The horrifying truth about Liz Truss
(Credit: Getty images)
7 September 2022
Was it just me or was Liz Truss actually smirking during her statement outside Downing Street, the one littered with cliches about spades in the ground and wince-making turns of phrase like ‘aspiration nation’? Another two years of this PM talking about being ‘determined to deliver’ (deliver what, Liz?) is going to be really hard going.
Just listen to her. Look at her. Is this really the best that we can get from a country of 67 million people? Liz Truss? Can even the most blinkered Conservative find any actual eloquence or charm of manner; or sincerity in the fashion of Theresa May, charisma like Tony Blair, or humour in the way of Boris Johnson, or conviction like Gordon Brown’s, rather than the hard delivery, in her flat, unmodulated accent, that is designed to convey conviction? What is there about the woman that made them fall for her, those Tory members and MPs, other than the single redeeming circumstance that she’s not Penny Mordaunt? An effective communicator like Nicola Sturgeon? Nope. Not even that.
You can see what she has got going for her, of course, which is iron ambition. One look at her tells you, before you even see her photo sequence for the last two years, that this is a woman who’d go through you for a shortcut. And it worked. But practically every MP is ambitious; half of them long to be prime minister; surely it takes more than that to get where she now is?
What she has got, of course, are a string of appointments to the highest offices in the land – Environment, Foreign Office, Lord Chancellor – all of which she occupied without distinction. Actually, so far as her time at the Environment goes, it seems that her lax approach to inspection meant that she allowed some farmers to pollute English rivers unchecked. At the Foreign Office, her ignorance of Russia (mocked by Sergei Lavrov) and her insistence that Ukraine must take back Crimea make her to my mind downright dangerous. Oh and she’s uncritically supportive of Israel. Of course she is.
In other words, we owe Boris for Liz Truss, presumably on the basis that he couldn’t bother to appoint anyone to these great offices who was actually competent to run them well. Was it the tall poppy thing, whereby he didn’t want anyone close who might actually seem like a competitor?
As for her policies, where do you start? So many, so unthought through, so flimsily held that you can huff and puff, and you can blow them right down. Elsewhere on these pages, there are damning analyses of her energy policy, to that you can add her silly ideas about education – bringing back grammars (fine, but not sufficient in itself) and getting obligatory Oxbridge interviews for starred A pupils (any idea just how many there are, Liz?). And there was that downright terrifying interview where she was asked how ready she was to use the nuclear deterrent (answer: very).
It’s embarrassing. It’s acutely painful. And this is only the start. I leave it to Conservatives to enjoy what they’ve foisted on the nation. Me, I’m off to join CND.