In Liz We Truss

luka

Well-known member
super interesting to see over the past two weeks some proof that UK government is constrained by financial markets and how they are likely to react to tax and spending policy. I suppose its something that's always been in the background to all kinds of decision-making. but this kind of disciplining effect, where market movements can possibly take out an (admittedly weak, although with a big majority) prime minister, and at a minimal a chancellor, makes it clear what happens if a government steps too far out of line.

it reminds me a bit of how i (badly) understand italian politics works, where whatever tax / spending / borrowing-wise is decided through the democratic process is ultimately overruled by the EU in one way or another
this is the thing i found most interesting too. in a hard limits of democracy way.
 

luka

Well-known member
i was just in the famous liz truss/kwasi pub in greenwich at 3pm hoping to catch a glimpse of her, bent over a g&t in trademark shades
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
looking forward to seeing what specific features of rishi sunak i'm going to hate, i mean i definitely will, but gradually the guardian and all the other online writing will coalesce around an attack that resonates, and soon i'll be repeating them. there's a nice bit right now where the effective attack lines haven't been figured out so there's a bit more space to have your own thoughts
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It does seem weird that there hasn't been any major crisis for a few... hours, maybe even days. Boring even.

I just saw someone on Instagram and their name was, I dunno, Eliza Truss or something and I actually thought to myself "didn't we have a prime minister with a name something like that?" so I was pleased to see this thread come to the top and remind me of her actual name. Gonna be an annoying trivia question in years to come like one of those one of those one-hit wonder songs where everyone knows the tune but no-one knows who sang it.
 

Leo

Well-known member
Agree or disagree with his policies, but Biden brought a level of boringness after the Trump years of daily insults and twitter attacks that was such a relief. It was like that feeling when a delivery truck that had been idling for 30 minutes outside your apartment finally leaves, you eventually notice a layer of stress and annoyance has been lifted.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Yes for sure. The difference here is that the Tories have tried twenty different leaders before finding one who is competent enough to do up his shoelaces and it seems weird that they have been able to mess around within a single party like in such a way that it affects the whole country. Given my last post it may seem a bit rich for me to castigate anyone for their memory but I can believe that many of the people in the UK have short enough attention spans that they may suddenly see the Tories as being a safe pair of hands once again - regardless of the fact that they went through about fifty pairs of psychotically dangerous ones to get there - and he may convince some fo the haemorrhaging tory support to come back to them... though surely it's too late to bring them back to anything like life and i'm probably worrying unnecessarily.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
this is the thing i found most interesting too. in a hard limits of democracy way.

I actually don't find this as surprising as some seem to. It's being represented as the government being somehow ruled by shadowy market forces that have a sinister power over us... but another way of looking at it is to say that in every sphere there are certain rules that apply and which can't be overcome however hard you vote for them.

If we were talking physics and Truss had said "I'm going to rescind the law of gravity" we wouldn't be surprised when she failed. But when it's economics and Truss said "We're going to collect less money, and we're going to spend more, and the total amount we have will increase" people think that the fact it didn't work out that way that is a failure of democracy whereas to me it looks more like an idiot making impossible promises.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
It does seem weird that there hasn't been any major crisis for a few... hours, maybe even days. Boring even.

I just saw someone on Instagram and their name was, I dunno, Eliza Truss or something and I actually thought to myself "didn't we have a prime minister with a name something like that?" so I was pleased to see this thread come to the top and remind me of her actual name. Gonna be an annoying trivia question in years to come like one of those one of those one-hit wonder songs where everyone knows the tune but no-one knows who sang it.
Except 'one-hit wonder' implies she did one thing that was actually good.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I'd say Truss did one good thing - in much the same way as did the universally admired Mr Blobby or the critically acclaimed Crazy Frog.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
I actually don't find this as surprising as some seem to. It's being represented as the government being somehow ruled by shadowy market forces that have a sinister power over us... but another way of looking at it is to say that in every sphere there are certain rules that apply and which can't be overcome however hard you vote for them.

If we were talking physics and Truss had said "I'm going to rescind the law of gravity" we wouldn't be surprised when she failed. But when it's economics and Truss said "We're going to collect less money, and we're going to spend more, and the total amount we have will increase" people think that the fact it didn't work out that way that is a failure of democracy whereas to me it looks more like an idiot making impossible promises.

for me the realization is a bit of an uncomfortable one, which is that apparently the 'books need to be balanced' otherwise you get some kind of financial crisis. A lot of the way I think about politics was formed in the austerity period, and this was the justification they used. That's always what the baddies have said, and the truss thing will come back to us as soundbites explaining why we can't have more public spending i think.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
I feel like it swung the big narrative of the last 30 years or whatever back into place. The need to be sensible and have the economy managed by the prime minister. I don't know if you've ever heard the term 'capitalist realism', actually I think I might just have coined that, it's good isn't it. But the overall arc of the truss story is very much capitalist realist I think. Here are the rules of the market, step out of line and they'll whack you in the back of the head
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
for me the realization is a bit of an uncomfortable one, which is that apparently the 'books need to be balanced' otherwise you get some kind of financial crisis. A lot of the way I think about politics was formed in the austerity period, and this was the justification they used. That's always what the baddies have said, and the truss thing will come back to us as soundbites explaining why we can't have more public spending i think.
I'm not going so far as to say that the books need to be balanced. I just mean that there are some rules in economics that seem to actually exist, at least in the system if not in the real world - you can't just vote for them to not apply, unless you totally change the whole thing you're stuck with them.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
for me the realization is a bit of an uncomfortable one,

Suppose the PM said "We're gonna give everyone a billion pounds and you can all retire tomorrow, no need to work cos we're all billionaires - we'll be the richest country in the world with the highest standard of living, everyone happy, sorted!" I think we would all instinctively know it's not going to work. What I'm saying is that we do all know there are some financial rules in place, we might not not know exactly what they are and where the limits lie.

Finding out they were stricter than you thought is a difference in degree rather than kind though I think a lot of people aren't recognising that for one reason or another.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
Suppose the PM said "We're gonna give everyone a billion pounds and you can all retire tomorrow, no need to work cos we're all billionaires - we'll be the richest country in the world with the highest standard of living, everyone happy, sorted!" I think we would all instinctively know it's not going to work. What I'm saying is that we do all know there are some financial rules in place, we might not not know exactly what they are and where the limits lie.

Finding out they were stricter than you thought is a difference in degree rather than kind though I think a lot of people aren't recognising that for one reason or another.
Yeah. It's just not something I've seen in action before. It's always been something that people said, eg Cameron justifying austerity and all the people saying that the Corbyn platform wasn't possible, but it's not hapened before. In my lifetime anyway. And taking out a whole prime minister and associated policy platform and direction of travel for a country is a big consequence.

The thing it brings to mind is how Italy has very limited room for maneuver on decisions around taxation and spending, whatever the people want. But that one is because the EU overpowers the Italian state. Which is similarly linked to international financial flows and bond markets etc I think.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I'm not at all saying that Austerity was justified by the way, please don't take what I'm saying as any kind of argument for that - as far as I know most economists predicted that it would be counterproductive and they seem to have been right in that despite cutting loads of services and benefits and making life worse for many of those who needed help the most, it did not end up saving any money or reducing the national debt. In fact I would say that Austerity was an ideological act with a made up economic justification.

And I reckon that a lot of the time when politicians say that they are forced to act in a certain way by economic laws they are lying - classic example is Theresa May telling the nurses there "is no magic money tree" when they asked for a pay rise, yet when the election resulted in a hung parliament and the Tories needed to bribe the DUP to form a coalition with them and keep them power, it turned out that, luckily, that thing they'd been growing in the window box and always thought was a tomato plant, was in a fact in magic money tree. Or more cynically they knew had a great big magic money tree but the money that grew on it was only available to use on really important things such as keeping the Tories in power, rather than wasting it on fripperies such as keeping the NHS fully staffed and working.

What I'm saying overall is - still be wary when a politician says that financial constraints force them to enact a given policy, just cos there was one time when the economic constraints did seemingly punish them for enacting a particular policy, it doesn't mean that any time they appeal to that they are telling the truth.
 
Top