A comrade and I published an article in Labour Hub on 16 September where we said that ‘Truss’s record, combined with scrutiny of her policy proposals, suggests she will be an utter disaster in office.’ Today, after a chaotic month in government, Truss resigned in disgrace.
Truss’s leadership bid was supported by 113 Tory MPs, about one third of the parliamentary party. She was also supported by media outlets including the Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Evening Standard, and GB News. Kwarteng and Truss’s mini-budget was a massive giveaway to corporations and the wealthy during a cost of living crisis for ordinary people. This programme was supported by Thatcherite think thanks like the Institute for Economic Affairs. The credibility of all these individuals and organisations does not deserve to recover for a long time.
Comrade Tom and I were able to predict that Truss would be an ‘utter disaster’ because we scrutinised her politics and the politics of the Conservative Party. Anyone could have done the same. Instead of doing this work, distinguished journalists like BBC veteran Emily Maitlis have wondered whether an entryist plot by ‘rogue outsiders’ might be behind all of this:
In this unhinged political haze am starting to seriously consider “entryism” as the underlining mechanism. Did rogue outsiders infiltrate Tory grassroots membership to wreak havoc !?Twitter
Truss’s rise was not the work of ‘rogue outsiders’. She was supported by a large portion of the Tory establishment. She has held cabinet posts for years, and much of her cabinet was drawn from Johnson’s. Truss represents Toryism in its most primitive form; without slick speeches and public relations, all that remains is a commitment to enriching the few. But the British media cannot manage simple political analysis. It is an embarrassment and a mockery. And it cannot be any other way until the class that rules our society is deposed.
It is well to remember, too, that the entire British media was bitterly opposed to a Labour victory in 2019. This was because of Labour’s radical social democratic programme. Toryism that ravages the country, that causes thousands of preventable pandemic deaths, that habitually breaks the law, that represses civil liberties, that participates in the slaughter of Arabs in foreign countries, that distributes money to the few and leaves the many with nothing; all this is preferred to social democracy that might improve the lives of the majority. The failures of Johnson and Truss are the failures of the entire British ruling elite.
A Starmer government is now seen as a safer option than the Tories for the British ruling class. Rich donors are defecting to Labour because they know Starmer will do nothing to transform society or undermine their disproportionate influence. It is likely that Starmer will be the most right-wing Labour leader ever to become prime minister.
The left should point out that neither the Conservative Party nor the Labour Party is capable of doing what needs to be done to meet the challenges Britain faces in the twenty-first century. Only a principled socialist politics can face the climate emergency and the looming threat of nuclear war.