I’m an American in the UK. Brits don’t realise how good they have it

Joe Biden (R) Donald Trump participate in the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

It’s tiring having to explain how my country ended up with two candidates who can’t seem to string a coherent sentence together, says Sarah (Picture: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When this year’s snap General Election was first announced by a soggy Rishi Sunak in May, I knew my first ‘Genny Lex’ in the UK would be quite the experience.

Having first moved from North Carolina in the US in 2021, the majority of my UK political experience while living here has been an awkward handover of prime ministers – Boris Johnson to Liz Truss and then, Sunak – so an election was new territory for me.

Following a few hectic weeks of campaigns and publicity stunts – Ed Davey’s water slide was a personal favourite – the UK finally had a new leader on July 5: Sir Keir Starmer.

But as I watched Sunak leave through one door and Starmer arrive via the other, I couldn’t help but think just how different the process is back home and how lucky the UK is to have some legitimate – albeit controversial – candidates.

Yes, even though I’ve experienced four PMs in as many years since moving to England, I still think the political atmosphere is better than the States right now. 

In fact, my family friend in the US last week asked me what the UK has thought about our political atmosphere as of late. And I hate to say it, but the state of our politics for this latest election due to be held on November 5 have been embarrassing.

People can tell I’m an American in London – and I don’t usually care. But around the election season, it’s tiring having to almost apologetically explain how my country ended up with two ancient candidates – Donald Trump and Joe Biden – who can’t seem to string a coherent sentence together.

A convicted felon and an elderly man, who is noticeably struggling to keep up with the demands of his position. 

Sarah Hooper covering the US election in 2020 (Picture: Sarah Hooper)

What gives? Many of my British friends have criticised both of the UK’s top candidates this year. Starmer was too ‘stiff and boring’, while Sunak was an ‘out-of-touch’ posh boy. 

Both valid points, but I couldn’t help but laugh because at least the UK has competent candidates. 

I know America has loads of brilliant, younger politicians ready to take on the challenge of running for president – on both sides of the political spectrum. So witnessing this year’s UK election – as entertaining as it was – was a stark reminder of how dire the situation is back home. 

Take, for example, differences in the transition of power. During his first speech as Prime Minister, Starmer congratulated Sunak for being the ‘first British-Asian prime minister’ and his ‘dedication and hard work’. Sunak then went on to congratulate Sir Keir for his victory. All very civil.

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Source:: Metro


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