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Rishi Sunak’s Daunting Challenge

The United Kingdom’s new prime minister has inherited a mountain of economic problems, including runaway inflation and a shrinking GDP. To fix his predecessors’ blunders and avoid a humiliating electoral defeat, he must stand up to his party’s far-right extremists.

LONDON – Fate has not dealt Rishi Sunak, the United Kingdom’s first prime minister of color and its third prime minister in two months, a winning electoral hand.

Sunak entered office following two horrendous displays of prime ministerial incompetence. Boris Johnson, who served as prime minister from 2019 to September of this year, combined idleness with mendacity to create “cakeism,” a governing philosophy based on the notion that it is possible to have your cake and eat it. Promise voters whatever they appear to want while paying little regard to whether it is realistic or whether it contradicts other promises.

Johnson was followed by another Conservative Party darling, Liz Truss, who lasted just 44 costly days in office, becoming the UK’s shortest-serving prime minister. With her reckless chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, Truss tried to borrow her way to an economic miracle, announcing massive tax cuts that would have overwhelmingly benefited the rich.

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