August 15, 2022

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Is Maggie Thatcher a twin? Liz Truss could succeed Boris Johnson

Person of the Week: Liz Truss
Maggie Thatcher doubles next to Johnson

By Wolfram Weimer

In the power struggle that follows Boris Johnson, Liz Truss has the best chance of winning. Tory Baez loves her because she evokes all kinds of memories of an iconic prime minister. She plays the role with such a shyness that it resembles a very weird Dory.

Liz Truss is leading the polls, and among British bookmakers too. He now has a 90.9 per cent chance of succeeding Boris Johnson, according to betting exchange Markets. Within four weeks of a British prime minister announcing her resignation, members of the conservative Tory party are choosing a successor. Nearly 200,000 party members can vote until September 2, but it would take a miracle for Truss to lose the election to former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

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Truss is having a good laugh at the moment.

(Photo: Image Alliance / MPs)

Truss appears to many conservatives as a comeback of Margaret Thatcher, and the party base likes her very much. The Tories worship the Iron Lady, who ruled Great Britain from 1979 to 1990 as Britain’s first female prime minister. Liz Truss worked diligently to ensure that the legend of Thatcher was associated with her. Truss has circulated photographs recreating well-known Thatcher scenes. Sometimes he wears an old-fashioned, big white bow during a televised debate – like the one Thatcher wore in front of the cameras in 1979. Another time, on a warship or outside the hatch of a tank, she puts herself in Thatcher’s exact position. When visiting Moscow, she wore a long coat and an exaggerated thick fur hat – just like Thatcher 35 years earlier.

The promise of a lean state

Truss receives a lot of ridicule for following this photo – but at the same time he achieves the desired goal of being associated with Thatcher. It solidifies the story. Her fans celebrate her as the “new Maggie” because she represents a similarly pitiful position: a sharp line as an offensive economic liberal who resists any statism with left-wing fashions and open-mindedness.

Finance Minister Nadim Zahavi writes in an article in the Telegraph newspaper that the foreign minister will “do away with outdated economic orthodoxy and conduct our economy in a conservative manner”. Zahavi ran for prime minister himself, but now supports Truss. Like Thatcher, he promises immediate tax cuts and wants to save citizens £30 billion by scrapping fuel tax and cutting social security contributions. He is against higher corporation tax from next spring.

A left turned right

But Liz Truss has inculcated some Thatcher elements in her speaking – giving pantomime-like gestures to aggressive language templates, long pauses with a power smile like an old lady’s.

When Truss calls for tax breaks, praises British arms and rails against Russia, it sounds like Thatcher, but it doesn’t sound like her own biography. Because he comes from a family of openly left-leaning Thatcherites. Her father, a math professor, and her mother, a teacher, often took Liz and her three siblings to left-wing demonstrations and peace marches.

While still a student at Oxford University, she made a name for herself as the leader of the “Liberal Democrat Society”.

Or a Johnson copy?

Even as a young MP, he presented himself as a liberal and modernist, and voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum, albeit as a minister. However, since the party and the parliamentary group emerged as a Brexit battle force, their approach has been completely reversed. Since then, he has seemed to have Brexit figured out. She recites the libertarian principles of Thatcherism as if she dreamed it up alone at her parents’ socialist kitchen table. Their speeches today are mere declarations of free trade, patriotism and conservatism. Nothing seems to have survived their liberal pre-Brexit lives.

Changes in this position earn her the charge of being particularly opportunistic and calculating. That is why die-hard Thatcher fans do not see them as defenders of staunch beliefs. And the political opposition disparaged her as an actress Guardian editorial So he is seen not as a new embodiment of Thatcher but as a re-evaluation of Boris Johnson. Truss doesn’t care – his strategy of building a career as a Thatcher double seems to be working.

(This article was first published on Tuesday, August 02, 2022.)

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