Well, no doubt who lost this one, right? That apprentice Episode from Hell couldn’t finish fast enough for her. Good team leader? Not poor old Liz Truss on Team Blue Horizon. Or Liz “tied up and handed her sad bum on a plate of Rishi Sunak,” as it turns out. So wooden that she should have been sponsored by Cuprinol, the Secretary of State never actually elicited a groan from the audience (although they may have died inside, as did she), but she certainly didn’t pump them up either.
An indifferent public speaker at the best of times, she’s unfortunately just as bad as she was when she gave that YouTube favorite, the “disgraceful cheese” speech a few years ago. Boris Johnson must smoke. That’s supposed to be his secret silver bullet, his “Stop Sunak” candidate, and as so often, he made a bad choice. Truss is a politician so scared of a camera and a live audience of actual floating voters that she can’t even get excited. She might be a great laugh over a few drinks in private and excel on cabinet committees, but she’s a dud on TV.
As part of her permanent makeover strategy, Truss has been photographed in some notable outfits over the past few years: like a David Bowie tribute act of his Creepy Monsters (and Super Creeps) Epoch; a farmer in her orchard; and posing viceregal in Foreign Office finery, antique globe placed as in a portrait by Holbein.
Now, however, with her target audience of Tory boomers, Liz had her makeup done to resemble an animatronic wax figure of Margaret Thatcher. There was the same blonde fullness, the same blouse with the giant bow, the same Tory blue outfit, the same icy stare, the same humorless, conscious delivery — all she needed was the purse and a couple of pits to zip it up .
It didn’t work, at least not with the pending voters, who found their tax cut plan no more convincing than Sunak – a “fairy tale” to be brutally ridiculed.
Surprisingly, given the banging he received earlier this year about his family’s tax affairs – offshore trusts and non-dom status, and very nicely – the Channel 4 debate showed that audiences were actually “ready for Rishi.” “ was. With the demeanor of a pushy newbie all too eager to show how smart he is, this recent ex-Chancellor was the only one of the dowdy five who had the slightest grip on the economy, and he didn’t shy away from doing it underline.
You could almost feel his pain as Truss tried to roll over the national debt the way one would try to renegotiate an unpayable mortgage. The despair on his face! It was like the dumbest kid in the class trying to show off and he just couldn’t face being so close to the pathetic performance. But right now, he couldn’t just shut her up or kick her out.
The highlight of the evening was provided by the tugster, Tom Tugendhat, a man who was not a household name in his own kitchen. When Krishnan Guru-Murthy approached each of the participants about this cartoon Fifteen to one As to whether Boris Johnson was “honest”, four of them made more or less excuses, but the tugster just shook his head, more in grief than anger.
He had the great advantage of having chaired a special committee throughout the Johnson administration and could talk about things like increasing Social Security, and he was making the most of it. He received two rounds of spontaneous applause, two more than anyone else.
The march of Mordaunt and the Badenoch Bandwagon has stalled, but they are still on the move while Truss has turned down the gutter. I’m not sure we’ll ever know exactly who changed that clause in the Gender Recognition Consultation Document, nor am I sure we’ll ever care that much. We can only be sure that one or more of Liz, Penny or Kemi weren’t as honest as they made them out to be, and together they confirmed the general impression that politicians tend to fib in their own interest. Which isn’t a shock.
Most political TV debates favor the insurgent – Nick “I agree with Nick” Clegg in the 2010 general election, a jacketless Rory Stewart in his 2019 Tory leadership run, even Nigel Farage’s calculated slander about HIV-infected migrants in 2015. Usually the tired old ones faces sounds and looks broken; The new kids on the block have a chance to shine, and often it’s the first time the public has seen them.
This time it really only applied to Tugendhat; although, as he admitted earlier in the day, he doesn’t even half talk about it when he was in the (territorial) army. It was the serious Sunak who came across as the least bad, but the whole squad proved they couldn’t even uplift themselves. If this was, as they claimed, “the best thing in the world.” conservative have to offer’, then it’s probably now safe for Labor to bring back Jeremy Corbyn and for Jo Swinson to start fronting Lib Dem shows again.
At the end of the trial (with far too many commercial breaks), a net total of 10 of the hundred or so swing voters in the audience said they were so impressed with the top Tories that they would vote Conservative. It feels like the opposition parties were the real winners of the evening. Thank you Boris