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British politics

Sorry Liz, you’ve only got yourself to blame

Carl Court/Getty

When a driver takes a tricky bend on a slippery road at a wildly excessive speed, says Dominic Lawson in the Daily Mail, you would hope she would “not blame anyone but herself for the unfortunate outcome”. Not Liz Truss. In a 4,000-word essay in The Sunday Telegraph, the former – “very briefly” – prime minister explains the chaotic events of last autumn as a sinister plot against her. While acknowledging she wasn’t “blameless” for almost crashing the British economy, she insists her push for growth was the right course and that she was thwarted by the left-wing “economic establishment”.

It’s nothing short of delusional. “The author of Liz Truss’s downfall was Liz Truss.” If there was any “external agent of her political destruction”, it wasn’t some imagined “left-wing economists” but the international bond markets, whose traders are “as far from ideological as one could get”. They simply observed the following: Truss had not only announced around £45bn of tax cuts, she had done so while telling the House of Commons she would “absolutely” not cut public spending. Her explanation was that her free-market policies would boost growth to 2.5% – “a figure plucked out of thin air”. The markets took fright, the cost of financing UK government debt soared, and the pound collapsed. It turned out “the woman who believed in markets did not understand them”. By publishing a lengthy and at times bizarre denial of these facts, “Liz Truss has missed an excellent opportunity to remain silent”.