right now.

Better to be a good entrepreneur than a bad politician.