The problem with Liz Truss

Was it just me or was Liz Truss actually smiling during her statement outside Downing Street, the one littered with cliches about spikes in the ground and grimacing turns of phrase like ‘aspirational nation’? Two more years of this prime minister talking about being “determined to deliver” (deliver what, Liz?) It’s gonna be really tough.

Listen to her. Look at her. Is this really the best we can get from a country of 67 million people? Liz Truss? Can even the most blind conservative find any real eloquence or charm in the manners; or Theresa May-style sincerity, Tony Blair-style charisma, or Boris Johnson-style humor, or Gordon Brown-style conviction, rather than outspokenness, in her flat, unmodulated accent, intended to convey the conviction ? What is it about the woman who made them fall in love with her, these Tory members and MPs, other than the one redeeming circumstance that she is not Penny Mordaunt? An effective communicator like Nicola Sturgeon? No. Not even that.

You can see what she has going for her, of course, which is iron ambition. One look at her tells you, even before you see her photo streak from the past two years, that this is a woman who would pass by you for a shortcut. And it worked. But virtually all MPs are ambitious; half of them aspire to be Prime Minister; Surely it takes more to get to where she is now?

What she has, of course, is a series of appointments to the highest offices in the country – Environment, Foreign Office, Lord Chancellor – all of which she has held without distinction. In fact, when it comes to its environmental stint, it appears its lax approach to inspection meant it allowed some farmers to pollute English rivers unchecked. In the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, her ignorance of Russia (mocked by Sergei Lavrov) and her insistence that Ukraine take back Crimea make her, in my opinion, downright dangerous. Oh and she wholeheartedly supports Israel. Of course she is.

In other words, we owe Boris for Liz Truss, probably on the basis that he couldn’t be bothered to appoint to these big offices someone who was actually competent to run them well. Was it the big poppy thing, whereby he didn’t want someone close who might actually look like a competitor?

As for his policies, where to start? So, so thoughtless, so poorly held that you can huff and puff, and you can knock them down. Elsewhere in these pages there are damning analyzes of his energy policy, to which you can add his silly ideas about education – bringing back grammars (good, but not enough on their own) and getting mandatory Oxbridge interviews for A-star students (any idea just how many there are, Liz?). And there was this downright terrifying interview where she was asked how willing she was to use nuclear deterrence (answer: very).

It’s embarassing. It is extremely painful. And that’s just the beginning. I leave it to the Conservatives to take advantage of what they have imposed on the nation. Me, I’m going to join the CND.

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