Liz Truss must resign this week. It's a simple choice in my view – a dignified departure or a bloody regicide, says Mark Dolan
The Tories are in a death spiral. A libertarian low tax free market vision for the country is now dead and with it, Truss’s political career
They think it's all over, it is now. Do you remember that hilarious moment in only fools and horses and the joke about triggers broom.
Trigger’s a road sweeper and he proudly announces that he's had the same broom for 20 years, except after further questioning from del boy, he reveals the broom had had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time. Therefore not the same broom.
Feels like Liz Truss’s premiership, which has seen so many U-turns, it’s now unrecognisable as her premiership. Which is why the Tories have no choice now but to sweep her out of office. Liz Truss’s bold plan for growth was a rare, historic opportunity to transform Britain into being a low tax, high growth, high productivity economy. A global hub of innovation and a global magnet for investment. It was the right budget under the wrong leadership.
The International Monetary Fund conceded that the mini budget would give the UK the strongest growth next year in the whole of the G7.
By binning the tax cuts and sacking her Chancellor, Britain has signed up for a long and painful recession and the continuation of the status quo for the foreseeable future. Britain, a great country, but set on a path of mild, long-term decline. Not so much a race to the bottom, as a slow shuffle. Truss and Kwarteng get 10 out of 10 for policy, but 0 out of 10 for delivery. It was clearly foolhardy and naive to not win the approval of the office for budget responsibility, whose support would have protected the pound sterling and the cost of borrowing, from the kicking they ultimately received. A failure of sequencing, a failure of politics, a failure of communication, but what hurts, the real kicker is that this budget was the right thing to do. For me this lost opportunity has parallels with the pandemic, when Sweden went it alone, much to the shock and bafflement of other Western nations.
Countries like Britain Germany, France and Spain looked on in horror as Sweden ignored the pack mentality, which saw most of the world, plunged into ruinous and now clearly failed lockdowns. The Swedes kept their heads, they kept with their approach and with a lowest per capita Covid death toll far lower than countries that locked down hard like the UK, they won the argument. They kept their schools open, businesses traded as usual and they suffered a fraction of the economic and societal cost. So just a few weeks ago, there was a glimmer of hope that Britain would reject the centre left European social Democratic orthodoxy of tax-and-spend. Of big state, big debt and low growth. But that ship has passed. You know you're in trouble when the best thing many people can now hope for, is a Labour government. I'll be dealing with them in my take at 10 at the top of the next hour. But for now we've got to deal with Liz Truss, she's been to hell and back and had the worst start to a job since Michael Barrymore became a swimming pool life guard. For me that press conference on Friday, was the day the music died. A fumbling and robotic performance that contained more pauses than a Harold Pinter play, and was more awkward than a Miliband family reunion. That was the moment when she had to put on a Bravura performance, when she had to rise to the occasion and when she had to demonstrate that she owns this.
But with the appointment of zero Covid authoritarian lunatic Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor, it's very clear that our Prime Minister is now owned by the international bond markets, she's owned by her own back benchers, she's owned by the media and she is owned by her own chancellor. A bit like a Premier League chairman offering the dreaded words of support for an under pressure manager, on breakfast TV today, Jeremy Hunt gave Liz Truss the ultimate kiss of death by saying “the Prime Minister is in charge”.
You know about leadership folks. When you're in charge, you never need people to say you're in charge. Liz Truss’s entire campaign was based on cutting taxes and stimulating growth, but it's all turned to dust. The top rate tax cut, attracting wealthy people and high achievers to come to this country, spend their taxes here, invest here and spend their money here - gone. The corporation tax cut to support businesses, shorten the recession and protect jobs - gone. There is even talk of the standard income tax rate cut, putting money in the pockets of hard pressed Brits as they face high interest rates and rising bills - gone. Which is why the only solution now is Liz Truss – gone.
If she stays, the question won't be about whether Keir Starmer can win a majority in the House of Commons, the question will be the size of his majority.
The Tories are in a death spiral. A libertarian low tax free market vision for the country is now dead and with it, Truss’s political career. For every day she stays, she inflicts more damage on her party and therefore the country. It didn't have to be this way and I wish it wasn't this way but Liz Truss's position is now completely untenable and new leader must come in who supports a less ambitious but perhaps more cautious economic agenda. Because the alternative is Keir Starmer in Number 10. If you think things are bad now, just wait for a Labour government, propped up by votes from the SNP and Corbynite backbenchers. Forget about lengthy leadership battles, the Tories must set aside their differences, act in the party interest and the national interest, which I would argue dovetail, and select a candidate around whom they can unite. I know we've been here before and many can't stand him, but if you have any hope of catching Starmer, for me, Rishi Sunak is the only show in town. Don't get me wrong he's got more baggage than Terminal 3 at Heathrow.
The green card fiasco, a billionaire tax avoiding wife and many see him as a terrify globalist puppet, in the pocket of the world economic forum. I heard him described online today as Rishi Trudeau. Harsh.
He’s seen as a the guy that stabbed Boris in the back. He’s too rich, too slick, too corporate. But show me a better candidate to take on Labour. He predicted the economic carnage that has befallen us, giving him the credibility politically and economically Truss now lacks.
Put it like this, who do you want running the country? Rishi Sunak?
Wee Nicola Sturgeon?
Welcome to hell. For what it's worth, I believe Sunak would've gone on a tax cutting spree too, he just would've waited a year. Well whoever it is, Britain can't wait for a new prime minister. Liz Truss must resign this week. It's a simple choice in my view – a dignified departure or a bloody regicide. Jump or be pushed. And we know the Tory party - they're not too posh, to push. Trapped in an endless political winter, Disney princess Liz Truss has been Frozen out. And Kwarteng Frozen too. Let it go.