New PM, same old shit: where Liz Truss’ premiership will be won and lost
After weeks of Blue v Blue – Liz Truss has officially been tasked with the challenge of beginning to take this country out of the red.
From stumbling over the finish line within her own party, to a YouGov poll that cites her as the most unpopular incoming PM since the 70’s. Uncertainty is certainly one of the buzzwords surrounding the new Conservative Party leader.
For once – her predecessor was anything but uncertain though. In his farewell address, departing prime minister Boris Johnson gave a somewhat glowing endorsement of Ms. Truss, declaring it was time for everyone to ‘get behind’ our country’s new leader.
Whether you find that reassuring or concerning is another matter altogether though.
So now the formalities are finalised, let’s analyse where Liz Truss’ premiership will potentially be won and lost:
Whether it’s the climate, energy, or cost of living – crisis is very much at the heart of the matter for Truss and her new government. In true blue fashion, she’s promised to slash both VAT and corporation tax from the offset.
A move that will incomprehensibly benefit the highest earners in the country, while millions of other people will struggle to eat and heat their homes this winter.
True, the new prime minister’s plans to freeze gas and electric bills until at least next year might help the most vulnerable people in the UK in the short term. But let’s call a spade a spade here – these plans are a scam.
Whether the price freeze is funded by spending cuts, public borrowing, or tax rises elsewhere the real losers are all the same – us.
Despite being firm on her economic plans, the incoming PM’s climate stance can be described as wispy at best. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is the same person that recently described solar farms as “one of the most depressing sights in modern Britain.”
At least there’s no chance of misconstruing her stance on this one.
If that wasn’t damning enough, we’ve heard concerning plans to push for even more oil drilling in the North Sea. What does this mean? Despite outwardly pledging to uphold the UK’s ‘net zero’ commitments, the proposed plans simply don’t match up in the slightest.
Instead of tackling the climate or cost of living debacle head-on, Truss’ North Sea pledge will do nothing but add fuel to an already combustible situation.
Let’s be perfectly clear here. A North Sea drilling frenzy does nothing but line the pockets of fossil fuel giants who are already making billions of pounds, while everyone else worries about how they’re going to pay their set set of energy bills.
Who is Liz Truss?
By all intents and purposes, our new PM can be described as a political chameleon. From a radical liberal who vehemently called for the monarchy to be abolished. To a flag-waving, Eurosceptic Brexiteer. Naysayers rightly question whether Liz Truss has any concrete ideologies of her own, or if she simply goes with whatever is deemed to be beneficial for her own political gain.
Those of you thinking that our most recent Foreign Secretary would ease some of the unthinkable international policy surrounding Rwanda. Think again.
Not to mention a ramped up presence for front-line border force officers, which begs the question: wouldn’t the energy and resources be better served for NHS front-line workers instead?
Let’s face it – public speaking does not top the list of Liz Truss’ best attributes. It might not even make the Top 10. Mistimed pauses, occasional fluffed lines, plus a general lack of conviction and sincerity in what she’s saying all lend to a very awkward presentation of our new PM.
This, alongside her apparent perchant for dodging difficult interviews mean that the Tory party leader has some work to do when it comes to her overall package.
Should this matter? Maybe not as much as it does. But let’s not forget, Boris’ staunchest followers always lent on his perceived ‘charisma’ as a continuous get-out-jail-free-card for the former prime minister.
So if Ms. Truss’ baffling policy is to follow on from her predecessors, then she might just need to rely on style when the substance is so clearly also left wanting.
The gruelling leadership contest might have come to an end, but there’s no doubt Liz Truss’ biggest battles are still yet to come.
And while she might paint a seeming picture of calmness personified in the first few days in the job, just make sure you don’t ask her to say “cheese” before taking any photos.