11 July 2018, The Tablet

You couldn’t make it up: Westminster in disarray

The Brexit fall-out

You couldn’t make it up: Westminster in disarray

A float satirising David Davis, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Theresa May pictured during a Stop Brexit march in Manchester in October 2017


Robert Harris, the author of three books about Cicero and something of an expert on the circumstances which brought about the fall of ancient Rome, has drawn attention several times in recent years to the troubling parallels between the ongoing disruption of the state of politics in the United Kingdom today and the last days of Rome.

If that sounds somewhat hyperbolic, consider this: parliament no longer commands the respect it once did, the political party system is breaking up, the electorate refuses to bow a knee to the political loyalties observed by previous generations and social media is fuelling a resurgent populism. Power is moving on to the streets; a contemporary equivalent of the occupation of the Forum.

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