So; yesterday, Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the Tory leadership race leaving Theresa May de facto PM in waiting. Radio 4 reported this on the news. The bulletin then proceeded to announce that Buckingham Palace would need to be involved in the process of her succeeding David Cameron.
Cue double take.
The BBC feels it needs to tell the listeners that Buckingham Palace has to be involved in the appointment of a new PM? On Radio 4? Is this dumbing down gone mad? Or is the state of education in Britain really that bad?
From the number of calls for a general election after Cameron “gave notice” it seems it does. From the number of references to Gordon Brown as an “unelected” prime minister, is seems that people really don’t know the British constitution. People don’t understand that the PM is appointed by the monarch. The “winner” of a general election is chosen because he is the person who has the majority in parliament and can form a workable administration.
MacMillan in 1957, Callaghan in 1976 and Major on 1990 took over the reins of a sitting government. Gordon Brown had problems not because he was “unelected” , but because he was useless and because Blair cannily jumped off the train just before it went over the economic precipice that Brown himself had built. In contrast, Theresa May will take over an administration will a strong economic grounding and right after her party has fulfilled a major manifesto pledge.
The UK has had universal suffrage for nearly a century. Isn’t it about time we started teaching our children what they will be voting for?