HomeWorld NewsLiz Truss to ‘share lessons’ of her time in government in new book – The Guardian
Liz Truss to ‘share lessons’ of her time in government in new book – The Guardian
September 9, 2023
Liz Truss is writing a book about her 49 days as prime minister, which will argue the main cause of her downfall was a lack of “support for Conservative ideas” – and too much support for the “global left”.
The former prime minister wants to see a “Conservative movement revival” and has decided to “share the lessons” from her time in government, where she was “often the only conservative in the room”.
The book, Ten Years to Save the West, is being touted as warning against authoritarianism and the threat from “fashionable ideas propagated by the global left” – the same movement she blames for derailing her premiership.
The former foreign secretary, who is now a backbench Conservative MP, will write about her meeting with the Queen shortly before the monarch’s death and her experiences with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.
In a statement, Truss said: “I want to share the lessons from my experience in government and those international meetings where I was often the only conservative in the room and demonstrate that we have stark choices to make if we wish to avoid a managed decline of the western architecture that has presided over generations of relative peace and prosperity.”
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, she said that ideas like “redistributionism, business being bad, the anti-growth people like Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil” have dominated politics over the last decade.
She warned of persistent low growth and argued that western culture is “being questioned, even basic things like human biology”.
“If you look at the knots in which people tie themselves in western politics about whether somebody with a penis is a man or not, it shows how effective unfortunately these people have been,” she told the newspaper.
Taxes are too high and the government is too big and spends too much money, she said: “We are not going to get a dynamic economy if half of every pound spent is being spent by the government.”
She also revealed that she thinks Boris Johnson should never have been removed of office. “That was fundamentally the wrong thing to do,” she told the paper. “He’d been elected leader of the country by the electorate and I think that’s caused us huge problems.”
She is keen to see a Republican back in the White House, although she would not comment on whether it should be Donald Trump: “There is no doubt in my mind that what Biden is doing is damaging the United States economy by pursuing huge subsidies, huge spending, raising taxes and now trying to impose this on the rest of the world through the OECD minimum tax agreement.
“It’s not good enough for Biden just to have a socialist economic policy in the US, he also wants to export that socialist economic policy to Europe and to the United Kingdom.”
She added: “You’ve got the global left which Biden is obviously a key part of, but also the global environmental movement, the Greta Thunbergs of this world, the anti-capitalist movement, and they have been very effective in pushing what is politically acceptable.”
Truss also dreads a Keir Starmer-Joe Biden double act: “That would be very bad.”
She didn’t rule herself out for a comeback, saying that she would not rest until she sees real change in Britain. “I think that can be delivered but I’m not specifying any role for myself in the future.”
When asked whether or not she believed she contributed to her own downfall in office, she replied: “I’ve said before that I made mistakes on things like communication and execution, but the fundamental problem was there wasn’t enough support for Conservative ideas.”
Truss’s close political bond with her former chancellor and strong ally, Kwasi Kwarteng, appears to be over. Truss fired him in the final days of her premiership after their budget of £45bn of unfunded tax cuts sparked an economic crisis and sent mortgage rates soaring. Asked whether the pair are in contact by text, she replied: “Occasionally. I’m not speaking to him that much.”
In the interview, she admitted that she still struggles to “compute” what happened during her time in No 10 – particularly concerning “what happened to the Queen”: “It was extraordinary and it also came off the back of being foreign secretary with the first war on European soil kicking off earlier that year, so 2022 was an extraordinary rollercoaster, extraordinary.”
Her office said she will be writing the book herself, rather than using a ghostwriter. It will be published in April.