She wandered out and into that pivotal moment with the sure-footedness of a frightened Thunderbird. She stared out from behind the lectern with a grin that looked like it wasn’t just painted on but cast in concrete. If footage of her own funeral had been played to her at that moment, it would probably have distorted her smile, which in many ways was exactly what happened next.
Normally it is a symphony hall, the great theater of Birmingham, where the Tories rush every year to perform their latest cacophonic spectacle, but there has never been a performance like this which was an attempt at a symphony of sorts but has been played on a piano with a single key.
Liz Truss has only one idea, one note, and that is this growth. growth growth growth! Growth will solve everything. She has absolutely no idea how to achieve growth other than cutting taxes, saying the word “growth” over and over, and hoping for the best. (She’s so sure tax cuts will lead to growth that she’s borrowed £45bn to do so, an act of madness that the markets, voters and her party have already judged.)
You can achieve more than you think with a one-note piano. You can hit it hard, you can tap it softly, you can play little staccato riffs, or you can do what that particular pianist does best and leave long, agonizing gaps between notes as you look around at what’s causing it Your audience remains unsure whether you want them to clap for saying the same thing for the eleventh time, or if you’re just—for the twelfth time—trying to shift your place on the autocue.
It was very boring, very boilerplate stuff. “I know how it feels when you leave your potential behind,” she said. She seems, like most Tories, to want to live in a country where everyone gets the chance to fulfill their potential but continues to force that chance on Prime Ministers who are completely overwhelmed. To those who have tried to ignore Liz Truss’ potential for the good of your country, why didn’t you try harder?
Crucial to Truss’s worldview is that Truss had to struggle herself, that she was the victim of gross injustice, which is why she spent most of the summer leaving the school that somehow brought her to Oxford anyway. The cruel discrimination she saved for that big moment was a story about how, when she got on a plane as a young child, she received a junior flight attendant’s badge while her brothers received junior pilot’s badges.
“For too long it’s been about how we allocate a limited economic pie,” she said. “Instead, we need to let the pie grow so everyone gets a bigger slice.”
It’s not just that she’s now had over a month to stop saying the phrase “Grow the pie,” a piece of near-unique linguistic idiocy. It’s that she genuinely seems to think she’s the first prime minister to ever come up with the brilliant idea of trying to boost the economy.
She also claimed to be “the first prime minister to go to comprehensive school”. Which is sort of true, except for the awkward fact that Gordon Brown went to a comprehensive and Liz Truss’s school wasn’t a comprehensive when she went there.
Inevitably, it took a turn toward insanity near the end. After realizing that just by saying the word growth over and over again, she will make the economy grow, she had to trick her enemies – the “anti-growth coalition” – at this point.
These people are – take a deep breath – Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, people on Twitter, people doing podcasts in north London. They’re not the people she’s siding with. These people are the “white van drivers, the plumbers, the barbers, the accountants (but crucially, not the airline cabin crew who gratuitously stalled them 15 minutes earlier)”.
See it’s all very well to say that you side with the common people and everyone else is a bright maniac badmouthing Britain. But it’s a lot harder when you’re 33 points behind in the polls because the people whose side you’re impersonating took one look and ran a mile. You have a vision for Britain that no one voted for and no one believes in.
This party ploy has worked for them for quite some time – pulverizing the country and then dismissing those demanding the pulverization stop as “talking Britain down”. But people haven’t badmouthed Britain, they’ve badmouthed the Tories and they are going to stop badmouthing them and bring them down.
It was a fitting conclusion after three days of total chaos that made it clear that the Truss years are over long before they began. No one in her own cabinet is willing to look as stupid as he would have to look for agreeing with her.
It has been said that the Prime Minister gave a speech to save her position as Prime Minister, but that is unfair. It’s already too late for that. That speech didn’t save her the Prime Minister’s office, but it could have been Martin Luther King delivering the Gettysburg Address up there and it wouldn’t have made a blind difference.
And that is the fate she is now doomed to – to scream growth while getting smaller and smaller. Constantly laying out your vision for Britain to a Britain that will never see it, not just because it doesn’t matter, but because it will never vote for it. The cake will not grow, but the cake lady has already gone to nothing.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/pie-lady-liz-trusss-speech-took-an-inevitable-turn-towards-insanity-42043597.html Cake lady Liz Truss’ speech took an inevitable turn towards insanity