Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss has developed a reputation for utter uselessness that is as well-deserved as any in Westminster – but she appears to have become the Tories’ ‘go to’ spokesperson to defend their towering Universal Credit (UC) SNAFU (‘situation normal – all f***ed up’ – and for this Tory government it really is normal).
Just over a week ago, Ms Truss was a deer in the headlights at the Tory conference in Manchester where, when challenged over the disaster of thousands of people in desperate hardship because of UC delays, she answered that it couldn’t be so bad because her experience when she visited a Jobcentre had been positive.
Today, she appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme. Again the topic was UC – and again she was clueless – completely unable to give a meaningful answer to Andrew Neil’s question about why the government was charging people with low incomes and potentially no income 55p a minute for calls to try to sort out their missing benefits:
The nearest she got to an answer was:
We’re moving to a new model of the way we support people. It’s much more interventionist, it’s much more about helping people get into work.
Which – you’ll have noticed as a sensible reader – has nothing to do with why the Tories are gouging desperate people by 55p a minute to call a helpline that they only need to call because the Tories have left them with no money. Her suggestion of attending the local Jobcentre instead of calling showed an utter ignorance of real life – even if the Tories weren’t closing many of them.
Last week, Ms Truss looked like a deer in the headlights. This week, deer in the headlights would have looked with horror on her performance. Fair play to Andrew Neil, who saw her on a hook and made her squirm.
Truss umm-ed and aah-ed, stammered and stuttered – and at one point lost her train of thought completely and was barely able to finish a sentence.
As Twitter user Sean Kelly pointed out, if Truss had been Diane Abbott, she’d have been the half-hourly headline on the BBC News channel all day and a topic of discussion on all the radio shows in the morning:
It’s fashionable for the ‘MSM’ (mainstream media) to blame the independent media for the fact that public trust in mainstream news and comment has collapsed.
But the fact that Truss won’t be a figure of mockery and disdain – for her second ‘car-crash’ in a week – in the way that Diane Abbott was for one poor interview tells you all you need to know about the institutional bias – and in Ms Abbott’s case, racism – that underpins the editorial decisions of the ‘MSM’.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.