Dizzy from the U-Turns

It’s a funny thing, but I think Liz Truss is going to be OK as Prime Minister, especially now that all the pesky responsibilities and confusing decisions have been taken away from her. She can just relax at Chequers and No. 10, and in Parliament, sit quietly and do what she’s told.

She certainly had a rocky start as PM, and it’s all her own fault. Her tenure began with the Death of Queen Elizabeth II, followed by a ten day period of National Mourning. I’m not saying she’s responsible for the death of the Monarch, (although the timing is suspicious). She had ten days without the media scrutinising her every move, as all the focus was on the funeral. She had ten days to get her house in order.

And in those ten days, she came up with a plan that absolutely torpedoed the British economy, tanked the Pound, and obliterated any remaining hope the British Public had for Government to help them through the Cost of EVERYTHING crisis we’re all trying to survive right now.

Since then, things have not gone well for her. Slowly, and with excruciating reluctance, she has had to reverse her decisions, all the while claiming they were the right thing to do, but the public couldn’t understand. She has flip-flopped so many times in the last few weeks, she basically been living on a trampoline.

Last week, she sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor. Possibly it was an attempt to distance herself from the bold economic policies that were championed in the recent Mini-Budget. Possibly he was a sacrifice to the Tory Gods in the hopes of maintaining her own position. If the first, it didn’t quite work, as Truss trumpeted those policies too long and too loud to break away completely. If the second, it may have worked… sort of.

I think we’re stuck with her for a while. The Tories can’t afford another Leadership race so soon after the last one. They don’t have any viable candidates, at least none that want to clean up this mess. They absolutely don’t want a general election, as the Monster Raving Loony Party would win more seats than them right now. So, for the time being, it’s Prime Minister Liz Truss. She remains at the head of the table, as long as she sits quietly and does what she’s told. Someone else will be pulling the strings.

All hail Jeremy …. Hunt, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. His first order of Business was to reverse literally every decision Liz Truss had made in the last 5 weeks. All the tax cuts, tax breaks and gifts to rich people; gone. I’m sure if Truss rearranged the kitchen at No.10, he put that back the way it was too.

Jeremy … Hunt is an interesting and possibly logical choice for Chancellor. He’s run for the Leadership several times and is usually knocked out of the race early on. As Media and Culture secretary, he oversaw the Olympics, gave the security contract to a private firm who just didn’t do the work, so he had to call in the army. As Health Secretary, he forced a punishing contract on Junior Doctors, which increased working hours without increasing pay, making it a 40% pay cut in real terms. I hope he leads a healthy lifestyle, because the NHS as a whole despises him. The reason I write his name as Jeremy … Hunt is that everyone has to pause before saying his last name to be sure they get it right. I would say he is the unfortunate victim of rhyming slang, except, well, the word people want to use is accurate.

That said, he might work as Chancellor in Charge. He must know, at this point, that he won’t be PM, so this is as good as it’s going to get for him. He can have no illusions as to his own unpopularity, so he can do all the unpopular but necessary things, like cancelling the tax cuts, imposing windfall taxes, raising the corporate tax rate.

No word yet as to where he stands on the Benefits rise; whether he will go with Truss’ plan of raising them 3% in line wages, (A plan Ebenezer Scrooge would find stingy), or 10% in line with inflation, a plan supported by anyone who doesn’t want a return to Dickensian times. Given voting record, it’s hard to say if practicality and compassion will win out over Ideology and greed.

So far, though, he is steadying the ship. The Pound is rallying, the markets are stabilising. People now believe there is a grown up in charge.

Of course, we still have the rest of the Cabinet to deal with, so don’t expect it all to be plain sailing. Health Minister Therese Coffey has told NHS Nurses that if they don’t like the pay and conditions they can leave, but they aren’t getting a pay rise. After all the hard work of the pandemic, it’s a bitter betrayal. Coffey could learn from Truss how to U-Turn and apologise when her policies become destructive. So, strike ballots are going on nationwide, and I will be shocked if they don’t strike. I never did the Clap For Carers thing, I always thought they would appreciate higher wages more than applause. If they go on strike, I will lead a Standing Ovation for them.

Then there’s Jacob Rees-Mogg, formerly Secretary for Brexit Opportunities, until we all realised there weren’t any. Now he is the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy. Given his attitudes, I expect we can see a return to Workhouses, Poor Houses, and cheeky little urchins as chimney sweeps. He championed Brexit like Britain was still an Empire; still believes the sun never sets on the British Empire. When King Charles III stated a preference for a scaled down Coronation due to the current financial crisis and imminent collapse of society, Rees-Mogg objected. He wants all the Pomp and Ceremony the Monarchy can muster.

Think about that. The Hereditary Monarch, a man who has never had a proper job, a man literally born with a silver spoon in his mouth, has more financial prudence and is more in touch with the mood of the people than an ELECTED MP. Unlike Truss, I don’t expect Rees-Mogg to flip-flop, U-turn, or apologise for anything. He doesn’t have the capacity to learn anything new.

I really hope Jeremy … Hunt works out as Chancellor. I hope we see a new era of more reasonable policies, and an acknowledgement that the government is meant to serve the needs of ALL the people, not just the rich ones. We can’t do another Tory Leadership contest because, in the shadows, waiting in the wings, looms the threat of BoJo. Boris Johnson still believes he can make a comeback. Like an Ex-boyfriend that hangs around waiting for you to miss him, never realising how toxic he was. Boris Johnson is stalking the Tory Party.

We will be lucky to survive Liz Truss’ tenure. We cannot survive another BoJo The Clown Circus.

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