I’m writing this outside a coffee shop in Tynemouth. The place is absolutely heaving on a sunny summer’s day, but it’s takeaway only as they can’t get enough staff. Elsewhere, everywhere from postal workers to bin men to lawyers are on strike.

Map of UK with woman in foreground in red dress with arms folded

An editorial in Le Monde comments on the “worst crisis since the 1970” in the UK:

The pre-eminence of ideology over pragmatism – a supposedly British virtue – has already led to the Brexit disaster, and risks prolonging and even worsening the deteriorating situation left by Mr. Johnson, whose lies have widened the divorce between public opinion and politics. An economic crisis and instability could feed the temptation to resort to anti-European and nationalist rhetoric. At a time when threats are mounting across Europe, highlighting the need for strengthened solidarity, the crisis in the United Kingdom is a warning to all its neighbors.

Charlie Stross goes further:
Politics is dominated by an incumbent party who have ruled, except for a 13 year period (during which they were replaced by the Tory-Lite regime of Tony Blair), since 1979—43 years of conservative policies. They're completely out of new ideas, but the next leader of the nation is intent on recycling the same tired nostrums indefinitely, using an astroturfed culture war on wokery as cover rather than trying to address the deep structural problems of a state that has been hollowed out and looted for half a lifetime, so that there is no resilience left in our institutions.

This is the sort of crisis that brings down nations.

Sources: The UK's downturn is a warning for Europe | Le Monde, and The gathering crisis | Charlie's Diary

Image: DALL-E 2