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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Liz Truss is for turning

LIZ TRUSS childishly likes to dress up as Mrs Thatcher and pose as the natural successor to the Tory icon who led the Conservatives to victory in the 1980s. But that’s as far as it goes. Believing her opinions were the only ones that counted Margaret Thatcher made a virtue out of her own intransigence, telling Conservative Party Conference in October 1980 that “the lady’s not for turning”, and she got away with it for years. Eleven years in fact – until she was stabbed in the back by her former colleagues and kicked out of Downing Street in November 1990. Ms Truss, on the other hand, certainly is for turning and she’ll be lucky to last out for 11 months.

The last few days have been a lesson to those who say protests are pointless. At a symbolic level they can by-pass the mainstream media to raise issues on the street that the ruling class would otherwise ignore. At the best they can, indeed, change policies – especially if the protests come from within your own camp.

The Government’s U-turn over the 45 per cent higher tax rate followed the run on the pound and the panic in the City after the ‘mini-budget’ that was supposed to boost economic growth and ease the cost-of-living crisis. An opinion poll that gave Labour an astronomical 33 point lead over the Conservatives fired the Tory back-bench revolt that has rocked the Truss government and forced the humiliating climb down over the 45p top rate of income tax last week.

Barely a month has passed since Liz Truss entered Downing Street but she’s already shown how unfit she is for high office. Her crackpot ‘trickle-down’ economics don’t work at the best of times and they certainly don’t work now. The fact there was little support for it within the Establishment shows how far the Tory leader is out of touch with the people the Conservatives are supposed to represent. The row with the new King over his attendance at the UN climate change conference in Egypt next month won’t have endeared Ms Truss with the landed aristocracy either.

The Tory grandees see the writing on the wall amidst talk about removing Truss before the next election to stave off a Labour landslide at the next election. And now Starmer’s people are preparing for office in the mistaken belief that the next election will be a walk-over for Labour.

But the struggle on the street goes on. Millions are taking industrial action against austerity. The demand for higher pay, public ownership and a health service worthy of a country as rich as the UK is growing.

Soaring energy prices mean a bleak winter for working people. Workers face mass unemployment and economic stagnation. Most of the benefit cuts and the tax-breaks for the rich in the mini-budget are still in place. The Government blames it on the Russians but it was they, and their masters in Washington, that started the Ukrainian conflict in the first place back in 2014.

Ending sanctions on Russia, cutting military expenditure and closing all foreign bases would go a long way to reversing decline. So as the guns blaze in Ukraine, we have to build the resistance to the Labour leaders who crawl to the Americans, and we must lead the fight-back against the union bureaucrats who defend the Ukrainian fascist regime.

Public ownership is meaningless without a socialist agenda to empower working people and pave the way to revolutionary change. And fighting for peace goes hand-in-hand with that struggle.