The person most likely to succeed Boris Johnson as leader of the British Conservative Party and prime minister of the United Kingdom is something of a chameleon in politics, someone who has gone from being a radical advocate for the demise of the monarchy to being the flag-bearer of the Eurosceptic Conservative right.
Liz Truss, elected to Parliament only in 2010, has established herself – in a relatively short period of time – as a political force that pursues its agenda with relentless vigor and indisputable enthusiasm.
However, even with most polls suggesting that she is ready to win the keys to Number 10 of the
Downing Street (the seat and residence of the British government), critics wonder: what exactly does it represent?
Many who have watched her for years question whether she has any sincere beliefs, or whether she simply endorses what
is most convenient at the moment.
To say that Truss is on a political journey would be an understatement. Born in 1975 into a family she described as “on the left of the Labor Party”, the main Socialist opposition, she grew up in parts of the UK that traditionally do not vote Conservative, moving with her family between Scotland and England. north of England.
Unlike her cabinetmates’ private education, Truss attended a state school in Leeds, and
later entered the University of Oxford. There, she was an active member of the Liberal Democrats, a party of
centrist opposition that has long been an effective opponent of the Tories in much of England.
During her time as a Liberal Democrat, Truss supported the legalization of marijuana and the demise of the royal family –
positions that are totally at odds with what is understood as conservatism in 2022.
Truss says he joined the Conservative Party in 1996, just two years after he gave a speech at a Liberal Democrat conference calling for an end to the monarchy. Already at that time, colleagues of the Liberal Democrats questioned his sincerity and identified traits visible even today.
“I honestly think she was doing demagoguery way back when she was talking about decriminalizing drugs or
extinguish the monarchy,” he told CNN Neil Fawcett, a Liberal Democrat council member who campaigned
with Truss in the 1990s. “I think she’s someone who wants to please anyone she’s talking to, so
I really don’t know if she believes anything she says, either in the past or now.”
Truss certainly continued to garner public attention. Since she joined the Conservatives and became a member of Parliament, she has fervently supported almost every conceivable ideology. She still served faithfully under three prime ministers in various positions, and is now Secretary of Foreign Affairs.
In addition, Truss supported the UK’s membership of the European Union in 2016. At the time, she tweeted that she was
supporting those who wanted to stay on the bloc because “it is in Britain’s economic interests and means that
we can focus internally on an essential economic and social reform”.
Truss now supports Brexit, saying her pre-referendum fear that it could cause some
“disruption” was wrong. The aspiring leader of the Conservative Party even threatens to discard the rest of the
EU legislation in the UK and nullifying the Brexit deal that Johnson negotiated with Brussels, in a way that the EU
believed to be even illegal. Truss also blamed France and the EU for customs control at Dover, the main
port between the UK and France.
There is an argument in the Conservative Party about the veracity of this support for Euroscepticism. some think that
Truss was begrudgingly following government orders at the time of the 2016 referendum opposing Brexit.
Others think this argument is inconceivable.
Anna Soubry, a former cabinet minister for the Conservative Party, told CNN that Truss “had more protection than any of us to support Brexit. His support at the time included the farming community, who agreed on Brexit as a whole. I sat at the cabinet table and listened to everyone there why they did what they did, and I find it hard to believe she changed her mind that much.”
On the other hand, Gavin Barwell, who served as Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Theresa May, said that after the Brexit vote, “Truss decided very quickly that there was no room for compromise. If it was to be done, it had to be done in full. And as the stalemate dragged on, she argued it would come down to two options: exit without a deal or Brexit be reversed, the latter of which would be catastrophic for the government.”
The closer she gets to power, the more Britons wonder what a Truss government will look like. She campaigned on the most conservative of agendas. She also pledged to cut taxes from day one, eliminate EU regulations and encourage private sector growth with low taxes for businesses.
He also stated that he will not impose a one-off tax on energy companies, despite the fact that they have made huge profits during the cost of living crisis.
These kinds of politics are, of course, a big deal for Conservative Party members who, ultimately,
will vote for her. And while some who know her will question her beliefs, there is little doubt that she will go to great lengths to implement them and make their impact felt.
A Truss government is likely to look a lot like Johnson’s, but with a greater emphasis on tax cuts,
shrinking state and possibly an even tougher line in Europe. Critics have said that the cuts in
taxes she promised would lead to even higher inflation and interest rate hikes, amid forecast
of a recession.
Questions were also raised about a pledge by Truss to reduce public sector payments, reportedly saving taxpayers $8.8 billion. His economic proposal was questioned by critics, and outrage over his insensitivity to public servants forced Truss to turn around.
Julian Glover, journalist and speechwriter for former Prime Minister David Cameron, was a contemporary of Truss in
university and remembers traits of her that are recognizable even today: determined but unfocused.
“We only crossed paths briefly, and she was in a different year than I was, but despite that, she appears in my
memory as a kind of strange and unfocused force, extremely in favor of action and change”, he recalled.
Glover. “It was always hard to see the purpose of everything, or where it could go, except that she would be at the center of it.”
Roger Crouch, who succeeded Truss as chairman of the Liberal Democrats at Oxford University, told CNN who remembers her as a woman who was “determined, headstrong, and willing to challenge orthodox, prevailing, and often masculine, wisdom.”
Unlike many people who knew Truss in her youth, Crouch, who is now a professor, thinks her views haven’t changed much since the 1990s. thought. I remember a student discussion group where she advocated the privatization of streetlights.”
If she wins, Truss will struggle to unite her party, which has been in power for 12 years and bitterly divided for six.
them because of Brexit.
She will also have to lead the country through its worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Inflation is highest in 40
years, energy bills are expected to increase by hundreds, possibly thousands of pounds a year, and the UK
is expected to enter a recession before the end of 2022. In the coming winter months, many families will have to choose between eating or keeping warm.
And for a party that has been in power for more than a decade, it’s hard to blame it all on anyone else.
Her supporters see a chance for a fresh start with Truss. They believe that without Brexit and with the scandals that led to Johnson’s resignation soon falling by the wayside, the party will turn its focus to staying in power and winning a historic fifth straight general election.
For its detractors, however, it is more complicated. During this leadership contest, those who supported Liz Truss’ rivals feel they have been unfairly maligned, simply for contesting that she should occupy the house on Downing Street.
When it comes to running the country, this could be a problem for Truss. She had the support of fewer members of parliament than her rival Rishi Sunak in the early stages of the race, and the animosity between the two sides worsened over time.
And for all Liz Truss’s determination and obstinacy, if she takes over a party torn apart by infighting and
given the difficulties in the polls, and even during a cost-of-living crisis that has emerged under the Conservatives, your main objective may be a very difficult task to accomplish: to make your party eligible in the next general election, after almost a decade and half in power.
Source: CNN Brasil