Snake-Bit Already

3 October 2022


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Tories Scrap Abolition of Top Tax Rate


Liz Truss has been Prime Minister of the UK for about a month. At her first party conference as PM in Birmingham, she and Chancellor Kwesi Kwartang managed to perform their first U-turn on policy in government. A few days ago, they had announced, trather hamfistedly, the abolition of the top marginal tax rate of 45%. Today, they have abandoned the idea. The markets had dropped because the government had not paid for the change with other taxes or with spending cuts. Consequently, the national debt would has risen, and the markets hate that. By abandoning the policy, the Tories have taken some pressure off the pound and stock market. They have also proved that the problem was not Boris Johnson but rather is the overall ineptitude of the Conservative Party. Ms. Truss and Dr. Kwartang may be out of office before the next election, two years away.

Prime Minister Truss has modeled herself after Margaret Thatcher. This journal has little good to say about the Iron Lady, but one can freely admit that she was determined to the point of stubbornness. Cut taxes, cut spending, take the heat and move on was her style. The Truss-Kwartang Tories skipped the spending cuts and took almost no heat at all. Where Mrs. Thatcher said “the Lady is not for turning,” the new government seems to be going round in circles.

Christopher Hope, who writes an indispensable newsletter called Chopper\'s Politics for the Telegraph newspaper, wrote, "I cannot remember a Conservative chancellor ever being in such jeopardy at a party conference." He also wrote, "Truss herself is severely weakened. Rather than being a Thatcher-figure, resolute in the face of external challenges, she appears more like a political weathervane, moving with the direction of the wind."

Also in his newsletter today were these ominous data:

On Sunday, one Tory MP told me: "If she U-turns it will be the beginning of another leadership campaign. We put her in there to make these difficult decisions and we want her to deliver."

Today the same Conservative MP texted me: "Liz has now annoyed her supporters as well as those who are against her policies. It\'s a perilous place to be and the next two weeks could be very difficult for her."

This is nothing short of a disaster, an own goal that could finish the current government. Sir John Curtice, THE pollster and poll analyst in the UK, pointed out that the government now trailed Labour by an average of 23%. That represents a 7% shift to Labour in a week. In 1992, after Black Wednesday, the Tories lost 7.5% over the course of a month. The current situation would give Labour a 100+ seat majority at the general election.

The UK needs a government that can act in response to the numerous problems the country faces. Abolishing the top tax rate was so badly rolled out that the proposal might not have passed in Commons. The Truss government look inept. They seem not to know how to do the jobs they have. With the next general election about 2 years or less away, there is not much time for this snake-bit government to repair its reputation.

Sir Keir Starmer of the Labout Party may not be ready to measure the drapes at Number 10, but if he lets the Tories continue as they are, he will be the next PM. The best ad for Labour is the Tory Party right now.

© Copyright 2022 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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