Wednesday 1st of February 2023

saving the furniture......

Liz Truss' premiership is looking increasingly in peril after five weeks of navigating the country through an economic storm. On Friday, she sacked her top finance minister, Kwasi Kwarteng, and shelved her ambitious plan to reduce corporation tax. Meanwhile, the new chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is said to be undoing Truss' other flagship policies.

"The premiership of Liz Truss is in grave danger," said Alistair Jones, associate professor of politics at De Montfort University in the UK. "The track record in the five weeks she's been in office has been absolutely abysmal where the UK economy has done very, very badly. Global confidence in the government and the way it's planning on running things has been massively undermined. The knock-on effect of this has been for Liz Truss to sack her chancellor of the exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, even though he was implementing the policies that she wanted to be implemented."

Jones explained that the entire campaign that Truss ran to become Conservative Party leader "was based around cutting taxes and also targeting some aspects of reduced spending, but basically trying to get the economy to grow." She vehemently criticized those who threw the viability of her plan into question as part of "anti-growth coalition," the academic noted, adding that eventually "this backfired massively, because so many international organizations questioned what she was doing."

However, markets reacted negatively to the Truss Cabinet's mini-budget, announced by then-Chancellor Kwarteng late last month. Borrowing and mortgage costs went up, while the pound sterling went down. Notably, the UK prime minister's decision to fire her chancellor and make a U-turn on her flagship tax-cutting policy on October 14 did not end the market turmoil: the British pound and government bonds fell again. "Never before has Britain found itself in such a humiliatingly risible position," The Atlantic remarked on Friday. "It is the stuff of nightmares: the national equivalent of getting caught short onstage in front of your entire school because you chose not to go to the bathroom when you had the chance."



"The knock-on effect of this, though, has been for the Conservative Party to lose even more confidence in Liz Truss as prime minister," noted Jones. "Now it must be borne in mind that when the leadership election started, which she eventually won, about 50 MPs out of the 350 odd Conservative MPs actually backed. So you're talking therefore one in seven. In this respect, she did not have the support of Conservative MPs. Even though she won the election and many of them rallied round behind her - the reality is their support at best was lukewarm."


According to the professor, Truss "has done huge amounts of damage to the economy and to her party and to the credibility of the country in a very short space of time." He presumed that the appointment of Jeremy Hunt as the new chancellor looks like "a lack of confidence in Liz Truss."







the lettuce won....


By Timur Fomenko, a political analyst 


Liz Truss could go down in history as the single worst British Prime Minister of all time. It is very difficult to top the legacy of being in office a mere 45 days and then being forced out after a U-turn on a disastrous ‘Mini-Budget,’ having sacked your chancellor of the exchequer for your mistake.

The Conservative Party has a notorious reputation for pulling out the knives on their leaders – just look at Truss’ idol, Margaret Thatcher. But she lasted 11 years, not a month and a half. This situation is, even by the Tory standards, unprecedented.

That’s of course because everyone who said Liz Truss was unsuitable and unqualified to be Prime Minister was right. But that begs the question: how exactly did she get there? And how is it that British politics has descended into a farce that has allowed this to happen?

Liz Truss is the embodiment of a trend in British politics wherein nationalism, populism and ideology have displaced rational decision-making in government, creating instability and chaos. It is a product of Brexit, which aggressively reformed the political landscape of Britain and the balance of factional power in the Conservative Party.

British politics is unstable. It is divided, it is chaotic, and only in a climate like this could someone like Truss possibly have come to office. Her entire political career and her rapid ascension to power is a product not of her being “capable” but of having mastered the art of blasting talking points and slogans matching the political climate of her time.

She never had any serious policies. Everything was based on a fantasy blend of ultra-neoliberal economics, nationalism, and geopolitical crusading. From a “network of liberty, to fanatical assertions of great power dreams. Everyone knew it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Yet, her rhetorical instincts were favoured by Boris Johnson, who sought to make her the ‘face’ of the Brexit agenda and the spokesperson of ‘Global Britain,’ and not surprisingly by the right-wing membership of the Conservative Party, who swiftly put her into office.

But when it came to the crunch, she quickly found populist sloganeering could not save her. She discovered it was not her words but her actions which had real consequences and, even by her standards, the outcome of her government crashing down in just 45 days exceeded anyone’s expectations. Now, it stands as a testament to the extent of the decline British politics finds itself in.

And things are unlikely to get much better once Truss is replaced. The immediate news after her resignation was that Boris Johnson might be about to run again. The same party membership that favours him could very easily put him back. This means more division, more internal conflict, and more incompetence could be on the way.

But even if it’s not Boris Johnson again and a more ‘sensible’ candidate such as Rishi Sunak wins, the outlook for Britain is not favourable. The political circus takes place in a country beset by an economy on the brink of recession, growing inflation and industrial unrest. There is no reason to believe anyone who succeeds Truss is going to be able to immediately change anything. That’s because the systemic problems run deeper and farther back than the terms of the few most recent PMs, and the economy consistently fails to deliver for ordinary people.

The country has never truly even recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, let alone Brexit, Covid-19 or the toll taken by the Ukraine conflict. As statistics show, real incomes have shrunk by almost £20,000 between 2008 and 2021. This led to growing social and political divides, which in turn have produced the disastrous ideological turn to the right. What, after all, paved the way for Brexit? And made the more liberal government of David Cameron untenable?

When viewed like this, Liz Truss isn’t the cause of all these problems, she’s just a symptom. A symptom of a long and deep-set British decline. Hard times are ahead for the United Kingdom.







the UK's gone to the dogs.... but there is hope with the cat......


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