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The PM is gone - long live the PM

By Mal Fletcher - posted Friday, 15 July 2016

The late author and futurist Alvin Toffler wrote in the 1970s of a "roaring current of change" which would leave many people feeling bewildered and anxious. He could have been writing prophetically about the past few weeks in British national life.

Many will hope that today will mark the beginning of the end of the nagging uncertainty that has dogged Britain's national debate for the past months, since well before the EU referendum vote. Britain has a new Prime Minister and with it a potentially fresh approach to negotiating the nation's post-Brexit place in the world.

At the formal request of HM the Queen, Theresa May was asked this evening to form a new government.


This comes after the most unsettled period in British politics in recent memory. It follows the resignation of a premier who would have expected to be around for at least another two years.

David Cameron bade farewell to Prime Minister’s Question Time earlier in the day. It was an appearance marked by moments of levity, alongside discussion of some still pressing social issues.

Mr Cameron later spoke to the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, surely the most photographed front door in the world, before leaving to tender his resignation at Buckingham Palace.

In all, today provided a reminder of all that makes the British political system such an enduring one.

On these occasions, the British political tradition mixes formality with humanity and provides a sense of much needed continuity in turbulent times.

The former Home Secretary, the nation’s second female Prime Minister, faces a huge challenge overseeing Britain’s divorce from the EU, something which she did not support pre-referendum.


On its own, this would represent a major time- and energy-consuming project for any world leader. For a freshly installed head of government it represents an even more formidable challenge.

Alongside this historic transition in Britain’s national life and her place in the world, there are the pressing social, economic and political challenges that face any government.

Theresa May’s previous record as head of MI5 and Home Secretary suggest that she is a serious and conscientious politician, driven by a sense of duty and a desire to produce benefits for all in society.

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First published at Copyright, Mal Fletcher 2016

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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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