Liz Truss is a Boris loyalist through and through no doubt about that. Questioned about Boris being a liar in Northern Ireland she rolled her eyes and defended him. Ms Truss said Boris had "delivered on Brexit, the Covid vaccine, and stood up to Putin". It's as if Truss is in complete denial about the lies that came out of 10 Downing Street and out of Whitehall.
Truss comes over as very reptilian and cold and has used language like 'handouts' when describing help for energy consumers. Also, saying workers need to graft more is typical hard-right Conservative language. This is evidence that Truss is playing to the gallery of working class to middle class Tories largely of an older generation. Or, worrying for all of us, this is what she truly believes.
Her heroine is Margaret Thatcher and we all know what a controverial Prime Minister she was. It is worrying that Truss wants to ape this woman and God forbid if she thinks she is channeling the spirit of the former Prime Minister. We seem to live in an age where present day leaders seem to think they are leaders from the past. Macron thinks he is Napoleon, Trump was compared to Reagan and Boris thought he was today's Churchill. Of course, to admire past leaders is fine but actually thinking you are them or channeling their spirit is another thing.
We have seen the battle between Truss and Sunak. Played out particularly on television shows, hustings, social media, slogans, etc. Its been a typical, nasty, no holds barred, campaign from both sides. Truss appears to support lowering taxes and freezing prices for energy consumers whereas Sunak supports targeted payments to the most vulnerable. While all need help particularly the most vulnerable amongst us it is businesses and the just about managing (that May called them) who seem to be missing from the picture.
In parliament Sunak had the total backing of most Tory MPs so he won that. However, since going public with Tory members Truss has shot into the lead. There appears no way back for Rishi Sunak although Sunak did win the debate with Truss on Sky News.
The gap between Truss and Sunak after the Sky debate appeared to narrow. Sunak himself admitted he will probably lose but he says that doesn't matter as long as he stays true to his principles.
According to a poll commissioned by Sky if true, there is surely no way back for Sunak. Whoever wins the contest Boris will loom large over either candidate entering 10 Downing Street. Amongst many Tory supporters and members Boris is still popular. Johnson should still be Prime Minister depsite his misdemeanours in their opinion. Many Tories feel whoever wins will ultimately fail against Sir Keir Starmer when a general election is called.
66% back Liz Truss and 34% back Sunak and 13% don't know if they will even vote. So we have Truss already crowned and ready to step into 10 Downing Street (according to the Sky poll). Apart from freezing energy prices and lowering taxes (which will help the rich more apparently) Truss has been silent on what else she will do. She has said if she is in power next month she will commission an emergency budget. How that will help everything in general remains to be seen. One thing is clear, whether Truss or Sunak, they will have to act fast and bring relief as soon as possible.
If Truss wins 35% of the party membership think Truss should give Sunak a job in her cabinet. While 52% of them think she should not. Its doubtful she would offer Sunak a lifeline any way given the Tory perception of Sunak stabbing Boris in the back. Indeed, Sunak may not want to accept a post in her cabinet and that would be his choice.
There will be no chance of a general election any time soon. Whoever is Prime Minister will not commit political suicide as Labour could win outright. Their minds will be focussed they have two years or a year and a half to fix things. They cannot avoid a general election and they will want things to be right (at least in their minds) before they declare one. Whatever the successor to Boris does I believe we are in the death throws of this Tory administration. It really is time to give someone else a chance because if the Tories win again God help us.