Olney: PM’s apology brings nothing but cold comfort

Yesterday afternoon, Penny Mordaunt was given an impossible job – defending the indefensible. She was asked to deputise for the Prime Minister in the Commons for Labour’s urgent question on the sacking of the Chancellor.

Mordaunt did much better than Truss ever could have done. She had a reasonable balance of “**** you”, humility, and even a bit of sincerity in the face of quite an onslaught from opposition MPs. It is hard to imagine anyone having a go at the opposition when they were part of a government that had made a crap economic situation much worse.

Labour missed a trick by going for the Truss hiding under a desk line. They could have made the point that the PM was deliberately being kept away for fear of what she might way next.

Then we had Jeremy Hunt repeating his earlier market-settling bad news that we were all going to get 18 months less help with our energy bills than we had been hoping, while we paid more taxes and had less good public services.

By the evening, it was deemed safe for Truss, who hadn’t been seen since her ill-fated press conference on Friday, to give an interview to the BBC’s Chris Mason. With her uniquely stilted manner,  she managed to deliver an apology with such insincerity that you wonder why she bothered and stated with even less conviction that she intended to lead the Conservatives into the next General Election. Just like she said that the 45p tax rate was definitely going and that all the other measures in her budget were staying. Let’s not hold our breath.

Sarah Olney, our Treasury Spokesperson said that Truss’s apology didn’t cut it:

This Government hasn’t just caused a slow-motion car crash it’s completely destroyed the motorway.

Wheeling ministers out to apologise at the scene of the economic crime will bring cold comfort to millions of families and pensioners who are suffering as a direct result of the Conservative’s actions.

If the Conservatives really had any sense of sorrow they would immediately call a General Election and let the people of this country send them a message they can’t ignore.

Sarah is right. The minimum price we pay for Truss’s recklessness is 18 months’ less help with energy bills, higher personal taxes, worse public services, much more expensive mortgages and more expensive booze. Everyone on low and middle incomes is going to feel some level of pain. Some already find the struggle to provide the basics of life impossible. Truss and the Conservative Party will not be easily forgiven.

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

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  • Given the known (and perhaps unknown) influence various policy institutions have on the current prime minister, her policies and the Tory party, which have been so damaging to the British people, should we be tabling legislation to make these organisations more publicly accountable?
    Treating them as glorified lobbyists might be a good start.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 18th Oct '22 - 11:19am

    That is a very good suggestion, @andy.

  • George Thomas 18th Oct '22 - 7:43pm

    An apology comes in two parts (recognising what you’ve done is wrong and changing behaviour for the better) so while I would criticise current Prime Minister for refusing to offer a sincere apology, there is some progress in a Prime Minister being able to say the word “apology”.

    Just how pathetic has political discourse been under the Tory party (more likely to offer dead cats than sincerity) that being able to say the word “apology” is progress?

  • Dave Simpson 19th Oct '22 - 9:01am

    Apart from the domestic consequences, which are serious enough in all conscience, this government is also trying to pick up the pieces of the Brexit disaster by concluding new trade deals across the world. But would any sane nation enter into a trade (or any other sort of) deal with this demonstrably unreliable and incompetent government?

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