Truss Blasts Critics in Fierce Pro-Growth Rallying Cry

Truss obviously had her Weetabix this morning. As the one year anniversary of her mini-Budget looms, the former PM unloaded a salvo of attacks on her critics, taking aim at the BBC, the civil service, former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, the Labour Party, and even the anti-growth MPs on her own party’s benches. She’s got a book out in April for more details…

Much of the speech was the familiar Truss routine: she conceded that she was in rush to deliver change, and she not only wanted to “fatten the pig” but also rear and slaughter it on the same day. She added that “voters want to see change“, and the Tories’ widening polling deficit is the proof in the pudding. It is worth pointing out, as Fraser Nelson did last week, that whilst the adults are supposedly back in the room, the economy is no better

This point is not lost on Liz, as she pointed out during the Q&A:

“I do want to challenge the phrase ‘crashed the economy’. The fact is that since I left office, both mortgage rates and gilt rates have gone higher than they were at the time of the mini-budget. I just think you are repeating a line to take from the Labour Party…”

She also called on the government once again to slash taxes across the board. Words likely to fall on the deaf ears of the Chancellor… whom she appointed.

mdi-timer 18 September 2023 @ 12:09 18 Sep 2023 @ 12:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Left-of-Centre Think Tanks Dwarf Tufton Street in Terms of Money and Manpower

Contrary to the Twitterati narrative that a conspiracy of think tanks clustered in Tufton Street wields the most influence in wonk world, it’s actually the centre-left think tanks that have the most money and manpower. Guido’s crunched the numbers. 

The Tony Blair Institute, Resolution Foundation, New Economics Foundation, Institute for Government and the Institute for Public Policy Research have a combined headcount of 497. This compares to Tufton Street’s more modest headcount of 116. 

The top 5 centre-left think tanks had a combined turnover of £79,814,431 last year. In comparison, their top 5 right-of-centre rivals – the Centre for Policy Studies, Institute of Economic Affairs, Centre for Social Justice, Onward and Policy Exchange – had a combined turnover of a mere £9,032,646. The high media profile of the right-of-centre wonks is to their credit given by how much they are outnumbered and out-gunned in everything except the persuasiveness of their arguments.  Nevertheless, the myth of the insidious influence of “Tufton Street” lives rent-free in the minds of conspiracy theorists. 

It should be noted that the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) alone has a whopping 337 staff, with an eye-watering turnover of £65,247,459. Arguably the TBI is a do-tank, and consulting for foreign governments is a big source of revenue which allows it to nurture the next generation of Labour SpAds and future Labour Party MPs. One senior New Labour source reckons that the TBI is about selling Larry Ellison’s Oracle databases to African developing countries – Ellison has given Blair’s institute over $80 million in recent years. Blair has known Ellison since his time in Downing Street, when Oracle became a significant supplier of software to the government. 

mdi-timer 13 September 2023 @ 15:19 13 Sep 2023 @ 15:19 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Civil Servant Brazenly Endorses Lisa Nandy’s Policies at IfG Conference

Lisa Nandy graced the Institute for Government conference this afternoon, only to be welcomed and endorsed by an audience member who openly admitted to being a serving senior civil servant. The audience member introduced herself as Grace Duffy, and told the Labour frontbencher “it’s so great to have you.” 

“Hi, I’m Grace Duffy from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities! No it’s so great to have you. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit more about your views on how we address the problems in the housing market, particularly the role of the private renting sector. I was particularly struck by the comment you made about housing being a human right and how that relates to the view of not just the private renting sector but housing as either a financial product or as an investment; and how that relates to the human rights thing. 

Also as someone who just moved out of London, just strong agree on the buses, it is such an enourmous source of frustration.”

Using her question to twice agree with her boss’s opponent seems like a pretty cut-and-dry incident of breaching the Civil Service Code, which requires the blob to “maintain political impartiality… no matter what your own political beliefs are.” It adds, “You must not: act in a way that is determined by party political considerations”. Grace Duffy is the Head of Private Rented Sector Dispute Resolution & Non-Traditional Tenures. She’s been a civil servant since 2014 – surely she should know better…

mdi-timer 17 January 2023 @ 16:58 17 Jan 2023 @ 16:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tax-Loving Think Tankers to Give “Evidence” on Kwasi’s Mini-Budget This Week

The Treasury Select Committee is set to hear ‘oral evidence’ on Kwasi’s mini-Budget this Wednesday from a panel that looks like it was dreamt up by an FBPE focus group. The Anti-Growth Coalition’s own cast of Avengers…

The Institute for (Big) Government, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Resolution Foundation are all sending their star performers to the show. No prizes for what Torsten Bell or Paul Johnson will have to say about a plan that actually supports tax cuts…

mdi-timer 10 October 2022 @ 15:10 10 Oct 2022 @ 15:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Keir Cancels Scheduled Public Speaking Engagement

Keir Starmer was due to speak tomorrow afternoon at a high profile public event hosted by the Institute for Government, on Labour’s approach to meeting the challenges the country faces, on the eve of the Queen’s Speech. A chance to set the agenda for an important week.

The public event was scheduled to have included questions from the press and public. This morning, when door-stepped outside his North London home by journalists, a grim faced Starmer refused to say anything and was bundled into a waiting Range Rover. Keir clearly realises that “the police have already investigated this matter and found nothing” will no longer work as a line.

The Institute for Government is funded by the billionaire David Sainsbury, a former Labour minister under Tony Blair, who has backed centrist Labour politicians financially in the past. A statement on the website says only that the event is cancelled, with no explanation given.

mdi-timer 8 May 2022 @ 19:20 8 May 2022 @ 19:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sturgeon’s £8.5 Billion Austerity Drive in Event of Scottish Independence

Forget £350 million a week for the NHS; an independent Scotland would be forced to find a huge £8.5 billion down the back of the sofa due to their 8% deficit. A report by the Institute for Government warns it would also “almost certainly be more expensive for Scotland to borrow than for the UK” as a result of higher interest rates. David Cameron might have some advice on swingeing cuts…

The report brings further bad news on the question of an independent Scotland’s currency. Earlier this week, deputy first minister John Swinney said the country would eventually move towards a “distinctive currency”. This, the report warns, would provide the greatest freedom, though at the cost of leaping into the unknown:

“a new, free-floating currency would be the most unknown quantity of the options that would be available to Scotland after independence. It would probably take time for the new currency to gain credibility with, and enough liquidity in, foreign exchangemarkets and for the new government to build a reputation for sound macroeconomic policy and a commitment to the independent management of monetary policy. Without those, the currency’s value would be more vulnerable to speculation. Resulting currency volatility could impart shocks to the real economy.”

In a week where Scotland had to beg the UK MoD for help in the wake of their national ambulance crisis, it might not be the best time for Sturgeon to make the arguments of going it alone…

mdi-timer 17 September 2021 @ 13:30 17 Sep 2021 @ 13:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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