Liz Truss’ first few weeks as British Prime Minister defined by crisisShe had been out of work for almost 48 hours when the news broke Queen Elizabeth II diedput the country in a state of official mourning and delayed the formal launch of the British truss program.
With the official period of mourning ending on Monday, her government unleashed a wave of radical policies, culminating in an announcement of £45 billion ($48 billion) in spending on Friday. with tax cutsThe measures included abolishing the top tax rate paid by the highest earners in an adjustment that benefits the wealthy far more than millions of people with lower incomes.
The logic, according to the Truss administration, is that personal and corporate tax cuts will trigger an investment boom that will give the UK economy a boost.
and Interview with CNN’s Jake Tupper Last week, Truss defended her economic plan, saying her government “is encouraging businesses to invest, and we’re helping the public with our tax dollars.”
UK PM defends tax cuts as pound plummets
However, Truss’ plans soon seem to backfire.of Pound drops to all-time low In almost 40 years of Mondays, at some point it reached almost parity with the dollar. It seems very likely that the Bank of England will raise interest rates. This makes it harder for the lucky people with mortgages to pay back, while those looking to get mortgages have already had their products removed by their banks.
On Wednesday, the Bank of England announced that buy british government bonds This is to “restore orderly market conditions” and prevent a “malfunction” after the rate cut and subsequent plunge in the pound.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a rare denunciation against the developed world on Tuesday night, criticizing Britain’s tax cut plans, saying they were “likely to increase inequality”.
The turmoil could not have come at a better time for the official opposition Labor Party, which held its annual meeting in Liverpool this week.
Coming into the conference, Labor was enjoying a polling lead not seen since the days of the last Labor prime minister, who won the general election of Tony Blair.
The Labor Party has been hit hard since it took power in 2010. The past two leaders have struggled with personal trust on issues ranging from the economy to security.
The last leader of the party, Jeremy Corbyn, came from the far left of the party. He has been involved with known extremists in the past, opposed NATO, shared a platform with anti-Semites, and generally existed on the fringes of politics for decades.
When his successor, Kiel Sturmer, takes office in 2020, his job will be to remove Corbyn’s influence from the party and hand it over to a new leader, likely due in 2024. closer to 2030 than the general election of
But this week in Liverpool, Starmer’s Labor legitimately looked like government on standby. Boris Johnson a year before him undisputed champion of British politics.
But after a scandal sank his prime ministership and Conservative approval ratings, the unassuming Sturmer, a lowly-spoken lawyer with a smart haircut and discreet suit, is actually making him Britain’s next prime minister. looks like a potential prime minister.
In two years of leadership, Sturmer succeeded in silencing many of the elements of his party that Corbyn had attracted. From a stronghold of far-left extremism, this week’s conference attracted corporate lobbyists to a party willing to fund the event or stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a potential next government.
And after years of accusations that the Labor Party was in some way anti-British while Corbyn was in charge, this year’s conference began with the delegation singing the national anthem.
People around Sturmer are tempering their optimism. The Labor Party has smelled power before, but was disappointed when the next general election approached. Previous Labor governments came to power largely with Scottish support.
It’s all but gone since the 2014 independence referendum, when Scotland voted to stay in the UK by a margin of 55% to 45%. This left nearly half of Scots unhappy and supporting the independent Scottish National Party.
Labor also has a form for making unforced mistakes. This year’s conference went largely smoothly, but one sticky situation had to be addressed.
A video emerged on Tuesday of Labor MPs calling Conservative Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarten “superficially” black. Member of Parliament Rupa Huk was soon stripped of his party’s whip. That is, she was expelled from the party and now sits as an independent.later haku murmured That she apologized to Kwarteng for comments she described as “indecisive.”
And Labor members know all too well that the Conservatives play the game of politics better than others. The term “Natural Party of Government” may seem strange given the turmoil currently going on around the Truss, but the Conservatives prefer to win at almost any cost.
But this does not give Conservative MPs much comfort.
“All the problems we have now are self-inflicted. We look like reckless gamblers who only care about those who can afford to lose,” said the former Conservative minister. He told CNN Wednesday morning.
Targeting the Truss team, which is mostly made up of libertarian conservatives, the former minister said: ”
Despite all looking bad for Truss, there are concerns in the labor world that the current poll reflects Conservative disapproval rather than enthusiasm for the Labor Party. One wonders whether Starmer really has the strength of character to win enough voters to comprehensively defeat the Conservatives in the next election.
That caution may stem from a reluctance to get ahead. And their suspicion of Sturmer has led some Conservatives to quietly optimistic that Truss has more personal substance than her Labor rivals and could overwhelm him in the future. It may be for the same reason that
What is undeniable is that expectations of British politics have changed this week. For the first time in years, it is undeniable that Labor will lose the next election.