By the time you read this we will be but a few short days from celebrating as the dimmest, meanest, most gullible and blindly tribalistic 0.3% of the population impose their choice of prime minister upon the rest of us, and unless the polls are operating at 1992 levels of wrongness, it will be Liz Truss who ascends the Lyin’ Throne on September 6.
For the other 99.7% of us, quite what it is that the Conservative Party faithful see in Liz Truss is and will remain a source of skull-scratching mystery, other than that she’s not Rishi Sunak. What the predominantly white, elderly and rural Tory membership finds so objectionable about the son of Punjabi immigrants is of course a conundrum in itself, but in any event, Truss is the runaway favourite (as in “Liz Truss is prime minister! Run away!”).
Meanwhile, a photo taken at one of Truss’s recent campaign events may finally have yielded a clue as to what her supporters hope and believe she will bring to them and the nation as a whole: we see her standing beside a beaming man wearing what certainly appears to be an official campaign t-shirt, bearing the legend “LT=LOW TAX”.
Leaving aside the fact that most economists agree that imposing tax cuts as the country heads towards economic meltdown would be at best ineffectual and at worst suicidal, this smiling gentleman’s confidence that Truss can and indeed will supply such a boon seems largely to be based on her initials (which are, of course, actually ET and as such are more likely to stand for Extra Tax, but what the heck, let’s allow Truss to go by her abbreviation of choice).
If we are to take this sort of alphabetic determinism as an indicator of policy priorities, what else might “LT” stand for?
Given that Truss owes her ascent to power in no small part to the post-Brexit Conservative Party’s eager embrace of nationalist populism (and to the aforementioned inexplicable unpopularity of Rishi Sunak among the party faithful) one might think that she would be eager to disassociate herself from any obvious totems of right-wing extremism. What better way to ensure this than to further slash investment in the nation’s railways?
“Say what you like about Liz Truss,” future historians will write, “but at least she didn’t make the trains run on time…”
The aforesaid military rank is customarily abbreviated to LT, and as Truss has already, in her pursuit of Having Herself Photographed Doing Everything Margaret Thatcher Did, posed for pictures “driving” a tank, perhaps she could go one further than her idol and actually commission herself as an officer in HM Armed Forces?
(This might even afford the nation an ancillary benefit as leaders tend to be more reluctant to start wars that they’ll actually have to fight in themselves.)
Look, we all know that literally the only things that ever happen in international politics or business these days that haven’t been at least tacitly endorsed by the Russians are the things that have been actively organised and paid for by the Russians, so maybe it’s time to be a bit more, you know, relaxed about the whole “being on the payroll of a hostile foreign power” thing. This would generate support for Truss among the great and good and open up some fascinating post-politics career opportunities. It would NOT, however, engender a huge sigh of relief from a certain departing public official and you’re a fool and a Remoaner if you suggest otherwise.
The outgoing prime minister is, however you slice it, “a tough act to follow”. As such, Truss might feel inclined to inject a note of spectacle into her tenure. And while Larry the Downing Street cat is famously media-friendly, he is a little… tame.
So how about an upgrade to a couple of full-size Siberian tigers? Just think of the photo ops! And even if one such shoot goes… awry, well it’s not like anyone expects Truss to be in the job for very long anyway, and wouldn’t YOU rather have your downfall written up as “PM DEVOURED BY TIGERS” than the usual “ousted in backbench revolt” tedium?
POEM OF THE WEEK
So now it costs four grand a year
To heat your house or flat
But the government comes to your aid
With 5% off VAT.
They could tax the power companies
But there’s no need for that
Your money woes are at an end
With 5% off VAT.
Your gas bill may have tripled
But there’s no need for stress
‘Cos now your weekly shopping bill
Is £2.50 less.
The winter is a-drawing in
But hide your thermostat
And as you freeze, say thank you, please
For 5% off VAT.