Taking a little foray into the world of international politics and economics with the post right now. I was shocked when I saw the breaking news that Chancellor Kwarteng was sacked first thing this morning. It was not so much due to a firing occurring because I think that is common practice in economic policy initiatives at the top level of government the world over. The shock came from the clear fact (at least to me) that this was not going to work. This would not lower the temperature on PM Truss in the least. And then came the press conference.
It is difficult to say something was the worst press conference ever these days. In the past few years a President suggested injecting yourself with bleach. Can I really say something was worse than that. I think I can.
If the press conference needed to achieve one thing it was the projection of confidence. Confidence in her agenda. Confidence in her decision to sack the Chancellor. Confidence in herself. To say the moment passed her by is insufficient, The moment overwhelmed and consumed her, leaving a husk of ministerial ambition on the stoop at 10 Downing Street.
I will admit to being an amateur observer of the English political landscape, at best. However, it seems unlikely there is a way forward for Truss from this point. The market meltdown intimidated her, so expect the market to continue to assert itself in opposition to policies.
The problem for the PM is there is not a real bastion of support for her anywhere. The problem for the Tories is they cannot switch to another person. However I think the Tories do not need to abandon her at this point. The weakness she displayed in the press conference would lead me to believe she is more interested in keeping her job than doing her job. This gives enormous power to the rank-and-file membership I suspect and essentially reduces her power to what the rank-and-file allow, thus a Zombie Prime Minister, with no real life of their own.
All this ignores the fact that economic realities are not being addressed right now by the Prime Minister. The desire for a “growth agenda” might be admirable, but in the case of this collection of policies it seems poorly thought out, to the point where you wonder if they actually know what growth is. Nor is there any clarity or confidence that this is the right agenda at the right time.
Still, major news today that occupied significant amounts of air time, twitter time, and my time as a result.