The British election was an emotional orgy of score-settling. Labour, the Liberals and the Reform Party all benefited from the protest atmosphere.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria wave.

Son of a toolmaker: Prime Minister Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria at 10 Downing Street Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

The game show “Queen for a Day” was a popular American television show in the 1940s and 1950s. The moderator promised the contestants something tempting. One of them would be made queen for a day, complete with a crown, throne and red roses. Before that, however, they had to tell their story of suffering to an audience of millions.

Those who had experienced the most horrible things – poverty, sick children, beaten husbands and house fires – were given money and a washing machine. Those who had not suffered enough could only hope for the toaster. The contestants with acting talent had the best chances in the show. The more they sobbed, the louder the studio audience applauded, which raised the studio barometer.

Shortly before the ecstatic climax, the emotional striptease was interrupted by advertisements: refrigerator, shoe and fashion companies praised their products. In the end, the long-suffering queen of the day received all the rubbish as a gift. Long before the term greenwashing was invented, companies could market themselves as “committed to charity” and “women-friendly”.

The “Queen for a Day” concept also seems to have had a strong influence on British election broadcasts. In recent weeks, almost all politicians have had to strip down emotionally to score points.

Origin as a factor

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer have both tirelessly emphasised their humble origins (one the son of Indian immigrants, the other the son of a toolmaker).

However, they were clearly outclassed by Labour politician Angela Rayner. She grew up as a poor, illiterate daughter of a bipolar mother. Rayner had to leave school at 16 without any qualifications because she became pregnant. She got out of the mess with the help of the unions. She has now become a left-wing version of Margaret Thatcher and has held the number two position in Starmer's cabinet since 5 July.

However, Starmer is not a reincarnation of the young Tony Blair who thrilled people in 1997. Starmer is a pleasant bore whose speeches regularly put listeners into a deep sleep. Although his party won 411 seats on July 4 thanks to a majority vote, it only received 33.7 percent of the vote.

In reality, the election was an emotional orgy of score-settling. Voters could only agree on one point: the Conservatives had failed miserably and had to be punished. In addition to the Labour Party, the Liberals and the Reform Party also benefited from this.

Migration warnings

Although Liberal Ed Davey only performed clownish stunts reminiscent of Guido Westerwelle's tour bus days, he ended up winning 72 seats. Nigel Farage's Reform Party was also elected in protest. Its warnings about migration received more than 4 million votes. Reform also ensured that the Conservative Party imploded completely.

While the Conservatives will be blaming each other for the next five years, Reform now has the opportunity to become the main right-wing opposition party. It will be a serious opponent of Labour in the next general election in 2029.

Tony Blair has just highlighted how dangerous it is to leave the migration issue in the hands of Nigel Farage in an article in the sunday time explained. This is not Starmer's only problem. The coffers are empty and unpopular decisions have to be taken.

The new Prime Minister will hear many desperate stories of social injustice. There will certainly be no red roses showered on the petitioners. The question will be: who will get at least a toaster?