So you’ve got a new prime minister, who is a continuation of your last one. Sorry.
In an opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph, Truss described Britain as stuck with low productivity, high taxes, overregulation and an inability to do big things. “We will break with the same old tax and spend approach by focusing on growth and investment,” she said. She complained of the “heaviest tax burden in 70 years.” She said it was outrageous that there had not been a new water reservoir or nuclear power plant built in a quarter-century.
The disconnect of her words was noted by her critics, who pointed out that Truss didn’t mention that her party has been in power for the past 12 years — and that she has served in the cabinet since 2012 — so these problems were the doings of the Conservatives.
Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer tweeted: “I’d like to congratulate our next Prime Minister Liz Truss as she prepares for office. But after 12 years of the Tories all we have to show for it is low wages, high prices, and a Tory cost of living crisis. Only Labour can deliver the fresh start our country needs.”
I’ll congratulate you sincerely once you get rid of these damned Tories, just asa we have to get rid of these damned Republicans.
She’s horrific, and her likely cabinet of additional horrors includes Suella Braverman, who advocates slashing the already-in-tatters safety net and promised to “‘eliminate’ the right to protection from torture and inhuman treatment” if she were elected leader!
Unfortunately Labour are offering Tory-lite, where they actually have any policies. Unfortunately they’re far more concerned with purging all left-wingers (particularly any supporters of Palestine, especially if Jewish) from the party and jumping through we’re-hate-Corbyn-too!’ hoops the media set for them to inspire basically anyone at all.
All we have left are some excellent union leaders who are AT LEAST , and as far as permitted to do so by the media, offering a focus for the Brits who aren’t either insane neolib gammons or too ground down to pay attention.
Christ I hope there’s an edit button if my comment gets through moderation. :-(
Reginald Selkirk says
So, she’s not going to “spend”, she’s going to “invest.” It sounds like a semantic victory.
Can England force an election soon and vote the Tories out? Please.
(Australia has already shown you the way.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2022_Australian_federal_election )
Can we have a trifecta of anti-Murdoch elections in the USA, Oz & Old England too?
Raging Bee says
She complained of the “heaviest tax burden in 70 years.”
Really? So none of the previous Tory “leaders” — not even Margaret Thatcher — had done jack shit to cut taxes in all the time they were in power? I find that VERY hard to believe. It sounds more to me like this is just another right-wing stooge robotically spouting the same blither-points that got her predecessors elected because she, and her party, have literally nothing else to offer.
She is not much worried by the extreme energy costs, after all she and her cronies have no problem paying them. If elderly have to go without heat this winter that is their problem.
And Truss has once again complained about the British workers being lazy. Same scum as the last PM.
A fun change is that Truss lacks BoJo’s ability to just lie seamlessly, and improvise answers with a straight face.
As Truss and Sunak are not sociopaths, they display cognitive dissonance when they lie and they therefore do not look nearly as convincing as Bojo.
It is fortunate that BoJo is too lazy to dig graves in his garden or he would make a fearsome serial killer.
We are not amused.
About laziness – Truss has a problem with doing her homework before entering situations where she may have to answer questions.
It works when some conservative journalist is asking softball questions, but I am looking forward to the prime minister question time in parliament.
Tory PM’s never answer the questions, but they must give the appearence of answering while hiding in a smokescreen of blather.
This is a bit harder if you do not know what you are talking about, especially when interrogated by an ex-lawyer like Kier Starmer. Unlike BoJo Truss is vulnerable to humiliation.
That Truss is just Tory/Bojo v2, rehashing the same Murdoch and the oligarchs blather, should not surprise anyone. Like DeSantis vs Chump, the only plus for Truss vs Bojo is that she doesn’t look like a complete clown, even if she is just as dangerous. In fact, she’s so photogenic (compared to Bojo) that she may be more dangerous. She appears to be normal.
I just saw this in the Guardian by William Davies: “Trussonomics will be a reckless exercise in slashing the state when there’s nothing left to cut.” No doubt. In the eternal interest of “fairness” in journalism, the Guardian has lots of other crap about Truss splattered on the front page, like how her children will cope with life at No. 10. I mean what about pizza nights and sleepovers…you know, real meaty issues.
I fear we’ve got a major problem in the World, and not just the US and UK, where the fronts for the real powers-that-be will continue to dissemble on their behalf while the real powers-that-be continue to dismantle any vestiges of democracy so they can stash even more gold in their secret bunkers to ride out the coming apocalypse.
Oh, and in other unrelated news, the Israeli army has determined that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh was probably killed by an Israeli soldier, but it was likely an accident. It is something of an admission because the Israeli army had tried to deny any responsibility. The fact that Israeli army soldiers were out there armed and ready to shoot was just a circumstance that had nothing to do…directly…with the journalist’s killing.
StevoR @ 4
Nah. But Scotland might (or Wales, or parts of Northern Island). <\micro-rant>
“Can England force an election soon and vote the Tories out?”
I was going to complain about the UK and England not being the same thing, but then I remembered the actual influence the other nations have in Westminster. Yeah, it’s basically the English parliament.
Yeah, she’s horrible, but SHE GOT VOTED IN.
How THIS happened? What the fuck is happening?
How is it possible that turkeys keep voting for Christmas?
In other news, 25% of young male Swedes is projected to vote for the local fascists (vs 9% of young women). This is the country’s future, these aren’t going away any time soon.
Italy has four fascist parties and they are slated to win the next elections too.
“SHE GOT VOTED IN.”
Errr, only sort of. She was chosen by the tory party members and they actually would have chosen to keep Boris Johnson if it was an option according to polling. Even most tory MPs voted for Rishi Sunak over her. Democracy!
She got voted in by the 100,000 or so members of the Tory party, none of the rest of us had a say.
It’s also interesting that the National Debt, which worries the Tories a lot is the highest it’s been since . . . Margaret Thatcher was in power. We really are fucked.
Conservative members are only about 170,000 people by the way. They are also disproportionately white, male, middle class and from the south of England.
We’ve seen this movie dozens of times by now.
.1. Cut taxes.
Taxes pay for themselves by the magic of supply side economics.
.2. Oops, the magic didn’t work.
“Oh, Bullwinkle, that trick never works.”
.3. The annual government deficit and national debt go up some more.
.4. No problem, cut services.
Repeat until you hear the engines of the tumbrels warming up and notice more pitchforks and torches in the crowds.
Truss got voted in because Brits don’t get to vote for who the next Prime Minister will be, they only get to vote for individual MPs (representatives) and whoever wins the majority of seats (districts) gets to appoint the Prime Minister, and they can keep changing their minds until the next general election.
The Tory leadership selection process allows the Tory MPs to whittle down the choices to the top two, after which the Tory party members (100,000 people or so) get the final say. Ironically, a poll of Tory voters from a couple of weeks ago showed that Boris Johnson was still more popular than either of the two candidates for replacing him.
Despite the fact that Truss voted to remain in the EU (a stance she has since flipflopped hard on) there’s nothing to be optimistic about concerning her leadership. She’s a Tory through and through and perhaps the only advantage the opposition has is that she hasn’t got any of the populist charm that allowed Johnson to bluster his way to victory in the last election.
There’s still over 2 years before current parliamentary term is over (Jan 2025) and an election must be held. Changes in the rules governing votes of no confidence have made it harder for snap elections to be called, but there’s no doubt if Truss calls for one, the opposition parties will agree to it. Most likely, given the Tories 10 point behind Labour at the moment, Truss will wait a couple more years before committing to an election.
The next 12 months aren’t going to be pretty for the UK, that’s for sure…
It won’t be pretty for Truss either, the chrisis is so deep there will be no lenghty honeymoon phase. If the MPs realise she may cost them the election she will be out on her face.
Oggie: Mathom says
So she wants to tax less and spend more? Sounds familiar. Of course, any construction programs will go to ‘suitable’ corporations, I am sure.
There seem to be two schools of thought about Truss among non-Tories: one that she really believes all the hard right crap she comes out with, the other that she’s like Johnson, believing in nothing apart from her own interests. I tend more toward the first, but with a tincture of the second. She was one of the authors of a mind-bendingly bonkers tome called “Britannia Unchained” (2012), which included the accusation that British workers are “among the worst idlers in the world”, and called for the removal of regulations protecting workers, the environment, etc., a “small state”, low taxation, and an end to attempts at redistribution (not that there have been any recently, other than redistributing in favour of the rich). She was a member of the Liberal Democrats when at Oxford, but even then, was apparently a devotee of Hayek. It’s often repeated that she sided with Remain in the EU referendum but has since become a hardline Brexiteer, but I’ve read that in fact she favoured Leave (which seems much more in line with her other views), but thought Remain would win and was persuaded to back it by Cameron – either way, this is some evidence for the second view. We’ll get a better idea which side of her is uppermost by her cabinet appointments once she is actually PM, which doesn’t happen until tomorrow, and by the contents of the speech she is expected to give on Thursday, laying out what she intends to do about the “cost of living crisis” and specifically, energy prices.
No, those changes have been repealed by the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022. All Liz Truss needs to do if she wants an early election is to ask Liz Windsor.
She (apparently) already has a nickname. The “Iron Weathercock”. It being a back reference to Thatcher (“Iron Lady”) and Truss’ changing position on Brexit.
Interesting. Thanks for the correction. Looks like pretty much everyone thought the previous legislation was a bad idea.
(breaks open the champagne) Priti Patel has resigned from the Home Office.
Jessica Elgot and Lisa O’Carroll of the Guardian claim to have information about Truss’s planned appointments. All those mentioned apart possibly from Wallace are members of the hard right; Braverman is particularly repulsive (possibly even worse than Patel, if you can credit it, birgerjohansson@25), being very keen on transpotation for life to Rwanda without trial, and replacing the Human Rights Act by a right-wing confection designed to remove rights not defend them. James Cleverly is often spoken of as a one-man refutation of nominative determinism. If the appointments are confirmed, that would support the view that Truss is an ideologue rather than an opportunist.
Schnitzel Von Knobbschafft says
Liz Truss, not only schooled by Lavrov about European geography – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/10/russia-must-respect-ukraine-sovereignty-liz-truss-talks-open?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other – but some ten years run rings around her at a press conference – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngr_k3SwOXg
This is Heather Cox Richardson’s news letter this morning about the origins of Labor Day. Depressingly familiar story.
Still waiting for that change.
The only glimmer of a silver lining is that given the UK Parliament is essentially a unicameral body (the House of Lords cannot stop legislation from becoming law), Truss and the Tories have nowhere to hide when it all goes horribly wrong (which it is already, but it’s going to get even more horrible). In the past this has helped to moderate government policy including total reversals when it’s clear a policy is very unpopular with the voters.
So, for example, the blame for giving billions in tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations while doing nothing to prevent the energy company shareholders from making even more billions at the expense of the poor and elderly freezing to death next winter is going to fall squarely on Truss and the Conservatives and will be a blow they cannot recover from before the next election. In normal times, this would make such a thing a non-starter, but I’m not even sure anymore.
The downside is that the Tories could also push through legislation that places their thumb on the scales in time for the next election and doing the equivalent of gerrymandering the election in their favor. Other than giving Scotland its independence, it’s the only way the Conservatives win the next election.
She has plenty of scapegoats set up already: the ECHR, Sturgeon, Macron, the Irish tea sock (look it up), bureaucrats etc. When the government unilaterally changes the NI protocol and breaks international law, it will be the EU’s fault when they take retaliatory action.
Braverman even worse than Priti Patel?!!
Liz Truss, Boris Johnson, George W Bush, Donald Trump, Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison…the best and the brightest…
Akira MacKenzie says
Meet the new boss. WORSE than the old boss.
Rich Woods says
sips tea thoughtfully
One of my friends in the UK says there’s already rumblings about a vote of no confidence.
The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs) says
Out of the dozen or so Tories who were originally in the running to replace Johnson, the Tories first winnowed out any who had even the remotest claims to integrity (like those who actually stood against Johnson in public before the big day when all the resignations poured in). Then they got rid of the ones who had policy proposals which had even the remotest grounding in reality. In the end they were left with one who was obviously sheer evil but was under suspicion of being smart enough to foresee conflicts between reality and policy, and one who was obviously sheer evil but clearly too stupid to know the difference, and so naturally they chose the latter. It doesn’t really matter — Cameron sold the party out to hardline euroskeptics and May and Johnson purged anybody who didn’t agree, so it was guaranteed that whoever took over would have to be a Brexit hardliner in practice to appease the people who control the party now, and since Brexit is at the root of half of the UK’s problems and making every single one of the other half dramatically worse, the actual policy of Johnson’s replacement was always going to be bad for the country. Truss may be too stupid to find her way out of a very small room with one door which she had used to enter (literally, that is a thing which happened) but she knows which side her bread is buttered on politically.
(And if Labour, as seems likely, wins the next election, they will be de facto as bad, because what is needed is somebody with enough integrity to publicly call out Brexit as the big problem and start the long process of reversing it, whether they were pro-Leave and admit they were wrong or a Remainer who gets to say “I told you so”. There’s just no way to fix the mess without making that crucial admission. Since Labour kicked out the only leadour they’ve had with any noticeable amount of actual integrity in recent histoury in favour of a backstabbing disciple of George W. Bush’s lapdog Tony Blair, and he has been purging anybody who might pose a threat to his faction, the next Labour PM is going to waffle and tempourize and waste their term of office trying to square the circle instead of actually solving problems, until the public gets sick of the waste of time and money and votes them out, too.) (It would be truly interesting if this were in fact the end of both of the UK’s big parties, although I doubt it. Anybody dumb enough to still have faith in either one of them right now is certainly dumb enough to keep voting for them in the future.)
John Morales says
O Vicar, your commenting history here is known to me.
So, what I expected is excoriation of Starmer and Labour.
(Weird — but it’s early in the convo)
Thanks for the correction, she was NOT (really) voted in.
John Morales says
F.O., no PMs are ever voted in by the public at large.
Nothing remarkable about it, that’s how the system works.
In short, the correction was more about the concept of voting a PM by popular election than about this case being weird in that way.
She was “voted in” no more and no less than any other PM.
@39 Yes, but F.O.’s original comment was fair enough. She was indeed voted into parliament by her electorate, and so were the other appalling parliamentary members of the Conservative Party, which provide the context for how someone as stupid as Truss can be seen as the best choice by the individual Conservatives who get a vote, and who themselves represent other dreadful people.
Actually, Truss is correct. The UK tax burden is predicted to hit 36.3% this year. The last time it was higher was 1950 (there was also a brief spike of 35.1% in 1970).
Not that Truss should be trusted on this. Tax burden is the percentage of GDP that is taken as taxation. And the lie that Truss is trying to sell is that the hike in tax burden is a sign of excess taxes. The real cause is that the GDP has contracted faster than the taxation base. That is, it’s due to the inept economic management of the Tories.
Truss is trying to sneak past a justification for further income tax cuts to high earners rather than smart taxation reform to improve wages, reduce poverty, and eliminate perverse economic incentives.
From Patel to Braverman. Sieg Heil.
I have noticed the Swedish press is way too naive and superficial when reporting on Britain. The rags are full of wishful thinking, with memes borrowed from the Guardian and Times.
I’m not sure what wishful thinking memes they’re borrowing from the Guardian — it’s been universally savage on the whole Tory machine and the gormless lampreys they’ve put up for the PM contest.
(I do suspect, though, that if Swedish reporters have been naive it’s because they’ve never lived in a Murdoch-dominated media space. They probably still believe there is a basic moral standard that conservative journalists and politicians won’t descend to. As an Australian who also reads a lot of UK and US stories, I can say without hesitation that there is literally no moral boundary they will not leap over if it they think they can gain some financial or political advantage. Not murder, not war, not rape, not false imprisonment, not destroying the environment, not burning house occupants to death, not election tampering, not torture. Not a fucking thing.)
John Morales says
Into Parliament, not into the Prime Ministership — which was presumably to what F.O. referred, that being the post topic and all.
Now, it may be F.O. knows the system, in which case the expostulation referred to incredulity that the particular person who was voted in was chosen over the (rather limited) set of candidates, rather than the fact that they were voted in at all. And it may also be that #38 is just snarky.
(I am not unaware that I might actually be educating people who are unaware of how it works, such as the typical USAnian. FWTW)
call me mark says
microraptor @ #35: yes, there are apparently already at least twelve Tory MPs ready with their letters of no confidence in Truss.
Elsewhere I’ve seen her described as “what you get when the ventriloquist dies but the doll keeps talking.”
@44 I don’t know whether F.O. knows the system or not. But whatever, the general point stands – Truss, like Johnson, was voted in by people who thought they were votable for, at various levels withing the parliamentary system (just as in Australia, where Abbott and Morrison were voted for by someone).
John Morales says
(FWIW, 0.3 percent of Britain’s population voted at all. A bit less than half of those voted for her)
Yes. She was voted in. By her Party. Not by the electorate at large.
Just like every other PM in the UK.
John Morales says
Put it this way: if the President of the USA was to be voted in by the party in power, for whom do you think would the Republicans vote?
John Morales says
I guess, at this point, I should perhaps over-elaborate and clarify, since the concept seems alien to some.
She was also voted in as MP by her local electorate.
Like every other MP.
(In the USA, dogcatchers are voted in, apparently. So, the country voted them in, if we follow that thought process. In they were voted!)
Boris seems to think he’ll be back. In his leaving speech he compared himself to Cincinnatus, a Roman dictator that willingly gave up power and returned to farming. He leaves unsaid that he later returns to power.
Can’t say I disagree with him. He’s still popular with the Tory selectorate and it’s pretty much inevitable there’ll be a no confidence vote in Liz Truss at some point.
John Morales says
So popular that he resigned.
So, like BJ had in June.
(Indicative of popularity, presumably)
@51: Different “selectorate”s: Conservative MPs versus the party as a whole. The votes of 148 MPs were enough to force him to resign, a large fraction of the < 200,000 party members apparently still prefer him over Truss and Sunak when asked for an opinion. But that was just an opinion, not a binding vote, and it doesn’t set the bar very high.
Howard Brazee says
The Tories (conservatives) have been in charge for a dozen years now. Who thinks the UK is better off, and who thinks it is way worse off because of this?
Paul Durrant says
The Conservatives are still peddling the idea that lower taxes lead to higher growth and so more tax revenue. That this idea has been disproven over the past 40 years doesn’t seem to matter to them.
They are also pursuing absolutely appalling policies towards refugees. They’d made getting to the UK so impossible for refugees that refugees are prepared to risk their lives in dangerous channel crossings. So now they claim that to stop such dangerous crossings, in the interests of the refugees themselves, it’s essential that we deport any refugees who do get to the UK to Rwanda….
The idea that we ought to fund public services properly by raising taxes on the wealthy (which includes me), and that we should make it possible for refugees to reach the UK safely so that they don’t have to risk their lives in horrendous channel crossing doesn’t seem to have ever occurred to them.
I Can Haz Cheeseburger has a image of a sign advocating for Larry (the 10 Downing St cat) for leader… He’d have the advantage of never making a stupid statement….at least one anyone could understand.
Johnson, who is corrupt, a serial liar, an adulterer and quite likely a Russian asset, was forced to resign by his own party, a party that nevertheless then just chose another libertarian crackpot to succeed him, voters were not involved, and won’t be for another 2 years.
Who will Truss screw over? Well, naturally the poor, the NHS, and migrants and refugees.
The parallels with the change from Turnbull to Morrison in Australia are there, but not 100% accurate, because Morrison turned out to be a Pentecostal missionary whose most important staff was his private photographer, who only cared about himself, his imaging and his donors, and stacked the Liberal party with religious cronies. I don’t know where Truss is on the religious issue.
What is her plan for the economy? Does she have a plan? Does she posess sapience?
NYT: Jonathan Pie; “Welcome to Britain. Everything is terrible.”
John Morales says
birgerjohansson, yeah, saw that. On this topic, Pie is good.