DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Find a unity candidate or oblivion beckons
The change of tone could hardly be more stark. Three weeks ago Kwasi Kwarteng promised the sunlit uplands of a low-tax, high-growth future.
Now his replacement as Chancellor talks of the need for ‘eye-watering’ economic decisions to tackle inflation, hinting at a world of financial pain to come.
As the dust settles on Jeremy Hunt’s dramatic Commons trashing of Trussonomics, families must come to terms with the prospect of less state help to get them through the cost of living crunch.
Businesses face a 6 percentage point rise in corporation tax that they thought had been cancelled. Pensioners may lose their triple-lock guarantee.
And all government departments are being told to look for cuts, in what some are dubbing a return to austerity.
As the dust settles on Jeremy Hunt’s dramatic Commons trashing of Trussonomics, families must come to terms with the prospect of less state help to get them through the cost of living crunch
Reinforcing that impression, Mr Hunt has recruited as an adviser Rupert Harrison, George Osborne’s former chief of staff and an architect of the 2010 austerity drive.
The Chancellor’s measures were well received by the markets and probably necessary to steady the nerves of his party. And yes, the public sector has ballooned since Covid and is ripe for reform.
But what exactly is Mr Hunt’s mandate? Whom does he represent? And, crucially, where does the Tory party go from here?
There’s no doubt Liz Truss has been severely wounded by the events of recent weeks. If she is to survive, she must rediscover some of the fight and fire she showed during the leadership hustings.
But the party must also be cautious of trying to oust her now, before any credible alternative has been worked out.
The straightforward coronation of a successor would be democratically problematic, cutting the membership out of the decision-making process.
If all the warring factions within the party could subsume their differences to the common good, however, and agree on a unity candidate, a new poll shows most Tory members would be willing to go along with it.
The change of tone could hardly be more stark. Three weeks ago Kwasi Kwarteng promised the sunlit uplands of a low-tax, high-growth future
They realise that another full leadership contest in the midst of this economic crisis would look horribly self-indulgent.
Labour, despite having no answers themselves beyond the fantasy that the crisis could be solved by a windfall tax on UK oil and gas production, have already opened up a huge poll lead.
Why give them even more help?
What’s needed now from Conservative MPs is a period of calm reflection – at the very least until the Budget on October 31.
Between now and then it is up to the wiser heads in the party to mediate between the different interest groups and settle on a figure, or figures, around whom they can all coalesce.
The Tories are already teetering on the brink of electoral oblivion. Unless they grow up – and soon – they will find themselves hurtling into the void.
There’s no doubt Liz Truss has been severely wounded by the events of recent weeks. If she is to survive, she must rediscover some of the fight and fire she showed during the leadership hustings
Rail union leader Mick Lynch wants ‘an uprising’. Postal workers call for action ‘to defend ourselves’. Public service union chief Mark Serwotka says unless their strikes succeed, ‘people will die of malnutrition, they will die of hypothermia’.
You’d think they were fighting a revolution in some banana republic, rather than cynically plotting to inconvenience as many members of the public as possible.
There’s nothing noble about their threat of a quasi-general strike or their double-digit pay claims.
This is a politically driven attempt to further damage the Government and clear a path for Labour, who would no doubt give the unions – their paymasters – everything they want.
If this country is not to fall further into the economic mire, these poundshop Marxists must be sent packing.
Source: Read Full Article