The prospective prime minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, is a political chameleon who transitioned from a radical who advocated for the overthrow of the monarchy to the leader of the Conservative Party eurosceptic right wing.
In a very short period of time, Truss, who was first elected to parliament in 2010, has established herself as a political force of nature who pursues her mission with unwavering passion and determination.
But many will wonder just what Britain’s next leader stands for following a decades-long shift in which her personal opinions significantly changed.
Many people who have observed her over the years wonder if she truly believes anything at all, or if she merely supports whatever is most practical at the time.
Truss has undergone a political journey, and that is an understatement. She was born in 1975 into a family that, in her own words, is “to the left of Labour,” the biggest left-wing organization in Britain. She was raised in Scotland and the north of England, respectively, in regions of the UK that didn’t often support the Conservative Party.
Truss advocated the legalization of cannabis and the abolishment of the royal family while she was a member of the Liberal Democrats, stances that are completely at variance with what the majority of people in 2022 would perceive to be mainstream conservatism.
Just two years after delivering a speech at a Liberal Democrat convention calling for the abolition of the monarchy, according to Truss, she joined the Conservatives. Her contemporaries questioned her genuineness even while she was a Liberal Democrat and noted characteristics that they claim to still be present in her now.
Neil Fawcett, a Liberal Democrat councilor who ran with Truss in the 1990s, says, “I honestly think she was playing to the gallery back then, whether she was talking about decriminalizing drugs or abolishing the monarchy. I think she is someone who plays to the gallery with whatever audience she is talking to, and I genuinely don’t know if she ever believes anything she says, then or now.”
Truss has undoubtedly succeeded in keeping her audience interested. She has ardently backed nearly every imaginable philosophy since joining the Conservatives and running for office. She devotedly worked in a variety of cabinet positions, most recently as the foreign secretary, under three successive prime ministers.
Recently, the new leader even went so far as to refuse to refer to French President Emmanuel Macron as an ally in an effort to bolster her Brexiteer credentials. She responded, “jury’s out,” when asked if he was a friend or opponent during a live broadcast.
The Conservative Party is divided about the validity of this support for Euroscepticism. Some believe that in 2016, Truss resisted obeying government directives that were hostile to Brexit. Some people find that reasoning absurd.
More and more Britons have pondered what a Truss premiership might entail as she has drawn closer to taking the reins of government. She ran for office with the most conservative of platforms. She has promised to cut taxes beginning immediately, scrape EU rules, and promote private sector growth with low corporation tax. Despite reporting enormous profits amid the present cost of living and energy crises, she has stated that she would not impose a windfall tax on energy corporations.
The tax cuts she has pledged, according to critics, will increase inflation and interest rates in the midst of a predicted recession. Truss’ promise to reduce public sector salaries, ostensibly saving the public $8.8 billion, was also questioned. Her economics were criticized, and the controversy over her alleged callousness toward public sector employees compelled Truss to reverse course.
A Truss administration may end up like Johnson’s in many ways, but with a stronger focus on tax reduction, state consolidation, and perhaps even a tougher stance toward Europe.