Yohane Mbeeya Moono
-An Alumni of Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies
-An Upcoming Historian
During the 20th Century, the British had a adopted the Splendid Isolation policy. The policy entailed that the British Isles would not interfere in the activities of mainland Europe. Part of the reasons for the adoption of the policy was because of the Strong Navy that the British had. The British had to abandon the policy after crushing defeat in the Second Anglo-Boer War. This gave the British leadership a rethink on the policy.
After abandoning the Policy, the British leadership went full throttle on the Imperialism front in order to maintain their prestigious status of being among the major economic and military powers in Europe. The policy of Imperialism came after a well thought of move of the Slavery Trade. Britain together with France had the most colonies more especially in Africa. In the Far East, the British had taken control of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to take into the spices and other raw materials the region is rich in.
The British had maintained this strong economic position and through the formation of the Commonwealth an organization which represents the former colonies of British and other countries interested in forging mutual International Relations.
Fast forward to the 21st century, the Parliamentarians raised the motion of withdrawal from the European Union which was termed as Brexit. The Brexit in essence the return of the country to the Splendid Isolation policy. On 23rd June, 2016, the country held the referendum for the Brexit with over 50 percent of the votes cast saying Yes. This is a move that forced then British Prime Minister David Cameron to resign. David Cameron had campaigned against the Brexit motion and promised to resign if the public voted Yes.
The adoption of the Brexit motion and subsequent passing of the Brexit referendum was the beginning of the British leadership crisis. The Country has had a Chastening Leadership Experience in the last few years. Theresa May replaced David Cameron as Prime Minister and promised to fast track the country’s exit from the European Union. She was however hounded out for failure to deliver the timely exit from the European Union and resigned in 2019.
Then came Boris Johnson under the same cloud as his predecessor Theresa May. Boris Johnson did achieve this feat and was heralded as the kind of leader that Britain needed to navigate this relatively new terrain. On 31st January, 2020, Britain officially withdrew from the European Union. Boris Johnson did hold firm and oversaw the country during the lockdown period of the Covid-19 pandemic. He was however, engulfed in scandal when it emerged that he had attended a private at Downing Street during the lockdown period where there was no regard for the Covid-19 protocols. This made Boris Johnson to resign.
Boris Johnson was replaced by Liz Truss who had just won the Conservative Party leadership contest against Rishi Sunak. On 6th September,2022 Liz Truss became the third British Prime Minister post the David Cameron reign. Two days the country was later tested with the death of the longstanding monarch. On 8th September,2022 Queen Elizabeth II died. Prime Minister Liz Truss promised to improve the failing economy of the country. She appointed Kwasi Kwarteng as the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The policies that were introduced by Kwasi Kwarteng were heavily criticized as being anti-pro poor and taking money away from the people. Prime Minister Liz Truss did sack her longtime friend from the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer. However, she did resign herself a few weeks after this action. She is now the shortest serving British Prime Minister having being in the position for six weeks only.
Rishi Sunak who lost the previous round of Conservative Party leadership after the resignation of Boris Johnson is now the British Prime Minister. Rishi Sunak is the first British-Asian to be the Prime Minister of Britain. For the first the country has gone the way of the Americans by electing non British native to the highest political office of the land.
The Conservative Party has the led the country in to Chastening Leadership Experience with their decision to return to the Splendid Isolation policy. The Chastening Leadership Experience has been devoid of maturity particularly the reign of Liz Truss.
If Rishi Sunak fails to stand the test of time in this new position, a general election would the best route out of this political col de sac the country is slowly engulfing itself into.
The Conservative Party has surely led the country on a Chastening Leadership Experience in the last 6 years.