Hunter S. Thompson wrote a suicide note, “Football Season is Over”, in which he stated that he was done with the game. No More Bombs. There is no more fun. … I am always bitchy. “No Fun–for Anyone” Across the Pond, soccer is called football. However, a season is over.
For those who want to prove that chivalry has in fact died, Liz Truss’ live demolition was a cheap thrill. To this observer, it was no more noble or comfortable than vivisection. Truss, who was less than two months in office, was forced to resign and was sent to politics’ abattoir as publicly and cinematically as Hu Jintao at China’s Communist Party Congress.
Truss is either a career politician or was one. Truss was also a former student politician. Truss’s incompetence, which is a blockish but sometimes true heuristic, and her libertarian faith being crushed by the market was strikingly reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s Joker: “Even to man like me, that’s Cold.”
On Twitter, Pedro Gonzalez, the notorious editor of Chronicles magazine, was praised: “Liz Truss is the ultimate conservative politician in a Western liberal democracy. She assumed most of the premises around immigration diversity and was insanely hawkish about tax cuts and foreign policy. The worst.
It is possible to overlook the fact that Truss was in fact the candidate of British right in 2022. Truss was considered the right-ish alternative for Boris Johnson and the party faithful preference against Rishi, the former chancellor of Exchequer and financier. This was the reason she won in summer.
The race to succeed Truss was, however, an unsuccessful endeavor, at least in terms of a Johnson comeback. It also demonstrated the mystery of the Western right today: Is it more statist or the establishment? (Yes.) (Yes.) (Also yes.)
Self-plagiarizing, I wrote August 1, “Neither Sunak nor Truss is the exact Grenache=Syrah mixture I’d reach.” Truss’s undead Thatcherism, however, is the stuff that makes a society low-trust or none at all as left-wing abominators suggest. It is responsive to a world in which even the Dollar and Pound Sterling aren’t as reliable. It is a philosophy that recognizes that permanent survival requires the knowledge that the knives will always be out. A British politician would certainly know this.
It’s all very prescient! Truss is not enough.
I am not the only one who recognizes the paradoxes and strange politics at play in this moment. Tom Harwood, a rising star in GB News, writes about post-Truss Conservatives, post-Boris and the likely Prime Minister Rishi. He says that it is “overwhelmingly likely” that tomorrow’s Conservative Party will install a Thatcherite leader, which the right-leaning party hates after having rejected a Tory leader, which the left hates.
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In the same summer, I also wrote that Truss was the relative double-hawk of the pair, more hawkish than Sunak in both Russia and China. And argued that if pressed to choose, the anti-establishmentarian should select full hawk over full dove. Sunak may broker peace in East but Sunak’s foreign policies are a Davos Set dove on China. After the weekend’s gangster conclave, it should be obvious to everyone what the threat and nature of the country’s government is to anyone other than China.
Sunak’s next premiership promises to be one where he is more interested in transferring himself to California than in transforming an exiled empire in denial. He will likely last for more than 45 days, I think. I also suspect he will lose narrowly and honorably to Keir Starmer and Labour in two years, something that I would not write of Truss or Johnson, who were high-risk-high-reward commodities both.
To snare and butcher a witticism of British intelligence’s most famed alumnus: Competence does not suffice.