A Carry-On by the Kwasi-Truss Combo sends Tories into Free Fall

When it comes to recent Conservative British prime ministers the current holder, Liz Truss is – within days of taking up the post – worse than her predecessor Boris Johnson (2019-2022), who was worse than his former boss Theresa May (2016-2019), who was so appalling than David Cameron (2010-2016) who stunk Downing Street more than his Labour Party predecessor Gordon Brown (2007-2010) who for me then at time was the worst PM in my time in the British government. 

This long line of British prime ministers with dreadful track records of leading the UK government is continuing at an alarming pace. But Liz Truss has taken incompetence, poor leadership and bone-headed decision making to even lower levels than anyone could ever imagine. It is hard to see Truss turning around her fortunes.

It is indeed disturbing how so often British governments end up with prime ministers who seem to be so out of their depth in leadership and execution of good government policies that benefit the masses.

I have never seen any British prime minister in the past 4 decades start off their premiership so dreadfully as Liz Truss. It’s not even funny how we got there. 

Leadership Selection Flawed 

Something is certainly wrong with the process of how party leaders are chosen and why their time as PM ends up being a disaster. I grant you some new PMs would have had a honeymoon period and a bump in the polls. Not Liz Truss, whose polling numbers sunk to 30 points behind the Labour Party.

Truss won the leadership of the Conservative Party/prime minister after a race that clearly went on for far too long and many observers had switched off by the time Truss was elected in September.. 

The leadership race started with over a dozen contenders down to the final 2 candidates (Truss and Rushi Sunak). Even then you could see little warning signs were there during the hustings that Truss’ incompetence and her tough talking was all fluff. Then again Sunak was hardly a much better alternative.

But a PM Sunak would clearly not have gone down the economic chronic meltdown route that Truss and her Chancellor of the Exchequer (Kwasi Kwarteng) took. Although the economic policies of PM Sunak was never going to be the champion of the working class given some of his off-the-record comments to some elderly Tory members during the leadership campaign.

Then some Tory MPs turned the early stages of the leadership race into a stop-Penny-Mordaunt-at-all-cost plot. This allowed Truss to slip into the final 2 after being behind until the race off for the final 2 candidates.

We’ve never seen a new cabinet start off so disjointed, chaotic, clueless and at each other’s throat. It is hard to see Truss remain as PM given the number of cabinet ministers who have publicly come out to crticise her policies and u-turns. 

Some cabinet ministers have publicly attacked each other, their Tory predecessors via interviews at the Tory party conference now on in Birmingham or on social media. Unheard off and a sign that some in the cabinet have little time for Truss.

Truss had to make a u-turn on the tax cuts plan for the rich. But throwing Kwarteng under the bus so publicly by saying it was just his idea the tax cut showed chicken-infused leadership.

Kwarteng was hardly Chancellor of the Exchequer material and Truss putting one of her close friends in such a pivotal role may be good for her ego and her friends at the libertarian think tank Institute of Economics Affairs, but not good for working and middle class Brits.

Kwarteng’s flippant “a little turbulence”  remark at the Tory party conference came as no surprise to me. He has never been one to communicate well or listen to others for that matter.

In fact Truss should have fired Kwasi for that idiotic heartless comment alone given the traumatic impact many mortgage borrowers felt in recent days as a result of his barmy so-called mini-budget. But Truss is too weak to do so.

Kwasi car-crash leadership of the Treasury was on dangerous ground from day one. His immediate firing of Tom Scholar – the top civil servant at the Treasury – should have generated concerns and probing by the media and opposition but the media in particular was too busy with its relentless coverage of the Queen of GB’s death and the ascension of King Charles. 

But we know govts all over the world would have used this media coverage of the Queen of GB’s  death to slip through certain dodgy decisions in order to avoid public scrutiny and outrage.

Mordaunt 2.0?

In a previous blog – when the leadership race for Tory leader/PM had just  started – I wrote that Penny Mordaunt was the candidate likely to succeed Boris Johnson. She came third.

Mordaunt ran a solid campaign and was a favorite to reach the final 2. But the rumour mongers from the Sunak and Truss camp began to brief against Mordaunt in a most vicious way. 

(One smear against Mordaunt by a Truss supporter was that she always went missing as a minister. Ironic given that after the markets reacted badly to last month’s mini budget neither Truss or Kwarteng  could be found for days)

Clearly Mordaunt was upset and spoke out against the smears. The denigrating actions of Mordaunt’s rivals was backed in the media and scuppered her chances of making the final 2 for Tory members to choose from. 

But what baffled me (and really it shouldn’t) was how quickly Mordaunt fell into line behind the Truss camp and became virtually her communications spokesperson and main cheerleader. By then Truss was the clear favourite amongst Tory party members to win the leadership easily over Sunak.

Maybe Mordaunt was angling for a senior cabinet position and in getting the Leader of the House gig was kind of an outlier from the real cabinet positions. 

But Mordaunt and her other cabinet colleagues own this debacle under Truss. Some cabinet members are trying to distance themselves from Truss’ actions with their comments to the media  but Mordaunt made the wrong decision in taking a job in a Truss cabinet.

[Although from a major British historical point, Mordaunt played the most crucial role at the Ascension Council  for King Charles which had the kind of global coverage that would be the envy of many. You can’t begrudge Penny that moment.]

Conservative Conundrum 

It is likely that if Truss goes the Tory MPs alone will have to choose a PM/Tory leader quickly.

But the Labour and Conservative Parties must get some legislation in place that if their leader resigns as PM/party leader that the replacement must be chosen by its MPs on the proviso that the new leader/PM has to call a general election to get their own mandate within a certain timeframe.

It is so wrong to see the Truss administration make the kind of radical economic decisions without first getting a mandate from the electorate. Especially when she and Kwarteng had not even costed the budget with the Office of Budget Responsibility or discussed the key budget decisions with other members of the cabinet.

Truss is clearly a prime minister that not even ⅔ of the Tory MPs wanted. Some of her actions since winning the leadership had made her credibility amongst those MPs sunk even lower. When Truss failed to appoint  any supporters of the Sunak wing to her cabinet she made a bed of even more enemies for herself. 

Truss’ credibility has taken a real trashing at this week’s Tory party conference. Things got so bad at the conference that a message came from the whips office that ordered al Tory MPs not to speak to the media.

By the time Truss finished her attacks of her list of dreamt up enemies some of the current and forrmer Tory MPs felt uninspired and resigned to defeat at the next general election. Truss has completed lost the plot.

When parliament reopens after the conference season, the Tory backbenches will make for interesting viewing as you know some will not shirk to public slam some of the decisions of the Truss front bench. Especially on the issue of cutting benefits.

I am no fan of either Priti Patel (former Home Secretary) or her successor Suella Braverman but given what the latter has hinted about her predecessor’s performance in the role you know Patel is going to come back at her.

Can Truss really hold on?

The Labour Party has recently enjoyed record opinion polling numbers, some giving them a 30+ percent lead over the Conservatives.

But we all know that the Conservative Party has this knack of turning around their misfortunes when the time comes for a general election. errr but not with Truss at the helm and the MPs know it.

The Tory MPs also know that Labour leader Kier Starmer is no Tony Blair (the only Labour leader to beat the Tories at the general elections in the past 40 years).

The Labour government should have never lost the 2010 general election and subsequently complacent Labour Party leaders have managed to lose to Tory governments when the latter should have been turfed out. 

But for the current Tory government  to survive at least Kwarteng or Truss has to go. Some would say preferably both.

Thus I would not be surprised if by the end of November new occupants are in at Numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street. London SW1.

There should never be any allowance for appalling leadership and diabolical management of any government  to embed itself because the personnel are new to the job. You have to react to those warning signs quickly or future generations will pay a heavy price. Calm heads needed. 

Whatever pennies I have left are back on Mordaunt.

Then again what do I know? Today’s British politics is far from conventional or reality.

Miracle Needed on Downing Street

About africanherbsman1967

On the corner
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