Andy Richardson: US election is a reminder of what the UK needs to avoid

For all the hoopla, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer will doubtless survive his brush with his predecessor.

Foam sculpture depictions of President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
Foam sculpture depictions of President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden

Having warned colleagues not to downplay the perniciousness of anti-semitism, Jezza did precisely that and was shown the door. Like the child warned he’d be grounded if he touched the sweet jar, Jezza dived in for a Kit-Kat. Doh. Though the left – those who lost Labour the past two elections – have been quick to throw dummies from prams, the likely outcome is more straightforward.

It’s been less than a year since BoJo did the same to former cabinet ministers and other colleagues, including Sir Winston Churchill’s grandson and recently resigned Chancellor Phil Hammond.

There was a similar kerfuffle then and aside from a few unhappy headlines it made little difference to BoJo. The challenge the PM has faced through the year has resulted from the tendency of him and senior Cabinet colleagues – Rishi Sunak excepted – to over-promise and under-deliver. Sir Keir will most likely survive too. Jezza loyalists will huff and they’ll puff but they won’t blow his little house down.

We like to think we’re a canary in the mine and it’s pleasing to note that at least one national newspaper may have been reading. The Daily Star, that bastion of incisive news and analysis, has followed our lead in suggesting Marcus Rashford run the country. Though they’ve suggested he ought to be joined by Basil Brush. Boom Boom.

While Basil and Marcus are set for elevated careers, in the USA we’ll soon know whether Mr Punch or Mrs Judy will spend the next four years in the White House. The drawn-out and unseemly US election is a reminder of what the UK needs to avoid as divisiveness and partisanship bring out the worst in candidates and their supporters. Soon, we’ll know the outcome. Or, more likely, we won’t. The outcome may well be settled in the courts long after election night.

The contrast with the world’s most successful anti-Covid-fighting nation, New Zealand, couldn’t be starker. A relatively unantagonising election was won recently by Jacinda Ardern, whose defeated rival offered effusive praise and wished her good luck. Already Ardern has begun her policy programme, providing a referendum on euthanasia, while not having to deal with Covid. BoJo, Sir Keir, Super Don and Joe might learn lessons from her leadership.

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