It was with a sinking heart in the summer that I realized that Truss, the MPs' third choice for leader, was the darling of the Tory membership and almost certain to be elected. I will admit prejudice. I defy anyone watching her toe-curling performance at that Tory party conference on the imports of apples, pears, and cheese, not to shut their eyes, put their hands over their ears, and wish for early oblivion. But the total lack of any sort of personal presence does not mean that someone with an Oxford PPE degree under their belt who has risen to the rank of cabinet minister, is not without talent and ability. However, the first ‘P’ in PPE stands for ‘Philosophy’, and philosophy is the love of wisdom. That attribute has been totally and entirely absent from any of the actions of this new government. Many commentators have already observed that it is difficult to remember any government ever, that has made such a catastrophic start.
It is so bad that Jeremy Hunt, the new chancellor, he who disgracefully stone-walled the junior doctors on their campaign for a living wage, actually sounded like a welcome and calming ‘grown-up’ on the Today programme this morning. He admitted the government’s mistakes, and conceded that tax rises and cuts in public expenditure—which anyone with an IQ in double figures realizes is inevitable—would be unavoidable in the current climate. Listening to him I had to pinch myself; I felt like Winston Smith in the two minute hate when everyone has worked themselves up into a histrionic frenzy, and Big Brother’s picture and voice come on and calms everyone down...
And then God smiled, and the universe made sense again. Miriam Margolyes was the next item, and gave a very touching tribute to Robbie Coltrane who has just died. Apparently she bumped into Hunt in the studio, and was chatting on air to Justin Webb about it. “I said to him you’ve got a hell of a job... the best of luck! What I really wanted to say: fuck you...”
There are occasionally times when one person does or says something that speaks for the nation. This was such a time.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs