The new leader is likely to pick up where Boris Johnson left off – but with less public trust and worsening crises on her hands
By Timur FomenkoAn analyst in politics
Liz Truss has been revealed as the new leader of the Conservative Party and Britain’s prime minister.
Because Rishi Sunak and her were not in a real fight for Conservative Party votes, the media already declared that result certain. Boris Johnson was forced to quit after a string of scandals that shook the credibility of Truss’ government.
But she doesn’t represent a clean start or a breath of fresh air. Her life is the product of Johnson’s legacy. For those disenchanted with Johnson’s policies, things are going to go from bad to worse.
Johnson was often referred to as a buffoon. Before ‘Partygate’ destroyed public trust, he was for the most part likeable. He was a clown before his antics became a liability.
Liz Truss doesn’t have any of those. She is mocked, but there is a tragic element to it because the key point is she’s trying to be serious. Like when she became widely ridiculed early on due to her obsession with cheese. But it’s not a joke for her.
Truss isn’t your slightly amicable loveable buffoon, she’s a mock-up version of Margaret Thatcher with a very dangerous ideology of Brexit euphoria and nationalistic chauvinism.
As a democratic fundamentalist with a deep understanding of the world, she is also a strong advocate for the broader cause of Brexit. She has made it a mantra throughout her tenure in power and transformed it from an anti-nationalist sentiment into a conservative confrontationalism.
Her brand is built upon overselling Britain’s capabilities, on pretending it is something it is not, and in conjunction with that striving for a heroic collision course with both China and Russia simultaneously.
Reports suggest that she plans to declare Beijing an official threat within a matter of hours after she has won office. Given her track record, it remains to be determined if she is acting out of sheer jingoism. “governing by slogan,”But it can still lead to uncertainty and increase tensions.
And one can’t readily assume she is actually competent and knows what she is doing. Truss’s actual abilities and ability to manage a government is questioned. She also starts with low trust levels and a lack of popularity. She’s actually less popular than Johnson.
Her entry into Number 10 couldn’t come at a worse time either. People aren’t going to be patient with her. Britons are facing skyrocketing living and electricity costs. Many pensioners will be unable to pay their electric bills in the coming winter, which is likely to lead to the country entering recession.
She will claim that this is the cost of winning in Ukraine. She is most likely to worsen the situation for average Britons by doubling her efforts in the Cold War that has emerged with China and refusing any compromises with Moscow. She can talk tough and appear self-righteous, but she doesn’t seem to have a plan that will improve the public’s livelihoods anytime soon.
That isn’t going to accelerate Britain’s revival on a global scale, as she likes to claim, but is in fact going to accelerate its decline into irrelevance. Not only will Britain be poorer, but there’s little inclination to believe a state led by her would actually be respected by others.
Less than a week before Truss’ ascent to the PM’s post it was revealed that India’s economy had overtaken the United Kingdom in terms of GDP. Indians were happy to see their nation surpass its colonial rulers.
Yet for Truss, the empire isn’t over, and she doesn’t seem to understand Indians won’t accept one-sided trade terms in Britain’s favor. They don’t do trade deals on “post-imperial nostalgia.”
She is preparing for a tough reality check. Her term in office will likely be fraught with chaos, recklessness, and possibly even disaster. This is unless she comes up with a surprise for her country or the entire world. Do you think she has one? It will only be time.
Statements, opinions and views expressed in this column do not reflect those of RT.