AFTER those dizzying U-turns, Liz Truss has transformed into a Rishi Sunak tribute act.
Why didn’t the Tories just go for the real thing? It would have saved everyone a lot of grief.
And in these turbulent times, perhaps they will.
Sunak could be smiling from the doorstep of 10 Downing Street by the end of the week, or the end of the day, or the end of this sentence.
Another unelected Tory Prime Minister! How many will we have, you wonder, before the sheepish Tories finally face an angry nation?
But this chaos can’t be allowed to continue.
For all her good intentions, for all her bold dreams, for all her big talk about giving The Blob a good kicking, six weeks of Liz Truss has caused nothing but chaos and misery.
She started a fire that was immediately beyond her control. And now she has totally trashed every cause she ever espoused.
Lower taxes, a smaller state, a happy sun-dappled land where growth brought prosperity for all — there was nothing wrong with the ideas.
But their ham-fisted handling gave the market the vapours and had the pound crumbling.
Liz Truss thought she could go for growth without placating the market, and without the support of the Office of Budget Responsibility, a part of the UK Treasury, and the likes of the IMF, the Bank of England and slick city boys always primed to make a fast buck out of someone else’s economic misery.
Truss thought she could do it all without any of them.
She was spectacularly, hopelessly wrong.
Who will dare make the case for getting taxes down from a 70-year high?
The 45 per cent top rate — a spiteful goodbye from Brown, another useless Prime Minister who was never elected by the British people — is now set in sacred stone for a generation.
High taxes will be the norm for all. The cult of growth, growth, growth has been hopelessly bungled, and will usher in a new era of desperately balancing the books.
Everything Truss campaigned on has been ditched.
Public spending cuts will now go ahead. Corporation tax — making the UK a less attractive place for investors — will now be hiked from 19 per cent to 25 per cent.
Don’t talk about U-turns — that doesn’t quite cover it.
In just six weeks, Truss has totally repented every policy that got her elected.
The Remainer who became a Leaver is now revealed as a cocker-upper of extraordinary proportions.
Brexit? You can forget Brexit. Truss, the last great advocate of a Brexit that was worthy of the name, has cocked that up too.
She could not organize a p**s-up in a brewery, let alone a successful departure from the European Union.
If this is where Brexit has brought us to, then it was simply not worth all the agony — and that fact may yet cause fissures within the Conservative Party that rips it apart for ever.
The only person who has done well out of Brexit is Boris Johnson, who will dine out on it for the rest of his days.
Bojo is the only one standing on the sun-lit uplands of our post-Brexit Britain.
Apart from him, we will all be poorer for the descent that has led us from Cameron to May to Johnson to Truss.
What a mess. What a tragedy. Hapless Truss promised growth but her economic pratfalls have ensured only that we will become poorer.
And if the Tories are no longer the party of stability and economic competence, what exactly are they for?
On Friday afternoon, Truss stuffed her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng into history’s recycling bin.
Yet there has been no suggestion that Kwarteng ever attempted to introduce rogue policies that made the new PM clutch her pearls in horror.
Kwasi only attempted to implement the policies that Truss had been promising during that interminable Tory leadership campaign.
You know what it says on the Truss tin — lower taxes (currently at a 70-year high), a smaller state (which expanded to cope with the ravages of the Covid pandemic) and high growth.
A more traditional Tory Government. That’s what Liz wants. That’s what Kwarteng wanted.
So why has only one of them got the boot? If Kwarteng got his financial calculations hopelessly wrong, then surely Liz Truss must ALSO have been using the Diane Abbott pocket calculator?
Why has Kwasi lost his gig while Truss remains Prime Minister? Beats me! I watched her Downing Street speech. I saw her lips move. And it still makes no sense that Kwasi goes and Truss stays.
And if Liz repents on her bold plans, and regrets all her yak-yak-yak about growth — that clever old Rishi Sunak predicted would bring misery and mayhem — then what is the point of her?
But the existential dilemma of the Conservative Party is not Liz Truss.
The terminal Tory problem is that the British people gave Boris Johnson a stonking 80-seat majority. And Tory MPs decided to give BoJo the boot.
Liz Truss has only been in the job for 40 days and Tory MPs are already planning to ditch her. And perhaps they will. Perhaps they should. One poll reckons that Liz enjoys the same popularity level as Prince Andrew.
The Tories are now the party of headless chickens. This feels close to the very end. Liz Truss is in her bunker, moving around armies that no longer exist, and the enemy are at the gates of the city.
Do they really expect us to meekly accept the fifth Tory Prime Minister in just six years? And another unelected PM? Gordon Brown in blue? What total contempt they show for the British people.
The idea that the Tories can keep changing leaders and not ask for a mandate from the British people is mad.
After all the agonies the Tories endured to anoint Truss, the blue herd of Tory MPs already want her replaced with a “dream ticket” — Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt. This month’s Tory leaders!
But then there must be a General Election. How can there not be? These tired, ill-tempered Tories have been in power for so long that they have forgotten we live in a democracy.
How decadent they seem. How totally corrupted by all those years in office. How complacent and contemptuous and spoilt. How totally ripe for kicking out.
The Tories are a party that is currently eating itself. All those pathetic little factions of Remainers and Leavers, pro-Boris and anti-Boris, Red Wall and Blue Wall.
I always thought a bad Tory Government would always be better than a good Labour Government. Now I’m honesty not so sure.
The sacking of Kwasi feels oddly like a human sacrifice. Vicious. Cruel. And ultimately absolutely mindless. Because Kwasi only tried to do what Liz Truss wanted to do — what she supposedly believes in.
Now the Chancellor’s job goes to a reassuring figure from a more economically prudent wing of the party — Jeremy Hunt.
Jeremy is a Remainer, of course. But you know what? Our country has sunk so low that I am not sure that phase even means anything any more. Jeremy Hunt looks sane and competent.
That is possibly the best we can hope for right now.
All Liz’s bold promises of low tax and high growth are being thrown out as she attempts to save her own skin. It’s all rather pathetic.
If you love our country, and I know you do, please go TODAY, Prime Minister. Britain deserves better.