15.09.2022 Author: Valery Kulikov

Britain Lost a Symbolic Figure with the Death of Queen Elizabeth II and Gained Nothing with the Appointment of Liz Truss


Around the world, condolences are being expressed on the death of 96-year-old British Queen Elizabeth II. Among the leaders of countries, the first foreign leader to congratulate Charles III on his accession to the British throne and express condolences in connection with the “irreparable loss” was Russian President Vladimir Putin, British media said.

This is despite the fact that relations between Moscow and London have been at rock bottom in recent years due to the openly Russophobic course of the current British political elite. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov pointed this out during a February 10 meeting with Liz Truss, who came to Moscow on an official visit as British foreign minister. He stressed that relations between the two countries can only be restored through dialog on equal terms, and that Moscow will reciprocate if London is genuinely interested.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, who was a symbol of the kingdom for seven decades in the eyes of the British and many countries around the world, was woven into the fabric of British life: she was on banknotes, postage stamps, and police helmet emblems, points out ABC News. Queen Elizabeth II was a symbol of national unity, national identity, and pride in the country. So the British are waiting for a real tectonic shift, the publication is sure. During her lifetime, 15 prime ministers of Great Britain and 14 presidents of the United States succeeded. She conveyed a sense of stability and was the most experienced diplomat in the world. Now Britain has lost that, has lost that soft power, that diplomacy, notes ABC News.

As pointed out by the British media and the people of the kingdom, Elizabeth II did rule, but she did not govern, she interfered in the affairs of the kingdom. She did not interfere in politics, but merely confirmed the decisions of the British government. Under these circumstances, it is only natural that after the death of the queen, the thoughts of the British people should turn not only to the support of King Charles III, but also to the assessment of the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who had charged Elizabeth II with forming a government a few days before her death.

As The Guardian pointed out “Liz Truss’s first week has been a disaster”. She began her work as prime minister by breaking campaign promises and proved to be a tongue-tied speaker. A minority of the party voted for her and only a small part of the population believes that she will perform her office well, the British edition points out.

The fact that there is a procedure for electing the head of government in Britain that is far from democratic principles has been raised repeatedly by many. Russian President Vladimir Putin also pointed to this and to the undemocratic nature of the procedure for appointing Truss as British prime minister when he addressed the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on September 2.

To woo Conservative Party members, Liz Truss presented herself as a modern-day Margaret Thatcher, advocating lower individual and business taxes and less regulation, Project Syndicate writes. But the title of “iron lady” has yet to be earned! As many political observers suspect, Truss’ performance and her political future will be judged in the very short term. That’s because she has only two years and a few months left before another general election. And to survive, she will have to solve a long list of political problems, unite her deeply divided party and win over more people.

Given the problems the British government is facing today and the manner at which Liz Truss came to office, Canadian broadcaster CTV Comedy Channel does not rule out the possibility that her premiership will end with a shameful resignation. And this is what eventually happens to all British prime ministers: they always fail to fulfill the entire term, the channel explains.

With new British Prime Minister Liz Truss, former editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph and the London Evening Standard, taking office, the country runs the risk of failing to manage a series of complex crises, Bloomberg Opinion columnist Max Hastings is certain. Double-digit inflation, a weakening economy, the Ukraine crisis, shattered utilities and the threat of millions going bankrupt due to rising energy prices, combined with Truss’s leadership weakness, could lead the United Kingdom to disaster, amid the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Former MP Tory Matthew Parris writes sharply of the new prime minister: “She’s mad,” Hastings shared. A Bloomberg Opinion columnist accuses Truss of lack of conviction, high self-esteem and an unprofessional attitude toward the job of the foreign minister.

Readers of the Chinese edition of Guancha are also unsure of the success of Liz Truss’ work. “Johnson’s mission is Brexit, Truss’ mission is the collapse of Britain,” says one of them. At the same time, the publication notes that early predictions about her activities do not inspire optimism. During her election campaign, she often spoke “tough” on issues of relations with the PRC. Although Britain and China will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year, analysts nevertheless believe that the rift between the states is more likely to deepen.

As the UK Telegraph notes, as foreign secretary, Truss tried to take a hardline approach to foreign policy. However, this earned her criticism, particularly after her words in support of British fighting in Ukraine and about the “real” possibility of driving Russia out of Crimea. In particular, numerous NATO and Foreign Office officials have made it unequivocally clear that billions of pounds worth of arms and humanitarian aid will continue to flow to Kyiv despite the looming cost-of-living crisis and Britain’s own problems.

Some officials are concerned about Liz Truss’s unpredictability with Russian President Vladimir Putin and her promise to confront him at the G20 summit in Bali in November. Given Truss’s glaring geographical gaps during her trip to Moscow in February and in a meeting with her Russian counterpart, S. Lavrov, the Russian political establishment suggested that Truss “is not in politics, but in the kitchen,” writes the Telegraph.

The change of monarch in the UK and the appointment of a new prime minister are overshadowed by many other events. First, the most severe economic crisis, the growth of separatist sentiments in Scotland, the difficulties caused by Brexit, as well as disagreements within the ruling party. As The Guardian notes, these events “are taking place at a highly turbulent moment when Britain’s place in the world is unclear and the kingdom itself is riven by internal political contradictions.” Britons fear that the change of power in the country will lead to a political crisis; Scotland and Northern Ireland could secede. Royal author Catherine Pepinster even noted that tectonic plates are shifting and Britain is on the cusp of a new era.

Valery Kulikov, an expert political scientist, exclusively for the online magazine, the “New Eastern Outlook”.


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