Tuesday, 6 September 2022 — Craig Murray
So the UK today gets its fourth successive Tory Prime Minister, despite the fact the previous three all crashed in failure, even in their own terms.
After presiding over crippling austerity as a policy response to Gordon Brown’s massive handover of public money to the casino bankers, David Cameron’s attempt to control the lunatic right of his party by offering a Brexit referendum backfired spectacularly. Theresa May was brought down by that same right wing when she attempted to devise a Brexit deal which allowed for a sensible trading relationship with the European Union. Johnson realised that governing from the far right was the only way to handle the Conservative Party, but the lies and corruption of his government led to him being quite exploded, like Bunbury.
So now the Queen swears in the fourth Tory Prime Minister, and does it in Scotland, a nation where the Tories have been overwhelmingly rejected by the electorate throughout this period (and indeed, for seven decades). A Prime Minister elected by 80,000 people mostly in South East England, to govern 66,000,000 throughout the UK, receives office from an old woman elected by nobody dwelling in a castle.
Liz Truss won the Tory member electorate by promising yet anther shift still further right. The Tory party has now moved so far to the right as to be invisible to the naked eye. I should have thought it were impossible to have a more brutal Home Secretary than Priti Patel, for example, and then they pull the crazed Suella Braverman up to the office. Expect refugee deportations to the Antarctic.
During the Tory leadership campaign it was impossible to protect Liz Truss entirely from scrutiny and questioning, therefore it became blindingly obvious that she is actually pretty stupid. She cannot deliver a script at all, and when asked to think off script, a look of panic enters her eyes, a crazed smile freezes on her lips, and she says the very first though that fights its way out of the dense matter that sits where her brain ought to be.
But now the carapace of deference and protection that surrounds a Prime Minister closes around her. The media are already changing the narrative. Journalists have not previously felt the need to hide their amusement at her intellectually challenged demeanour. Now, in the past 48 hours, I have heard correspondent after correspondent tell us that she is “hard working” and always “masters her brief”. That is plainly the approved narrative.
It is interesting how, when push comes to shove, the neoliberal political class stick together. I have actually heard two senior Labour figures reinforce this new line on finding Truss hard working. Look out for further instances.
We are now going to see immediate action on a freeze on gas prices, though the details remain obscure. Remember, that is a freeze at already through the roof prices. (That was entirely serendipitous, but “through the roof” was an apt phrase, as that is where most of the energy goes in the insulation poor UK).
Truss’s conversion to action on energy prices is not motivated by a sudden concern for poverty or the needs of ordinary people. I learnt of it on Sunday night, before her U turn was briefed, from senior Foreign Office (FCDO) sources. Government polling has indicated a substantial fall in public support for NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine, due to unsustainable energy prices at home.
This is rather comforting as it shows the public are not daft and understand cause and effect, even when the media try to hide it.
Liz Truss’s motivation for an energy price freeze is therefore to maintain public support for fueling the Ukraine War, the overwhelming neoliberal priority. After losing the proxy war in Syria, defeat again by Russia in Ukraine is the gun barrel down which NATO is currently staring. Rather than a negotiated peace, yet more weapons and more brinkmanship are the preferred way forward.
Remember the huge increase in energy prices means incredible profits for the energy companies. Their costs have not increased. The price hike is caused purely by competition from Russia being restricted by the war. This is war profiteering.
As usual, there may be some pretence at difference of detail by the controlled opposition. But do not be surprised to see all the neoliberal parties – Tory, Labour, Liberal, SNP – broadly agree in the next week over a deal on energy bills. They are doing it for their joint promotion of war – which will keep the super profits of both the arms and the energy companies rolling in.
Ultimately, they will expect you to pick up the tab, either through deferred bills or increased taxes; they are merely extending the timescale of your exploitation by war profiteers.