What a time to be on holiday in Scotland. I have switched off from everything else but the drama in Westminster. It’s dangerous to switch off for an hour or two as the melodrama plays out.
The last few days in Westminster have been some of the most dramatic I have witnessed in 30 years of politics. They are up there with the fall of Thatcher.
We all knew Truss was not up to job. When people asked me who as a Labour member who I wanted to win the Tory leadership election – I always said Truss. I just pictured this exact scenario of incompetence and inability to communicate driven by a dangerous ideology.
What we have now is a PM who appears to have given away the one thing they have when they get the keys to No10. Power. She may still be inside and chairing cabinet but she isn’t in control.
Whilst this is all great drama -and will hopefully lead to a dismal defeat for the Tories when they finally admit it’s all over and call an election – it’s the consequences for millions of us and our lives that are suffering. The cost of living crisis, some of which is global, has been exacerbated by the Tories 12 years of austerity and low growth. The mini budget then tipped us into full made in Downing Street crisis. Millions worry how they will survive the Winter bills or putting food on the table. Mortgage costs are rocketing and a further round of Tory austerity will lead to the further decline of our public services and public realm. Our tired towns and cities will continue to stagnate. I’ve watched my own retirement plans shredded by the market reaction to Trussonomics!
Who knows where this will end. The plotters need to come together with one plan. One caretaker PM to settle the markets and then call a general election as quickly as possible. They know she can’t lead them into an election. Selfishly for the size of a Labour victory I would love to see her try.
There are general wider lessons from this fiasco to be learned. This is not just about Truss. It is about a wasted decade of austerity, Brexit, the liar Johnson and the widespread incompetence of Tory ministers promoted only for their loyalty not ability. Britain needs a complete reset. One based on the best European social models. They are well run counties with happier citizens for a reason. Yes higher taxes but decent public services and reduced inequality. It’s a 20 year project but one that could be achieved if progressives worked together! That’s the prize ahead. Not just getting rid of Truss and her failed ideology.