We have a new Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
What does this mean for Scotland?
Who is Liz Truss?
Truss is an ambitious lassie that’s grafted her way to where she is today. She believes in the free market and a back seat role for the government in people’s lives. A real ‘get on wae it’ attitude.
She’s came fae humble beginnings… Oxford-born, raised in Paisley.
Her maw took her younger sel to a “ban the bomb” protest, chanting anti-Thatcher slogans as she campaigned against Nuclear Arms.
Probably had round shades on, coupled wae a tie dye ‘ACID LOVE’ t-shirt and a bifter hingin out her moof. Mibbe I’m getting carried away… but she certainly described her parents as the “left of Labour.”
Truss was a pure geek at school, like a proper sweat. The type of hard work and determination required to earn you a place at Oxford Uni to do PPE. The type that wouldny find it funny if you soaked a tea towel, made sure it was curled roond well tight so when you wip yer Home Economics teacher in the erse it would sting an absolute beauty… no that I’m speaking from experience or that.
Time she got to Oxford she had quite radical views and wasny afraid to take to the streets in protest. Like the time she campaigned against the existence of a Royal Family.
Yer probably hinkin… whit? Thought it was the Tory leadership race she won?
Well, she, like many others contributing to a general trend in British political opinion, epitomises the shift from so-called left to right as folk get older.
What now for Scotland?
Supporters of independence point out that Truss poses as the 9th Conservative Prime Minister Scotland did not vote for. Her presence represents the “democratic deficit” that comes with Scotland’s membership in the United Kingdom and is one of the core arguments proposed by the soon-to-come Yes campaign.
The form of this campaign is yet to be determined, as Tuss is set to ignore First Minister Nicola Sturgeon every time she mentions the word independence. If Scotland is denied a referendum, FM insists the next general election will be treated like one up here anyway.
It’s bold from Sturgeon… but a move she insists is necessary after a majority of MSPs were elected into the Scottish parliament representing independence-supporting, referendum-promising parties. This is backed by a majority of votes in the previous Scottish Election going to the same cohort of parties.
I wasny exaggerating with the word ‘ignore’… Truss feels this is the best way to rid what she and a lot of people think is a nonsense idea at a time when priorities lie elsewhere.
It’ll be noteworthy that Truss was elected by 47% of the Conservative electorate… which may clamp down on calls for a Scottish independence vote to be based on the number of people able to vote as opposed to the number of people that actually show up and vote. A move that Sturgeon felt was “changing the goalposts” out of “fear of losing.” I’m sure there will be mare noise surrounding this in the coming weeks.
This is one of many pressing concerns Truss faces up to. There’s the cost of energy bills rising to a predicted £5,300 per year by January. Astronomical prices compared to previous years & high risk of poverty for hundreds of thousands across Scotland.
Some of this comes as a result of the war in Ukraine, with gas supplies from Russia going up in price and unsettling the market rate. She willny get away wae explaining it all away on Russia but. 60% of what provides the UK’s electricity comes from our supply of nuclear and renewable energy… this has nothing to do with Russia.
Nor are we entirely dependent on Russia for the other 40%, most of that chunk comes from other sources.
The glaringly obvious problem is that yer gas and lecky come in one marginal unit of cost… so when gas prices goes up, so does yer lecky. Failure to separate this means we’re paying raj amounts… only to go into the pockets of energy companies. This is why Sunak was sending dosh straight into folk’s bank accounts that are on benefits n that… if Universal Credit is capped at £4,700, how are they meant to front the lecky bill alone of £5,300?
Truss says we need to be careful and no poke the bear wi these energy companies but… they’re the ones footing a lot of the bills for projects that deliver renewable energy to save the planet n that. Opposition parties say a ‘windfall tax’ taking back their unexpected profits and putting it towards people’s bills is absolutely essential.
You’ve also got raj inflation, an expected recession and resulting union strikes right across the board of services. You’ll no have to remind folk in Embra who’ve been living amongst filth during the festival.
Don’t expect too much intervention here besides an attempt to clamp down on the ability to strike… Truss has repeatedly called these strikes “militant” and has massively criticised any form of disruptive protest.
She wants one nation – the United Kingdom – on the same wavelength. From rail workers stopping people getting to and from work to young hippy-types sitting on motorways and getting in the way of ambulances in the name of climate crises… Truss will want a hassle-free system all singing the same tune. And if she needs to replicate a ruthless, Thatcher-like approach to do so… that’s exactly what she’ll do. Many think that’s why she’s in the job.
The big thing she’ll be getting a hud of in an economic sense is taxation. Mind that increase to National Insurance Boris introduced? You can kiss goodbye to that. She’s giving you that share of your wage packet back.
What about the employers? The businesses? Those paying the wage packet? Aye, they’ll be getting tax cuts anaw. Plenty of them. In Truss’ eyes, these are the folk able to get the economy back up and running so they’ll be getting as sweet a deal as she can offer.
But how will we pay for things like public services? Truss says we’ll borrow from elsewhere. We’re currently borrowing less than yer USAs, yer Japans etc… so let's just get a bung for the time being & pay it back later… why would we try to do that now when we’re struggling?
A new-look Britain?
Yes and no.
If all goes to plan, our economy will be booming again and we’ll have a renewed sense of Britishness in Scotland once we’re back on our feet. If it doesn’t… well it might be a new look that Truss didny envisage cos we’ve got a general election in a cuttla years time that might punt her out.
It feels more like a throwback than a fresh look… Truss literally dressed like Thatcher in a lot of the televised leadership debates. The friction between government and unions feels Thatcher-esque. A lot of the arguments for Brexit talked about the ‘good old days’ before immigration spoiled it for everyone else… this is something Truss will be looking to put her stamp on dealing with migrants crossing the English channel. We have our 3rd female Prime Minister which feels like progress… yet the cynic will point out that our wait for a Prime Minister of colour rolls on.
We’ve arrived at a crossroads in terms of our national identity, economic direction and international profile… and the Truss era, followed by the upcoming General Election, feels like a monumental chapter in British life post-Brexit.