God Save Great Britain
God Save Great Britain
The much-bemoaned leadership pair of Liz Truss and King Charles may turn out a surprise winner, as has happened before.
Prime Minister Liz Truss makes a statement outside 10 Downing Street following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022 in London, England.
Exciting times. By this scribbler’s tracking, the British just shuffled their head of state and their head of government in the same week for the first time since Oliver Cromwell.
Of course, Boris Johnson is less fearsome than the Council of State, and Queen Elizabeth II by all accounts met a peaceful death after a long life, not the stuff of a proto-Los Zetas snuff film. On American Labor Day—the austere zenith of the British Empire (relocated) commemorating “labour”—we west of the Atlantic could read of Prime Minister Johnson and the Queen. By market close in London on Thursday, the world had welcomed Prime Minister Liz Truss, and royal subjects, for the first time since before the death of Joseph Stalin, sang “God Save the King.”
But the early readings of the crystal are not good.
You can consult whatever sources you like, but here’s the skinny: Truss is viewed by many insiders as an erratic lightweight, a nightmarish, chameleonic knockoff of Thatcher; she is, to the haters, Theresa May but less dependable, and Gen X.
Charles, on the other hand, is a doleful philanderer and the street was supposed to mourn his survival past his Methuselan mother and his victim of a first wife. Diana of Wales perished eerily twenty-five years ago almost to the week. Like Emmanuel Macron with his cherished Brigitte, Charles actually loves his wife Camilla (the queen consort to you), and for that, we are ordered to hate the man. These are the rules.
But let us break them.
First, consider the third female British prime minister—a club that is all conspicuously Conservative. Unlike her predecessor, who declared himself “fervently Sinophile” nearly a year after the dawn of the Covid era and following his own near-demise at the work of the (at least functionally) Chinese bioweapon, Truss understands the West’s demonic archrival.
True, her China hawkishness is offered in tandem with a zeal for the war in Eurasia, sort of the calling card of the establishment of this country which lost an empire. But even a skeptic can concede, upon reading of Kiev’s counteroffensive this weekend, that observers in 2022 got to bear witness to the West doing something, anything with competence in the foreign policy realm, however elective the mission. Is a globalist’s naivete about Russian yachts in Canary Wharf and Chinese dosh in every corner of the country truly superior to a nationalist’s saber-rattling about all of the above?
Because that was the choice on offer from Silicon Valley’s Rishi Sunak, Truss’s alternative for the job, and seemingly a minor forgettable character from the show with the same name. Truss’s ascent works for everyone; now the former Chancellor of the Exchequer can fulfill his true ambition and relocate fully to California. I begrudge him great taste on that front.
It is true enough that Truss’ anti-state politics can come across as outmoded. But as spirit-raising as the cool-to-the-market turn of the U.S. right has been these last several years, there’s something striking to Truss’s throwback Gekkoism, at a time when Western institutions are so deficient and untrustworthy and in an era when the Anglosphere is defaced by spiritual weakness.
In her first national addresses (with current events, the autumn has already been heavy on them), Truss’s public presentation strikes as able and professional, if a little unrelieved. But there is precedent there. It’s John Major-esque. Truss seems, on consideration, plainly better at politics, obviously younger, and mercifully less didactic than Theresa May, with whom she will be compared ad nauseam until she’s not.
On to the King.
Well, first, Charles opposed the Iraq War. It remains the gold standard case where prescience outstripped classic, establishment competence. Say what you will for druggy rock stars, Noam Chomsky readers, and writers at then-niche right-wing magazines—the King and the paleocons got this one right. Give me the Dixie Chicks in 2003 over the American Enterprise Institute. Give me Charles over the doubters.
Get weekly emails in your inbox
It pains this Jeffersonian poseur to write this, but 2003 was a clear scenario where everyone outside of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp would have been better off with King Charles than President George. In fact, the king’s policy views were downright contra-Rumsfeld, imploring Britain’s Macbethian, PNAC prime minister to mind the details of soldiers’ body armor at a time when the West’s brain trust proudly went to war with the army that we had.
Lastly, though maybe this is just a neo-Californian speaking, but Charles’s hippie-dippie forays into alternative medicine are a selling point, as well. After the last thirty months of establishment medicine, experts are dead, said Nietzsche.
In the end, my orb sees pleasant tides for two people few wanted to have these jobs in Londontown. It has happened before.