The recent summer of British politics is a story of the cynical encountering the gullible and then, to quote Dr. Johnson, of the triumph of hope over experience. One might have the consolation of finding some of it amusing, were it not that some of us are British and have to live in a country ruled by these people. Others may merely have the decency of caring about the fate of one the world’s oldest and, hitherto, most respected democracies.

There came a point on July 6, 2022, where the prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson, led a government of notionally around one hundred people from which fifty-six had resigned. Almost every British prime minister—and we have had them for 301 years, since Robert Walpole—would have gone long before. But rules don’t, or didn’t, apply to Johnson. Some who supported him even after his idleness and...


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