The end of politics and the grind

bowbrick
3 min readApr 26, 2023
Screenshot of a LinkedIn Live event with UK Prime Minister Rish Sunak from April 2023

Of course he’s on LinkedIn

I shouldn’t be surprised that the British Prime Minister — any contemporary national leader, really — is on LinkedIn. It’s supposed to say “I live in the real world, I know about the grind, about the exigencies of business and office life and the ugly necessity of self-promotion.” Maybe also “look, I got to the very top of British public life just by keeping my LinkedIn notifications on.”

But should I be happy that our head of government’s own LinkedIn bio apparently puts the word ‘influencer’ before ‘Prime Minister of the United Kingdom’? Or that this Prime Minister would happily, not to say chirpily, in the manner of a children’s TV presenter, show up at 8.30 on a Monday morning to answer a string of banal questions from friendly business big-wigs on a LinkedIn live?

Google search result for ‘Rishi Sunak LinkedIn’ — Rishi Sunak is an influencer. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Leader of the Conservative Party. Member of Parliament for Richmond (Yorks).

Should it actually scare me to learn that someone apparently so taken in by the promise of the hustle economy and by the bleak, one-dimensional glamour of the entrepreneur could possibly be asked to lead an actual economy. And to lead it, somehow, out of the long, sad, immiserating experiment of financialisation, marketisation, privatisation and the rest?

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bowbrick

Grizzled web old-timer (some say just grizzled), a trustee at the brilliant Poppy Academy Trust in the UK, a crummy poet and a volunteer at Watford Refugees…