Liz Truss is kinda suss

Rob Fitzpatrick gives an analysis of what Liz Truss wants to achieve, and why despite her “diverse” cabinet, she is about to make life much more difficult for the working class.

The speech that Liz Truss gave in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death was outstandingly wooden. Where emotion and an attempt at sincerity were present from the words of most public figures, Truss struggled to capture the attention of her people in a wonderful opportunity to endear herself to the public.
 

Just the day previous, Truss had appointed the most senior members of her cabinet, otherwise known as the "great offices of state”. For the first time in history, none of the positions of Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary or Chancellor are held by white men. There seemed to be an implication from media outlets such as the BBC and The Guardian that this is some sign of progression within British politics, and that including women and people of colour in these positions will be beneficial to those with similar identities who have not had the privilege to escape the structural discrimination that hinders their ability to progress economically, within careers or in the British social hierarchy. 
 

Just in the same manner as calling Margaret Thatcher empowering, attempting to justify supporting Liz Truss and her cabinet is a sad attempt at weaponising identity politics by the Tory party. When you view Liz Truss’s past and the work that she has done for her constituency, then it becomes clear that the impact she will have on the most vulnerable will be damaging. 

“Just in the same manner as calling Margaret Thatcher empowering, attempting to justify supporting Liz Truss and her cabinet is a sad attempt at weaponising identity politics by the Tory party.”

In Truss’s own constituency, South West Norfolk, there are a number of issues regarding investment in local industries and business. Towns and villages are suffering because of the lack of government funding, including the education system and Healthcare System which lacks the appropriate resources to function at a high standard. With many constituents having to take more than one job in order to support themselves, her own constituency is not one that has seen the benefits of Tory rule for the past 12 years. With the energy crisis looming and the ongoing cost of living crisis, the people that originally elected her are set to suffer by the policies she wishes to implement as prime minister.

“With many constituents having to take more than one job in order to support themselves, her own constituency is not one that has seen the benefits of Tory rule for the past 12 years.”

In the past, Truss spoke about the young British population as lazy and unmotivated individuals who have cared more about “pop music” and “football” than working to make a living. Her solution to her perceived problem is lowering taxes and welfare subsidies in order to incentivise people to go to work.  These policies also mean that there'll be less tax funding for services such as education and health care. It seems obvious that the ones who'll be best able to "work" are those who are privileged enough to access these key services to begin with - not the working class for whom she takes aim at regularly. 

Another more sinister issue is that when Truss talks about the working class she directly compares their work ethic to immigrants of Indian and Pakistani descent. By presenting this comparison and bringing it to the media Truss only succeeds in igniting the fear and racism that has been used time and time again to push forward many conservative policies and racist ideas. While fear-mongering surrounding immigrants was heavily used in the Brexit campaign, here again we see a British politician using the narrative of being “bested” by immigrants to motivate the working class, only seeking to divide communities even more. By creating a narrative about the difference between communities of white Britons and those who have immigrated she intensifies the hostilities that have already been fostered by years of propaganda.

“By presenting this comparison and bringing it to the media Truss only succeeds in igniting the fear and racism that has been used time and time again to push forward many conservative policies and racist ideas.”

Meanwhile Truss also criticises woke culture, and cites the Civil Service as a key example of wokeism slipping into the workforce. One line that has served the Tory party well has been accusations of anti-semitism, which Truss has used once more against the Civil Service.  With no real basis for these accusations, it is initially unclear why this would be used as a centre point of her campaign. What is clear, however, is that identity is a tool used by Truss to gain support and appeal to the fears and uncertainties of British voters.

Given that her ever changing political and economic ideology is littered with inconsistencies, it is worrying the ease at which Truss manages to utilise such an influential tool within her politics. 

Right now, Europe is on the edge of an economic crisis. Inflation is hitting everyone, winter is coming and war in the East still persists. Britain is more isolated than it has been in decades, with no movement on the Northern Ireland Protocol and an EU that takes issue with continued attempts to undermine previous agreements.

“BoJo is a tough act to follow for grand language and encouraging words.”

At home, Truss deals with an oncoming recession and the instability of British morale due to the Queen's death, and the potential loss of geopolitical power due to the satisfaction of the commonwealth with the monarchy. Boris Johnson has done Truss no favours with the mess that the conservative party has been left in.

In short, it seems as though the support Truss has is flimsy and her methods of motivation leave much to be desired. Her use of the "culture war" may have won her the leadership of the conservative party but for a country that will soon be facing much more material harm, it is doubtful that she will gain the support of the masses, especially if her public speaking skills continue to disappoint as drastically as they have thus far. BoJo is a tough act to follow for grand language and encouraging words.

The only solace that Truss may find, is that the Labour party continues to flounder and that for now, it is hard to see anyone but the conservatives having a majority.