Opinion: Britain in 2022 is feeling a lot like 1979

In the competition to replace Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party and to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by default, both candidates demanded that Closely hug the Iron Lady.
Former Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak claim the woman they hope to follow at 10 Downing Street will be favored His or her prescriptions for the country (secured in the knowledge there was no longer an earthly way to refute them, died in 2013).
on Monday Truss was declared victorious; She immediately becomes leader of the Conservative Party, but must wait another day to kiss hands with the Queen at the monarch’s summer residence in Balmoral, Scotland, before she can officially become prime minister.
In 2022, it looks like the country itself is turning into a shape Thatcher will recognize. Supporting characters all playing their part: union leaders souring industrial relations, Russia’s strife and rise in inflation To a degree not seen since the 1970s.

It cannot be denied that this new prime minister has inherited a set of political conditions that occurred when Thatcher first came to power in 1979, unlike any other who entered No. 10 in the intervening years. were facing.

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Of the two candidates, Truss has most closely embraced Thatcher. He flooded social media during his 12 months as foreign secretary very funny pictures in which he aped the thatcher styleIn a nearly identical pose in a flashy fur hat and donning her famous cat-bow blouse.
This affinity with Britain’s first female prime minister means that as she prepares to be crowned third, it is not easy to draw comparisons between the pair, as with the other Theresa May, who always Such analysis was rejected “lazy.”

And so naturally two questions arise: Once in office, will Truss really want to introduce Thatcherism Part Two? And if so, how successful will prescriptions given more than four decades ago be in solving the problems of 2022, though similar?

Solving the second question may require several economics degrees and a crystal ball; But Truss’s background and career to date have too many clues to take a stab at first.

Born in July 1975 in Oxford to a professor of mathematics and a nurse like Thatcher, Truss was an original thinker from a young age, but unlike her heroine, she did not pursue her parents’ politics.

Both senior trusses were on the left side of the spectrum, and their mother, Priscilla, once took them to a protest march in Greenham Common in the English countryside, where Thatcher controversially asked his friend US President Ronald Reagan to allow a US nuclear site. Gave.

truss is Told That while her mother would probably vote for her now, she would struggle to gain the support of her father, John.

Thatcher learned the values ​​of frugality, self-reliance and living within the people at the knee of his father, a grocer and alderman. The truss came to reward such features by means of a more winding route.

At Thatcher’s alma mater in Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics (Thatcher earned a more applied chemistry degree), Truss was president of the University’s Liberal Democrat Club, which at the time was a focus on the soft center of politics. There was a party.

This means that in the mid-1990s, Truss was supporting policies that would make Thatcher win, including legalization of cannabis And the end of the monarchy.

But shortly after graduation, while working as an accountant for oil giant Shell, Truss turned right to meet her husband Hugh O’Leary at a conservative conference. The couple had two daughters.

Truss entered parliament a few years later on the heels of a very non-Thatcherite ScandalAffair with a Conservative MP that led to his departure from the local Conservative Association Consider sacking him as a candidate On the grounds that he had not told them about the relationship during the selection. (he later apologized As for the Association for Relation, it was a “mistake” and “water under the bridge”).

Her career survived, as did her marriage, and she made steady progress in the ranks.

Like Thatcher, Truss found it expedient to support British membership of the European Union until Sands moved and did so. Both campaigned in favor of the referendum, Thatcher in 1975 And Truss in 2016Only to emerge as fervent Europhobes.
Unlike Thatcher, Truss was not a leader in his conversion to Euroskepticism, long after peers such as Boris Johnson and former Conservative leadership candidate Michael Gove, but it was perhaps a similar journey: he saw the EU at work. was and felt It was no longer suitable for modern Britain.
In Johnson’s cabinet and then as a leadership contender, Truss certainly raised eyebrows with Thatcherite’s belief that the solution to the country’s economic problems was not handouts, but tax deduction Allowing the public to keep most of their money and trusting them to know what is best to do with it.

She became a thinker after such things went out of fashion – a strongly-confessed politician when all around was no longer practical.

But what is perhaps most shocking is the not so much similarity between Truss and Thatcher’s views – the drug they believe a sick Britain should ingest to cure public finances (and only time will tell whether The patient’s recovery is rapid) – as is the determination with which they hold on to those thoughts.

That truss can and will change its mind. But like Thatcher, she does so on her own terms: She will not be bullied or intimidated, resisting all the pressure to publicly share public money. cost of living emergency Inspired by the energy crisis.
Like the ghost of Thatcher’s past, it’s clear that this woman is too Not for turning.

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