since the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and with the looming coronation of Charles as the new king, there has been much discussion of sea change in British society.
The end of the second Elizabethan age has led to considerable soul searching across the Irish sea but another major change looks to be on the way with the Tory party in the midst of a bizarre self-inflicted crisis.
Brexit proved that many Conservatives were entirely willing to tear the UK apart to advance their own political ambitions and the party’s kamikaze approach to governance shows no sign of letting up.
After the chaos of the Boris Johnson years, there was some hope, however limited, that the new Prime Minister would restore some stability to Westminster and the UK in general.
Liz Truss – described by many commentators as little more than a shallow Margaret Thatcher tribute act – wasn’t seen as an ideal leader by many outside die-hard Conservative circles. But after Johnson she had to be an improvement... surely?
Well, in the last few weeks we have our answer.
Boris Johnson may have been a self-serving blundering clown, an act he embraced to considerable success, but Prime Minster Truss has proven to be a disaster on a biblical scale.
The first days of the Truss government were dominated by the death and funeral of the monarch, affording the new leader a degree of cover as she ushered in her new cabinet.
Her first policy announcement, a cap on electricity prices, was received relatively well but it too was utterly overshadowed by the queen’s death.
It was with her government’s next announcement that Ms Truss made her mark and did so in spectacular fashion.
Effectively in her first few days of normal government after the royal funeral, Prime Minister Truss and her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced a mini-budget that they hailed as a “new approach for a new era”.
It’s certainly a new approach and its impact was immediate. In the week since it was announced, the value of the pound plunged; stock markets were put into turmoil; the cost of government borrowing soared and inflation surged.
The end result is that hundreds of thousands of citizens across the UK have been placed in tremendous financial jeopardy and the Conservatives have, deservedly, taken a hammering.
Leading Tories sought to shift the blame and made astonishing claims that the financial chaos was due to liberals who hate the government or fear of a Labour election victory.
The UK public hasn’t swallowed this and in Kier Starmer’s Labour are currently enjoying a 33 per cent lead in the polls. Were that to be replicated at a General Election – which is probably unlikely – it would see a Labour win comparable to Tony Blair’s landslide in 1997.
Blair’s win brought an end to 18 years of Tory rule in the UK and at this point, and certainly under Prime Minister Truss, a repeat performance by Labour looks more and more likely.