A classic soap opera trick:

Suddenly, main actors who had already been kicked out of the show five seasons earlier reappear. What works on TV is currently being tried out in the British government: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is bringing David Cameron back to the main political stage. After his term in office, Theresa May ruled, who was succeeded by Boris Johnson before he was replaced – briefly – by Liz Truss. Which, in turn, lost the power struggle against Rishi Sunak.

And as a spectator, one wonders with a startled giggle: Can Cameron's comeback save the British Conservatives?

This dramaturgical trick marked the end of a comprehensive personnel shuffle in the Tories, after the right-wing populist Home Secretary Suella Bravermann had to leave and Esther McVey was appointed as a minister for ›common sense‹. Which, in strict translation, does not necessarily mean ›common sense‹.

"An anti-woke minister and proven right-winger of the party," is how SPIEGEL correspondent Jörg Schindler characterizes her in the podcast. "Not quite as right-wing and unpopular as Suella Braverman. But an important topic is ›culture wars‹. This is also the case here in Germany, and there too there is extremely controversial discussion. Here it's even more blatant and also much more unforgiving."

And as in Germany, the established parties are trying to win votes with right-wing populist statements. Or to inspire the audience for another season of Tory soap opera after 13 years of Conservative government work. However, the populist script now also applies to the Labour Party, whose leader Keir Starmer has now retracted all the left-wing promises he made when he took office.

So will the UK become the next bastion of right-wing populists in Europe? Or has it been for a long time? And who actually cares about the impoverished country and the concerns of the electorate? Jörg Schindler talks about this in this episode of the foreign podcast Eight Billion.

You can listen to this episode here:

The international podcast "Eight Billion" is published every Friday on SPIEGEL.de and wherever podcasts are available. Do you have any suggestions, criticism, suggestions for topics or even praise for this show? Then send us an e-mail to the address acht.milliarden@spiegel.de .