Liz Truss is a political change. Now she is set for her toughest transformation yet as Britain’s likely prime minister

However, with most opinion polls suggesting he is about to get the keys to 10 Downing Street, his critics are asking: what exactly does he stand for?

Many who have watched him over the years wonder if he has any sincere beliefs or if he is simply endorsing what is most convenient at the time.

To say Truss has been on a political journey would be an understatement. She was born in 1975 into a family that she herself has described as “to the left of Labour”, the main socialist opposition. He grew up in parts of the UK that did not traditionally vote Conservative, passing between Scotland and northern England.

In contrast to his privately educated cabinet colleagues, Truss went to a public school in Leeds and later won a place at Oxford University. There he was an active member of the Liberal Democrats, a centrist opposition party that has long been an effective opponent of the Conservatives in much of England.

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss listens during a search for Conservative Party members at the All Nations Center on August 3, 2022 in Cardiff, Wales.

During her time as a Liberal Democrat, Truss supported the legalization of cannabis and the abolition of the royal family, positions that are completely at odds with what most would consider mainstream Conservatism in 2022.

Truss says he joined the Conservatives in 1996, just two years after he gave a speech at a Liberal Democrat conference calling for an end to the monarchy.

Even then, his fellow Liberal Democrats questioned his sincerity and detected traits they still see in him today.

“Honestly, I think he was playing to the gallery then, whether he was talking about decriminalizing drugs or abolishing the monarchy,” Neil Fawcett, a Liberal Democrat councilor who campaigned with Truss in the 1990s, told CNN. who is someone who plays to the gallery with any audience he talks to, and I really don’t know if anything he says is ever believed, then or now.”

Truss has certainly continued to capture the attention of his audience. Since joining the Conservatives and becoming a Member of Parliament, he has fervently supported almost every conceivable ideology. She served loyally under three Prime Ministers in a number of different Cabinet jobs, and is currently Foreign Secretary.

Most notably, he supported remaining in the European Union in 2016. At the time, Truss tweeted that he supported those who wanted to remain in the bloc because “it’s in the UK’s economic interest and means we can focus on a vital economic and social reform”. at home”.

Truss now backs Brexit, saying his pre-referendum fears that it could lead to “disruption” were wrong. The would-be Tory leader is even threatening to scrap all remaining EU legislation in the UK and overturn the Brexit deal Johnson negotiated with Brussels in a way the EU believes is illegal. legal He has also blamed France and the EU for border controls at Dover, the main port between the UK and France.

    Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss take part in the BBC Leadership Debate at Victoria Hall on July 25, 2022 in Hanley, England.

There is a debate within the Conservative Party about how real this support for Euroscepticism really is. Some believe Truss was reluctantly following orders from the government at the time of the 2016 referendum, which opposed Brexit. Others find this argument inconceivable.

Anna Soubry, a former Tory cabinet minister, told CNN that Truss “had the most coverage of any of us in support of Brexit. His writing at the time included the farming community, which supported Brexit in general . I sat around the cabinet table. and he heard everyone’s reason for doing what they did and I find it hard to believe that he’s changed his mind quite a bit.”

Meanwhile, Gavin Barwell, who served as former Prime Minister Theresa May’s chief of staff, said that after the Brexit vote, “Truss made the decision very quickly that there was no room for a compromise. to do that, it had to be done at all. And as the stalemate dragged on, he argued that a binary choice was coming between leaving without a deal and reversing Brexit, and the latter would be catastrophic for the government.”

The closer he gets to power, the more Britons wonder what Truss’s prime minister would be like. He has campaigned to lead the most conservative agenda. He has pledged to cut taxes from day one, scrap EU regulations and encourage private sector growth with low corporate tax. He has said he will not impose a windfall tax on energy companies even though they made huge profits during the cost of living and energy crisis.

This type of policy is of course red meat to the Conservative members who will ultimately vote for it. And while some who know her question how much she really believes in them, there is no doubt that she will put all her effort into implementing them and making their impact felt immediately.

Liz Truss speaks during an event in Ludlow, Britain, as part of her campaign to become leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister, on August 3, 2022.Ultimately, a Truss prime minister is likely to look a lot like Johnson’s, but with a greater emphasis on tax cuts, downsizing and potentially an even harder line on Europe . Critics have said the tax cuts he has promised will lead to even higher inflation and interest rate hikes amid a predicted recession. Questions have also been raised about Truss’ promise to cut public sector pay, supposedly saving the public $8.8 billion. His economics have been questioned by his critics, and the uproar over perceived callousness towards public sector workers forced Truss make a U turn.

Julian Glover, a journalist and speechwriter for former Prime Minister David Cameron, was a college contemporary of Truss and recalls traits in her that are still recognizable today: determined but unfocused.

“We only hung out briefly, and she was in a different year for me, but despite that, she stands out in my memory as a kind of strange, unfocused force, very much in favor of action and change,” Glover said. . “It was always hard to see the point of it all, or where it might lead, except that she would be at the center.”

Roger Crouch, who succeeded Truss as president of Oxford University’s Liberal Democrats, told CNN he remembers a woman who was “determined, determined and willing to challenge orthodox and prevailing, often male, wisdom.”

Unlike many who knew Truss in her younger years, Crouch, who is now a teacher, believes her views haven’t changed much since the 1990s. “Liz was always more of a privatization liberal and a libertarian, so that there is a constant thread of thought. I remember a student discussion group in which he argued for the privatization of streetlights.”

If he wins, Truss will struggle to unite his party, which has been in power for 12 years and has been bitterly divided over Brexit for six of those years.

He will also have to lead the country through the worst cost of living crisis in decades. Inflation is at a 40-year high, energy bills are set to rise by hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds a year, and the UK is expected to go into recession before the end of the year. This winter, many families will have to choose between food and warmth. And for a party that has been in power for over a decade, it’s hard to shift the blame for this to anyone else.

His supporters see a chance for a fresh start in Truss. They believe that with Brexit out of the way and the scandals that led to Johnson’s downfall soon a distant memory, the party will turn its attention to staying in power and winning a historic fourth consecutive general election.

For his detractors, it’s more complicated. During this leadership contest, those who have supported their rivals feel they have been unfairly maligned simply for arguing that Truss should hand over the keys to Downing Street.

When it comes to running the country, this could be a problem for Truss. He had the support of fewer MPs than his rival Rishi Sunak during the early stages of the contest and the bad blood between the two camps has worsened over time.

And for all Truss’ grit and determination, if he takes over a party torn apart by infighting and suffering in the polls during a cost-of-living crisis that happened under the Tories’ watch, he could find the its key objective too difficult. task at hand: to make his party eligible in the next general election after almost a decade and a half in power.

Source link

You May Also Like