It’s hard not to feel a whiff of sympathy — however fleeting — for Liz Truss these past few days. Beaten on all sides, she could be one of the shortest-surviving British Prime Ministers in history.
er, critics say there’s something deeply mysterious about her. Perhaps wrongly described as “a funny fish with a weird accent,” she comes across as particularly wooden and uncharming.
We know that she was addicted to politics from a young age. But she’s twisted her core beliefs over the years. Rethinking for career advancement was never a problem. However, their current fixation is undoubtedly that lower taxes will encourage people to work harder while encouraging job creation and business start-ups.
She is convinced that “get up and go” will be stifled by too high a tax burden. More controversial is the belief that over-generous welfare benefits discourage some from looking for a job.
It’s grist to the mill for the Tory heartland. Some dream of a Singapore on the Thames that will propel a sluggish British economy into a new post-Brexit era.
The idea is that low taxation, the erosion of workers’ rights, and a shift away from an environmental fixation will unleash money-makers and risk-takers.
It is the old mantra that a rising tide lifts all boats. As Liz Truss reiterates, the bigger the pie, the better chance everyone has of getting a bigger slice. Her chancellor and formerly close friend Kwasi Kwarteng agrees with the prime minister on what they see as a malaise haunting modern Britain.
They wonder why thousands of vacancies in sectors like healthcare and hospitality are going unfilled – given the hundreds of thousands of Brits who are registered as unemployed.
Of course, the gap in these and other low-wage sectors has traditionally been filled by ‘foreigners’ moving to Britain. But keeping immigration numbers as low as possible is a core belief of trussonomics and die-hard Brexiteers. And therein lies a focus for the new prime minister and her cabinet. Some argue that restrictions on new immigrants need to be eased to keep the economy afloat. Others argue the number of ‘foreigners’ allowed to work in Britain should be kept to an absolute minimum.
It is clear that at this point in their lives, both Ms. Truss and Mr. Kwarteng are revolutionaries. That’s why they couldn’t wait to get their tax-cutting mini-budget off the ground within days of taking office.
But in moving so quickly, they displayed incredible political naivety. The rule book of low and dirty politics meant she should have fought off some of her sworn enemies within the Tory party. Mr. Kwarteng, who we are told considers himself an economic messiah, has completely misunderstood the international money markets. For two days the value of the pound sterling was turned upside down – sending shockwaves through the entire British economy.
The new chancellor is accused of having little experience in the real world and was sent to boarding school at the age of eight. He then went to Eton and a brilliant academic career followed.
He certainly never had direct experience of what has been described as “the hot struggles of the poor.” An ingrained arrogance and an aura of superiority did little to prepare him for the rough and tumble of underhand Westminster politics.
The result was a chaotic few days for the government. Despite their initial gung-ho approach, the prime minister and chancellor were forced to abandon plans to give high-income tax breaks.
Can Liz Truss hold onto a general election for the next two years? A growing cost-of-living crisis is on the horizon, exacerbated by rising utility bills and rising mortgage costs. The Conservative Party is lagging behind Labor in the polls – with the latter now the clear favorite to enter government after the next election.
If this polling trend continues, many Tory MPs will lose their seats. A blow to Ms. Truss, particularly from the embittered Rishi Sunak wing of her party, cannot be ruled out. And all the while there’s someone on the sidelines planning, planning, dreaming. Boris Johnson was the Tories’ mega vote winner in the last election.
A second coming. Very unlikely. Not impossible.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/after-a-shambolic-few-days-for-the-uk-government-can-liz-truss-hang-on-until-the-next-general-election-42043972.html After a few chaotic days for the UK government, can Liz Truss hold out until the next general election?