Labour Party members, progressives, and critical voices worldwide registered concern and condemnation Monday after the Conservative Party in the U.K. voted to make Liz Truss, formerly the Foreign Secretary, the nation’s next Prime Minister to replace the outgoing Boris Johnson.
In a runoff with former finance minister Rishi Sunak, Truss won out by a historically narrow margin following the resignation of Johnson earlier this summer amid a raging energy crisis, soaring costs, and a flood of internal scandals that sapped his support.
“Just when we see the back of a law-breaking, Parliament-proroguing, office-abusing PM in Boris Johnson,” said Green MP Caroline Lucas in a tweet, “he’s replaced by a climate-wrecking, handout-refusing, redistribution-opposing, Brexit ideologue PM in Liz Truss. Buckle up, it’s going to be a rough ride.”
While Johnson “leaves having disgraced his office,” continued Lucas, she warned that Truss “campaigned as a right-wing ideologue and will govern as such — which is a disaster for all of us.”
As both Foreign Secretary and International Trade Secretary before that, Truss was rebuked for her xenophobic rhetoric and policies throughout her career by human rights groups in the U.K., Europe and beyond.
The Labour Party made clear their belief that Truss, based on her own remarks, will continue her party’s hostility toward working people in the U.K.:
This is what new Conservative Prime Minister Liz Truss really thinks about working people. pic.twitter.com/OiCJiLoXKx
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) September 5, 2022
For those looking for a break from the aggressiveness of the Johnson era, progressive critics said there is nothing to look forward to with Truss.
Tax cuts for the rich.
No attempt at wealth redistribution.
More oil and gas drilling.
No action on #climate
— Bill McGuire (@ProfBillMcGuire) September 4, 2022
“New prime minister, same old deceit!” declared DiEM25, the pan-European political movement, in a social media post following Truss’ selection.
Truss, the group warned, “will continue to serve the British oligarchy and the global technocrats of the World Economic Forum at the expense of the everyday citizen battling with the cost of living crisis that the Tory party is directly responsible for inflaming.”
Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of his party, said that Truss should act immediately to alleviate the struggles of working people.
“The first act of Liz Truss’ premiership should be taking immediate action to tackle the cost of living crisis that is pushing millions into poverty,” he said. “This must be a wealth tax and bringing energy companies, water, mail and rail into public ownership.”
Corbyn also called for a commitment to give workers a raise in the country, stop the push to privatize the National Health Service, and end the “appalling treatment of refugees fleeing war.”
According to Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins, the best and first thing that Truss could do as Prime Minister is to immediately “U-turn on everything she believes in” as a person and politician.
Andy Worthington, a progressive journalist and activist, suggested there was little hope of that with Truss when it comes to fighting inequality, the climate crisis, or putting the government in service of people’s needs.
“Just when what we need is a truss, in which a number of objects combine to create a solid structure, we, get, instead, a Liz Truss,” said Worthington, “a far-right libertarian sock-puppet who despises the poor for being poor, adores the rich and wants to make them richer, and loves fossil fuels.”
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