Liz Truss performed a public service – she showed how dangerous the dreams of the conservative right are in practice

I believe it was Maya Angelou who said, “If someone shows you who they really are, believe them. » Which brings us nicely to the first anniversary of Liz Truss becoming Prime Minister, which she was for 45 days.

It may now seem like an interregnum, but it was much more than that. Truss and his loyal chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng have let the cat out of the bag. They introduced the policies that the rabid far-right, libertarian, googly-eyed lunatics in the Conservative Party really wanted to introduce all along. The ones that Truss and Kwarteng told us they would feature in their Britannia Unchained booklet. They were praised to the heavens for this by their cheerleaders.

No more responsible finances, balanced budgets or control of borrowing; economic competence has disappeared and economic fallout has arrived. Give billions to millionaires and they will end up spending some of it on things the poor provide.

What we got was a national experiment in this absurdity. It lasted for a few weeks, then imploded with Liz Truss’s tenure. Thank goodness it was short lived because it really hurt.

To push his crazy plan through Treasury, Kwarteng had to fire the department’s most experienced and respected civil servant. He then refused to allow the Office for Budget Responsibility, the watchdog responsible for verifying the government’s figures, to review his calculations. These two elements alone probably doomed the budget before it was even presented.

But just to be sure, Kwarteng, prodded by the Prime Minister, decided to be sure. The Chancellor announced that he planned to:

Bring forward a reduction in the basic tax rate, abolish the 45% income tax bracket for high earners, cancel the National Insurance hike, cancel the corporation tax rise, freeze energy bills for two years, representing a massive increase in state spending. While reducing stamp duty and removing caps on banker bonuses

This recipe for disaster was hailed by right-wing press commentators as a work of genius. The front page of the Daily Mail said “Finally!” A real conservative budget.” The Daily Express said the budget would put Britain “back on top”. Allister Heath, editor of the Sunday Telegraph, called it “the best budget I have ever heard a British chancellor deliver” and waxed lyrical about how he felt hearing it. “The tax cuts were so huge and bold, the language so extraordinary, that sometimes I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, that I hadn’t been transported to a faraway country that actually believed in “economics of Milton Friedman and FA Hayek,” he said.

Of course, it was not a dream but a nightmare. The markets took one look at the numbers – billions in spending and billions in giveaways and no way to pay for it – and ran for the hills.

The pound crashed, interest rates soared and the run on government bonds was so severe that it almost brought the pensions sector to its knees and the Bank of England had to step in to bail it out with huge guarantees that it would support the market.

This was made even worse when Kwasi Kwarteng arrogantly declared that he would cut taxes further as soon as possible.

Well, we all know what happened next. First the chancellor, then the prime minister were ousted, then the new chancellor and prime minister had to cancel almost the entire budget and swear not to do something so stupid again.

As for the cheerleaders of this bright new dawn? Well, naturally, it turned out that it was all an unfortunate lack of communication, a poor presentation, just a little too fast.

But the truth is that with Truss, the Conservative Party finally elected a leader who did exactly what the party’s right-wing supporters always wanted it to do, what they had dreamed of for decades. And it was a complete and utter disaster costing Britain around £40 billion.

It almost bankrupted the country overnight, it almost destroyed the UK’s reputation for sound finances and responsible governance, it would have left future generations saddled with endless debt while the wealthy looked down on the little people and laughed.

But remember that the people who support this type of economic illiteracy are still out there. They still believe this madness because it would make them even richer and so that’s what they want to hear. They can always find some bright new thing to promote in the press or join “think tanks” that spout this nonsense; they are patient and they are rich.

But they also showed us who they are, and we must believe them.

We should at least thank Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng for that, because if they had another chance, they would do the exact same thing.

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