Unlike Boris, Liz Truss has a pair of balls and she’s not afraid to use them, says Mark Dolan
In the case of our next prime minister, Liz Truss, the first ten days could be decisive
Normally when a president takes office, they talk about their first hundred days. Well in the case of our next prime minister, Liz Truss, the first TEN days could be decisive.
All incoming prime ministers inherit problems, of course, but there are normally a few months, or at least a few weeks, of goodwill, for the new premier to bed in. Sorry Liz, cancel the honeymoon. The challenges, the problems and the criticism, will begin from day one.
Of course it was Churchill, who faced the toughest first few days in office, with Britain at war and German bombs raining over London.
The stronger parallel for Liz is 1979, and the election of Margaret Thatcher, following the winter of discontent, widespread industrial strife, spiralling inflation and the tail end of a sovereign debt crisis.
Thatcher rose to the challenge, put the unions in their place, made the tough decisions to tackle inflation and won a war against Argentina.
No pressure Liz. But every crisis, is fused with opportunity, and this one is no different. First of all, Liz Truss has a strong mandate from her party.
Her campaign got off, to an uneven and stuttering start, and she made mistakes like having to U-turn on her plans for regional civil servants’ pay. But as the campaign played out, Liz Truss became more and more herself.
Authentic, natural, real, credible. In fact her lack of public speaking prowess, contrasted favourably with the overly slick corporate style of Rishi Sunak and those excruciating motivational videos. David Brent eat your heart out. I liked Rishi, and backed him. But his campaign was disastrous and it wasn’t to be.
Sunak was even the front-runner, the heir apparent, but Truss, has won the contest hands down. Her first landslide, maybe not her last.
Plus she's got an almost 80 seat majority. And two years, with which to tackle immediate problems like peoples’ energy bills, inflation, the unprecedented tax burden and businesses on the brink.
She's got two years, to finally put an end to the channel migrant crisis. It’s a humanitarian disaster, it’s supporting the evil business model of heartless gangsters, trafficking human souls for profit. And those crossings are illegal. They've got to stop.
It was the mail on Sunday newspaper, and their characteristically bold journalism, which exposed the fact that in the summer months, 40% of those crossing, came from Albania.
Albania hasn't had a war in a quarter of a century. It's more peaceful than the bloody Isle of Wight.
Other urgent matters are the Northern Ireland protocol, which disgracefully divides our country.
As a former foreign secretary and trade secretary, I've got no doubt Liz Truss has the chops, the will and the experience, to stand up to the EU, and if they don't accept that a border down the Irish Sea is profoundly wrong, then she must take unilateral action, whatever the consequence.
Yes we shouldn't have locked down, yes we shouldn't have borrowed half a trillion quid to pay healthy people to stay at home and close once viable businesses, but Liz Truss will have to borrow a whole lot more, because unlike the Covid pandemic, to which in my view we overreacted, the spectre of people paying ten times more than usual, to heat their homes, businesses paying ten times more to heat their offices, or hospitality venues paying ten times more to heat their pubs, cafes and restaurants, is simply not an option.
Over the last two and a half years, the government should not have stepped in for a highly transmissible virus, that couldn't be stopped, and which had a high survivability rate.
But they must step in now. Liz Truss has my blessing, to expand the national debt to keep pensioners - and the rest of us for that matter - warm this winter. To keep businesses ticking over, and to keep our economy going, during what will be the toughest twelve months, since the economic strife of the 1970s.
She's got to cut taxes, in order to stimulate the economy, which pays for everything. If the economy grows, we all win.
But she's going to have to write a cheque, to subsidise the energy bills of millions of people too. So she’ll have to strike the right balance between help with bills and tax cuts.
Extra borrowing to support brits this winter won't be pretty, it will be a burden on future generations but the alternative, is pensioners freezing to death, schools having to close because they're so cold, and businesses collapsing, under the weight of their own gas and electricity bills.
We are in, national emergency territory here, and Truss will have to act. If she gets it right, this woman that the woke left on Twitter are already calling Thick Lizzie.
Thick Lizzie? I'm so confused I thought they were supposed to be the nice people – then Truss will prove to have been, an astute choice for prime minister.
Don't get me wrong, at the next election, the country, will still be, in an almighty mess. But the British people are not stupid.
They know about the pandemic, they know about the war in Ukraine, they know what she has inherited. But if they see clear-sighted and honest political leadership, if they see common sense policies, if they see political courage, in the face of unprecedented challenges, and attacks on her from left, right and centre, she will be rewarded with another five years.
If Liz Truss has the courage to stand up to the likes of Sage scientists, who will inevitably be calling for more Covid measures this winter, if she's got the courage to stand up to the Bank of England in relation to inflation, if she's got the courage to stand up to Vladimir Putin in relation to Ukraine, something she's already done as Foreign Secretary, if she's got the courage to stand up to the union barons, and their deeply irresponsible wage demands, if she's got the courage to stand up to Sir Keir Starmer and call him out for what he is - a fence dwelling, cervix-free, pompous ,lockdown-loving partygate hypocrite, then she will ultimately prevail.
Long-term of course, she needs to sort out productivity, the NHS, social care, obesity, crime, defence and education, and once we return to robust growth, which I'm confident we will, she will need, over time, to make a plan to balance the nation's books.
And of course the ultimate legacy to which she must aspire, is for Britain to become fully energy efficient, with a mix of renewables, nuclear, shale, gas and yes a bit of coal where needed.
Just so, we’re never again, at the behest of a murderous tyrant like Vladimir Putin. Burning a bit of coal, so that Putin can't wage wars against neighbouring countries, and kill innocent civilians, is good enough for me.
She's got to weed out creepy woke culture, which hates free speech and open debate, and which is infiltrating our institutions, corporations and the media.
She's already called out the woke madness about pronouns - at last we have a prime minister, that has no trouble defining what a woman is.
After all, she is one herself. And the opposition, will have trouble peddling their identity politics, and class warfare, with a woman educated at a state comprehensive school, before using her brains and talents to get to Oxford.
So I’ve said what she needs to do. But what will she need, with which to do it? She will need character, something that the clever, funny and talented Boris Johnson, ultimately lacked.
He caved to the eco-agenda, he caved to the sage scientists, he caved to the money printers and in fact, he caved to the woke left – remember that mad rambling speech about how we have to make the economy more feminine?
And he’s still defending those ruinous lockdowns. We know that the truth and Boris Johnson are distant relatives too, we saw that over the Chris Pincher scandal, partygate and so much more.
But it was his lack of a backbone that really bothered me.
Allowing our country to descend into totalitarian tyranny in the course of the last two and a half years, junking Western values by locking people in their homes, a Chinese idea, and trashing the economy, by paying healthy people to stay at home, the very definition of communism.
Boris Johnson's talents and charm got him INTO number 10, but it was his flawed character, his instinctive dishonesty and his invertebrate weakness, which ultimately did for him.
But I've got high hopes for his replacement. It's my impression, that unlike Boris, Liz Truss has a pair of balls, and she's not afraid to use them.
Prime minister Truss, congratulations. And good luck. You’re going to need it.