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From austerity to Z-listers, it’s Liz’s alphabet

These 26 letters spell no confidence in the new PM and her party. Here’s what they stand for

Image: The New European

Not the usual diary this week, but an alphabet. An A to Z, a reminder of just how bad this government is, and has been for some time, and why they must, must, must be ejected from office, the sooner the better, before our country sinks even deeper into the abyss they have created…

A is for Austerity.

It was a political choice, made by David Cameron and George Osborne as part of their political strategy to pin the blame for the last global financial crisis on Labour, and give political cover for the enormous cuts they wanted to make anyway. And now, following the mega-mini-budget gone wrong, austerity is coming back, this time even harder, with spending cuts on state schools and the like, so that bankers can pay less tax on their newly uncapped bonuses.

B is for Brexit.

The biggest act of national self-harm in our history. Won by lies, since when the lies have never stopped flowing, because they cannot bring themselves to admit either that it is going badly, or that it was won on a false prospectus. It has made Britain poorer, more chaotic, more divided, and less powerful in the world.

C is for Corruption.

Covid contracting riddled with it. Tory Party funding based on it. The honours system co-opted into it. Tory relations with the media run on it. Kwasi Kwarteng’s social life with hedge funders arranged around it.

D is for Devaluation.

Even before the Truss-Kwarteng axis came along sterling was weakening, and had been ever since B for Brexit, the markets taking a long, hard look at the UK’s politics and economy and deciding, this is not a good bet. To see the pound almost on a par with the dollar, inflation and interest rates soaring, the Bank of England stepping in, the IMF issuing warnings, is to see an economy in real trouble.

E is for Economic Instability, to which A, B, C and D have all contributed.

And though the screeching U-turn on the scrapping of the 45p rate saw a little regaining of the pound’s value, the authority and credibility reserves of this useless No 10/11 team have run very low, very quickly.

F is for Food Banks.

One of the few growth industries in Tory Britain. In the last full year of the Labour government, 26,000 people used food banks. By 2021, it had risen to 2.56 million. In the year from April 2021 the Trussell Trust alone provided more than 2.1m emergency food parcels, 832,000 of them for children. That represents an 81% increase on the same period five years ago.

G is for the Good Friday Agreement.

The government in its words claims to be committed to the agreement. But, its deeds are undermining it, thereby putting the peace process and stability of Northern Ireland at risk.

H is for Housing.

Too few homes. Neglect of social housing. Soaring rents. Obsession with house prices, now falling. Now mortgage chaos and rising costs thanks to the Truss-Kwarteng fiasco.

I is for Incompetence.

I have thought long and hard for anything that the government has done well, but even the “got the big calls right” claims they make for themselves – got Brexit done, fastest Covid roll-out, led the world on Ukraine – are arguable at best, lies at worst.

J is for Johnson.

The worst prime minister in our history, but supported to the end by Liz Truss, who is already pushing him close for that unwanted title.

K is for KamiKwasi Trussonomics.

Kwasi Kwarteng is a true believer, Truss a relative convert, to the view that slashing taxes for the rich, setting fire to regulations, and stripping workers of rights, is the route to growth. As Martin Sandbu of the Financial Times put it: “Maybe it was just that [Kwarteng’s] statement finally convinced investors and financial traders of the government’s pigheadedness. It exposed the country’s leaders as ignoramuses who have drunk their own Kool-Aid and genuinely believe growth will come from policies that have neither evidence nor experience in their favour… Simply put, Kwarteng’s ‘plan for growth’ announcement convinced most sensible people that the UK’s growth prospects just got worse.”

L is for Lying and Lawbreaking.

Johnson broke the law, and his entire cabinet, including the attorney general, and the woman who succeeded him in No 10, thought that was fine. Johnson normalised lying in public life, and they thought that was fine too.

M is for Moderate Tories who have been ousted from their own party.

That people like Ken Clarke, Anna Soubry, Dominic Grieve, Nicholas Soames and Rory Stewart are not welcome in the modern Conservative Party underlines the extent to which it has become an extreme Brexit cult.

N is for Nolan.

The Nolan Principles of standards in public life – Honesty, Openness, Objectivity, Selflessness, Integrity, Accountability and Leadership – were brought in under one Tory prime minister, John Major, and have been comprehensively trashed under Johnson and Truss. The current mess sparked by the Kwarteng statement owes much to their failure on the first three – Honesty, Openness, Objectivity – and their decision to keep the Office for Budget Responsibility away from the scene of their economic vandalism, lest the truth be told about what they were doing.

O is for Oligarchs, who have bought their way into the heart of the Tory Party and the British establishment.

So spare me the idea that their support for Ukraine stems from a principled opposition to the Putin regime.

P is for Poverty.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Poverty Profile 2022, around 14.5 million people are living in poverty in the UK. That’s more than one in five people. Of these, 8.1 million are working-age adults, 4.3 million are children and 2.1 million are pensioners. The energy and cost-of-living crisis are about to send those numbers soaring.

Q is for the Queen.

The Queen sat alone at her husband’s funeral while Johnson and co partied in No 10.

R is for Rwanda.

One of the most expensive PR stunts in history, designed not to solve the problem of asylum and immigration, but to exploit it.

S is for The Sovereign Individual.

The bible of the disaster capitalists for whom KamiKwasi Trussonomics exists. Penned by the late William Rees-Mogg, father of Jacob, it is a better written and more intellectually coherent version of Britannia Unchained, the free market, libertarian treatise written in 2012 by Truss, Kwarteng, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab.

T is for Trickle-down economics.

As president Biden rightly pointed out recently, this has never worked.

U is for the United Kingdom, under threat as never before, in two places, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

My money is on the latter going first, not least because of G, above, and because of the consequence of L for Lying, and the border in the Irish Sea J for Johnson said would be laid over his dead body.

V is for Voting.

They are making it harder, claiming that the virtually non-existent problem of voter ID fraud justifies their new laws requiring extra proof of identity at the ballot box.

W is for Welfare.

This will be further slashed as part of the renewed KamiKwasi version of A for Austerity.

X is always a tricky one…

Here I fall back on my Teeline shorthand training as a young journalist. X is shorthand for accident, so X is for the new record waiting times in A&E.

Y is for You, dear reader.

That’s you they couldn’t give a toss about, you they lie to, you they gaslight, you they take for fools, you whose money they waste, you whose values they don’t share, you whose country they are trashing.

Z is for Z-listers…

Thérèse Coffey is deputy prime minister; Suella Braverman is home secretary; David Frost is considered a Tory Party political powerhouse. None of them would have got a job carrying Margaret Thatcher’s bags.

Awful people doing awful things. Never forgive. Never forget. Just get them out. ASAP.

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See inside the A is for Atrocious... edition

Image: The New European

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Image: The New European

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