We’ve had some disappointing PMs in my lifetime, but most maintained a vague connection with reality. Liz Truss had none, demonstrating self-delusion and unsuitability for the highest office. And in case we’d forgotten just how barmy she was, she has just popped up to remind us.
This is a woman who didn’t have the staying power of a wet lettuce, spending a mere 49 days in No. 10. That’s the shortest premiership in British history and arguably the worst.
In less than seven weeks, “Calamity” Liz and her equally disastrous Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng brought the country to its knees, yet now she’s back saying things would be better if only we’d stuck by her.
Worse, some on the wilder fringes on the Tory party are backing her. Which only shows how they’re losing contact with reality, too.
Truss’s tenure makes Rishi Sunak’s stint look a picture of longevity and calm. He’s been in the job for 329 days now, since taking over on October 25, 2022.
That’s almost a whole year! No lettuce can match that.
Truss played fast and loose with the nation’s finances and deservedly got her comeuppance, after she and Kwarteng created havoc with their mini-Budget on September 23, 2033.
They proposed a staggering £45billion of tax cuts without announcing any cuts in spending, which meant they would be funded by borrowing.
This was at a time the national debt was at an all-time high and rising interest rates were driving up the cost of servicing it.
Truss didn’t just trigger a nightmarish Northern Rock-style run on pension funds. That wasn’t enough for her.
She also crashed the pound, sent the gilt market into freefall and spooked international investors at a time when we needed them more than ever. It was a humiliating moment in the country’s history.
Instead of taking responsibility, Truss blamed the Treasury for failing to warn her of the danger. Yet Truss and Kwarteng were the ones who ran the red light.
They forced out the highly respected Treasury mandarin Sir Tom Scholar and refused to involve the Office for Budget Responsibility in their plans.
Sunak had seen the danger too. During last summer’s Tory leadership, he repeatedly warned of the dire consequences of her unfunded tax cuts and spending pledges.
And he was right.
These days there’s only one route back for a discredited figure like Liz Truss. And that’s to reinvent yourself as a conspiracy theorist.
Rather than say sorry or examine her own behaviour, she is blaming her downfall on shadowy forces assembled by “the powerful economic establishment”.
Now she’s doubling down on her claims, seeking to blame left-wing infiltration of think tanks, the civil service, financial watchdogs, Bank of England and other “institutions” for the turmoil she unleashed in her seven-week bid to break Britain.
Yet she does make the briefest contact with reality. The establishment is succumbing to liberal group think, a process that will intensify if Labour leader Keir Starmer wins the next election.
Truss was right to attack the Bank of England, too, whose mistakes are now subject to a massive establishment cover up.
Also, someone needs to make the case for cutting taxes and curbing state spending, which will bury us in debt as the nation gets older and sicker.
We can’t pay for them simply by taxing the rich, who will flee.
Somebody needs to make the case for growth but Liz Truss is not the person to do it. Every time she opens her mouth, she discredits the cause she is fighting for. Can’t the Tories find anyone else?
If they don’t, Labour leader Starmer will be our next PM, and then we’ll be back to wet lettuce territory again.