Democratic support is seen as a subset of development aid. Thus one might expect that Opposition International would focus solely on democracy-conflicted states. OI explicitly rejects that dualism of us (developed) and them (developing) when it comes to democracy.

Authoritarian regimes and dictators, strong today, remain caged within the democratic continuum. A change is gonna come. No 1000 year Reich ever existed. The Roman Republic lasted longer effectively than the Roman Empire. A categorical longing to live free guided by the will of the people, the Social Contract, binds the limits of all experiments by leaders and rulers.

We all share the goal of democracy. We are all in the same boat, on separate seats. OI invites all readers and supporters in Asia, Africa, South America, and Eurasia to send in their views. You have as much right to comment on British or American democracy as vice-versa.

All that is worth saying. Nonetheless, the biggest challenges to the health of democracy are not found in Shoreditch and Sacremento.

Okay, on to Sir Starmer

Earnest critics declare it’s superficial to treat politics like a horse race, Sorry, what’s superficial is to compare horse racing to politics, at least as far as statistics are involved. A turf account runs in his head Bayesian analysis and Monte Carlo simulations while watching the ponies run. Public Experts rank leaders while guessing where they bought their suits. Not one has explained the odds in a boxed trifecta of Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer, and Sir Ed Davey. It is a delight then to read how 85 political scholars rank the post-WWII Opposition leaders. LSE British Politics and Policy July 13th, 2021

It The league table of post-war leaders of the opposition according to academics: Corbyn not the worst and Starmer trending below Kinnock

“The ultimate test for a Leader of the Opposition is to win a general election and move into government. Those in the bottom part of the ‘league table’ are mostly the ones who failed to get into Number 10 in the first place together with some who were kicked out as prime minister and then failed to get back in.”

“In addition, academics were asked to rate the performance of Keir Starmer so far as Leader of the Opposition. The survey was conducted in June this year so after Labour’s poor performance in May’s local and national elections, and the blow of losing the Hartlepool Westminster constituency to the Conservatives, but before retaining the Batley and Spen constituency on 1 July.”

“With his rating of 4.5 out of 10, Starmer is seen to be performing as well as Attlee did between 1951 and 1955, although Attlee failed to become prime minister again after he lost the 1951 general election. Starmer may be pleased that he’s regarded more positively than Ed Miliband (4.1), but he is trailing Kinnock’s rating of 5.6 – and it should be noted that neither Miliband nor Kinnock ever persuaded the British public to hand them the keys to Downing Street. It seems clear that Starmer is not yet seen as a prime-minister-in–waiting by the academics we polled, which ties in with contemporary public polling. He needs to improve on his current ‘must do better’ rating to make it to Number 10.”

In the lingo, who’s the “Bismarck?