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Is Truss the worst PM in history? She's the Tory equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn

Look and weep. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Look and weep. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)


October 7, 2022   6 mins

If you believe the mainstream media, it has been yet another cosmically dire week for the Conservatives. But let’s stop going on about all the little things that went wrong, and concentrate instead on what went right. Nobody died. Liz Truss got through her speech without losing her voice, losing her mind or falling off the stage. The pound is back up to its level before Kwasi Kwarteng’s Fiscal Event. And maybe, just maybe, things are going to come right after all.

The winter energy crisis won’t be as bad as everybody fears. Inflation will start to come down. By the spring, that enormous Labour poll lead will be a fading memory. And as the next election approaches, ordinary people across the land will throw their caps in the air and cheer the name of Good Queen Liz…

No. No, I can’t do it. Tempting as it is to tilt against the conventional wisdom, sometimes you just have to face facts. The conference was awful. The speech was awful. This has been the worst start to any premiership, I think, in recent history — perhaps even in all British history.

Perhaps some readers will think this very harsh. But one close Truss ally, speaking off-the-record to the Financial Times, didn’t seem to think so. “I just went back to my hotel room and cried,” he said. “It’s a total disaster.” That’s pretty much what the general public think, too. In focus groups this week, the words that came up again and again were “incompetent”, “useless”, “untrustworthy”, “dangerous” and “clueless”. The punters aren’t always right, of course. But this time they are right, aren’t they?

“Our policy is great,” Penny Mordaunt told a fringe conference audience a couple of days ago, “but our comms is shit.” But if your comms really is shit, then who cares about the policy? Who even knows about it? Communicating your policy is the very essence of politics. If you can’t do it, you’ll never win another election.

I watched Truss’s speech through my fingers, embarrassed not just by the sheer lack of content, but the comically wooden and childlike delivery. It speaks volumes that in their desperation to find something, anything, nice to say about it, sympathetic papers applauded her for staying calm after she was interrupted by hecklers. Only somebody who had never heard of Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair — all of whom were brilliant at dealing with interruptions — could have possibly thought this worth applauding.

For although academics and activists often prefer to talk about the abstractions of ideology or the nuts and bolts of policy, performance really, really matters in politics. To some extent, in fact, performance is politics. Even in a parliamentary system, you need a messenger who embodies the message, a leader who can charm and explain. Watch Thatcher talking to Robin Day in 1984, or Jim Callaghan being interviewed by Thames TV’s This Week in 1978, and it’s like entering a different world. Whatever their ideological differences, Thatcher and Callaghan are seasoned, accomplished performers, at the top of their respective games. They think about the questions. They talk in complete sentences, even complete paragraphs. They give long, considered, serious answers. They seem like impressive, well-informed, formidable people. Then watch Truss again, and try not to weep.

The Tories’ problems run deeper than Truss, of course, but since she’s such a colossal part of them, we can’t let her off the hook. I made a real effort this week to think of a Prime Minister who got off to a worse start, and the truth is, I can’t. Even Theresa May had a pretty long honeymoon until she blew it in the election catastrophe of 2017. Gordon Brown had a decent honeymoon, too, until he blew it by not calling an election. (Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.)

Perhaps the only vaguely relevant parallel is Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who succeeded Harold Macmillan at the end of 1963 after a very murky leadership fix by his Old Etonian Cabinet pals. As an unelected earl with, by his own admission, a poor television manner and a “face like a skull”, Douglas-Home was a ridiculous choice in the age of the Beatles and James Bond. But he wasn’t completely terrible. He had been a solid Foreign Secretary for three years, and to many people he represented a reassuringly tweedy kind of stability. In the Gallup polls, satisfaction with him never fell below 40%, which wasn’t bad for somebody at the end of a 13-year Tory regime. And Douglas-Home actually came pretty close to winning in 1964, with 304 seats to Labour’s 317. Does anybody seriously think Truss can win 304 seats? At the current rate, she’ll be lucky to make it into three figures.

Putting aside the structural, institutional and external issues, where does Truss stand in the pantheon of PMs? These are terribly early days, of course, but I think the answer’s pretty clear. Even if you admire what she represents — a kind of supercharged mock-Thatcherite free-market libertarianism — I think she’s comfortably the least impressive person to have become Prime Minister in my lifetime, since the advent of universal suffrage and perhaps even since the creation of the office under George I, or Queen Anne if you’re feeling eccentric.

If you think that’s a bit harsh, imagine you’re playing a prime ministerial game of Top Trumps. You draw your cards. Some are better than others. Walpole is great at parliamentary management, but gets poor marks for probity. Gladstone is streets ahead in the hotly contested “redeeming prostitutes” category, but scores zero for sense of humour. Churchill beats all comers for courage. Then there are the weaker cards. Somebody has to draw Lord Rosebery; somebody else gets Arthur Balfour. Theresa May, I’m sorry to say, is not a good card.

And then there’s our Liz. I know she’s supposed to be Tiggerishly optimistic, but so what? So is Peter André, but I wouldn’t invite him to become First Lord of the Treasury. In private, it’s said, she’s a tremendous laugh. So what? She’s supposed to be running the country, not performing in the circus — not that she’d be any good at that either, because she has such a weird stage presence.

She can’t give interviews, because she can’t think on her feet and can’t deal with difficult questions. She can’t give speeches, because she seems incapable of reading lucidly from an autocue. In fact, she can’t even write speeches: her tribute to the Queen outside Number 10 — where she reportedly cast aside her officials’ prepared text and wrote her own — was an embarrassment, utterly failing to match the moment in its blandness and banality.

What can she do? What’s the point of her? In some ways the point is obvious. She’s not Rishi Sunak. As Janan Ganesh wrote in an acutely observed piece earlier this summer, Truss won because she had the right “vibes” for the Tory membership, presenting herself as “regional” and “no-nonsense”, not a smooth, rich “metro-snob”. But I’d go further. To me she seems the Tory equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn, a palpably unfit choice for leader elevated simply because she pandered to the prejudices of her own activists. (See also: Iain Duncan Smith.) The parallel isn’t entirely exact, of course, because Corbyn’s risible and ridiculous views have always been remarkably consistent, whereas Truss used to be a pro-European, anti-monarchy Liberal Democrat. So she’s ambitious. Maybe that, then, is her superpower, but that’s not saying much.

Oddly enough for such a fundamentally uninteresting person, Truss embodies all kinds of interesting things. She’s the personification of the factiousness and decadence that almost always afflict governing parties after they’ve been in office too long. But she also represents a political culture in which parties are no longer mass-membership organisations, enabling small groups of activists to choose our national leaders. She’s the product of a world in which the lines between student politics and Westminster politics have become disastrously blurred, of a media landscape that trades in cheap soundbites, and of a working environment in which senior politicians don’t have the time to read or to think.

Still, it could have been different. Politics often turns on little things, and so it was in this case. Truss only scraped into the final round of the Tory leadership, and didn’t even win a third of her fellow MPs’ votes. I thought at the time that, putting my own ideological predilections aside, she was the single worst candidate in the contest, and nothing I’ve seen since has made me revise my opinion. In the MPs’ final ballot, only eight votes separated her from Penny Mordaunt, who would probably have won the whole thing if she’d reached the members’ round.

A few weeks ago, I watched the two of them at the King’s televised Accession Council. Mordaunt, as Lord President of the Council, was in charge, and was generally thought to have been very — well, prime ministerial. Truss, meanwhile, was lurking darkly in the background, like a weird combination of Dracula’s sister and Uriah Heep. I wondered then if some Tory MPs wished they had voted differently. Too late now, though. They’ve made their beds, and now they’ll have to lie in them.


Dominic Sandbrook is an author, historian and UnHerd columnist. His latest book is: Who Dares Wins: Britain, 1979-1982

dcsandbrook

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J Bryant
JB
J Bryant
1 year ago

I’m an American and even I feel sorry for Liz Truss. This is the latest article that eviscerates her a month into her premiership. I’d say Truss is off to a shaky start but who knows what she might achieve in time. There’s such a thing as giving a person (even a PM) a fair chance.
I certainly agree that Truss lacks stage presence. That type of politician really has to deliver results. She can’t skate by on charm.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

She’s finished. A self proclaimed free marketeer who terrified the markets within a month of taking the job isn’t going to recover an impression of economic competence, which is about all she had to begin with. She’d be gone tomorrow if the Tories thought they could get away with another leadership contest without being heavily punished

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Am baffled at how someone with the air of a sharp-elbowed regional manager for a chain of shoe shops gets so far so quickly on seemingly so little. The article is great except for the author’s assertion that those MPs who backed her have made their beds. I doubt many of them will end up markedly worse for her than us little people.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago

You have to be sceptical of somebody who can transform from a remain voting Republican Liberal Democrat into a Brexit supporting Tory Monarchist.
Whilst my views have shifted over the years (I’m more economically left leaning than I was in my younger years), I’m suspicious of somebody whose convictions on a number of subjects can do a full 180

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Is she pragmatic and open? Or just self-servingly shallow and glib?

Reports of her conduct point to the latter.

polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I started out as pro EEC, but Tony Benn persuaded me otherwise. If we cannot be educated to change our minds then there what is the point of political debate?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

As I say, my views have altered over time becoming more economically left wing, but I’m suspicious of somebody who has done as many dramatic U turns as Truss, especially when they seem to happen just when it benefits her politically

Gregory Cox
GC
Gregory Cox
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It is called growing up.
St Paul persecuted the early Christians and then became the leading force in Christendom.

Roger Irwin
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Maybe you should be suspicious of those who are trying to convince you she has done a 180.
I live in the Eurozone and was on the fence about Brexit.
Since the UK have left, the EU have made it quite clear where they want to go. I am now convinced that Brexit was the right move for the UK.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

She has done a 180. You don’t need to talk to me about Brexit as I voted to leave, however Truss wanted to remain right up until the point it became politically advantageous to appear in favour of leaving

Halvard Granfoss
Halvard Granfoss
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It is true that Truss’ views and affiliations have changed through the years, but it should be put in proper context. While she was liberal democrat in university, she was also part(leader?) of the Hayekian society on campus. As an incoming MP in 2010, she coauthored Britannia Unchained, so her attachment to free enterprise ideas have been longstanding and consistent. It is doubtful wether the actual economic policies being proposed now are really, especially seen in wider context with for instance monetary policy, pointing in a free market direction. That is, however, the ideological bent with which they are being espoused. With regards to the monarchy and the EU, I agree that her views seem to have volt-faced.

Last edited 1 year ago by Halvard Granfoss
Clark Azubuike
CA
Clark Azubuike
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ever heard of Ronald Reagan?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

How beautifully put! She is shining and living testament to a nu britn run by the lower middle classes, elected precisely because she is the only type of ” boss” the conservative electors have ever encountered… their line manager.

Christopher Peter
CP
Christopher Peter
1 year ago

Your comment reeks of snobbery.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

how about truth? I am no snob ( such a favourite middle class insult) but I look at the empirical evidence, and express my conclusion.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Aaaah Christopher… time to polish my hunting spurs, after you have cleaned my guns, and dubbined my cartridge bag, there’s a good fellow…

Joyce Brette
JB
Joyce Brette
1 year ago

Idiot, you would be a good court jester.

Malcolm Webb
MW
Malcolm Webb
1 year ago

How amazingly snobbish that comment is. Did you really mean it? Are the only people worthy of a vote those who are on social terms with the boss??

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

no, but a new Great Reform Act removing the vote from all but the upper and working classes , and banning life peers from the Lords would be fun?!… It worked before, took Britain to greatness, and all had crumbled since..

Christopher Peter
Christopher Peter
1 year ago

She has an Oxford degree and has served in the cabinet for several years. What have you done?

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago

What have I done compared with Liz?

I have had flings with anyone I thought might be helpful to my advance, have spouted insulting guff about freedom as a tradeable market commodity, affiliated myself with a shady think-tank that advocates pay per view for watching sex crimes, called everyone around me lazy, and urged others to risk their lives in overseas wars to make me look good.

But I dont get the same calibre of punters to work on as busy Lizzy.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

ooh SO love to meet you FB?!!!

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago

I’m dreary, Northern, oiky and Male, so dont get your hopes up, pet.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

fabulous!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

ahhh male.. My mistake!

Gordon Welford
Gordon Welford
1 year ago

The whole cabinet are impressively well educated and the top 2 have served in the Treasury so competence is not an issue.This feels like an article where the title was chosen before the arguments and a wordsmith is just showing off his literacy

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Wow… an Oxford degree! the aspirant bourgeois equivalent of a Dukedom…

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Not attempted to become PM, but did turn down a fast-track list offer to be an MP from a hereditary peer over a partridge lunch at The Upper House… and was on a Board of dept of Engineering at Cambridge, served in The Brigade of Guards, and was a personal advisor to 3 large bank CEO/Chairmen….. have been published in Spectator, FT, and others…. broadcast on RAdio 2 and 4, have cooked on prime time TV…. and various other things…. what about you?

Joyce Brette
JB
Joyce Brette
1 year ago

Just a bragger in other words, need to spout about their achievements to anyone who will listen. Otherwise people would pass you by without a second glance. Sad.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Joyce Brette

if it winds up people such as you.. so much the better!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Joyce Brette

not women…

Wesley Conquest
Wesley Conquest
1 year ago

I doubt any of FB’s actions have led the Bank of England to intervene on an emergency basis (but I could be wrong; I don’t know them). An Oxford degree is not a guarantor of competency at PM level, and time in the cabinet certainly isn’t (see N Dorries).

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

You are understating it a bit – in truth, an Oxford degree is no guarantor of competency at anything, other than getting a degree at a top Uni. Truss supporters who claiming otherwise, inadvertently reveal an impressionable, naive streak.

William Cameron
William Cameron
1 year ago

So why is she overturning everything she has subscribed to in govt for 12 years ?

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
1 year ago

I’m unaware of what she has done for the public good in all that time. Do you have any idea? Precisely. Being in office is a not an end in itself, my good fellow.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

“A self proclaimed free marketeer who terrified the markets “
As if the market was some sort of wonderful body that only had the good of the country in mind. .

RALPH TIFFIN
RALPH TIFFIN
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Excellent comment – no one is questioning just why pensions are backed by incomprehensible, shady and shaky derivatives – offered by the usual suspects.

Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Dead right about the market. But isn’t a dramatic reduction in investment in the country what is meant here by the markets being ‘terrified?’ And that has to be a huge own goal for someone who kept promising ‘investment’ and ‘growth.’

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

If she took back control of interest rates from the self-serving BoE, and put them up, in one go, above those of other nations, the money would come flooding in from everywhere across the world, and the temporary troubles caused would soon be washed away. What’s the point in being able to be Singapore-by-Europe if we don’t actually do it?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

I never said it was. I’m deeply sceptical of leaving everything to the market, and the way they’ve been able to derail the policies of a democratically elected government (even if I dislike the policies) I think is utterly shameful.
However my point was that she has based her whole premiership on a market knows best ideology, so it was mildly amusing to see her premiership derailed by those very same forces

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

she terrified mist groups, including her own supporters, but yeah, MSM, bankers, elites, grrr

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Sadly the Markets and Corporate Institutions have been indulged by the Woke community.

Neil McNab
Neil McNab
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Martin

Are the woke in the room with us now, Andrew?

Antony Hirst
AH
Antony Hirst
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

When the markets scream it isn’t the markets, it is a bunch of FTSE 100 oligarchs who hate the idea they don’t get first pickings.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Trussettee does understand the markets.. for example, that Waitrose is pricey, Sainsbury’s not low rent as Tesco… She knows about banks… there are bottlebanks outside them all.. as for a gilt?…. guilt over her affair more likely…

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

She terrified the market so much it has gained value against the Euro.

burke schmollinger
BT
burke schmollinger
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’m a fellow American and I bristle when I’ve heard her described as “Reaganite.”

Uncharismatic leaders with poor communication and unoriginal ideas coupled to no electoral mandate leading to utter paralysis is the very opposite of “Reaganite.”

Max Price
MP
Max Price
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

She, certainly can’t skate by on charm.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

She’s been in power as a minister for many years – achieved nothing but her own elevation.

Iris C
IC
Iris C
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

I watch “Parliament” a lot and it was obvious that Liz Truss was reading her speeches from a prepared script and could not think on her feet. Her fellow MPs had watched her at the Despatch Box which, no doubt, is the reason why she got so few votes during all their ballots – even the last one..
Nothing can be done now to change the result but the format must be changed before another election…

Michael Webb
MW
Michael Webb
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Skating by on chance as well as bluster, bombast and just plain arrogance is what Boris the bloated blimp did – and look where that got Britain and the Tories. Liz Truss at least comes across as having heard her interlocutors.

Roger Irwin
RI
Roger Irwin
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Welcome to the UK media. Reality is no longer important. Anything that happens must be spun round as a disaster for the government.

The fault will be the PM, who must go immediately because he/she is the worst PM in history.

Expect this to continue until Islington annexes Downing Street – probably by non democratic means.

Nathy Northy
NN
Nathy Northy
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Irwin

Is this the same UK media overwhelmingly owned by right-wing, tax-evading, overseas-domiciled media barons we’re talking about here, who have repeatedly propelled buffoons and maniacs like Truss into office? While at the same time hounding even the most vaguely liberal or slightly left-wing governments out of office and into the political wilderness along with any future attempts at moderate or progressive legislation? Truss is THEIR creation – and although they might turn on her now because her incompetence has gone far beyond a joke and even their abilities to spin it into anything positive, they will already be looking to find a way to install an electable hard-right fanatic/buffoon to do their bidding.

Fred Paul
Fred Paul
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Well, nice to know you’re American. You should see my posted comment.

Tommy Abdy Collins
TC
Tommy Abdy Collins
1 year ago
Reply to  J Bryant

You must be at the top of your game to be PM and that includes “stage presence” which Truss lacks entirely. She was elected by a bunch of idiots who were taken in by her unachievable promises.

Steve Elliott
SE
Steve Elliott
1 year ago

What kind of title is this? She’s been PM for a few weeks. How can that be fair? It says she’s the tory equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn but he was never PM. He was a very bad leader of the Labour party and would have made an even worse PM. Had he become PM you never know he might really have been the worst PM in history. That title sounds like something Trump might have said.
I’m no big fan of Liz Truss but come on!

Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Full on agree that the comparison with Corbyn is unfair. He was written off by the press before he had a chance to be PM and demonstrate the supposed danger of his (quite popular) economic policies, whereas Truss has only been written off *after* becoming PM and already demonstrating the damage of her (unpopular) policies. The press have been much nicer to Liz Truss in that regard so you are right – we cannot compare them!

Joyce Brette
Joyce Brette
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Well said.

Andy White
AW
Andy White
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

This is getting tedious now. Dominic Sandbrook just cannot resist having a go at Corbyn at every single possible opportunity. How many times does this have to be said? (Cos it feels like a zillion). Corbyn had many faults but his policies were actually very popular, according to the opinion polls. The 2019 election was about whether or not we were going to Get Brexit Done for most people, but clearly not for D. Sandbrook and his like, and they will go to their graves wailing that it was all a giant protest vote against Jeremy bloody Corbyn.

Steve Elliott
SE
Steve Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy White

Despite my post I agree with you and Desmond. I agreed with at least some of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies and I think he’s a better man than Keir Starmer. I just don’t think he’s a leader. He always seemed uncomfortable in that role. He’s at his best speaking to a rally or at the front of a march, speaking for the underdog. It was shame the way Starmer treated him.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Elliott
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Yeah with you on that – had the charisma of a plank and after night after night of being told by people on the doorstep in 2019 that they wanted to shoot him (the hate was bizare), I almost wanted to myself. But indeed, Labour came up with a real bonanza of enterprising policies under Corbyn, though McDonnell was way better at communicating them – when he wasn’t doing stupid things like quoting Mao.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

“a better man”

And yet he is a clear anti-semite who seems to think that saying “I’m not” means that he isn’t, even though his words, actions, and the company he keeps demonstrates otherwise.

Joyce Brette
JB
Joyce Brette
1 year ago
Reply to  Andy White

He would have given the people what they want at this moment, our country back, limiting illegal murderers, rapists, theives and terrorists.

Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Joyce Brette

Can’t tell if you’re trolling… Hopefully the unions striking for proper pay and working conditions will keep teaching the Brexit coalition (those who pretended to be on the side of working people by promising they could ‘take back control,’) the real meaning of their own slogan.

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

It would take some doing to be worse than Wellington.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

I am unlikely to vote Tory so I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I find this pile-on excessive, and rather sinister.
Some have argued that Remainers, or masters of the universe as they like to think of themselves, are concerned that she might effect changes that make it more difficult to overturn the referendum result. Maybe there is a sniff of truth in that.

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

I am beginning to think the Green activist heckling during her speech was staged to make her look good.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

good call!!

Joyce Brette
JB
Joyce Brette
1 year ago

More than likely.

Jaden Johnson
Jaden Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Some might have argued that but it’s an argument that’s well past it sell by date. The only thing that will overturn the referendum is the failure of the Brexiteers to deliver on their promise of greater prosperity and freedom and better run and regulated services. So far, it’s not looking auspicious.
Beyond that, there’s nothing excessive or sinister about calling out the monstrous ineptitude that Liz Truss and her ideological fellow travellers have displayed so far.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jaden Johnson

That’s a perfect example of muddled thinking.
It was in trying to push through changes which would be more likely to create the conditions for “greater prosperity and freedom” that Truss fell foul of market forces which don’t necessarily have the best interests of the UK to heart, just their own interests, and wouldn’t even understand what the best interests of the UK might be in any case.

Jaden Johnson
JJ
Jaden Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Which rather undermines Truss and Kwarteng’s belief in free markets doesn’t it?

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Jaden Johnson

“Markets” has a wider meaning than financial trading, but far from that particular market undermining the PM and her Chancellor it was those in her own party who sought to take advantage of a temporary market condition by talking to the media to the effect they wouldn’t support her top rate tax change in a Commons vote. It was only their jealously at her success in the leadership contest at play – not a good look, i agree. But events have already moved on.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I don’t think that’s right Steve – she followed the advice of Tufton Street think-tanks (such as the IEA) whose raison d’etre is to “further the dissemination of free-market thinking” (i.e. find ways to create prosperity by releasing market forces). Rather than releasing those market forces for greater prosperity and investement, she got the opposite. We are early on in her premiership but this is a true own goal by her own standards.
I fully agree though with your suspicion of market forces vs the interests of the country. Could you explain (if you are one of her supporters) how you think the policies she has announced show that she is more concerned with the interests of working people than those who are able to weather all kinds of crises just by sitting on their wealth and having disproportionate influence on events? Not trying to bait you here – just genuinely curious to see where we can agree.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

If i’m reading you right, i agree your comment isn’t aimed at baiting.

It’s very early days, and the full extent of her policy intentions can only be judged over a period of time (she’s got two years). In her conference speech, she referenced her experiences at school of seeing entrenched attitudes towards those who the system had placed in a box marked “failure”. I agree that words are one thing and positive action is another, but what i expect to unfold over the coming months are a series of initiatives which reflect her disgust with that dismissal of those who become the working people you refer to – just citizens looking to get by and live a free and purposeful life.

The current attacks on her just might come back to haunt those engaged in the pile-on. They won’t “be forgotten” either. Their credibility and careers are also on the line, except they don’t realise it.

Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Your hope for greater social mobility is commendable, though I have to say I neither think it is a top priority nor one that she will achieve (with this government’s track record i.e. only ever reducing opportunities for the poor (stagnant wages, more than 4 million British children now in poverty etc), even if they occassionally do good things like raising the personal allowance).
I also think while encouraging ambition is great, measures to increase social mobility are too often used as a cover up for doing nothing about improving conditions at the bottom of society (which in itself can increase ambition, since good pay, housing and working conditions give people dignity, freedom, hope etc). With the cost of living crisis upon us, raising pay for people already in work seems more urgent than increasing educational opportunities (which the Tories never do much about anyway, though I suppose Gove’s introduction of Free Schools was quite good even if it did nothing to alleviate the general immiseration of the working classes). And.. if if it’s grammar schools you’re hoping for, there is endless research demonstrating the net harm to social mobility that they do to those who fail to qualify for them, as well as the neglible benefits for those who attend (essentially supporting the view that it is a child’s family background and social class rather than the classroom which are the key determinants of academic success)
To plagiarise myself, here is a fuller version of my view on the prosperity thing from another comment:
I, like you (I suspect), feel an increasing loss of control. Though I cannot see how further privatisation and ‘freeing’ of the market can give that control back. A sense of control over your life (tell me if I sound controversial) comes from secure, well-paid and skilled work, decent affordable housing and services and some connection with democratic processes. Where are the Conservatives making that promise? Since they’ve been in power services have been privatised, British manufacturing has been hollowed out, the planning system has been endlessly streamlined to little effect etc How exactly can you place hope in a redoubling of efforts in that direction, as is being done by this government? If you care about enterprise, more people would have a far better chance of becoming entrepreneurs if, for starters, everyone was paid more and didn’t waste so much of their salary on rent and mortgages (even the IEA admit that the housing crisis is the single largest cause of poverty).
As to the ‘pile-ons,’ those made by this publication seem largely focussed on Truss’ policy rather than her as a person. I think this latest spree of articles against her is another reflection of how (unusually!) Unherd is more in tune with the public than its readership are (i.e in moving leftwards on the economy (or at least resisting the Tories’ constant rightward/big capital-serving drift) and being cautious on the whole trans thing, even if the latter issue is small fry on which there is already legal rowback, think of the closing of Tavistok etc).

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

A lot of points there, but i’d sum up my position as having experienced both Tory and Labour administrations (i first voted in 1974) and attempts to social engineer mobility simply lead to consequences that don’t confer any benefit on anyone. I’m far from being an ideological conservative but i’ve simply seen how – on balance – Conservative governments have resulted in greater prosperity which has genuinely raised the level of even those at the lower end of the income scale.
Let’s not forget something that’s been lost in all the fuss about the top rate of tax: the basic rate has been cut and the planned increase in NI abandoned. This will help all working people. It has yet to be decided whether benefits will be raised in line with inflation or average earnings; i suspect the former will prevail, at least during the current economic circumstances.
Have to say, it’s good to debate these points without having unnecessary rhetoric thrown back. Your point about “loss of control” doesn’t apply to me, but i fully appreciate that many people do see their lives being turned upside down by events. It’s so easy just to blame the incumbent government, but to me it’s facile and unworthy to exclude the wider impact of global crises (not by everyone) and especially the relative position in other developed nations whose prospects are often worse than ours, but you rarely see that reflected in mainstream media.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Interesting that in your experience (in contrast to that of my Grandmother’s) the Conservatives have generally brought prosperity even for the working classes (I assume this mainly refers to homeowners, whom the Tories always favour since their interests are more aligned with those of capital). I doubt the same can be said for wages however. Can’t get hold of the statistics for Thatcher, but judging by the soaring unemployment and house prices she brough this country (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-22070491) that’s probably only true for those in higher tax brackets; I’d be amazed to learn that living conditions improved for say the bottom 20% under her administration, given the unemployment stats and her breaking of the unions (to whom we owe so much, from the banning of child labour to the weekend).
Likewise, with this last period of Conservative office, it seems commonly known that wages have been stagnant since 2008 (though they would have gone up after Blair’s (successful) minimum wage policy, though unfortunately, as under Thatcher, he continued to stoke house prices).
You’re right to point out how neglible the top rate tax palava is, but the bigger scandal (you must see this coming) is failing to enact a windfall tax on the energy companies who are having a disco (to borrow Eddie Dempsey’s phrase) while the average working person has to foot the bill by paying for all these uncosted tax cuts which are far more beneficial to the super rich (especally the impotent corporation tax cut) than they are to most working people (which will give annual savings of £22.12 to the poorest households and £9,187 to the richest). (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/23/kwasi-kwarteng-announces-sweeping-tax-cuts-in-mini-budget) I hope you’re right about benefits and inflation.
I take the point about being grateful for what we have. Being on ‘the left’ can feel like being part of a big whinge-fest that only looks for problems, but at the same in one of the richest economies in the world where profits are booming, how is it we millenials can accept being cooped up in either our parents’ houses or in small rented flats that make it barely possible to save enough for a house and secure a future for our families? (luckily this doesn’t apply so much to me since moving to the Netherlands where rent controls and better renters’ rights as well as more active government involvement in city planning (not to mention a government that actually listens to unions) all mean I can save far more on a median income than my friends in London and therefore can actually build a financial buffer/chip in for my parents’ healthcare in old age which only looks set to get worse under the Tories).
And this isn’t just about trying to get a fair deal. It’s also about the health of our democracy, which declines the more it is enthrall to monied interests, as the corruption scandals under Johnson show (I know Blair had his problems with the cash for honours scandal etc, but not on this scale it seems).
Of course there is a global dimension to the current profit-price spiral (where the prices of food and fuel (though not gas) have been driven more by financial speculation than Putin)*, but (asides from making the best of things, living cheaply, and being grateful for all the blessings that can be found, even in relative poverty of course etc), I think my generation needs to try every form of collective action available. And that means unionising as well as fighting the Tories, since profiteers (who often have more direct control of us than the government) are as much to blame for this decline in living standards as the government (who for too long have served them).
*https://annpettifor.substack.com/p/back-at-the-ranch-oil-prices-have?utm_source=%2Fprofile%2F1100808-ann-pettifor&utm_medium=reader2
*https://annpettifor.substack.com/p/grain-inflation-starve-the-poor-feed?utm_source=%2Fprofile%2F1100808-ann-pettifor&utm_medium=reader2
Other developed nations with worse prospects than ours? Amid predictions that we seem set to be as poor as Poland in 12 years, I’d be curious to know what comes to mind. I guess France has some high unemployment? But in regional inequality and unproductivenss we are king in Western Europe, as far as I know.
And yes debating points without rhetoric is refreshing. Thanks for taking the time and for being a sounding board for my views and (excessive) use of brackets. This is the only online outlet I know where courtesy and reason gets some reward from people who disagree.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Joyce Brette
JB
Joyce Brette
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

How do grammar schools equate to privilege and wealth. I am 68 years old. I passed 2 exams of the 11 + and gained a place in a grammar school. Most of my classmates were wealthy, those who were not born into money had parents who were doctors, surgeons, lawyers etc. I came from a council estate with a father who was a labourer. I gained my admission because I was intelligent and hard working, not because I was privileged.

Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Joyce Brette

Yes of course individual effort and talent does count for something, but I was careful to include ‘family background’ (i.e. are you in a happy home where you have the time, space and encouragement to work?). But the rest of your comment makes the point for me really – most of your classmates were wealthy! Also parts of the 11+ I’ve been told (perhaps this was less true for you?) require skills that can be taught by tutors (money again), and others even test purely cultural knowledge, less accessible to someone from a less educated background (one friend who did it 15 years ago said she had to learn terms of venery e.g ‘a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows’ etc)…

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

I have not read the article at all. I got so unnerved by the title that I just skipped it, but felt strong enough to leave this comment.
This feels like COVID 2.0 (or is it 3.0 now? I am losing count…) with a relentless media campaign from all sources.

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Oh dont be such a misery. It’s great fun slamming Liz AdulTruss (as Mark Harper can attest).

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

brilliant! Lizettee Toiletruss

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

The defenestration of Boris has whetted the appetite of the msm.
This just isn’t healthy for democracy, so i won’t be joining in the pile-on even though i was dismayed by Truss’ u-turn.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I do agree that personal and unfounded attacks are not good for democracy. Just as I’m sure we’d agree the same about those directed against Corbyn, which have since been discredited in the Forde Report that the MSM have barely acknowledged.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Yes, the U-turn wasnt good, was it.

Michael Davis
MD
Michael Davis
1 year ago

She was beaten up by the Blob and the Blob Broadcasting Corporation
Then the Blob on the Web chipped in.
The chosen point of attack was a tiny reduction of £2bn in income tax, which apparently caused a run on the £. This was not caused by the inept BOE failing to match the Fed rate rise the previous day
Anybody would have struggled in the age of social media. Even the blessed Margaret had exactly the same criticism levelled at her by Heath and his cronies.
I think her main problems is that she plans to challenge the status quote without clearing her plans with the BBC

.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

Your last sentence – spot-on!

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta Seel
Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

Agree. But we are not addressing the Elephant in the room; the one that went loco and charged the Bond Market. The Bank is pretending its 45bn rescue package is ALL KK fault. Some abberation. But it appears the filt market was like nitroglycerine; any wobble was set it off and trigger a 2008 style derivatives meltdown!!! Fear of this must account for the Banks mysterious/pathetic odd failure to raise interest rates last year and so tame the inflation tiger. Will the same thing happen when interest rates rise next month?? It all shows that beneath the surface our financial system has been utterly screwed and warped. 20 years of ultra low interest rates was always going to end and with it the London and SE property bubble and enrichment. Its end now is going to be – was always going to be – nasty.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

Odd that she was unable to clear the plan with the BBC when the Conservatives appoint its board, who did a stellar job of making sure they won the election. Could it just be that the BBC dared to do its job for a few days and challenge the government on crashing the £ (rather than deciding to crash the £ themselves, as you seem to be suggesting)?
But admitting that things have moved on re the £ crash, how can an acceleration of the Thatcherite system we’ve been living under for the last 40 years be in any way characterised as against the status quo? This government has had the press on their side during their whole time in power and now suddenly their being attacked by tracts of the media once loyal to them must be a sign that the media is a leftist cartel? Perhaps it is rather the case that even both the media and big investors are slightly to the left of the ideas of opaquely funded ultra libertarian think tanks whose laboratory Britain has become?

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Keith Darlington
KD
Keith Darlington
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

What a stupid comment. The markets understand her lunatic ideas. You cannot hand out vast sums of money that you don’t have without a reaction like this. The BBC is rightly telling this story because most of us are getting financially clobbered and there is worse to come as long as the Tories allow her to continue in the job.

Last edited 1 year ago by Keith Darlington
Antony Hirst
AH
Antony Hirst
1 year ago

Wow! The shadowy powers are really at work here. Lizz Truss’s policies have sidelined the gilt/bond billionaire club. Here is what happens when you do that.

Niall James
NJ
Niall James
1 year ago

Dominic Sandbrook has mentioned in previous articles some of those TV interviews from the ’70s on YouTube. He’s absolutely right. Watch them: Callaghan, Thatcher, Healey. It’s a different world; Britain past is a foreign country, and interviews were done differently there.
1. The interviewees are clearly capable, intelligent people, willing to engage rationally with each other’s position, and maintaining high standards of debate. (See, for example, Thatcher being invited when in the US to criticise Callaghan and refusing to criticise him personally, saying that she’s willing to criticise only his arguments.)
2. The interviewers let them speak, so you get a much better sense of their position — which actually enables you better to understand the fundamental failures of their position than if the discussion is combative and superficial. (Callaghan & Healey being constrained by the unions and the Tribune group, for example.)
Then, as Sandbrook says, weep for our politics.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Niall James

With regard to point 2, the inability of most interviewers to not interrupt politicians mid-answer (or even earlier) shows how much they envy the politicians for having the guts to put their head above the parapet rather than snipe from below. The interviewers seem to think their presence in front of the camera or in the studio is the main event, and social media encourages this impression.
I really don’t know how politicians keep their cool in such circumstances. On the rare occasions one of them tells the interviewer to shut up and let them answer the question (i think Ruth Davidson, a great loss to the Tory cause, was the last to do this) i found myself cheering at the telly.

Melanie Grieveson
MG
Melanie Grieveson
1 year ago
Reply to  Niall James

Perhaps these ‘eloquent’ people are partly responsible for the calibre of politicians we now have in place. I’d venture to suggest the biggest culprit of all was Blair, who embraced the ‘soundbite’; who ever heard the expression before his tenure?

The most elegant speaker from a grammar and prose viewpoint, was surely Enoch Powell; do you miss him, too?

Andrew E Walker
AW
Andrew E Walker
1 year ago

The phrase ‘sound bite’ was current during the Thatcher years, and she hated it.

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago

This all reminds me of what was said and written about Margaret Thatcher in her.early days. She had four years in opposition to get her act together, as she so triumphantly did. Truss has to do it in office. But all the mad scribblers give up on her after a month.

We are truly in the newsroom of the insane.

Please can UnHerd find some serious thoughtful writers with insight and perspective?

Stephen Follows
SF
Stephen Follows
1 year ago

Sorry, mate, no-one can be ‘Prime Ministerial’ if they believe that boys can become girls or vice versa. The only remaining question is whether Mordaunt is stupidly credulous or actively cruel (like certain charities I could mention).
Then again, I guess she could be both.

Last edited 1 year ago by Stephen Follows
Sam Barkes
SB
Sam Barkes
1 year ago

Mordaunt was all style no substance. No real world experience, a philosophy student who could pull a good thatcher impression. If people are so shallow that we always need fake charm and spin to approve of a leader we are doomed.

Christine Hankinson
CH
Christine Hankinson
1 year ago

I’ve never known such outright sexism and snobbery. It’s a fact that she is the most experienced politician to have become leader having been in four ministerial posts in cabinet through three leaders in ten years? Got to Oxford from a Leeds comprehensive without all the coaching that private education gives etc etc. yet still she is compared to shop girl, by men and women. Sunak praised for his brain but not her. Both read PPE at Oxford. And now she has come back from Europe with agreements others couldn’t get. And good will. Good for her and I’m not a Tory.

Aw Zk
AZ
Aw Zk
1 year ago

By historical standards I wouldn’t say Liz Truss is “the most experienced politician to have become leader having been in four ministerial posts in cabinet through three leaders in ten years”. James Callaghan is the only person to hold all four of the Great Offices of State (Chancellor, Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Prime Minister). Harold Macmillan, Winston Churchill and Herbert Henry Asquith all held three of the four.

Besides, given how unstable the government has been since David Cameron resigned the number of government jobs a politician has had doesn’t really tell you much. Theresa May was Prime Minister for three years and had three different cabinets and Boris Johnson was Prime Minister for three years and had even more reshuffles before the farce caused by mass resignations. Political careers tend to be shorter than they were half a century or a century ago. The greasy pole has got shorter.

Christopher Peter
CP
Christopher Peter
1 year ago

Oh, FFS. Usually I make it a point of principle to never comment on an article without reading it, but in this case I’m going to make an exception.
I read UnHerd to read interesting and alternative points of view. Therefore it’s slightly depressing to see it just join the anti-Truss pile-on. Yet another article about how the Tories are finished, Truss is useless, panic panic panic! The same cliches repeated again and again – she’s wooden, the markets, interest rates, blah blah blah.
There was a leadership contest. It went on for months. Everyone was complaining it took too long. Well, it’s over, and Truss won. Please, at least have the dignity and patience to give her a chance. Yes, the rest of us should have a say too – and we will, at the next GE. We will decide, not the journalists and commentators with their self-satisfied pronouncements. And yes the polls look dire, but the polls don’t matter. The GE will.
There are plenty of people who wanted Truss to fail and were against her from the beginning. Which includes much of the media and the establishment. And then there are the useful idiots helping them out.

Peta Seel
PS
Peta Seel
1 year ago

My sentiments exactly.

Andrew McDonald
AM
Andrew McDonald
1 year ago

Saddest part of this very accurate and depressing piece is the reminder of politicians who gave considered answers to difficult questions – in sentences, and even in paragraphs. How I hated Thatcher and Callaghan, and how I miss their like now.

Melanie Grieveson
MG
Melanie Grieveson
1 year ago

Are we to have this rubbish from now on?

Have we got to the point where we would rather listen to empty boosterism from Boris of the BS than give a Conservative a chance to ease into the job?

So far, I’m not worried; I’ve heard others who attended the conference say it was ok. Ok will do for me as long as they are doing something to tackle energy independence and promise no more lockdowns.

I’m done with posh boys playing out their ambition and doing little to even try to sound authentic. Let’s leave the woman to get on with the job and just get on with ours.

Mordaunt? No thanks – too big a friend of Gates, and it matters not a jot whether she can ‘act the part’ or ‘look prime ministerial’.
What a shallow view to hold.

Peta Seel
PS
Peta Seel
1 year ago

I got to the third paragraph then scrolled down to comments. Apparently, the author is a historian who thinks that history stretches back no further than five weeks. I am very disappointed to see UnHerd joining the herd in trying to get rid of Liz Truss without even giving her and her cabinet a chance. I shall certainly be considering whether or not to renew my subscription. This is not what I subscribed for.

Tony Price
TP
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

If you had read further you would have seen that he goes back to c.1715, which by my reckoning was rather longer ago than 3 weeks!

Peta Seel
PS
Peta Seel
1 year ago
Reply to  Tony Price

Then he should have known better than to judge someone after three weeks.

Allison Barrows
AB
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Same here.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

She’s been in senior government for around ten years, consistently failing up. Perhaps it’s better if you stick to safe space media.

Peta Seel
PS
Peta Seel
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

People who have worked with her, including Lord Frost, all say that she is very intelligent, hard-working and always on top of her brief. Perhaps its better if you expand your views beyond bias confirmation.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Perfect riposte!

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

I’m aware – having spoken to some of them, and assuming that to get this far she must have some type of intelligence. However, the people who vote don’t share that view, she doesn’t come across as a good leader, or a competent pol, and she failed to achieve anything of substance in her ten years in government. She could be a genius, but it wouldn’t matter….

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

People who have worked with her, including Lord Frost, all say that she is very intelligent, hard-working and always on top of her brief. Perhaps its better if you expand your views beyond bias confirmation.”

Oh you’re so right Peta, I was being a biased fool. I realise now, on deep reflection, that Truss is a very stable genius, and is Making Britain Great Again.

audibell2
A
audibell2
1 year ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

She wasn’t on top of her brief when she jousted with Lavrov over Rostov and Voronezh, totally missing the history and the geography inference that Lavrov wished Truss to draw re Donbas & Lugansk.

Allison Barrows
AB
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

“Liz Truss got through her speech without losing her voice, losing her mind or falling off the stage”. I wish I could say that about the corpse the world is pretending runs the United States.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

To me she seems the Tory equivalent of Jeremy Corbyn, a palpably unfit choice for leader elevated simply because she pandered to the prejudices of her own activists.” Precision mark.

Matt M
MM
Matt M
1 year ago

I agree with the author about Liz Truss but I can’t agree about Penny Mourdant. Once you take up the ‘transmen are men’ mantra, you cannot be the leader of the Conservative party. 95% of their 2019 voters would be outraged by the statement.
The only viable alternative is Kemi Badenoch. She was the members favourite and would have trounced all comers in the final two. I suspect she would trounce Kier Starmer too, given the chance.
Can they have another leadership contest? I don’t see why not – it is that or oblivion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Yes, I dream of Penny Mordaunt….. Dropping her hotel room key into my pocket in the bar and, with a wink, saying ” No hurry.. finish your drink and I’ll see you in 20?”….

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago

Good luck with that, Mr Bond.

Gregory Cox
GC
Gregory Cox
1 year ago

The hedge-fund capitalists have been playing fast and loose with ponzi schemes and pension brinkmanship. Suddenly they are confronted by a politician who will not comply with their desires. So – an all-out assault – Elizabetha delenda est.
An excellent article in Unherd a few days ago [by  THOMAS FAZI]clarified and explained all the above.

Last edited 1 year ago by Gregory Cox
Sam Barkes
SB
Sam Barkes
1 year ago

This hysteria and disapproval is actually indictment of people’s loss of economic knowledge. The pound doesn’t fall to a new low over a mini budget but years of bank policy targeting a weak pound.
And the reaction to the mini budget is a continuation of a disturbing trend as Increasingly people are forgetting the failure of socialism.

Aw Zk
AZ
Aw Zk
1 year ago

Is Liz Truss the worst PM in history? I don’t know and I defer to those with a greater knowledge of history. But I think I know how Liz Truss will be remembered by history: she will be the death of Thatcherism.

When Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister it was because Britain was beset by problems and enough of the British people thought she had the solutions. When Liz Truss became Prime Minister it was because the Conservative Party was beset by problems and enough of the Conservative Party thought she was the solution. However, Britain is also beset by problems and enough of the British people will see that the problems are caused by Thatcherism.

Privatised energy companies may not be able to keep the lights on this winter. Privatised water companies which haven’t invested enough in fixing leaks or building reservoirs are imposing hosepipe bans. Homeowners are facing unaffordable increases in mortgage payments despite interest rates not being high by historical standards because property has become unaffordable or barely affordable to many because the housing has largely been left to the market and the housing market has failed. Nothing Liz Truss or anyone else in the Conservative Party can or will do before the next election will make enough difference to enough people. We are approaching a dead end with a brick wall and a solid roof. The crash will hurt a lot. The person at the wheel will take the blame.

Whether it comes in 2022, 2023 or 2024 the next election will be an ideological turning point like 1945 or 1979. The current iteration of the Conservative Party which started with Margaret Thatcher will be destroyed and the Conservative Party will need to reinvent itself in a country which will be reshaped by its opponents who, like New Labour in 1997, will be given goodwill and time. I don’t know what will come after Thatcherism (but I suspect it will be based on Keynesian economic policy which helps hold together an uncomfortable political alliance of small “c” conservatism and woke ideology) and how long the new era will last but it will be a new era.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Aw Zk

Boris for me was the worst ever

John Ramsden
JR
John Ramsden
1 year ago

Too true. Boris was all fur coat and no knickers, whereas maybe by contrast Truss will turn out to be all kn, .. um, no wait, I’m not sure I like the way this simile is going!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Ramsden
Gordon Welford
GW
Gordon Welford
1 year ago
Reply to  Aw Zk

Margaret had ‘problems’ all caused by an incompetent Labour party and solved most of them.Every labour govt. has left the poor poorer so give her a chance

Aw Zk
AZ
Aw Zk
1 year ago
Reply to  Gordon Welford

Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister by winning a general election after four years of Labour government and after more than three decades of post-1945 political consensus so the 1979 election was an ideological turning point towards free market economics. Liz Truss became Prime Minister by winning a Conservative leadership election after twelve years of Conservative-led government and after more than four decades of post-1979 political consensus. Trying to turn that victory into an ideological turning point would be very difficult for any politician, even if the government and the country hadn’t been in a state of crisis for years and the previous Prime Minister hadn’t made lots of big promises at the last election.

If Liz Truss was facing a general election in two years time against a Jeremy Corbyn who was yet to lead Labour into an election she would struggle because the electorate have been turning away from the Conservatives. She is facing a general election in two years time against Keir Starmer who will be a more difficult opponent than Jeremy Corbyn and more political failures or a hard winter will make the Conservative Party’s situation even worse.

Can’t you see the dead end?

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

Yet another hit piece, this time from someone who has no qualms making nasty personal comments.
A disgraceful ad hominem attack.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

I agree it’s nasty. Though after what happened to Corbyn I struggle to shed a tear for her. Only to Truss supporters who acknowledge the low attacks made on Corbyn would I apologise for this sort of article.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Do you really want what was said about Corbyn to be the standard?
It’s a cliche but it’s true… two wrongs don’t make a right.

Desmond Wolf
DW
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Not at all! I just want any offended Trussites (might not include you) to use this moment to reflect on any times at which they might have fuelled the same sorts of attacks on Corybn. Conservatives (big c not small c) don’t know what it’s like to have most of the media ranged against them and ready to take their leader down by whatever libelous means necessary – so now that the gun is pointing the other way it’s a great opportunity for them to think about whether they’re happy with ‘the standard!’

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
tom j
TJ
tom j
1 year ago

Dominic is a wonderful historian, I don’t have any love for Liz Truss, but he and the rest of the pundit class are the same people who told us Boris had to go a few weeks ago. If you agitate for change, you don’t really get to complain if you don’t like the result.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
1 year ago

The comparison to Corbyn is generous to Truss.
You accuse Corbyn of directing his appeal to the activists. But what distinguished him was that he brought hundreds of thousands of those activists into the party. He built the base he was playing to (which is a great deal more than can be said for Truss).
It is true that he horrified the PLP and the party establishment (which opposed him at every step) but despite that, he still managed to secure 40% of the vote in the 2017 election – a huge swing from Miliband’s result only two years earlier. It was only after the 2017 election (and more specifically after the 2018 Panorama documentary) that Corbyn’s prospects tanked.
Corbyn never achieve power of course, so we can’t know what sort of a PM he might have been. But Truss is a market fundamentalist whose first discernable actions as Prime Minister spooked the market. And whose response to that spooking revealed a dire media performer with very little to say.

Last edited 1 year ago by George Venning
Rob Britton
RB
Rob Britton
1 year ago

“Is Truss the worst PM in history?”

I think that’s a bit harsh. I remember much the same thing being said about John Major when he took over less than two years before an election but he unexpectedly went on to scrape a majority. Starmer, who isn’t exactly inspirational himself, is the new Neil Kinnock.

David Lindsay
DL
David Lindsay
1 year ago

Your point of reference is someone who has never never been Prime Minister, who never will be, and who in 2017 led his party to far more votes and seats than Liz Truss looks set to manage. Hear the silence around the Forde Report and The Labour Files. Corbyn’s views hardly seem “risible and ridiculous” now, and everything that was said about the campaign against him has been vindicated.

John McDonnell rightly reminds us that while he and Corbyn were derided for exploring the possibility that their policies might have led to a run on the pound, Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng had obviously never even considered it. In reality, as McDonnell details, the City did not like many of his and Corbyn’s agenda, voted against them, and gave plenty of money to the other side, but had those agenda become Government policy, then the City would have factored them in, because that is what it does.

If it can. Kwarteng’s and Truss’s programme is already demonstrably incapable of being worked with, in, within, or even around. We are governed by people whose fixed ideological presuppositions led them to thoroughly unsuccessful careers in the field for which they have purported to speak ever since that failure spurred them into the full-time politics that they were always going to take up eventually. They remain sincerely unable to comprehend that, having finally been put into practice, everything in which they have always believed has turned to have been an unmitigated disaster in its own terms.

But what is the alternative? Rachel Reeves, Keir Starmer, and the rest of those who refuse to stand on picket lines while insisting that the International Monetary Fund can say or do no wrong. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power in the next Parliament. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Lindsay
Christopher Barclay
CB
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

The gilts market did not collapse because of Kwarteng’s Fiscal Event. It was falling because the Bank of England had announced that it would unwind QE and because of the doom loop which the Bank allowed to be established. The gilts market and £ are back where they were because the Bank reversed its decision. Truss may well be incompetent. However so were her predecessors: Cameron and Osborne, May, Johnson and Sunak. None of them questioned ZIRP and QE and they are all responsible for the laughable situation in April of this year when inflation hit 9% and interest rates were still only 1%. Sunak and Johnson had stoked the fires of inflation so expertly with their lockdowns and furlough payments.

Richard Calhoun
RC
Richard Calhoun
1 year ago

Not a good start for sure … but the one and only criticism I would file against her at this early stage is the one that could prove fatal.
Her backing down on the 45p tax rate because it turns out 36 MP’s announced they would vote against it.
Truss should have stood her ground and advised if the 45p abolition wasn’t passed she would call an election the very next day.
Many of those mealy mouthed 36 would have backed down and voted for the abolition.
Truss would have been a ‘hero’ and would have stamped her authority on her Premiership.

Ruud van Man
RV
Ruud van Man
1 year ago

I accept Truss has almost no charisma (but more than Jeremy Corbyn), Tory comms are indeed atrocious, and they completely misjudged the reception of the mini-budget but you seem to have a very short and selective political memory Mr Sandbrook. Worst PM in history? It depends what criteria you use to judge “worst” but I think the Maybot or Gordon McRuin have stronger claims to that title amongst recent PMs and if you mean worst in terms of damage to the country, then just about every Labour PM in history has a strong claim, not least Blair. Wooden delivery you say? Clement Attlee anyone? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlOz5m7xBzo
I’m not a particular fan of Truss but I’m afraid your article drips with vindictiveness Mr Sandbrook and so I must write it off as just another ad hominem attack rather than a piece of studied journalism.  

Brendan O'Leary
BO
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

You can feel the hubris emanating from journalists after bringing down Boris.

But I think they’ve shot their load too soon on Truss.

Fredrich Nicecar
FN
Fredrich Nicecar
1 year ago

The worst PM in history? Boris Johnson by far. He should never be forgiven for locking us down.

tom j
TJ
tom j
1 year ago

I can’t think of another PM who would have locked us down *less* than Boris. Imagine Kier Starmer, we’d still be wearing masks.

Fredrich Nicecar
FN
Fredrich Nicecar
1 year ago
Reply to  tom j

Kier Starmer was not PM.

Sidney Mysterious
SM
Sidney Mysterious
1 year ago

To say Mr. Sandbrook is over his skis is an understatement of Biblical proportions. Even the citizenry of the United States gave the Biden/Harris/Pelosi/Schumer. administration enough time to hang itself. Celebrating prematurely is not only stupid and self-indicting but condescending to your readers.

David Eden
DE
David Eden
1 year ago

What’s the point of Dominic Sandbrook and the MSM? Not much these days, other than to sow confusion and left wing liberal bias everywhere. This “article” is a purely spiteful hatchet job and says nothing of any value whatsoever. I had always thought Sandbrook an entertaining writer – now I see he’s just another left wing media luvvie like all the rest. I shan’t bother with him in the future. And if you think Truss is disaster (and let’s give the woman a chance before we are down on her) wait until you see Starmer and Rayner.

David Kingsworthy
DK
David Kingsworthy
1 year ago

enabling small groups of activists to choose our national leaders”
Yes, even from America the Tory leadership selection car-crash that elevated Truss seemed destined to winnow-out the best candidates. But glass houses right?

Peter Shaw
PS
Peter Shaw
1 year ago

She has only been leader for a few weeks, so she cant be judged as the worst PM yet, or indeed the best or anything else.
And she doesn’t hate Jews, so no, she is not the Tory equivalent of Corbyn..

Alice Bondi
Alice Bondi
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

Oh, yes, Corbyn’s such a Jew hater that he is extremely popular among the Jews in his constituency, whose festivals he often attends. When is this ridiculous smear/myth going to give up the ghost? Why do you believe this nonsense?

Mark epperson
ME
Mark epperson
1 year ago

What pretentious pap, or another way of saying it is: nothing but a BS hit piece written by a dude who sold his integrity and soul a long, long time ago for a few shekels.. Not fit for publication on so many levels.

Tony Taylor
TT
Tony Taylor
1 year ago

Would that there were a mechanism whereby political parties are automatically turfed out before they outstay their welcome.

Katy Hibbert
KH
Katy Hibbert
1 year ago

Drivel from a Remoaner leftbot.

James Kirk
JK
James Kirk
1 year ago

Instead of peering into the past for comparisons try using an iota of imagination and peer into the future for your worst PM / government. You don’t need history books or video, it’s there every day, Starmer, ably assisted by Rayner & co.

Neil McNab
NM
Neil McNab
1 year ago

Ah, a not-so-rare outbreak of Corbyn Derangement Syndrome. Well done, sir. Or should I say, get well soon? Why do big house blue ticks CONSTANTLY equate fresh horrible things (usually brought on by CONSERVATIVES) with a putative Corbyn-led government after 2019 that only exists in their haggard dusty minds? We’re talking an administration about as left wing as the 1980s SDP was, that would’ve locked down sooner and more decisively, one that might’ve looked after the elderly in care home, one that wouldn’t have doled out billions to their mates for PPE just as they begin to dismantle the British economy leaving the government coffers truly empty. And there’d be 10,000 more Britons alive under Corbyn’s Labour. You and your centrist groupthink can go do one. You’ve nothing but punditry and positioning. And well paid jobs.
“There’s no money left” is what the cretinous Widdecombe told us Labour admitted on Jeremy Vine this week. She, being the fulsome Christian that she is, lied thru her teeth. Such notes are a running joke in that department. Never mind, it got weaponised thanks to a flaccid media that helps perpetuate comfortable myths rather than performing its true function of exposing truths. Aren’t you glad to be one of THAT lot, Dominic?

0 0
0
0 0
1 year ago

Not all Tory party members are “activists” : not even a majority. Did we, the guilty electors really pick her because she had the right vibes for us? I seem to recall many of us picked her because she seemed like the less awful of the 2. And, to be frank, the 2 seemed like the least awful of the 7 or 8 or 9 or whatever long list could be contemplated. In other publications, we the guilty electors are casually assumed to have picked her because she wasn’t brown – which is quite insulting and, I think, totally wrong. I started out as a near-fanatical Sunakite but became thoroughly disillusioned by the way his promised policies darted backward and forward in a frantic attempt to catch up, with no regard for what he really believed to be right, and no regard for the opposite policies he had promised a week earlier.

Dominic S
DS
Dominic S
1 year ago

Everybody knew she was hopeless at communicating via TV and the media. Howeever, the ‘comms’ that matter are what happens to the economy and the country. Given that the Tories haven’t removed a significant part of power over our economy from the hands of unlecetd individuals (the BoE) it’s going to be even more difficult to deal effectively with the shysters trying to make money out of money.

However, if she had stood firm the ‘comms’ of events would have been a far more effective message than the garbage pumped out by the media, whether the economy went well or badly.

Fred Paul
FP
Fred Paul
1 year ago

The worst prime minister in British history.  
I’m an American-Canadian-Italian if there can be such a beast, who has studied early Canadian history, which envelopes early American history, and how it relates to Great Britain/United Kingdom. I can understand how the British today may view our beloved “Liz” in a less than favourable light. However, I don’t think it is fair to our past Prime Minister, Lord North, to leave him out of the race. Thanks to that man, an opportunity to create a super country incorporating Canada and the United States was lost. This country would have reflected Canada today. A staunch supporter of the United Kingdom during the South African, WWI and WWII wars. Had that super country existed, call it British North America, WWI would have been short-lived, and WWII would not have existed. Our world today would be quite different.  
To follow the Prime Ministers during the American War of Independence, one needs a scoresheet. Such was the changeover until the 13 colonies were finally given their independence. I give you the scoresheet: 
.
.

The Earl of Guilford, aka Lord North, Frederick North – Tory
-PM after the successful Seven Years’ War
-Falklands Crisis with Spain and France (Étienne François, Marquis de Stainville, Étienne François, Marquis de Stainville, Duc de Choiseul hawkish plan for an American second front)
-Poor handling of the grievances of the American colonies, including
-Newfoundland, Quebec (Ontario), Hudson Bay Charter, Rupert’s Land, Nova Scotia (New Brunswick) , Present day Prince Edward Island, Vermont (land dispute with New York), Maine (British buffer state), Burmuda, East and West Florida. 
-War of Independence with the 13 Patriotic American colonies, including Vermont and Maine. 
-Lack of political oversite of France’s political treaties with traditional British European Allies. 
-France’s announcement of a Treaty with the American Patriot colonies resulted in war with France, 1778.
-War with Spain, 1779,
-War with Holland, 1780. 
-Duc de Choiseul’s plan for a second American front in full swing. 
-The first battle for Canadian independence from American Patriots, Battle of Quebec, 1775 (followed by the American War of Independence and the War of 1812.) 
-no confidence resignation. 
28 Jan 1770 – 27 March 1782
.
.

Marquees of Rockingham, aka Charles Watson-Wentworth – Whig
-Pro-American Patriots
-influenza epidemic
27 March 1782 – 1 July 1782
,
,

Earl of Shelborne, aka Willian Petty – Whig (liberal) -Whig
-Pro-American/ 
-Accepted meeting with Benjamin Franklin to plan independence by colony/state without France’s intervention or support. 
4 July 1782 – 26 March 1783
,
,

Duke of Portland, aka William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck- Whig  
-Later Tory with Pitt the Younger
-the Treaty of Paris was signed, 
formally ending the American War of Independence.
2 April 1783 – 18 December 1783
,
,

William Pitt the Younger, aka William Pitt the Elder’s son, Tory 
-Although Tory, professed Whig leanings. 
-1st PM of the United Kingdom
-Pro-American
-Political and Government Reform supporting King George III wishes. 
19 December 1783 – 14 March 1801
10 May 1804 – 23 January 1806

Last edited 1 year ago by Fred Paul
p kirkman
PK
p kirkman
1 year ago

I dont understand derivatives. Perhaps they should explain to the public
However, seems to me that she was definitely on the right track.. ‘markets’ dont like it apparently.As Rushi is married the richest family in India, pretty sure he could make sure the markets are tricky until he got shot of her.. Very dodgy.

Dermot O'Sullivan
DO
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago
John Dee
JD
John Dee
1 year ago

I’m assuming (not having bothered to read the article) that the headline is a joke or ironic. Someone thrust into the balls-up left behind by Bunter and Rishi is the worst PM ever after only a few weeks?
One assumes Mr Sandbrook sprang, fully-formed, from the brow of Zeus, and has been a magus ever since.

Henry Brookman
HB
Henry Brookman
1 year ago

Don’t blame the members, the MPs gave us the candidates. Sunak blew it immediately with his dictatorial mansplaining (is that how he planned to run his Cabinet?) so that left no choice.
Her policy instincts are correct- who goes into a recession raising taxes and cutting borrowing? Ask Maynard Keynes. But you cant buck the markets as any fule kno.

Alan Thorpe
AT
Alan Thorpe
1 year ago

Beth Rigby interviewed Truss starting with a list of issue and Truss just sat in silence. If it had been Thatcher she would have interrupted and listed her policies and beliefs.

Douglas H
DH
Douglas H
1 year ago

Hilarious and well written; I was hoping it would never end.

Tommy Abdy Collins
TC
Tommy Abdy Collins
1 year ago

It is the most fatuous idea having the ‘membership” electing the final candidate. It’s about as undemocratic as you can get. Furthermore it is open to the sort of abuse Truss has taken advantage of. She played the sugar coated ice cream card which was lapped up by a bunch of idiots who can see no further than the end of their noses – like a 3rd world African Republic might.
Rishi Sunak was giving us the honest truth about the financial state of affairs and the majority were taken in by the tempting ice cream!

It’s time we moved back to serious politics with Cabinet decisions and a PM elected by those he/she is going to represent. We are not a Republic, we don’t tolerate Dictatorships yet that is the direction we have been travelling for a while and its now time to throw out the anchors, stop and reassess how we move on again.

The government must treat the population fairly – endeavouring to reduce the have/have not gap whilst ensuring we are able to defend ourselves, particularly now when the world’s peace is looking a bit shaky.

Perry de Havilland
PD
Perry de Havilland
1 year ago

I read this article and feel less informed than when I started.

D.C. Harris
DH
D.C. Harris
1 year ago

What, she was antisemitic now too? The UK screwed up by getting rid of her.

Philip Clayton
PC
Philip Clayton
1 year ago

As much as I loathe ALL Tory Prime Ministers, except Churchill and Macmillan, the epithet of the worst has to be David Cameron. He allowed the austerity programme of Osborne to shred our social fabric while bleating about “compassionate Conservatism” the most oxymoronic phrase in the English lexicon. He then went on to call a referendum on Brexit because he was shit-scared of Farage.He resigned whistling a bouyant tune; because as someone already wealthy he knew that all the problems he had caused were not going to affect him. He never had any burning cause or even any clearly defined objective other than uttering PR platitudes with all the intellectual depth of a saucer of water. Asked why he wanted to be P.M. he replied: “Because I think I would be rather good at it.” The armour plated confidence of a rich, Etonian, related to the monarchy who was as thick as pig shit and as imaginative as a traffic bollard. No moral desire to remedy anything, not a scintilla of awareness about anything outside his privileged bubble.
As for Truss it is obvious to anyone with any knowledge that she must be on the autistic spectrum.There simply is no other explanation.

Tony Conrad
TC
Tony Conrad
1 year ago

No she certainly wasn’t the worst. She didn’t even get a chance. One half of the divided party sabotaged her. She has a very good record as it happens.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tony Conrad
LR Fredericks
TM
LR Fredericks
1 year ago

Truss’s reaction when the tv debate moderator collapsed says everything you need to know about her: look of fear and confusion, hand covers mouth, steps BACK (away from the situation), glances to her right to see what the other person (Sunak) is doing (he was rushing to the moderator’s aid) before finally, awkwardly and hesitatingly, taking a few tentative steps towards the crisis. Shows lack of leadership, absence of personal inner compass, inability to identify the nature of the situation or what the right action should be, etc.

Sam Barkes
SB
Sam Barkes
1 year ago
Reply to  LR Fredericks

You’re hysterical, that was a normal reaction. Could’ve been a gunman or something. Wasn’t that long ago Theresa May was under attack

William Cameron
WC
William Cameron
1 year ago

I think this is quite generous. She is even worse

Trevor B
TB
Trevor B
1 year ago

What an outrageous slur on Jeremy Corbyn whose policies (with John McDonnell) could have changed Britain and perhaps the world immeasurably for the better. He is one of our most honest, consistent and competent politicians.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago

You can tell the commenters who voted for Truss – they exude that particular mix of humiliation and anger towards any who point out the obvious –

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Are you suggesting that such commentators are all members of the Conservative Party who voted during the recent leadership election? Or are you determined to make a fool of yourself instead of proffering anything of substance?

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

ooh, touched a nerve!

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Yes, the one i keep. You’ve shown your inability to do so.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Thanks for the perfect confirmation of my point.

Ian McKinney
IM
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

What a brilliant writer DS is.

Poor Liz Truss.

polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

May I interpret that as sarcasm?

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

It must be, there is no other possible interpretation

polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

And yet.. the down votes

Fanny Blancmange
FB
Fanny Blancmange
1 year ago

“Uriah Heep mixed with Dracula’s sister”.

Hehe hehe. A touch of Olga Klebb too, what with the striking timing of HMQ’s death not long after shaking hands with our New Stuff PM.

Jaden Johnson
JJ
Jaden Johnson
1 year ago

Ha! That’s not so much giving it both barrels as unloading a full clip of 9mm dumdums into the neo-Thatcherite zombie Liz Truss. Highly entertaining. And right.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Jaden Johnson

belt of .50?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

7.62 will do nicely!

Richard Barrett
RB
Richard Barrett
1 year ago

Corbyn would have been an excellent prime minister, and Sandbrook is unable to give a single credible reason for saying otherwise. In any case, Truss is not a British Trump as some may think. She is a British Bolsonaro.

Alice Bondi
Alice Bondi
1 year ago

Corbyn was in fact merely promoting much the same policies as operate in the Scandinavian countries, which are generally viewed as rather well-governed.

j watson
JW
j watson
1 year ago

Truss’s elevation may have its most beneficial consequence in how it’s further illuminated how bizarre and out of kilter with the rest of the population the majority Tory party membership has become. Rattling around in one’s own echo chamber, tut tutting at the latest daily Mail rubbish, never likely to end well.
There was of course a temporary moment of Schadenfreude. But one is quickly jolted from that by the recognition how such a poor decision, following a series of other disastrous decisions made by the same tiny cohort, impacts on our most vulnerable.

polidori redux
PR
polidori redux
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

 “Rattling around in one’s own echo chamber,”
Just like you then – Equally out of touch with “the rest of the population”