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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > November 2017 > Letters & opinions

Letters & opinions

Not about the leader

The Editor suggests that “you won’t be able to resist joining in with Adonis’s game of leadership Top Trumps” (“The political is personal”, October). But life is too short to play games with Andrew Adonis. The view that a leader can succeed as a sole political trader is a thinly disguised version of the Great Man theory of history, resting on a personality cult version of politics. This served Adonis well in rising through the corridors of power, but his own star began to wane when his patrons, Blair and Brown, started to lose the plot.

New Labour’s acolytes did not pick up on the falling Labour vote after 2001, manifest by 2005 when little more than a third of voters chose Labour, and dropping below 30 per cent under Brown. Corbyn has increased the vote share to over 40 per cent.

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In Prospect’s November issue: Joris Luyendijk and Stuart Ward try to uncover the way Britain is perceived by Europe and the rest of the world. Luyendijk—who lived in Britain for six years before recently moving back to his native Netherlands—explains that the Brexit vote has shown Europe that Britain needs time alone to find its identity again, while Ward—a native Australian—argues that its Britain’s imperial backstory that stops it from truly understanding what the world thinks of it. Elsewhere in the issue Jeffrey Lewis argues that US foreign policy has helped North Korea develop the nuclear bomb and we explore the effect that the Palestinian museum near Ramallah is having on the creation of a national identity. Also in this issue: Sameer Rahim profiles Armando Iannucci, Joseph Stiglitz on Britain’s tricky political situation.