Liz Truss's hopeless media blitz shows her shocking lack of leadership ability – Scotsman comment

Days after her Chancellor’s ‘mini-budget’ plunged the UK into an even greater economic crisis, Liz Truss finally made a major intervention designed to restore confidence to the markets and the public.

Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are both due to address the Conservative party conference (Picture: Dylan Martinez/pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng are both due to address the Conservative party conference (Picture: Dylan Martinez/pool/AFP via Getty Images)

However, her round of interviews on BBC local radio did little other than to demonstrate her inability to make a coherent case for her own views.

Asked about fears of interest rate increases so serious that lenders have suspended many mortgage products, Truss responded with a long pause, before saying: “I don't think anybody is arguing that we shouldn't have acted on energy.”

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True, but that does not answer the question. Even the Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross has admitted he is worried about his mortgage.

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Truss also sought to blame Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine which, while a major factor in the energy crisis, does not explain the economic chaos unleashed by the mini-budget. As former Bank of England governor Mark Carney pointed out, “unfortunately having a partial budget, in these circumstances – tough global economy, tough financial market position, working at cross-purposes with the Bank – has led to quite dramatic moves in financial markets”.

Asked if her government’s economic plans, which include huge tax cuts for the wealthiest, were fair, Truss replied it was “not fair to have a recession” – as if unfairness is a fact of life – and that it was unfair to have fewer jobs because of high taxes – as if unfairness to some was justified if it tackled another source of unfairness.

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Kwasi Kwarteng insists Government is “sticking to the growth plan" as he breaks ...

Trickle-down economics is an immoral myth, so it's a difficult case to make, but her efforts were hopeless. If this is the rallying cry around which she hopes the Conservative faithful will muster at the upcoming party conference, she is in serious trouble.

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Astonishingly, less than a month after she took office, questions about whether Truss is unfit to lead the country must now be taken seriously. It will be the talk of the steamie as Conservatives – barring notable absentees like Rishi Sunak, who predicted her tax-cutting plans would cause mortgage bills to rise, tipping “millions of people into misery” – gather in Birmingham.

If she is not to go down as one of the worst and shortest-serving Prime Ministers in history, Truss will need to give the speech of her life.

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