Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss should return to Paisley for an electoral lesson – Brian Wilson

The Tory leadership contest seems built around claims to the mantle of Mrs Thatcher – not a great starting point for those who lived through an era when unemployment topped three million and large parts of industrial Britain were razed to the ground.

Liz Truss seems likely to win the Conservative leadership contest and become the new Prime Minister (Picture: Paul Ellis/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Liz Truss seems likely to win the Conservative leadership contest and become the new Prime Minister (Picture: Paul Ellis/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Patrick Minford has emerged as Liz Truss’s economist of choice, recalling the fact that (along with an odd American named Alan Walters) he was Mrs Thatcher’s economic guru in her early years as Prime Minister when she adopted monetarist policies that drove the aforementioned outcomes.

Ms Truss was aged four when her heroine came to office so can hardly be held accountable. However, it does seem a little rash to offer Professor Minford as her guiding economic star.

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He was also big on the poll tax and, more recently, a rabid Brexiteer which, in fairness, Ms Truss was not – though she claims to be a convert in that direction, which may make her unique.

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Since Ms Truss seems likely to win, it can only be hoped that her devotion to childhood memories of Mrs Thatcher are tempered by a little self-education on the impacts of the same economic policies she is now espousing.

Perhaps a return visit to Paisley would be a useful corrective. She told the Scotsman in 2018 that while at school there she “jumped at the chance” to play Mrs Thatcher in a 1983 mock election “but ended up with zero votes”. A more discerning electorate, she must calculate, than the Tory Party membership.​

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