Former PM Liz Truss has written an entire book about her 15 minutes in office

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Over the past 13 years we’ve had more Tory prime ministers than most of us have had real-terms pay increases. All but one of these PMs have resigned in disgrace (although we’re sure that number will be reduced to zero as soon as Rishi Sunak’s scandals reach critical mass). As bad as they all turned out, there’s one among them who stands tall as the most chaotic and embarrassing. That would be Liz Truss – the woman who lasted a mere 49 days before resigning in disgrace.

Given the short and embarrassing nature of her time in office, you might assume two things:

  1. There couldn’t possibly be enough material for a book.
  2. Even if you could squeeze a book out of it, why would you want to remind everyone what you did?

But no! Truss must have considered both of these points, and yet still came to the conclusion that these aren’t problems for her – because she’s written a whole book about her short time in office.

Hard Times

According to an interview she did, Truss is blaming a lack of “support for Conservative ideas”.

Truss was the Conservative prime minister of a Conservative government in a country which had voted Conservative for four successive elections. How much more support did these Conservative ideas need?

Let’s follow this through. In the interview, the Guardian paraphrased Truss saying:

I agree that taxes are too high and the Government is too big

Read on...

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If you’re not clear what she means by this, right-wingers like to say they believe in ‘small government’ – i.e., a government which doesn’t fund public services (unless of course we’re talking about the military, the police, the surveillance state, etc). Another key tenet of small government is that politicians can’t do anything about the economy. Instead, they seem to view it as this omnipotent thing which exists outside of our direct influence, and that all you can do is reduce taxes and pray it accepts our offering like some unswayable sea monster from Greek legend.

So what actually happened with Truss’s government?

If you remember, she did a load of big-C Conservative shit, and the economy flipped out. Can you see the contradiction?

Truss didn’t have to resign because there wasn’t support for her ideas; she had to resign because there wasn’t support for the impact of her ideas – ideas which had the polar opposite effect to what was promised.

Conservatism exposed

The media, the Tories, and a boatload of dodgy thinktanks have been feeding us this right-wing nonsense for years. That’s how someone like Truss managed to rise to the rank of PM in the first place. The difference between her and other failed Tory PMs is that they understood that while you can slip a lot past the British public, you do at least have to pace yourself.

Quite accidentally, Truss’s premiership ended up being the biggest refutation of right-wing British politics in decades. The people who backed her can’t let that stand, of course, so she has to go back out there and tell us that we were at fault for not believing in her nonsense hard enough.

Given the obvious gall of this gaslighting exercise, people had a lot to say:

Some suggested it would be a very short book:


Truss: outlasted by a lettuce

Many tweets referenced the fact that Truss was famously outlasted in office by a lettuce in a blonde wig:

Journalists asked about the Daily Star‘s lettuce livestream in June 2023, and she responded:

I don’t think it was particularly funny, I think it’s puerile

While it was undoubtedly puerile, it was also inarguably hilarious.

Ironically, Truss also said:

I think the level of understanding of economic ideas in the media and the ability to explain them is very poor indeed

While this statement is accurate, she’s not really the person to make it – given that her economic ideas literally crashed the economy. She’s also done a pretty poor job of explaining this post-crash, as I’ve visualised for you in this helpful meme:

To be fair to Truss, she does belatedly seem to be giving a boost to one worker out there:

Truss lives

There’s an important point to note about Truss’s political philosophy – it hasn’t really gone away:

Truss wasn’t a break from what the Tories had offered or what Keir Starmer is proposing – she was just a turbo-charged version of it. Really, all we learned from Truss was that if you try to do too much right-wing stuff at once, the wheels come off immediately.

What we should have learned – what we’ve literally witnessed – is that sooner or later the wheels fall off the right side regardless. Instead of trying to build ourselves a sturdier vehicle, we’re asking ‘Who can keep this shitshow moving forwards the longest?’ – as if the country was some sort of Jackass stunt.

Talking of Jackass, I don’t know if they have any plans to continue their cinematic output, but Truss’s new book would make one hell of a screenplay if they’re interested.

Featured image via Number 10 – Flickr

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