FOLLOWING HER DEATH in 2013, even some of Margaret Thatcher’s most prominent critics conceded what a remarkable woman she was. As a woman from humble beginnings, she employed her extraordinary talents to lead one of the most powerful countries in the world for nearly 12 years at a time when female leadership was almost unheard of. As well as being a trailblazer for her ideals, she was a woman of immense charisma, principle, courage, and above all conviction, who transformed Britain from a fledgling state to one of the world’s most powerful market economies.
In her career so far, incoming Prime Minister Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Truss has displayed very few of those qualities. Having grown up in a Labour household in the city of Leeds, she went on to join the Liberal Democrats at Oxford University where she championed causes such as abolishing the monarchy and the legalization of cannabis. She eventually hitched her wagon to the Conservative Party. After more than a decade of work in accountancy accompanied by a failed attempt to enter parliament, she finally became an MP at the 2010 general election.
Like so many in British politics, she began climbing the greasy ladder in 2012 as part of the Conservative-Liberal coalition, serving in the departments for education and the environment. This government led by David Cameron, of which she was a prominent member, will always deserve credit for restoring the public finances in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
However, when the hour of decision came for Truss in the form of the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, she aggressively backed the campaign to keep the country chained to Brussels. When the leave campaign won, she quickly tacked to a pro-Brexit position and claimed she would vote a different way should the referendum have been held again.
Since the vote in 2016, Truss has been a prominent member of both Boris Johnson’s and Theresa May’s administrations, both of which governed from the left on everything from the economy to social issues and the culture war. In 2019, she supported Theresa May’s failed withdrawal agreement and the following year backed Boris Johnson’s draconian lockdown policies that paralyzed the British economy and deprived people of their most basic civil rights.
The most basic examination of Liz Truss’s political career must conclude that she is nothing more than a careerist who merely follows the direction she believes the wind is blowing. Her leadership platform included tax cuts and a supposed war on woke, although she shows no intention of reducing public spending or actually challenging the power of the institutional left.
The only source of hope is that she was elected by the conservative wing of the Tory Party and will therefore be expected to make good on her promises. In her typically uninspiring acceptance speech, she appeared to make a subtle jibe at Johnson by declaring she was “elected as a conservative and will govern as conservative.” Her main challenge will be restoring Britain’s economic growth at a time when inflation and the cost of living are surging.
Despite her glaring flaws, one should give Truss the benefit of the doubt and hope she succeeds in restoring Britain’s place in the world and defeating the threat of a Labour government. Yet should she disappoint and end up on the scrap heap like her three predecessors, don’t say I didn’t warn you so.
Ben Kew is English Editor of El American. He studied politics and modern languages at the University of Bristol where he developed a passion for the Americas and anti-communist movements. He previously worked as a national security correspondent for Breitbart News. He has also written for The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post, and The Independent
Ben Kew es editor en inglés de El American. Estudió política y lenguas modernas en la Universidad de Bristol, donde desarrolló una pasión por las Américas y los movimientos anticomunistas. Anteriormente trabajó como corresponsal de seguridad nacional para Breitbart News. También ha escrito para The Spectator, Spiked, PanAm Post y The Independent.