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Samizdata quote of the day… why Truss crashed and burned

They wanted Sunak; Tory members wouldn’t have it. The media, the political and civil service establishment, the City, were all out to get her. They acted against her (and Kwarteng). The Tory backbenches panicked; Sunak’s supporters saw the opportunity, and in effect we have now had a very British coup d’etat.

However, this does give me hope. Because the whole country can now see the UK government edifice for the rotten cesspit it truly is.
Truss will fall, one month or six, it makes no real difference. We will get ‘business as usual’ from the same morons who wrecked Brexit, inflicted net Zero, killed our economy and our civil liberties.

So where do we go from here? Well, it’s now obvious that a Tory vote is a wasted vote; it’s equally obvious that voting Labour Libdem or SNP is also pointless. So we may – finally- get the realignment in our politics that we have needed for so long.

I just hope people are paying attention.

Alan Melville, commenting on Sp!ked and describing the situation much as I see it now.

34 comments to Samizdata quote of the day… why Truss crashed and burned

  • Steven R

    So, and forgive me if I’m wrong because I don’t have a firm grasp on British politics, but the Conservative Party elected Truss to be PM, fought her on a budget and tax proposal that hasn’t even been voted on, and is now looking to toss her all in the space of a month?


  • Roué le Jour

    Hear, hear.

    The Labour Party may represent the left but the Tory Party represents only the Tory Party. When you have no outside frame of reference you drift with the current.

  • Roué le Jour

    Stephen R,
    Conservative Party voters elected Truss against the wishes of the Parliamentary Conservative Party. Two different groups. Outer party vs. the inner party in Orwellian terms.

  • Steven R

    Ok, that makes more sense. Not entirely unlike, in US terms, the voters wanted Trump but the GOP establishment fought him tooth and nail despite being ostensibly the same party.

    Thanks, Roué le Jour. (nice handle by the way)

  • Ferox

    So, since I am ignorant of the actual rules involved: what is the mechanism for recalling a PM? Does the majority party take a vote and decide to oust her? Or does it require some sort of popular referendum?

  • Alex

    The only rule is there are no concrete rules. Technically the 1922 committee has all the power in the Conservative party, but the Truss can’t be ousted as she’s still too new as a leader. But they can change their rules at any time, so they could do that and then kick off the process for another leadership election. At this rate we’ll probably have Jeremy Hunt as prime minister, god help us.

    I think most of the public don’t really understand how prime ministers work. There was some grumbling about it when Brown took over from Blair, for instance, and again when Boris took over from May and again recently with Truss. Boris was very sensible to call a snap general election, he cemented his position. However the current situation is not directly comparable, the country was ready for an election in 2019 and Boris’s gamble was worth taking. Truss would probably lose an election at this point, it would be an incredibly risky gamble and she’d seal her place in history as one of the worst prime ministers, fairly undeservedly: I’m not exactly a fan of hers, to put it mildly, but none of her policies since taking office have been particularly objectionable, it is a sign of the times how she’s seen as dangerous and mad for doing perfectly reasonable if unfashionable things.

  • Jim

    I shall vote Reform at the next election. I’m a lifelong Tory voter, they won’t get my vote again, not in their current form anyway. Whats to fear from a Labour government? They’ll only be doing what we’re getting now anyway.

  • Steven R

    So you don’t have general elections regularly, just when someone in power calls for them? We have House every other year, President every four, and each Senate seat every six (1/3 of the Senate seats every two years). I figured there would be something similar for seats in Parliament.

    Or am I even more confused than normal?

  • Sam Duncan

    Steven R: I’m no expert, so others may correct me on the details, but this is what I understand from being on the fringes of Tory politics since my teens:

    Until very recently, the Conservative and Unionist Party was very British, and very conservative, in character, in that it was governed largely by tradition and precedent. There was no single organisation called “The Conservative & Unionist Party”; there were local Conservative Clubs and Associations, affiliated to something called the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations. The “Party Conference” was its conference. Think of it a bit like CPAC: it had no formal control of the MPs as a body, or direct say on policy, but wielded great influence over the direction of conservative thought. (The Party itself, in Parliament, had no official organisation at all; it was effectively run by the 1922 Committee and whoever was selected as Leader.)

    So the Associations selected candidates, and if they were elected they went off and did their thing in Parliament, with an eye on the National Union to judge the feeling of the rank-and-file. It was all held together by trust, tradition, and agreement on policy. This was “the most successful political campaigning organisation in the world”.

    But it was all too messy for the professional political class. (It’s also worth noting that the Associations supported Thatcher to the hilt, making it hard for the “wets” to gain support among the backbenches. Something had to be done.) In 1993, Conservative Central Office, originally established as a co-ordinating body for national election campaigns, took over the running of the Conference, and in ’98, having been egded out of the picture, the National Union agreed to “suspend its operations”. In 2001, Central Office was reconstitued as Conservative Campaign Headquarters, running the whole shebang. Candidates are now proposed to the Associations by CCHQ (and I believe, although I’ve been out of the picture for a while, that only approved candidates may be selected), making them effectively branch offices of The Party.

    Once a bottom-up organisation (albeit in a very ramshackle British way, mocked by the Left as “undemocratic”), it’s now very firmly top-down, with its ordinary members sidelined. Oh, sure, they now get a formal, binding, vote on things, but they’re only allowed to vote on what CCHQ decides to let them. See the recent leadership election for a prime example. If Kemi Badenoch had been allowed to run, she’d have won a landslide. Given Hobson’s choice, however, the members chose the candidate least offensive to their own views, so, of course, the Party establishment is now out to get her.

    As RlJ says, the Tory Party now represents nothing but the Tory Party itself. As I mentioned, it was once known as “the most successful political campaigning organisation in the world”. But under the current organisation it sank to its lowest ebb, scraped together a coalition, ran a minority government, won by the skin of its teeth, then mustered a couple of majorities purely because all the other major parties decided to ignore a referendum.

    Oh, and no, there’s no fixed term. A general election must be held within five years of the previous one, but that’s it. It’s up to the government of the day to determine the exact date, unless it loses a vote of confidence. The Tory/LibDem coalition passed a “Fixed Term Parliaments Act” (part of the coalition agreement; the LibDems like that sort of thing), but it was repealed in 2019.

  • Philip Chaston

    This is not a coup d’etat. If there is a change in leadership, Liz Truss did bring this upon herself. Truss did not bring the party with her in the shaping of policy as her cabinet choices demonstrated. Truss and Kwarteng chose to hold a mini-budget guaranteeing market reaction. There was no attempt to bring the electorate onside: tax cuts are not a road to instant popularity! If other parties take advantage of her vulnerabilities, it is because she didn’t play a poor hand badly, she threw her cards away!

    A truly radical government would have fostered market solutions in health, education and energy: individual choice, increased efficiency. The bloody tax rates don’t matter. They’re a blind alley.

    Yet, even more fundamental, is the failure of the entire West to provide leadership candidates, who have a notional element of statecraft. They all make Asquith look good! At least he liked a drink!

  • Stuart Noyes

    Like all these comments, they tell us what we already know. They never suggest answers. They tell us that the established parties are a busted flush. That we need change and they aren’t going to provide it. One answer potentially is direct democracy. I’ve been pondering PR. The British people are politically lazy. Our tolerance for the crap dished out by the establishment is far too high.

  • …and who are Tories meant to pick after Liz Truss?

    “Hasta la Vista, baby!”
    Boris Johnson MP

    Once and Future PM?

  • Mark

    @John Galt


  • Steven R

    I just hope when Boris goes to present himself to the king, Charles gifts him a comb.

  • Ferox

    Ok, here is my second ignorant question: since Charles III is pretty well-known for being quite progressive politically, if Boris Johnson is selected for PM and presents himself to the crown … can the King refuse him? And if he does, what happens then?

  • Patrick Crozier

    We have a civil war and then cut the King’s head off. I jest only a little. For 300 years monarchs have known that they are not the ones calling the shots. What the exact sequence of events might be is not clear but what is clear is that Britain is a republic in all but name.

  • Ferox

    We have a civil war and then cut the King’s head off.

    You don’t think Labour might seize the opportunity to toss out the Tories once and for all by siding with the King? Or at least obstructing any attempt by the Tories to punish the King for his intransigence?

  • Paul Marks

    For several years there has been a debate about whether the United Kingdom is really a democracy – yes, we have elections, but do elected politicians really make policy?

    The last few days have not been good for the “of course we are a democracy” side of this debate.

    “this gives me hope” – pardon?

    “A Tory vote is a wasted vote” – Prime Minister Truss wanted to roll back the tax increases, not going to happen.

    Prime Minister Johnson did NOT want a lockdown – we got a lockdown anyway, and if anyone thinks that Mr Johnson wrote all those pages of regulations (which were written BEFORE Covid) then I have nice bridge to sell you.

    The question is not “what party to vote for?” – the question is “do elected politicians make policy – is there any point in voting at all?”

    I am in this “trade” myself (at a local level) – I find that, de facto, the level Council Tax increase is set nationally (because if you increase council tax above X% you lose grant – and if you increase council tax below X% you lose grant, so council tax goes up by X%).

    A lot of other policies are like that as well – you not really deciding these policies (that is a process that started way back in 1875 when the Act of Parliament that Disraeli pushed said that local councils should do about 40 things – whether local taxpayers wanted the local council to do them or not, but it is a process that has got much more extreme in recent years).

    There-are-still-policy-choices – but fewer and fewer. More and more – policy is NOT decided by the elected, policy is already there.

    So “I will vote for a new political party” does not really grasp what the problem is.

    When governments sign up for “legally nonbinding” international agreements (such as that Mr Major signed up for in the early 1990s – signed because Civil Servants told him to) they give power to unelected officials – they no longer have that power, and neither do elected politicians after them (the power is gone).

    For example, abortion – why does Northern Ireland have abortion, who voted for that? And who do you vote for if you do not want the babies killed?

    An unelected judge decided that Northern Ireland must have abortions – because, they claimed, the European Convention on Human Rights (which does not mention abortion at all) mandates it as a “right” (reasoning as utterly bizarre as Roe V Wade in 1973 in the United States). I do not care what your position on abortion is – should law be made this way? If your answer is “yes it should” then WHAT IS THE POINT OF ELECTIONS?

    Castrating little boys, and sexually mutilating little girls, will be next – “Trans Rights for Children”.

    “But I will vote for X party – to stop it”.

    Sadly, what has voting (for anyone) got to do with policy anymore? Less and less – as more and more policy is already just “there”. Yes, there are still policy decisions – but less and less. And that is not good.

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    Cue House of Cards series 2: To Play the King.
    (Original version).

  • Steven R

    If I were king of the world, it wouldn’t take a judge to make something legal since the default position on pretty much everything would be “unless a thing is explicitly illegal, it is, be default, legal.*”

    *Bureaucracies can only follow the procedures expressly written into law. No mission creep allowed.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – not all the roll backs of the tax increases are gone.

    On National Insurance (the Payroll Tax) – the rollback is still there.

    Without Prime Minister Truss it would not have happened, that is actually a victory – as much as there can be victories in this world.

    If Liz Truss does “crash and burn” – you will see more action on “Net Zero” and more action on the “Diversity, Inclusion and Equity” Frankfurt School of Marxism agenda. Prime Minister Truss has downplayed such policies (not opposed them, that would have been suicide, but not pushed them much either).

    Like Covid policy – it is already impossible for local politicians to speak against these agendas (if you did you would be out on the street – regardless of your party). Although, presently, a person is allowed to remain silent about Net Zero, Covid injections, Frankfurt School of Marxism Diversity-Inclusion-Equity, one is not compelled to speak in favour of these policies (yet).

    For example, the Diversity and Inclusion Agenda has been part of British law since 2010 – even to speak against it can get you into legal trouble, it would certainly be the end of your time on a council – as it would be assumed that you were a racist.

    If I had my life over again, I think I would have trained as a librarian (hopefully a university librarian – but that would have been very difficult to achieve) – but even as a librarian one would still have to be silent about many matters.

  • Paul Marks

    O.K. Then Steven R – then murder, theft, rape (and so on) would be legal, unless there was a statute against them (which there did not use to be).

    Long before there were statutes, indeed long before there was a High Court of the Crown in Parliament to make statutes (which, technically, are supposed to be judgements of what right law has always been – rather than new laws) there was the Common Law, based on the natural law (natural justice) applied to individual cases – see Chief Justice Sir Edmund Coke and Chief Justice Sir John Holt on this – and, yes, murdering babies is against that.

    The next step will be “of course castrating little boys, and sexually mutilating little girls, is lawful”. Even leaving aside the war on men and the war on traditional society – a war that is very real and being waged ruthlessly (including by chemical means) by the establishment left (including the corporations with their endless “Woke” managers).

    When a society has got insane, or rather – been driven insane, sexually mutilating children seems as natural as killing babies. Why not eat them as well?

  • Paul Marks

    It should be pointed out that it was not just Common Law in Northern Ireland that was voided – there was a statute as well.

    The statute was voided because the “liberal” judge regarded it is a barrier to the destruction of society, which (to be fair to the judge) it was.

    Things have turned 180 degrees – in the time of Chief Justice Sir Edward Coke or Chief Justice Sir John Holt, judges defended natural justice (the foundation of society) against the state – now they actively seek to destroy society, by destroying justice. Even justice for the weakest people – for those least able to defend themselves (in California a month AFTER birth – why not 20 years?).

    But then so do Parliaments and so on.

    Soon one will not even be able to talk against the sexual mutilation of children – as that will be “Transphobia”.

    Already it is “Fascist” to ask why sperm counts have been falling for decades.

    It is not Fascist to punish people for asking questions – it is Fascist to ask the questions.

    Again, a turn of 180 degrees.

  • Steven R

    Yes Paul, there would be laws against crimes that are mala en se.

  • Paul Marks

    “Death to the West!” is not a just a slogan – it is a program of action, both in terms of indoctrination (poisoning minds) and physical (chemical) attack.

    The international establishment appear to be dedicated to it.

    I stress there not need be no Satanic element to all this (as some people believe) – human beings are quite capable of evil all on their own.

    There is a lot of evil in all of us – including (perhaps especially) in me.

  • Roué le Jour

    Paul 15th @7:35pm
    Yes it does give me hope. The UK as I see it has two complimentary problems, a political class that lies at every opportunity and an electorate which seems to believe them. If the later can be undermined that’s a good thing. We need more “Irish Democracy”.

  • Roué le Jour

    Paul @9:30
    The left’s use of Fascist is best understood by realizing that in their heads they live in 30s Germany. (They have even resurrected that period’s Antifa.) Anything which promotes the national interest is Fascist, because they are the International Socialists (i.e. Communists).

  • Paul Marks

    Roue le Jour.

    There is not much democracy in the Republic of Ireland, the elected government in Dublin does-what-it-is-told – although I understand that is NOT what you mean by “Irish Democracy”.

    Antifa – black paramilitary uniforms, and they use violence against any dissent. The “anti” Fascists are Fascists (or can be used to help create Fascism).

    After all, why would the big Corporations support Antifa (and they do) if they did not think that Antifa could be used to help build a Fascist Corporate State – or a Saint-Simon style system if one does not wish to use the “F Word” Fascism.

  • Paul Marks

    Robert Halfon M.P. has declared that people who support the rolling back of the tax increases of Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak are “libertarian jihadis”.

    I see so Liz Truss and so on are “libertarian jihadis” for wanting a top rate of income tax of 40% rather than 45%.

    I will not say anything against Mr Halfon personally – as I would be accused of being nasty to a disabled person. So, I will just say that what the Gentleman has said is incredibly insulting and utterly false – and I would never vote for this Gentleman or anyone who shares his view.

  • JohnB

    Yes, Paul, Oct 15, 9:37, one doesn’t need to ascribe anything to the devil. He only thrives on the publicity, anyway.
    But there is a Person who can deliver one from one’s own problems, and any stuff pushed one’s way!
    It’s not difficult 🙂

    Separately. If Liz Truss, or whoever, wanted to do something real about the “managed decline” (saw that phrase here, excellent) of western civilization, I guess one of the main things to go for would be to stop making money from nothing, so-called Quantative Easing.
    If forgery, as in counterfeiting money, is a crime, why is not QE?

  • Michael Taylor

    I think you delude yourselves: politics is very alive and kicking. It’s just that it is entirely devoted to protecting the privileges generated by a generation of deliberate mis-allocation of resources. Evidently, the coalition devoted to protecting and extending that privilege is well armed, and utterly capable. The rest of us are just road-kill on their autobahn.

  • J

    I suspect I need to finish reading Friedrich Hayek’s “Road To Serfdom”. I seem to remember one essay saying GB effectively ceased being a free republic within four years of the end of WW II. Beat the Axis only to succumb to the Administrative State.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    “The Road To Serfdom” was published during WW2, I think. And Hayek lived long enough to see Thatcher form government, and to hear her say that Hayek’s “The Constitution of Liberty” was the Bible of the Conservatives, or something similar. And both are good reads.

  • Paul Marks

    JohnB – the fake money (the fiat money) is a crime, a Common Law crime.

    But Statutes are held to legalise any crime – if there is a Statute that says it is not a crime, then (to the establishment) it is not a crime. Hence, they can make “legal” whatever they wish to.

    You know all this – but others may not.