Another day, another new Conservative Prime Minister to muck up our lives

Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are in for an absolute treat today. It’s more of a faff to get to Balmoral than a quick spin up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, but the journey from Aberdeen through Royal Deeside is absolutely gorgeous. The heather in the hills round about Aboyne is particularly stunning, even if it is, as forecast, tipping it down.

I am so glad that they are going north to see the Queen. The 96 year old monarch has earned the right to say that they should come to her.

I wonder what arrangements have been made for Boris and Carrie to get back from Balmoral. Normally the outgoing PM gets a taxi from Buckingham Palace. Will the estate manager drop them in Ballater so they can get the bus back to Aberdeen to catch the Easyjet back down south? Probably not, but it’s an amusing thought.

Much has been said about the new Prime Minister’s bulging in tray. Competing economic, energy, international and health crises require urgent action. I don’t think we are emphasising enough, though, the extent to which all these issues have been made worse by the foolish actions of the Conservative Party in Government since 2015.  From David Cameron’s ill-advised pledge to hold a referendum on our EU membership, to Theresa May’s and Boris Johnson’s choice to pursue the most extreme form of Brexit, they have helped create much tougher economic circumstances than in similar economies.

Sectors like social care are falling apart because of their anti-immigrant ethos. As care workers went back to the EU, our disabled and elderly friends and family found that the help that they relied on disappeared.

Boris Johnson’s boasterish farewell speech this morning didn’t mention this. He didn’t get Brexit done. He left a predictably impossible situation in Northern Ireland and the new PM intends to take the nuclear option of breaking international law rather than find a more pragmatic solution.  Deaths from Covid in the UK are the highest in Europe and the long term consequences of their pretence that the pandemic is over are being felt by too many people.

It takes some brass neck to deliver such a bullish speech when you have been forced from office in disgrace after the resignation of half of your government. Tim Farron summed it up this morning:

Jo Swinson said back in 2019 that the worst thing about Boris Johnson was that he just didn’t care. He simply couldn’t be bothered to understand how his Government’s actions affected people. Liz Truss, similarly, shows no sign of giving a damn and she doesn’t have anything like the charisma of her predecessor.

There is little doubt that she will have to move from her statement early in the leadership campaign that handouts were “un-Conservative.” However, when Laura Kuensberg put to her on Sunday that her proposed tax cuts would benefit the rich much more than the poor, she was pretty clear that she was quite happy with this.

Liz Truss inherits an absolute mess and all the indications suggest that she will continue in the tradition of her predecessors and just make things worse. You wouldn’t have thought that there could be anyone more anti-immigrant than Priti Patel at the Home Office, but Suella Braverman has an even more cavalier attitude to the existing law and we can prepare for a bonfire of our human rights.

The prospect of Kemi Badenoch at Education raises the terrifying spectre of another Section 28 for transgender people. It is so important that good people in all parties and none unite to protect this increasingly marginalised and vulnerable group of people and ensure that trans children are treated with sensitivity and dignity. So many of my friends have horror stories to tell about growing up under the first section 28 and we can’t allow that to happen again.

The one bit of good news this morning is that Nadine Dorries has decided to inflict some more awful books on us rather than continue as culture secretary. Let’s hope that her successor shelves the plan to sell off Channel 4.

We’ll be covering the events of the day and reaction to the new PM’s first speech. A word of caution about that, though. I will never forget Margaret Thatcher reciting the prayer of St Francis of Assisi offering to bring peace and harmony before embarking on policies that divided and oppressed people and caused immense suffering and hardship.



* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Mick Taylor 6th Sep '22 - 3:44pm

    I detested everything Thatcher stood for, but unlike either Johnson or Truss, she had principles and stuck to them. I loathed her actions but at least she did them from conviction. You could admire her as a politician whilst loathing her politics. Truss is, I think the 17th Prime Minister since I was born (Wilson did two separate terms so maybe 16 different people). Johnson was the worst by far, but I suspect Truss may be worse even than that. She has no principles to fall back on, so in that respect she’s no different from Johnson. I have to be convinced she knows fact from fiction.

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