Liz Truss: Transatlantic Political Chameleon

Author London Cult.
Category People, Town
Date February 28 2024
Reading Time 3 min.

Liz Truss: Transatlantic Political Chameleon

In the constantly shifting landscape of global politics, there are personalities whose influence transcends borders and parties. One such figure is Liz Truss, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who after a brief but tumultuous tenure in power seems to have embarked on a new journey. This time, she crossed the Atlantic in hopes of finding allies and support.

Truss’s recent appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) an event that positions itself as the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world but is now perceived as an unofficial pre-election rally for Donald Trump marked a dramatic shift for the former premier. No longer wielding power on Downing Street, she found herself on an entirely different stage, engaging in dialogue with supporters of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.

The choice of platform for her speech may signify a radical change in Truss’s public image. CPAC, once a bastion of conservative and libertarian thought, has transformed into a Trumpist circus, where unwavering loyalty to the former president and commitment to populist rhetoric reign supreme. By joining the chorus, Truss signalled her readiness to embrace her new identity, one that resonates actively with far-right currents.

Facing a semi-empty hall, Truss attempted to connect with the American audience, echoing familiar refrains of anti-elitist sentiments and nationalist fervour. Her attacks on officials and government-uncontrolled organisations aimed to portray herself as a defender of the common people against the brazen elite. Furthermore, Truss didn’t hesitate to make biased criticisms of President Joe Biden, accusing him of incompetence and weakness. Such rhetoric aligned perfectly with the prevailing sentiments at CPAC and elicited applause from the audience.

However, Truss’s rebranding efforts sparked a mixed reaction both in liberal circles and among right-wing activists in the US, who viewed her as a political opportunist seeking popularity in a new territory after the debacle at home. Critics recalled Truss’s position on Brexit she once opposed Britain’s exit from the European Union as an example of inconsistency and lack of principles. In their view, Truss’s sudden embrace of right-wing populism smacks more of conformity than genuine conviction.

Nevertheless, Truss found support in certain circles; for instance, political activist and blogger Jamile Davies, with 1.4 million followers on Instagram and a staunch supporter of Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, endorsed Truss for proposing actions rather than just rhetoric. According to Davis, Truss’s decision to enter the American political arena reflects growing disillusionment among the British public with traditional politics and a desire to achieve results. Matt Schlapp, the organiser of CPAC, also defended Truss and supported her criticism of President Biden, stating that her attacks are appropriate and justified.

Meanwhile, back home, public opinion about Truss’s new role as a former prime minister was more unanimous in its disapproval. The Labour was at the forefront, urging Rishi Sunak to pay close attention to Liz Truss’s enthusiasm for right-wing conspiracy theories, particularly her connectionto Steve Bannon (an influential far-right politician accusedof fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering, and pardoned by Trump on his last day in office) and her support for the deep state” concept (a type of governance consisting of secret power networks acting independently of the state’s political leadership). Speaking at CPAC, Truss blamedcertain “secret forces” for sabotaging her efforts to reduce taxes during her tenure as prime minister and subsequent exile from Downing Street. Additionally, Truss’s Islamophobic statements drew criticism from figures like Jonathan Ashworth, who condemned her for past economic disasters and urged Sunak to take decisive action.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats also joined the chorus of disapproving voices, calling for Truss to be stripped of her benefits as a former prime minister. Some conservatives also attempted to distance themselves from Truss, albeit cautiously. Truss’s appearance at CPAC likely raised concerns about her potential political return to the UK, and her rhetoric suggests a desire to use a “bigger bazooka” against future opponents. As the debate intensifies, attention remains focused on Rishi Sunak’s response and the potential consequences for the Conservative Party and the entire political landscape of the UK.

Read more