Pundits’ Patronising Takes on Truss

Hardline centrist pundits who consider themselves to be homme sérieux have wasted no time in rushing to judgement on Liz Truss’s character and prospects:

  • Failed stockbroker and former Observer editor Will Hutton set the tone when he lamented that “Truss prepares to form a cabinet populated by misfits, failures, ideologues, third raters and opportunists to manage one of the greatest economic and social emergencies since 1945. A titanic constitutional and democratic failure.”
  • Anti-Brexit obssessive Ian Dunt tweeted “Her brain is made of rusty crankshafts and cobwebs and it’s going to doom us all.”
  • Part-time amateur psychiatrist and columnist Matthew Parris opined that “Liz Truss is a planet-sized mass of overconfidence and ambition teetering upon a pinhead of a political brain. It must all come crashing down. She’s crackers. It isn’t going to work.”
  • Edward Luce, the FT’s associate tweeted his character analysis “Liz Truss is a charlatan who has bullshitted her way to Britain’s top job.”

“No vision, no charisma, no real plan: Labour has nothing to fear from Liz Truss” is the headline on Polly Toynbee’s article that will no doubt set the tone for many Guardian stories to come.

As Allister Heath pointed out this morning:

“It is astonishing that pundits with no understanding of economics dismiss the Prime Minister’s ability in this area: she actually worked as an economist for Shell (ideal in the current climate) and as an economic director for Cable and Wireless. The first accountant ever in No 10 – she holds the qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – she is more financially literate and comfortable with complex policy matters than almost all of those who patronise her. The fact that she is reflexively written off as lightweight, a dilettante even, is more a reflection of the bizarrely misogynistic and classist minds of some of her more extreme critics than of any objective reality.”

Britain faces challenging economic times, in Liz Truss we have someone far better qualified to address the nation’s troubles than are her opponents. Her enemies are likely to find out, not for the first time, they underestimated her.

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Toby Young Makes Case Against Lockdowns on Newsnight

It was a surprisingly low-energy debate between Toby Young and Ian Dunt on Newsnight last night as they went up against each other to bash heads on the efficacy and morality of national lockdowns. During the segment Toby held his hands up and confessed he’d “got that wrong” about the virus fizzling out in June, he doubled down on his argument that lockdowns destroy the economy and argued that lockdowns increased deaths in the developing worldBoth men asked each other how they sleep at night, Guido imagines after this fairly relaxed debate the answer’s pretty well…

As usual depending which side you are on colours your view of who did better. Guido is a swing voter on lockdowns and masks, it seems that masks only hinder transmission in that they stop you coughing the virus onto someone else, they don’t really protect the wearer that much. Lockdowns clearly wreck the economy and will have terrible repercussions for children’s education, general mental health and wellbeing. On the other hand, without an effective track and trace system it is impossible for politicians to avoid restrictions because no track and trace system could realistically cope with 2% of the population being infected. Shielding the vulnerable is just not possible now. Guido has no time for the anti-mask fundamentalists, who think the reciprocal courtesy of protecting others (to a debatable degree) by wearing masks, is the first step on the path to a totalitarian state.

Watch the interview in full:

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Leftists Turn on Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas managed to achieve the remarkable feat of uniting right and left against her with the daftest proposal of silly season so far for an all-woman (and all-white) emergency ‘cabinet of national unity’ to take over and block no deal, “because women have shown they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions”. Just women Caroline likes though, not women like Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Gisela Stuart, or apparently Diane Abbott.

Corbynistas who used to go dewy-eyed at the mere mention of Lucas have now been rapidly unpersoning her. Guido has rounded up some of the more enjoyable reactions…

Diane Abbott herself shut down the idea with an uncharacteristically sensible response. Thornberry, who was approached by Lucas to the fury of the Corbynistas, also poured cold water on it:

However it was Ellie Mae O’Hagan who saved the best till last, identifying the true enemy: centrism. Corbynistia has always been at war with Lucasia…

Lucas’s latest idea is never going to fly, as Guido has already noted, wild fantasising about ‘national unity’ PMs is this year’s silly season activity of choice. However there is a school of thought that by deliberately putting out an obviously daft idea and getting everyone talking about it, Lucas is helping to shift the Overton Window to make a ‘national unity’ Government under someone less bonkers seem more reasonable. Guido won’t be holding his breath…

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Darling of Remainers Backs Brexit

Journalist Ian Dunt is known as one of Westminster’s most vocal Remainers. His Twitter feed since June has been a slow motion and at times emotional breakdown, this is what he wrote the day after the referendum:

Dunt is the go-to Remainer for political TV producers and he has even written a book lobbying MPs to obstruct a proper Brexit. It’s a very clever career move, considering he was until recently a vocal Brexiteer…

As recently as February this year, Dunt wrote: “I despise the EU”. In May this year he bemoaned the “Faceless EU officials running the country”. In 2014 Dunt wrote: “The idea any left winger could support the EU is a constant source of bafflement for me”. And in 2013 he publicly stated his desire to leave the EU, predicting he and his fellow Leavers would lose a referendum:

“For those of us who want to leave the EU, the #EUspeech was a disaster. Public always take safe route when compromise offered. We will lose.”

How does Dunt explain this most audacious of u-turns, an apparently avowed Brexiteer becoming the darling of the Remain cause? You have to salute him for ruthlessly exploiting the dearth of talent on the Remain side and forging a lucrative, high-profile studio talking head role. Another job created thanks to Brexit…

Ian explained to Guido how he squares these apparent contradictions, he is a left-wing Eurosceptic who is only a reluctant Remainer because of “the manner of leaving”. He would like a super-soft Brexit, with the UK joining EFTA and staying in the EEA, so he is actually still a Brexiteer. Sounds like he wants tariff-free cake…

mdi-timer 12 December 2016 @ 12:53 12 Dec 2016 @ 12:53 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Quote of the Day

Ian Dunt from Politics.co.uk on Corbyn’s speech:

“Of all the speeches Jeremy Corbyn could have made, this was the most predictable and the most useless. There was no thematic content, no idea unifying what he was saying, no quality in delivery, no attempt to speak to the public outside the hall, no plan for the future and no sign he is prepared to work with the media to communicate his appeal more widely. It was the speech of someone who either doesn’t care or isn’t capable of speaking to anyone outside of his immediate supporters.”

mdi-timer 29 September 2015 @ 16:23 29 Sep 2015 @ 16:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments