Impostor syndrome is always described as a bad thing, but the UK’s political class would genuinely benefit from self-doubt
Brexit was going to be a piece of cake, Britain’s finest minds assured us. “It doesn’t seem to me to be very hard … to do a free trade deal very rapidly indeed,” blustered Boris Johnson. “The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want,” said Michael Gove. “The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history,” promised Liam Fox. Didn’t exactly turn out that way, did it?
The British government has a confidence problem. Namely, the people leading it are far more confident than they are competent. There is no situation in which they seem to feel underqualified; they have never met a problem they are not convinced they can solve. They are completely and utterly lacking in something that afflicts many mere mortals: impostor syndrome.