THE biggest threat to the Conservative Party comes not from Labour but from the wets sitting behind Liz Truss. It was reported in the Independent (a misnomer if ever there was one) that a number of Conservative MPs have already submitted letters of no confidence in the new Prime Minister to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee. If true, this is nothing short of insanity. Whatever the outcome of yet another confidence vote, so soon after the last, the Conservatives will be slaughtered at the next General Election, and deservedly so. The public will not indulge this incessant navel-gazing by highly privileged people who stood for election on a pledge to serve the electorate, not their own interests. If they think Truss is bad, just wait until Comrade Sir Keir gets his mitts on the tiller.
As one erudite correspondent to the Daily Telegraph (yours truly) wrote, Labour’s current policy is to oppose Conservative tax cuts whereas only recently it was to oppose Conservative tax increases. The public are not fooled by the intellectual vacuum on the Opposition front benches. Nor will they be taken in by Sir Keir’s latest announcement – a publicly owned energy provider. Nationalisation by the back door. ‘Oh no,’ I hear you cry, ‘Sir Keir has said he isn’t going to nationalise the energy industry.’ Silly me, if a politician says he isn’t going to do something, there’s nothing to worry about. I’m sure Labour’s union paymasters will quietly accept his decision and start learning the words to the second verse of the National Anthem.
‘Ok then Mr Smarty Pants,’ I hear you cry again, ‘explain the collapse in sterling’. Well, the US Federal Reserve raised its interest rates by 0.75 per cent and the Bank of England followed with only 0.5 per cent. You do not need to be Einstein to follow the money trail. Seemingly everyone thinks an independent Bank of England is a good idea, so who do we have in charge? Andrew Bailey, a man who so monumentally messed up when in charge of the Financial Conduct Authority (where he oversaw the biggest pension mis-selling scandal in the country’s history) that he was given the top job at the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. Only in Broken Britain is failure rewarded so handsomely. If the Bank had pursued a proper interest rate policy, instead of printing money by the wheelbarrow-load, we would not now be in this mess. It cannot all be blamed on Kwasi Kwarteng.
I do not possess a crystal ball and have no idea whether the Chancellor’s mini-Budget will have the desired effect on the economy, but I do know that the economic policies of the last 30 years have utterly failed this country however much the cognoscenti might try to argue otherwise. But the Budget alone will not save our country. The Prime Minister has to get to grips with the interminable bureaucracy and institutional laziness prevalent in the NHS, HMRC, DVLA and the Passport Office, to name but four parts of the state machinery.
In a speech to the 1981 party conference, the late Conservative MP Robert Jones remarked: ‘Margaret Thatcher and Ted Heath both have a great vision. The difference is that Margaret Thatcher has a vision that Britain will one day be great again, and Ted Heath has a vision that one day Ted Heath will be great again.’ The Conservative party risks existential defeat at the next election and the country risks becoming the sick man of Europe. It is time for the Tory wets to stop their incessant whingeing and get behind Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng.