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Both Sunak and Truss have the true knack of being suss

But which is least bad? We love to say that politicians “are all as bad as each other”, but that is very rarely true. There is nearly always some difference between them. Go on, make me care.

I am in a sulk because Kemi Badenoch is out of the running. She is my local MP. I have seen her in person a couple of times, and once, during the interminable Brexit crisis, I sent her an email. She replied, and although she did not agree with me, it was clear from the reply that she had read my email and was responding to the point I actually made, not the superficially similar point that a lot of people were making at the time. That is no small thing.

21 comments to Both Sunak and Truss have the true knack of being suss

  • Jack Russett

    Hi Natalie, You are so lucky. My MP has no super powers and only sends ordinary brush off type emails with no style. I’m looking forward to having email replies generated by AI, which will hopefully be rich in irony. Regards, Jack

  • Snorri Godhi

    I’d feel all warm inside if Kemi were on the final ballot.

    At the same time, I’d worry that her youth and inexperience would discredit her brand of conservatism.

    The “Conservatives” need to be defeated badly at the next election, unless they take Kemi as their guide; which is unlikely.

  • My Tory MP is on the left of the party & a member of CEN, so I voted for her in the last GE because she was ok on the Brexit issue. But no way in hell will I vote for her again. And she holds the most marginal seat in UK (150 votes).

    I think Truss is just about barely tolerable, but Rishi is not. I really wanted Kemi 🙁

  • Roué le Jour

    The “Conservatives” need to be defeated badly at the next election,…


    May I be the first to congratulate Keir Starmer on winning the Conservative leadership election?

  • Patrick Crozier

    I wonder what “suss” means.

  • Patrick Crozier

    Ah. “Suspicious”

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Or “suspect”.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I was giving this some thought yesterday. I was thinking about how much we could tell what people would do as Prime Minister from what they did before they became Prime Minister. “Quite a lot” was my conclusion. Major was still Major; Cameron was still Cameron.

    When it comes to effectiveness, the test seems to be the extent to which a candidate is prepared to challenge the orthodoxy. Churchill, for instance, was prepared to challenge the orthodoxy on re-armament. Thatcher – out of office – was prepared to challenge the orthodoxy on economics.

    And beyond them? I struggle. Lloyd George and Asquith on the People’s Budget of 1910 and Robert Peel on the Corn Laws. That’s about the best I can do off the top of my head.

    If that is the best test we have then can we apply it to the current situation? Rishi Sunak campaigned to leave the European Union. This is not to be sniffed at. While Cameron allowed ministers to campaign for leave he – as I understand it – was none too happy if they did. Cabinet ministers might get away with it but junior ministers were in real danger of losing their jobs for such brazen disloyalty. So, kudos Rishi. But what’s he done since?

    What about Truss? She has made some encouraging noises about Ulster, Ukraine and immigration. But there doesn’t seem to have been a great deal of follow through on Ulster and immigration. Maybe that’s because she hasn’t had the chance.

    I would point out that both Churchill and Thatcher had a period out of office which I am sure proved useful in honing their ideas. Neither of the current two candidates has had that luxury.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Heard a comment on the radio- Why not replace the cabinet with a seance, and contact Thatcher directly, instead of voting for Thatcherettes?

  • Alan Peakall

    Nicholas: It is rather sad to have to resort to a ouija board when the first draft of the script called for a Thatcher hologram to appear in the cabinet room, put handbag (rather than book) to one side, and congratulate those present on having accomplished Brexit and thus navigated the first Thatcher Crisis.

  • Paul Marks

    By modern standards Liz Truss is a free market person – very much on the free market side of the debate in economic policy. That does NOT mean that Liz Truss is a Classical Liberal like many of us here – I am sure the lady thinks that Credit Money (money that is just lights on the computer screens of bankers – which can be turned off at any time) is just fine – Prime Minister Gladstone or President Grover Cleveland is not on the ballot.

    The last Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to do such things as get rid of income tax and restore gold money (really restore gold money – not PRETEND to do so like Chancellor Churchill in 1925, the pretence being the claim that the Pound was worth vastly more gold than the government and Bank of England actually had) was Lord Liverpool – and unless Martin Hutchinson can work out a way of returning Lord Liverpool to this Earth, then Lord Liverpool is not going to be on the ballot either.

    As for former Chancellor Sunak – his record is very clear, the fastest growth in government spending in my life time, and he keeps going around promising even more government spending (for example, on the NHS, ten thousand Pounds per-person-per-year is, it seems, not enough).

    “The Conservatives need to lose the next election” – well that would be the argument that the international system is doomed and it would be well to have Labour in office to take the blame for the collapse.

    Well yes the international economic system is doomed – but the next General Election will not be till late 2024, by which time it will be obvious that the Western economic system is falling apart. It will be hard to turn round and blame the Labour Party in 2024 – when they have not been in office since 2010.

    When will the exact date be when people in other countries stop accepting lights on banker computer screens (which is all “Dollars”, “Pounds”, and so on. now are) as “payment” for food, raw materials and manufactured goods?

    I do not know when the exact date will be – but it is coming, especially as everyone now knows (due to what happened to the “hundreds of billions of foreign exchange reserves” Russia had) that these lights on banker computer screens can be turned off at any time – that “the money” has no real existence.

    It is inevitable that people in various countries (Russia, China and so on) are going to start asking for something more substantial as payment (and store that something more substantial in their own countries – not in the Black Hole that is the Western financial system) for their food, raw materials and manufactured goods – and WE DO NOT HAVE more substantial stuff to pay them with.

    So people in the West (Britain, the United States and-so-on) are going to get very poor.

    Hopefully the West will then change its ways (rediscover sanity) – but I would not bet on it.

  • Martin

    At the same time, I’d worry that her youth and inexperience would discredit her brand of conservatism.

    Pretty certain Kemi is the same age as Sunak and Truss isn’t much older. As for experience, Sunak and Truss are/were two of the most senior members of Johnson’s cabinet, which is a pretty damning indictment of Boris as neither are particularly competent nor charismatic. Sunak and Truss aren’t Mordaunt (or Keir Starmer) thank goodness, but only Kemi was the one in the leadership contest that I could support for more than negative reasons.

  • Paul Marks

    What should Winston Churchill have done in 1925?

    Calculate how much gold the British government (and Bank of England) actually had – per Pound issued. And then state that this is how much gold the Pound was worth.

    “But Paul – that would mean admitting that the Pound was not worth very much gold, even in 1925”.

    Yes indeed – it would have meant admitting that. As it was – pretending the Pound was worth a lot more gold than it actually was, helped crucify British industry. Although the Trade Union Acts of 1875 and 1906 had already baked, relative, industrial decline into-the-cake.

    By the way – the last country that had any link with financial and monetary sanity was Switzerland and that foundation was hardly perfect (and was ended in the 1990s – with the new Constitution).

    I believe, although I may be mistaken, that the Central Bank of Switzerland was only created in 1910 – if only it had not been created.

  • Martin

    Despite the depressing choice of conservative candidates, I have to express scepticism with the the view that the conservatives need to be defeated and badly.

    The last time that happened, we got Blair/Brown, for thirteen dreadful years. And I don’t think it’s good to give Labour, Lib Dems and Greens the opportunity to rig the future electoral system. Things can get worse.

  • Paul Marks

    My apologies – the Central Bank of Switzerland started operation in 1907 (not 1910 – as I mistakenly thought).

    As depressingly normal – the debate in Switzerland was over who used issue banknotes (not whether there should be bank notes). And the fact that banks can expand Credit Money WITHOUT issuing bank notes was ignored – just as it was ignored by Sir Robert Peel’s Act of 1844 in Britain – which, therefore, was bound to FAIL in its objective of ending boom-busts (if you want to prevent the bust – you must prevent the Credit Bubble boom that causes it).

    One is reminded of the “debate” around the passage of the 1913 Federal Reserve Act in the United States with one faction supporting money-from-nothing being created by a cartel of bankers, and another faction supporting money-from-nothing being created by the government (the conclusion of the “debate” being a compromise, hybrid, form of mass-fraud). People who opposed money being created from nothing not being let into the “debate” at all.

    Bankers detest being mere “Shylocks” lending out real savings for productive investment – they are obsessed with creating money themselves (via book keeping tricks) and such hubris leads to nemesis.

    HOWEVER whilst cash money is still linked to a physical commodity (it need not be gold – it could be some other commodity) there is a limit on the SCALE of how much harm they can do – it is only when that connection is broken that the scale of the damage becomes without limit, becomes a true threat to the very survival of civilisation.

    Bankers (no matter how perverse) can not destroy society on their own – they need the active assistance of governments to do that.

  • Paul Marks

    Martin – of course things can get worse, and they will.

    For example, hardly anyone expected Western governments to “double down” on their madness after the 2008 crash – certainly Peter Schiff and other people did NOT expect that. They expected a return to the semi sanity of the Paul Volker days.

    But the governments of the West did “double down” on their madness after 2008 – and they have been doubling down ever since (right till now).

    The Western economic system has not died some natural death – it has been murdered.

    There were many points, over many years, when the governments of the West could have allowed “the City”, “Wall Street” (and so on) to GO – yes that would have meant great suffering, but the West would have survived it.

    But at each point the financial centres (“the City”, “Wall Street” and so on) were “saved” – and by “saving” them (over and over again) the mess got bigger and bigger and bigger.

    And now we are looking into the void.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Martin is correct: Sunak is the same age as Badenoch. I thought that Kemi was born in 1990 for some reason, but it turns out that she was born in 1980.

  • Fred Z

    @Patrick Crozier – Quite right, and especially regarding challenging orthodoxy, meaning, I trust, corrupt, false or erroneous orthodoxy.

    The major orthodoxy that needs to be challenged is the climate change orthodoxy which is all of corrupt, false and erroneous.

    Where is the politician to stand up in public and say so? Who among that band of snivelling orthodox cowards is brave enough to say that, to the extent the world is warming at all, much less from humanity’s puny efforts, the effects would be almost entirely beneficial?

    Opening up northern Canada and Russia to agriculture would be an almost unimaginable boon. Moving people and cities out of low lying areas as water rises over a period of hundreds of years would have trivial amortized costs.

  • It’s an unprepossessing choice.

    We had occasion to look at Truss in relation to free speech (and the further eliminating of it) less than six months ago, when analysing the ban on conversion therapy that started out sounding like Liz might at least intend a two-sided ban – or intend that Tory MPs think she did – but ended reading like maybe her Sir Humphreys were playing her like a fiddle.

    Sunak was a leaver, Truss was not. Sunak spent money in lockdown whereas Liz did Foreign Policy things we have more time for – but if each had been in the other’s ministry, what would it look like?

  • jon eds

    If Truss wanted to impress people like us she should make the following appointments:

    Health: Steve Baker (message: no more lockdowns or mandates)
    Education: Kemi Badenoch (message: fight the wokists)
    Chancellor: John Redwood
    Foreign Secretary: Lord Frost or Suella Braverman

    Kemi probably has a good chance for that post, no chance for the others (Braverman a long shot maybe).

  • Paul Marks

    jon eds

    Excellent suggestions for appointments – and I would support all of them.

    However, making these appointments will not save the system – because, at this point, it can NOT be saved. And of the people on your list – Steve Baker knows that.

    At this point people really have to consider what replaces the current system (not obsess on the hopeless task of trying to “save” it), the Collectivists (the World Economic Forum and so on) have their plans long worked out – and unless an alternative vision is presented, they will win by default.