Did you run a comedy show, Liz Truss? : Newsdrum

The UK has no shortage of competent historians and they will be best qualified to assess whether he was the most disappointing captain on the ship, surely after the Victorian era.

Calcutta: As Liz Truss quits her job in 45 days, the streak of craziness would surely have intrigued Sir Humphrey Appleby, James Hacker’s adviser on the much-loved Yes Minister series. Life seemed to imitate fiction as she and her paraphernalia behaved like standing artists, and I’m not quite talking about parliamentarians.

I wish Winston Churchill, the merry old settler, were alive to witness this news and remember his sherry-soaked prediction for India after independence. He had lamented, and I forget the exact words, that a band of scoundrels and hoodlums could not be entrusted with the management of an entire nation, built up by the burden of the white man. Well, honestly, the current group in London didn’t have fully criminal profiles, but they were certainly inadequate, in terms of statecraft.

Consider the case of Suella Braverman, who bravely questioned the flow of Indian visitors, gently complaining that they just don’t return. Arguably a defensible point of view, just that it was against his leadership position, a minor deviation you might suggest. Even more trivial was perhaps his choice to use a personal email address for official communication, breaking the government’s sacrosanct codes. He turned out to be the equivalent of a driver without a valid license, and therefore worthy of a hasty suspension.

Jeremy Hunt, the Kwazi Karteng replacement chancellor, quickly reversed all the tax cuts that Liz Truss had suggested in her mini budget. This includes the highly damaging corporate tax freeze, the reversal of payroll reforms and in quintessential Ministerial style Yes, VAT-free shopping for international tourists and duty-free alcohol rates. Contradicting his confident leader, he also suggested impending public spending cuts, a possibility harshly denied by the Lady just a week ago. For much of colorful history, U-turns like the above have been attributed to misinformed Third World politics, and certainly not true Oxbridge values.

Then, of course, there’s the just-disappeared pack leader, Mary Elizabeth Truss, who, ironically enough, falls just short of “trust,” as her title’s phonetic ally. Again like a photocopy Yes minister she insisted she was not going anywhere and leading the party to the next election part one may well be an arguable confession now yet another statement reversal . And yes, she did apologize, a highly original strategy of candid confession designed to overwhelm the finer evils, diligently adapted also to the Nuremberg trials. The UK has no shortage of competent historians and they will be best qualified to assess whether he was the most disappointing captain on the ship, surely after the Victorian era.

What makes the soup truly mulligatawny is Rishi Sunak, the Gunga Din of this passage from GMT, a character with a remarkable fan afterthought. It seems everything he said was right, for the country and the party, and minor discrepancies like the non-dom stature of the woman and the melanin content of the skin should have been overlooked. If he comes back and becomes PM, it will be more Wild West and less Saurav Ganguly, dramatic and flamboyant.

Trying to make sense of this curious turn of events is indeed the new monarch, King Charles III, who has just moved on to matters of state from the features of the surroundings. He is constitutionally powerless, a fine alibi in fact for what is apparently a hopeless situation, unless a Dunkirk-type rescue act is ordered. Even then, a suitable leader to lead the incursion into Normandy appears to be lacking, and the king’s speech, circa 2022, looks unsettling.

Just as shocking as the collapse of the empire after the war is the surrender of parliamentary democracy in the nation of its birth. Boris Johnson’s eccentricities, including Bertie Wooster’s attitude towards breaking house rules (the infamous drinking party) appeared to be personality aberration, misnomer and witty dance recurrence St. Vitus. But Liz Truss’ psychedelic antics seemed to suggest a dangerous pattern that people of stature no longer care about politics and today’s leaders are like minor counties, not quite first class.

Had the ruling party of any other functioning democracy resorted to this abdication of integrity, including India, there would have been a huge price to pay, in terms of stability and perception. With a shrinking economy, rising inflation and the beastly energy crisis, the UK is already going through the horrors, like a Michael Holding spell on a first day on the pitch at Headingley, and can ill afford this chaos.

Sir Humphrey Appleby had once lovingly suggested to the Prime Minister: “If you’re going to do this stupid damn thing, don’t do it this stupid fucking way. As Indians, we feel bad to see Liz Truss and the treasured institution of British democracy crumble like wet Oreo cookies, the latter inspired our school of governance. But we would be delighted to humbly assure the islanders that despite Sir Winston’s riddle, New Delhi is doing just fine, despite a few wandering scoundrels.

Javier E. Swan