One of the greater mysteries of the universe is why David Cameron is yet to delete a tweet from the run-up to the 2015 election: “Britain faces a simple and inescapable choice – stability and strong Government with me, or chaos with Ed Miliband.” The voters chose the former, but it is fair to say the country has experienced anything other than stability since that point.
There are consequences to that instability – for the UK’s reputation, for one, as well as our appeal as an investment destination. Politics is grown-up business – consistently getting major calls wrong is no help to anybody.
The question now is whether Liz Truss can possibly keep her party together for long enough to pass the supply-side reforms Britain needs. There is already paralysis on everything from post-Brexit regulatory reforms – which we reported yesterday may be set for the long grass due to confusion over the future of the financial services and markets bill – to the regulation or otherwise of the gambling industry. Planning reform is likely to be watered down. The unpopular but necessary plan to remove the pensions triple lock died a death on the floor of the House of Commons yesterday, and for all the noise of recent days, it is that that provides more of an insight into the rest of the Truss premiership.
Once the Prime Minister becomes a block to the reforms that Britain needs, rather than an enabler, it is hard to see how she can continue. Over the coming days and weeks she and her top team need to rally around two or three flagship policies that she can deliver – with the support of the Labour party, if needs be. Britain cannot have another year or more of stasis, drifting ever more into the mid-table of global economic powers. Like any boss, the PM must ask herself: am I helping, or hindering?