Rishi Sunak stood in a monsoon & announced a general election for the 4th of July

A series of hilariously unfortunate events happened in succession on Wednesday. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak decided to use the power of his particular Downing Street pulpit to announce the date for Britain’s general election: the 4th of July, America’s Independence Day, the day where Americans celebrate our freedom from Britain and the British crown every year. We usually eat hamburgers and little cupcakes with American flags. We set off fireworks and allow the kids to play with sparklers. There are parades. And across the pond, British peeps will hopefully be kicking out a lot of Tory wingnuts. A toast to the Fourth of July!

Massive sidenote: this reminds me of the British media’s freakout and subsequent Britsplaining of America’s Independence Day when Prince Harry was seen last year with his family at the 4th of July parade in Montecito. The Daily Mail editors had never heard of this quaint American tradition of “celebrating” independence from one’s former colonial master. The American media is going to have an absolute field day with this, especially if the election goes badly for the Tories.

What was also hilarious about PM Sunak’s big announcement was that he chose to stand outside Downing Street in the pouring rain while one of his neighbors (anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray) blared D:Ream’s “Things Can Only Get Better,” which largely drowned out Sunak’s message, like Sunak himself was at risk of drowning from trying to deliver a hacky political message in a monsoon. A funny thing about this particular song is that the Labour Party used it constantly during the 1997 campaign… which they won in a landslide.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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64 Responses to “Rishi Sunak stood in a monsoon & announced a general election for the 4th of July”

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  1. Hypocrisy says:

    He is a bizarre little man… hopefully July 4 will free that country from the Tories systematic destruction.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Our Independence Day from the Tories!!

      • SarahCS says:

        Honestly, I’m now hearing the president in Independence Day making his speech! I was so excited that a date has finally been set that I didn’t even think about the significance of it. We’re nearly there.

        Also, while I cannot endorse the royals and their awards, can we please give the boombox guy the republican equivalent of a knighthood. Outstanding work.

  2. ML says:

    Sitting here in the NLs depressedly waiting for far right government to form (if this doesn’t work, the prognosis is even worse, so I have to hope that the Dutch do not need to go to the polls again), I am cheering my British compadres on! After such a long period of conservative leadership, I hope that a gentler, more inclusive government is in your near future and that Europe grows closer to you again. And I believe that Hamilton (the play) is still running in London: this might be a great thing to go see if you can deal with an American perspective on the late 1700s! Good luck with your 4 July.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Conservative is an understatement, it had veered so far right that it was closer to BNP than actual Conservatives.

  3. msmontclair says:

    I’m sad that my dual citizenship won’t come through until August. I want to contribute to getting the Tories out of power. Independence Day, indeed.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      This dual citizen will happily contribute to see them out! I’ll think of you 🙂 x

      • Sigrid Maelstrom says:

        Thank you @Alpinewitch 🙏🏻
        I CANNOT WAIT to see the back of them

  4. Chaine says:

    Thank you for posting that blissfully cheesy 90s music video. What I needed to start off the day right!

  5. North of Boston says:

    I love the comments on the D Ream video!

    “Things can only get wetter!”

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    Here’s hoping July 4th will be Britain’s independence day too. And what can be said about a guy who doesn’t know enough to get out of the rain?

  7. sevenblue says:

    How are you gonna stand there in rain without an umbrella and expect people to believe that you are the smartest in the room and you alone can save them? It is like an episode of Veep.

    • pearlime says:

      Heard on a podcast today: PMs don’t want to wear a coat in those situations because that makes them look weak, and they don’t do umbrellas because the microphones would catch the sound of drops hitting the umbrella.
      On a similar note: And although in dire need of renovation, no PM wants to start work on Downing Street because they don’t want to lose out on shots coming in and out of that famous black door.

      • sevenblue says:

        If you are gonna do your speech in the rain, you will look like a dumbass without an umbrella. One of the best shots of H&M is Harry making a speech and Meghan holding an umbrella for both of them. I think someone would make the umbrella work with mics in a country so used to rain. I read from some Brits that he was trying to look like one of the people who wouldn’t mind getting wet since he is a tough guy. Whatever the reason is, he just looks unprepared for the most expected weather condition in London.

        One good thing I will say, he has good hair, so the rain didn’t make him look like a wet cat. I can’t imagine how stupid Boris would look after getting soaked in the rain.

      • Oh come on. says:

        @sevenblue omg thanks for the mental image of Boris in the rain! Wet cat indeed …

    • Jane says:

      There is actually a press room inside Downing Street. It cost 2.5 million. It was used all through COVID, I don’t know why it wasn’t used here.

      However, I’d love to know who does Rishi’s hair. Despite the downpour and his sopping wet suit, his hair is completely unaffected by it all.

  8. Wagiman says:

    Royals traditionally don’t vote so at least we’ll be spared that wailing while H and M and the kids are celebrating 4 July.

    I hope the conservatives crash and burn but honestly, I trust no one when it comes to voting. I don’t want to get excited.

  9. JD says:

    This made my day yesterday! A Prime Minister who cannot organise an umbrella cannot run a country! The rain, the music, it was all too good!
    It’s giving Four Seasons Landscape Gardening energy 😂
    14 years of running the country to the ground is now coming to an end. It won’t be resolved over night, or even within one term, and Labour has a LOT of work to do, but yesterday was the beginning of the end of this current nightmare and Rishi will be a meme for the ages.
    I’ll be watching ‘Have I got news for you’ this week for sure (a satirical comedy news show which I read is coming to the US from September, make sure you’ll tune in!)

    • Emcee3 says:

      “Have I Got News for You” had quite a few episodes from prior years on YouTube — I spent one Saturday falling down that delightful rabbit hole. I’m glad [or chuffed] to hear it’s still running
      In the US we have the radio show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” hosted on NPR. I have no doubt Sunak’s soggy presser will get some snarky coverage.

      • sparrow says:

        HIGNFY is in my opinion partly responsible for widening Johnson’s appeal pre election victory. Years ago, Hislop and Merton often had him on and laughed their heads off; isn’t he just so much fun, he’s great, such a harmless old duffer, we just love him. He was a comedy hero to them. Ditto Clarkson, who became their go-to funny old duffer type umpire. That programme lost its bite and credentials years ago. The way the panel treated Paula Yates was one of the nastiest displays of misogyny ever seen on ‘educated’ British TV; how it was allowed is beyond me and many who saw it. Mock the Week was slightly better but has gone off air. We don’t really have any good satirical TV. Goodness, that again sounds harsh, but I’m cooking and working at the same time. Rushing in and out of here.

      • Emcee3 says:

        sparrow: Ooof, I never thought of it in that context, having not seen every episode, esp the ones you speak of. Also now questioning some of those YT episodes appear to be heavily edited [is it live or on a laugh track?]
        My sister & I were discussing if / how American late-night satire, specifically SNL’s depiction of Sarah Palin derailing John McCain’s chances at becoming POTUS may have turned the unexpected win of DJT into the GOPs ultimate revenge.
        Sarah Kendzior wrote of reality show candidate Trump’s 2016 mass appeal for red-state voters who never fully recovered from the 2008 Global Financial Crisis:
        “… he made “You’re fired” a national catch-phrase, because he understands that sometimes it feels good to know that the person getting fired, for once, is not you.”

      • sparrow says:

        Hi back Emcee3. I hate jumping down people’s throats on here and was aware it was a pretty loaded comment but had to get offline to cook! Yes, it had mass appeal at one stage; it was THE satire programme to watch. I still remember the music. People loved Paul Merton. But it sort of changed tack and became really smug. And when they had a great big love in for Johnson, which went on and on, it became too much. Clarkson was the next favourite, and we know what he’s like. You’ve hit the nail on the head with your observations of similar figures on American TV. It can really turn things. I’m sure people outside London weren’t overly infatuated with Johnson but Hislop etc made him into ” loveably funny”. The Paula Yates episode was horrible. It’s filmed in front of a live audience but doesn’t go out live, I believe. It’s edited.

      • Emcee3 says:

        sparrow: Thanks, I didn’t take anything sideways & I should have prefaced/realized my “lost weekend / youtube rabbit hole” viewing was before Brexit & the surging populism on these shores that put us where we are now [on both sides of the pond]
        I remember a panelist, Victoria [Cohen as google tells me] calling out some Lo-Fi sexism/misogyny on a few episodes. I think it was, her — I need to go watch a few to refresh my memory, after checking out that Paula Yates ep.

      • Emcee3 says:

        **CoRen . Damn these fingers & NYC trial w/ Cohen headlining every newscast. **sighs**

  10. Nanea says:

    The Tories absolutely have lost the plot.

    It’s not like they couldn’t have used an indoor space… the press briefing room that BoJo had installed in #9 (where the Cabint offices are located) for the paltry sum of £ 2.6 million, complete with 2 Union Jacks.

    Too bad no one knows how weather forecasts work, or maybe looking out of a window could have helped… or taking an umbrella?

    B̶o̶r̶n̶ Gone on the Fourth of July is all I can think of.

    Fingers crossed, also for Larry the cat to get a new lodger, # 6, who’s hopefully nicer to him than all the Tories who seem to hate cats, or are, like Treeza Maybot, allergic to cats.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      There was a weather alert from Tuesday afternoon to this morning, he was just being an idiot.

  11. Hopey says:

    “ The American media is going to have an absolute field day with this, especially if the election goes badly for the Tories.”

    The funny thing is we will all be off work that day in America so WE WILL HAVE TIME!!! 😂😂

    • Dylan says:

      A few Americans will, most don’t really pay attention to what goes on in other countries.

      • Oh come on. says:

        The Americans who write the news stories do know about major political events in Britain, and will def make jokes about it if the Tories are ejected on the Fourth of July.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @Oh come on., I may have to stay up late on the 4th of July just in case Stephen Colbert has a special report. It’s not like the BM has taken notice of anything Stephen Colbert has said previously or people he’s interviewed. /s

  12. Amy says:

    Totally agree on the Four Seasons Landscaping vibes!
    But a serious question: why don’t his face or hair look wet? There aren’t any visible drops on his face in those photos. Also, it looks to me like his jacket was coated in Teflon or something, because it looks like the water is just sitting on him. So strange.

  13. Hypocrisy says:

    Anyone else think that Sunak looks like the “Elf on a shelf” in a business suit? Someone said that in a conversation we were having about him not to long ago and now I can’t unsee it.🤣🤷🏻‍♀️

  14. Nicole says:

    I’ve been listening to Pod Save the UK ( a liberal podcast for the uninitiated). I am concerned that should the Labor party be elected that they will be hamstrung and not make meaningful change. It sounds like hardcore progressives are thinking about going Green. Would that make a difference policy wise?

    • andie says:

      The Labour Party is Centre Left. They are not a hard left party. “Hardcore progressives” were not a good fit with the Labour Party which is generally left wing but not extremely left wing. The Greens are likely to court the hardcore progressives but are unlikely to get more than a couple of seats.

      • Jane says:

        At this point, the Labour party is centre right. All the even slightly left wing MPs have been purged along with the Corbynites and Momentum. And Diane Abbott still hasn’t had the Whip restored. I won’t be voting for them, and since I live in Scotland, I have other options that won’t make a difference overall.

      • Naema says:

        Diane Abbott shouldn’t be readmitted. Her letter to the Guardian and the excuses she made for it afterwards were despicable. It was an antisemitic tirade and she still does not seem to understand the damage she did.

      • sparrow says:

        Totally agree, Naema. Diane Abbott is disgusting. Her letter showed how close she is to the far left strand of antisemitism that’s dogged the Labour party for years, personified by Corbyn. She is totally problematic and has been for a long time.

    • Talia says:

      Only inasmuch as splitting the left wing vote could result in more Tory MPs being elected so the Labour Party might have to be more right wing to get policies through (depending on the size of any Labour majority).

      The UK has ‘first past the post’ voting. Each area elects one MP, the party with the majority of MPs forms the government. The votes aren’t transferred so if in an area, 15,000 vote Labour, 15,000 vote Green and 17,000 vote Tory, the Tories get the seat.

      The Tory party will be ecstatic if they can get people to vote Green – the Greens have no hope of forming a government and minimal chance of getting MPs elected but they might pull enough votes for the Tories to squeak in.

    • sparrow says:

      I can’t see the Greens doing overly well. Their core theme is of course the environment. However, the fact that they aren’t a viable governing party enables them to promise all kinds of progressive stuff. It’s a luxury position and one they’re aware of. In real terms their ability to capture votes is limited. They’ve split the left vote occasionally with a couple of strong candidates, but it’s been the exception to the rule.

    • Oh come on. says:

      Just like voters in the US, voters in multiparty democracies like Britain and Canada also have to consider strategic voting. The progressive friends I know in London voted happily for Sadiq Khan but are weighing whether Labour holds their parliamentary seats tightly enough that they can safely vote Green. Starmer is so disappointing, but they feel stuck with him because the Tories are clearly worse.

      That feeling may be familiar to US voters [*sobs*]

      • sparrow says:

        Oh come on. Brilliant points. Starmer isn’t the great political thinker or saviour the current situation may indicate. I am not alone in struggling with several strands of what he’s saying on domestic and foreign policy. For many this boils down to hating the Tories more than new found love of Labour. Starmer will need to deal with the potential fallout of this kind of swing vote, which will be highly critical and hugely expectant, just as Johnson had to deal with the Labour swing vote after his victory. I am not at all certain of what I’ll be voting. It’s still more fluid than people think.

    • Oh come on. says:

      p.s. Another North American who loves Pod Save the UK. Somehow listening to Nish and Coco leaves me feeling happy despite the bleak times. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand wtf is going on across the pond.

  15. KC says:

    I, myself, am more of a Howard Jones Things Can Only Get Better, kind of gal. You just can’t beat those fake 80’s horns in the intro.


    • Dylan says:

      But that doesn’t have the iconic Labour landslide connotations with Prof Brian Cox undertones.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Thank you @KC! Saw HJ in concert. Fun, fun, fun.

      @Dylan, the first/intro verse of Howard Jone’s Things Can Only Get Better is pretty strong. Compared the lyrics, might be missing something? HJ was fairly anti-establishment in the ’80s.

      We’re not scared to lose it all
      Security throw through the wall
      Future dreams we have to realize
      A thousand skeptic hands
      Won’t keep us from the things we plan
      Unless we’re clinging to the things we prize

      ‘Unless we’re clinging to the things we prize’ sounds like someone scoffing at the BRF/British government.imo

      I’m just really enjoying Larry the Cat’s take on things. Prince Harry and Larry the Cat. The best of good things and deeds. Larry protects his home from infiltrators like Harry does. Hard work.

  16. aquarius64 says:

    I’m not familiar with all the ins and outs of UK politics, but from what I gather this may be a Throw The Bums Out election.

  17. Digital Unicorn says:

    About bloody time he announced one – he announced it now before he was ousted by the party. Also I don’t think it will be the blood bath for the Tories that I hope for – while Labour are doing well in the polls I don’t think they have enough to win a clear majority. I can also see a lot of votes going to Independents and the Greens.

    My prediction is that Labour will get in but only just – the Tories (and potentially the SNP) could cause problems for them. I also predict that the SNP will loose seats at Westminster, Labour has been doing well locally in Scotland.

    • sparrow says:

      It’s potentially Reform that could split the Tory vote and let Labour get a landslide. It’s a bad time for the traditional Tory voter who feels betrayed by their party; I hear a lot of “I’m going to give Reform a try instead”. In their anger, the right wing electorate doesn’t seem to understand such reactive voting could throw the victory to the left. A hell of a lot of Labour voters have voted tactically for the Libdems for decades, in order to give a constituency with a weak Labour candidate the best chance of at least not being Tory. Conservative voters don’t seem to understand tactical voting because it’s not part of their historical approach to elections. Like you, I do feel there’s an assumption it will be a walk in the park for Labour when, who knows.

      • Dylan says:

        To be fair a lot of left wing people do this as well, voting Greens or Independents, not caring that this splits the vote and allows in the Tories who are worse on the environment and Israel/Gaza

      • sparrow says:

        True. There is a feeling on the left, as I said, that as long as it’s not gone to the Tories then it’s victory enough. Libdem can also feel left enough for a Labour voter. It’s definitely been part of the southern voting patterns, which sometimes goes Green, like you say, and splits the vote. The Liberals have a stronghold in the lower southwest region, of course, but the higher up the southwest you go, it’s my experience that people vote Libdem to simply stop Tory. It’s going to be a strange night. Nothing will ever replicate Portillo being beaten by Twigg in 1997!!

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Its going to be an interesting election and yeah I agree that Reform will split the Tory vote and do well given how popular Farage is with those voters (even thou he is not standing its still his party). Also he’s said he’s campaigning for the US election (for his pal Trump) how is that even possible – does anyone in the US even know who he is?

        Its also possible that Labour end up in a coalition – with who depends on how the disgruntled Tory voters vote. Am just glad that we are not getting Farage in parliament.

      • sparrow says:

        Very good take, Digital Unicorn. We seem to both see the Reform clouds looming. Farage is very charismatic and has probably been one of the most underrated and yet important figures of late C20/early C21st British politics. He seems a bit toad of toad hall, and a bit of a fool, but he fights from conviction. He pushed for Brexit for decades from a place of sincere belief. And Brexit has changed the political landscape in this country for years to come. Johnson meanwhile is a rampant populist who fought the Brexit cause less from conviction but from enjoying himself. I sincerely believe the man finds everything a joke; even politics at the highest level is a bit of a lark. Oh, good grief. Is it bad to say I’m looking forwards to watching how this all shakes out.

      • AlpineWitch says:

        Fromage didn’t fight from Brexit for any beliefs, it’s convenient to him and his masters.

      • Oh come on. says:

        @Digital Unicorn Regular Americans don’t know who Nigel Farage is, but unfortunately I think he’s kind of a hero to white supremacists. He’s a regular speaker at National Conservative and other far-right conventions. If Farage campaigns for Trump, it’s to reassure white supremacists that Trump is frfr super racist 🙁

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I’d like to see them wiped out but I’m aware it might be only wishful thinking….

  18. sparrow says:

    Oh my goodness. I only heard about this yesterday on the radio, just a short headline. And then I contacted Mr Sparrow to say, he’s called it. I didn’t see any footage. Seeing the picture just now, I thought he was wearing a leather jacket, before I realised he’s soaking wet! I thought, very casual for such a big occasion but perhaps he’s changing it up for the new campaign.

  19. Lau says:

    Real loser energy from Mr Sunak here. The campaign is going to be bonkers with this idiot trying to defend 14 years of tories rule with literally nothing positive to show off.

  20. Oh come on. says:

    Rishi Sunak and his wife were US permanent residents for a long time–they know perfectly well what July 4 is to Americans. I don’t follow the logic of picking that day instead of, say, July 18 or really any other random date in July.

    “Things can only get better” blaring over his announcement is chef’s kiss

  21. Lulu says:

    Wishing good thinks for my UK peeps.

  22. Joy says:

    If only there were a small, hand held device that you could use to protect yourself and your clothes from inclement weather. Ah well.

  23. AC says:

    Their country is not doing well. There’s been years of de-growth, they have the most homelessness in the western world(funny because they can’t believe the US isn’t on top but data shows homelessness in the UK keeps on rising), have an extreme housing crisis, less disposable income, and their salary/wages in the UK are low. I think Brexit definitely hasn’t helped them. It’s not just the UK but currently living in Europe, I could see a bit of stagnation.
    People in the US don’t realize that our country is overall doing well(we’re not perfect and we have problems, but it’s resilient ). Thanks to Bidens policies it’s still growing, many won’t know until they experience another country. To be honest, we can be spoiled and complain about things that’s more of problems in other countries.
    Although I do love the lifestyle here in Europe, I don’t know if they can sustain this in the future esp if they’re going to stay stagnant – and esp when it comes to lower innovation and small or even no-growth. That’s not a good outlook at all.

  24. ElleE says:

    Omg 5 gold stars to that epic 8m 31s speech.

    Maybe it’s the xanax or maybe it really is the most python-esque, lisp-laden most british of all british PM speeches:

    From the rain, the promise of protection BY the gov’t (as opposed to protection FROM it’s gov’t policies, “during the nation’s darkest hour” cresendo-ing into a rousing policy-free promise, all backed by “Don’t Dream It’s Over). Pure Gold.

    Steve Bray is still at it after 9 years! His signs are a hoot.