Truss is gone


Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text

Britain has crossed the threshold of a government crisis.

Elizabeth Truss has been on duty for less than 45 days. The neoliberal mini-budget that she proposed on September 23 turned out to be impossible. Its essence was to reduce taxes to the super-rich, enterprises and provide enormous support to almost everyone against the background of the energy crisis. This is, in principle, the same "helicopter money", and in rare cases they saved the situation.

It was assumed that tax cuts would spur purchasing power, consumption would increase, production would come in time for it and the machine would spin. "The problem is that she planned to finance these measures with loans and the expected increase in production," says Rainbow Murray, a professor of political science at Queen Mary University of London, "but the markets reacted instantly and panicked."

Inflation has exceeded an unprecedented 10 percent. The pound went into a protracted jump without a parachute. Domestic debt and interest rates on loans have conquered the peaks. "It seems to me that the level of arrogance and blindness of the Prime Minister reached such a level that she really thought that all this would be without consequences," Murray believes.

"This economic crisis is just created artificially," says Will Jennings, a political scientist at the University of Southampton. – She even refused to listen to the advice of analytical institutes, such as the Bureau of Budget Responsibility.

It got to the point that the IMF and even the heads of state – traditional allies - began to criticize Truss, which is generally rare in international relations. Joe Biden called the course of the British prime minister a "mistake", and the American magazine Atlantic qualified this fact as a "humiliation of Great Britain".

Truss, in a panic, sacrificed a rook. On October 14, Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng resigned, just to calm the Conservative party, which has already begun calling for its leader to resign. The new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, has already called a press conference on October 17, where he announced the funeral of the mini-budget. New taxes are being introduced – as much as 38 billion pounds, budget bills will be very serious. The markets immediately rebounded and the pound went up.

It seemed like it was possible to exhale, but that same evening Truss gave an interview to the BBC, where she said that, of course, she was "very sorry", but was ready to "lead the Conservative party to the next general election." Three days later, she resigned.

Who will replace him? The Conservatives will vote next week. At all costs, they need to avoid early general elections, which they will definitely lose at the moment. According to the latest polls, the Labor Party is going into a serious gap. They have 55 percent versus 23 percent for the Tories. And this is not mid term blues at all, but a real chasm that poses an edge question to the conservatives. "A few months ago, the Conservative Party seemed to have full control of the economic situation in the country," says Clemence Furton, professor at the French Institute of Political Sciences, "but now they have simply lost all their credibility." It is logical that the leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, called for organizing and holding a general election immediately.

But all this did not happen out of the blue, and not with the arrival of the Trails. "The party has been in power for 12 years," says Rainbow Murray. – They have exhausted themselves, they have no ideas. The same thing happened to Labour in the last years of Tony Blair's rule. Our economy is at a standstill and primarily because of the consequences associated with leaving the European Union. And so it was bad, and after Brexit it got even worse. The level of poverty is off the scale, and the country is shaking from strikes."

"All our recent prime ministers have resigned because of Brexit," says Will Jennings. "Cameron lost the referendum. May could not bring the matter to mind, Johnson played with criticism of Brussels, Truss could not stand economic problems – she wanted to create an ultra-liberal "Singapore on the Thames", but the reality turned out to be more complicated."

The British press noticed that Truss served in office for less than 45 days, but managed to become prime minister already under two monarchs. In fact, Winston Churchill served under two, and Stanley Baldwin served under three.

Even the Conservatives themselves have no idea now who will lead their party. According to polls by the YouGov Institute of Public Opinion, 32 percent of party members are not against the return of Boris Johnson. 23 percent see Rishi Sunak as their leader. Among others, the familiar characters Penny Mordaunt and Ben Wallace appear – they did not have time to forget.

The Conservatives simply do not have an undisputed leader now. If they start looking for him, the process may drag on for several months, and in no case should they now allow premature general elections, which will turn into a disaster for the Tories.

The chairman of the organizing committee for the elections of the Conservative Party, Graham Brady, commenting on the situation, could not do without English humor: "According to the rules of our party, two candidates should be represented in the elections. Well, or one."