The collapse of Germany at the end of World War One was so sudden, and occurred without a yard of German soil being occupied by French, American or British troops, that a narrative sprung up: the country had not been defeated in battle, but had been stabbed in the back by a conspiracy of financiers, freemasons and Jews.Something similar seems to be happening with memories of the Truss-Kwarteng administration. It didn’t fail, it was stabbed in the back for the crime of being too Conservative, too radical, and for – ultimately – believing in Britain rather than in managed decline. Truss, in this version of events, is another Thatcher, only this time the wets (read “Sunak and city buddies”) won.There are several things strikingly weird about this analysis. Firstly, it casts Truss and Kwarteng as the ones pursuing a brave path against conventional wisdom, as Thatcher did before. And, indeed, Mrs Thatcher did follow a brave path. Upon entering Number 10 in 1979, she cut spending (removing the Double Lock on pensions), and increased taxes (most notably VAT). Her view was that only by righting the fiscal ship, and reducing the deficit, would Britain be able to afford tax cuts in the future.Truss, by contrast, proposed the opposite. Despite debt-to-GDP being well above the levels of 1979 (around 90% vs 40%), she wanted to cut taxes and increase spending. Her policies were not Thatcher or Howe-like, they were a return to the earlier 1970s of Wilson. Callaghan and Heath.Secondly, there was no “conspiracy” in the City. Borrowing rates spiked and the pound fell because investors were spooked that these policies would lead to increased inflation. (Like, you know, happened in the 1970s when they were last tried.) Investors, either in the UK or abroad, are not under any obligation to buy British government debt. If they think inflation (and therefore higher rates) are coming, it is economically rational to want to hold less of it. That’s not a conspiracy, that’s fulfilling their fiduciary duty to their investors.Thirdly, Truss and Kwarteng got themselves in this mess because they didn’t want to hear from people that disagreed with them. Again, the difference with Thatcher could not be greater. Thatcher had regular stand up rows with people she disagreed with; but until the end (when I admit she went slightly mad) she kept critics around her, because she welcomed the intellectual scrutiny. And this stretched from the Civil Service, where she clashed regularly with Robert Armstrong, to Howe, Lawson, Clarke, and Heseltine in the Cabinet.Truss and Kwarteng, by contrast, chose not to get OBR figures on the impact of their policies on the debt and deficit, because they knew the numbers would be bad. They fired Tom Scholar, rather than listen to what he had to say about how the markets would react to their budget.There’s one final piece of the rewriting history that needs to be smacked on the head. This one holds that, actually, Truss and Kwarteng’s only mistake was presentational. Everything in the budget had been trialled, and if they hadn’t been so kind to higher rate taxpayers, then all would have been alright. (It was those damn socialists in the City on minimum wage who were… wait… this makes no sense.)This simply isn’t true. During the election contest, Ms Truss had repeatedly been cautious on energy subsidies. And when she ascended (briefly) to the top, she announced a £150bn plan to freeze household energy bills, while cutting taxes. Nowhere could this be more different to Mrs Thatcher, who famously said “you can’t buck the market”. And who, on assuming power, scrapped the entire mechanism of price planning that she inherited from the Callaghan government.Callaghan misread the markets, (almost) saying “Crisis, What Crisis?”. But at least he got it at the end, telling the Labour Party Conference: “We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession, and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting Government spending. I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists”. Ms Truss still hasn’t got it.
Robert didn't WhatsApp me telling me he's done a header.
In short, you cannot cosplay Thatcher without doing the hard work first.
Sorry for the edits; I've been drinking
Mother. Queen. Saviour.
Is she mental? She doesn't look it but she kind of acts it.
She genuinely believes she had a mandate* to change the country and there was an institutional coup d'état against her.
*She seems to not grasp 80,000 votes from Tory members isn't a mandate to change the country.
He says com-oo-nity, not com-yoo-nity
It sounds really odd to me
I think it’s a grey area. A friends brother in law is in the West Mids police, dealing with paedophiles. He has to deal with scum day in, day out, horrible stuff. He regularly sends Whatsapp messages that originate among his colleagues that cross lines, often majorly. My colleague at the uni sends them to me. We are probably all contravening some law, somewhere. My Dad, ex Guards and then 30 years in the police says that officers need black humour to deal with stuff. In the old days that was in the pub, telling jokes about things Joe Public would be horrified at. Now it’s on Whatsapp. At what point are people not allowed to tell shit, distasteful jokes among friends?
Her policies were fine if funded. She might even have managed to implement them if she'd presented a very clear budget with the costs. What she actually did was commit to spending and stuck the funding in the back room and hoped nobody would notice. Even Labour haven't done that before.
It needs to behave and by behave I mean act in the manner the market expects. If it doesn’t all hell breaks loose.
This was very bad news for Truss but it is even worse news for the next Labour government due late next year. Those who decry “austerity” , as practiced by Osborne and his successors, are likely to be particularly disappointed when the Labour government finds it must do more of the same. Rich countries can suit themselves. Our economic failures over the last 25 years means we are no longer in that category.
Those who had worked with her did actually warn as much.
It’s actually an indictment of Cameron that she found her way into any sort of power. The best I can say about her is that she was less useless in Trade than Liam Fox, but the jury is still out on the Aussie trade deal, frankly.
They just happen to be countries that follow very prudent economic policies, including encouraging domestic saving, rather than splurging on tax cuts and spending increases.
Labour really has to deliver in office, for all our sakes.
The last thing we need is a radical populist leftwing party gaining serious traction here (a British Sinn Fein) because of mass disillusionment with both main political parties, because that will start to confiscate private property.
Of the tax cuts / foregone rises, ditching the CT rise was arguable but had some merit, ditching the health and social care levy probably a good idea if it were replaced by a fairer income tax rise, the 45p rate cut was just pointless gesturing and the investment zones an ill thought out policy. None would be that bad on their own in different times but together at once while spending hundreds of billions on an energy price guarantee yet planning further cuts in investment was just daft.
As the judge who sentenced Wayne Couzens noted the police have unique powers and a role that means they need to be judged to a higher standard.
Imagine you were the victim of a racist assault and it then transpired the coppers investigating regularly used racial slurs.
As for me, for example if someone looked at my phone they would see I have friends who regularly use homophobic slurs which I never call out and I occasionally reply with 'OMG, I feel so guilty for laughing at that.'
The reality is I have a lot of gay friends, who use terms I would never use, so in that context those messages are fine.
Same as me, who make people feel guilty for making people laugh at inappropriate jokes.
I have been compared to Jimmy Carr on multiple occasions.
I suspect Ben Wallace would have crashed and burned quickly too.
Funnily enough, I think Michael Gove could do the job.
Unfortunately the Tories aren't going to choose someone who backed Remain.
This is why I think the Tories deserve total oblivion in 24. The normal pieties about a “healthy opposition” don’t hold. The Tories, and their supporters, are beneath contempt.
If you looked hard enough you could probably do anyone for discrimination somewhere down the line regardless of political affiliation. Because that's being human.
Context, degree, motive and character matter hugely in interpreting what someone said and why and yet society today demands black & white biblical judgements, and scalps.
But such a strategy is not an easy one. It requires you to hold government spending down, and do avoid running a trade deficit, because you are no longer have control of your destiny.
Yousaf, however, is going for a full house of flaws. It doesn’t bode well for the country.
If things go down hill under labour too I fully expect the governement after to be neither tory or labour but some extremist shits from left or right
"Twitter has started adding packs for "Twitter Coins" as of 10 minutes ago.
The first pack showing is 150 coins for $1.99, and the only current purchasing option is via Stripe.
I bought one pack and got 215 coins for it, currently checking to see what I can get with that."
"A clampdown has been launched targeting "foreigners [who] come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits", home secretary John Reid has said.
The plan is to stop illegal immigrants getting housing, healthcare or work.
He said the UK was now "throwing out" record numbers of asylum seekers and he hoped to make life "constrained and uncomfortable" for illegal immigrants."
Not a great bench behind Starmer/Reeves though, is it?
When the storms get a bit choppy they'll run into very similar party management issues.
But the Tories have plumbed new depths.
Admittedly it’s not Churchill’s War Cabinet, but the idea they are all crap after Starmer and Reeves doesn’t really withstand analysis.
I actually think they are one of the stronger Opposition front benches we’ve seen (you and are approx the same age, I think).
Never done anything but politics and live in a bubble.
Maybe we should select/vote based on real-world experience instead.
There must be a decent - say 20% chance - he “reluctantly” concedes to standing.
The fact you can't see this is simply a function of your enthusiasm for a change in government.
Stonking value if those are the real odds.
I've bought a tenner.
It will be interesting to see if Kate withdraws now, esp after Swinney's comments. Or if she fights on to the bitter end.
The defenestration of Kate Forbes in this way is gonna leave a very sour taste in the mouths of quite a few folk. Particularly if Humza is the beneficiary. Extraordinarily poor optics.
They’re a disgrace to our democracy.
Starmer should change the law to force a GE within 30 days if ever a serving PM is bought down/resigns/dies mid-term.
SKS's main problem is how he loses (entirely) the denizens of the left.
There are strands of politics, left and right, that seem to assume that wanting an outcome is enough, that if people say "hold on, there might be bad side effects", it's because they are bad people who don't want good things. And for a lot of the last decade, those voices seem to be getting louder.
Let's face it, most of your smarter MPs are languishing on the back benches.
This morning the government was due to publish its Action Plan to speed up Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
Although now I've learned that the government's plan to speed things up has itself been delayed. Poetic.
I’m not a Labour voter, and I am likely to become one of their biggest critics as soon as there is a change in government.
Dodds is a wonk. No especial harm in that. She was in the wrong role, and has now been moved. I haven’t been so impressed, but I’m withholding judgment.
Cooper might be overrated, I don’t especially rate her, save that she looks like the pinnacle of competence compared to the current lot.
Looking at the front bench…
I - with certain allowances - broadly rate* Starmer, Reeves, Cooper, Lammy, Phillipson, Nandy, Healy, Ashworth, Allin-Khan, Reynolds, Miliband and Streeting and Debbonaire.
You also have Benn and Bryant kicking about, and Angela Smith.
*As in, don’t think WTF, which is high praise from me.
Rayner I personally don’t rate. I admire her story, though, and I accept she maybe reaches certain demographics. Thornberry I also think has presentational issues. I’m not convinced by Reed, Murray or Haigh.
After a long period out of power, it's often said the Opposition front bench "lacks experience" and won't be ready for the challenges of Government. The same was said of the Labour frontbench in the mid-90s nd the Conservative frontbench in the mid-2000s.
To be fair, in each instance and indeed now, there are vestiges of the last time the Party was in Government in key positions. Yvette Cooper was in the Brown Cabinet just as William Hague served under John Major. The other aspect of experience is the Opposition has contact with the Civil Service - after all, the Service has to implement the policies of the incoming Government so it's useful to have established and experienced Shadow Ministers in place who can quickly move into the key departments.
We can only hope that now they actually need to do something for a living as the eu is not going to make law for them that they give up and we actually get some thinkers and doer's in parliament rather than the idiots we have in all parties now
But the implementation was clearly rushed, with a stunned surprise of any pushback, and now a retreat to conspiracies about shadowy cabals who are opposed to Trussite growth for some unclear reason. It's not a promising look.
It absolute bandwidth it has taken up means so many other pressing problems aren't being fixed whilst Rishi has to appease the DUP and ERG.
Of course it sounds stupid and obvious, but it appears it is not obvious, judging by British economic policy of recent* years.
*Take your pick. At least since 2016, probably since 2010, maybe even since 1979 or 1879!