Liz Truss: We need action, not words to save people’s lives this winter – column

Liz Truss addresses the media outside number 10 after becoming the new Prime Minister (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)Liz Truss addresses the media outside number 10 after becoming the new Prime Minister (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Liz Truss addresses the media outside number 10 after becoming the new Prime Minister (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Dear Liz, It’d be churlish not to say congrats on becoming Prime Minister, but I’m really not sure I can be bothered to find the energy to wave a flag and blow on a tooter to herald your arrival.

It all feels a bit ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’

Like shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic, the outcome will be the same.

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The clown may have left, but the chaos he caused still lies all around, like crumbs on the carpet after one of his many lockdown parties. The MPs who thought Johnson was a top bloke are still there, and his cabinet of inadequates still have their mitts on the levers of power.

I’m not convinced your new faces will make a difference.

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They look as woeful as the last lot unless you are suddenly transformed into the most charismatic leader ever seen, driven with energy to shake the mediocrity from this utterly appalling Cabinet and take the brave, bold and ambitious calls needed to save people’s lives.

Your opening speech pledged “action this day and every day” and that we Brits could “ride out this storm” because as strong as it may be, we’re stronger.

Good grief, who wrote this dire stuff? All it needed was your office staff gently humming ‘Rule Britannia’ in the background to stir Middle England from its armchairs.

But, there was more.

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“Our country was built by people who can get things done,” you said, stating the blindingly obvious. “We have huge reserves of talent, of energy, of determination.”

We do. We also have bills that are eyewatering, wages that are frozen, industrial strife everywhere, and a bleak winter to come.

Chuck in another “I’m determined to deliver” - it does seem to be your favourite buzzword - and you gave us a speech so short on detail we’re none the wiser what lies ahead, let alone find reasons to have confidence in your leadership.

True, we did get your top three priorities; tax cuts, support during the energy crisis and tackling the NHS backlog.

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Okay, so what are you going to do now?Words don’t cut it. We need action, and we need it now.

So, how about you drag the energy companies in, and order them to put people - not profit - first? Once that is done, make sure companies don’t inflate profits at our expense.

It shouldn’t need saying but here goes – don’t let people freeze and starve this winter.

The very fact we do underlines we are in a hellish place as a country.

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You probably won’t know, but the Church of Scotland staged a weekend summit in Fife, at which they spoke of ‘Dickensian times’ - a phrase that conjures up the squalid, poverty-stricken Victorian era.

If that doesn’t shock or inspire action, then nothing will.

That hefty in-tray on your desk will only be cleared if you can articulate a cohesive plan of action that resonates with the people - y’know, the folk whose votes you will desperately need come 2024.

The clock’s ticking. So, start working.

You don’t have the grace of a honeymoon period thanks to the botched job of your predecessor.Winter is almost on us.

Yours, Allan