Not so smug now – expat life in the grip of Truss

If you are British, and an expat, one of the few things you used to feel smug about was the government “back home.” The nutters may occasionally take over the asylum, but it’s a good strong asylum, fit for purpose. Mother of parliaments.

The United Kingdom doesn’t usually have generals taking charge, water cannons in the streets, movie-star presidents or bread riots. UK politicians are as corrupt as any but in a nice safe British way. Quite a few perverts, it has to be said, but that’s not so unusual. But it is pretty much unheard of for a British PM to flee the country with the contents of the Bank of England, leaving his brother-in-law in charge. UK leaders rarely die at their desks from bullet wounds. They don’t lock up people just because they don’t like what someone might say. Well, not so much.

Not so smug now - expat life in the grip of Truss | News by Thaiger
Water cannon is not quite British.

How things have changed!

No matter what side of the Brexit fence you scream from, you have to admit that since 2016, things have become weirder and weirder. Even the trumpeting of an elephant the size of Boris Johnson in the room was pretty much drowned out by all the noise from MAGA, COVID and WWIII.

Not so smug now - expat life in the grip of Truss | News by Thaiger
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Well, the people of the UK are certainly noticing now.

How long Liz Truss can last as prime minister dominates the UK front pages, a terrifying pledge to “see through” what she had promised to deliver sending her MPs to the knife-sharpener.

The Guardian spoke of “a day of chaos” as chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng was thrown on his own sword and Truss forced into a “humiliating” U-turn on tax cuts.

“Time’s up” shrieks The Mirror in its headline. It reports on growing calls for a general election, and Sir Keir Starmer’s inexplicable desire for a change of government.

Not so smug now - expat life in the grip of Truss | News by Thaiger
The now former chancellor is said by those closest to him to be preparing for Strictly Come Dancing.

The Telegraph says “Truss clings to power” and reports on “an extraordinary day of reversals in Westminster that left Tory MPs despairing and sped up plotting among some rebels trying to remove Ms Truss.”

The Times says simply “Truss fights for survival” and reports that Kwarteng thinks the PM has bought herself “only a few weeks.”

The Daily Star has set up a webcam on a decaying supermarket lettuce, inviting readers to bet on which they think will last longer, the rotting vegetation or the PM.

Not so smug now - expat life in the grip of Truss | News by Thaiger
The prime minister in the Tower of London.

There doesn’t seem to be a single person who thinks Truss will still be in power by Christmas, or wants her to be. It’s hard to imagine even she wants to be. So the question is, what does the UK do now? Is the Tory party saying that it doesn’t matter who is in charge?

This is not a League 1 football team on a bad run, nor is Truss a supply teacher. This is a country and quite a big one with a lot of people in a lot of trouble and the world economy in the worst state ever. Surely they deserve better than this?

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.