Will Britain change as Truss replaces Johnson?text_fields
Britain's Conservative Party has chosen Mary Elizabeth Truss, popularly called Liz Truss, to succeed Boris Johnson. To the question of who to succeed unpopular Johnson, 57 percent of party members answered - Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Truss, who is to lead the country until 2025, inherits tough challenges left behind by Boris Jonson who faced trust deficit inside and outside the party. While supporting Jonson without whipping up rebellions thus not pushing the party into a crisis is her merit, many in the party cannot yet fully stomach her. It is about time for unity in the party ending all residual differences from the bitterly fought contest for leadership. Alongside, the economic and political crises stemming from Brexit should be overcome. The future of not only Truss, but the party and the country itself depends on how these challenges are to be met.
This is the fourth time in six years that Britain changed Prime Minister. Johnson had been fined for holding a party, quite unbecoming of a prime minister, violating the Covid protocol. In the country that banned relatives from attending funerals during Covid, 83 people of administrative and official positions, including the Prime Minister himself, had been punished in the 'Partygate'. Johnson who nevertheless held on to power went on to face sexual assault cases. Thus Johnson who had won the party its greatest election victory in history lost his footing. A leader who could dodge any crisis bowed out when the ministers and members of parliament put pressure on him by resigning, after the British style. The reaction to Truss's election show that the party had not deliberated on Johnson's successor during the growing demand for his ouster. Johnson's supporters have backed Truss because she stood by him to the end. Concerns are growing both within and without the party as to how she would take the country forward.
More than replacing Johnson with Truss, there may not be much change in Britain's internal and external policies or governance. Also, the new leadership will outdo Johnson in racial conscious and war-mongering. Her policy positions so far do not tell anything different. In the face of raging energy crisis and inflation, both the candidates promised to free people from energy crisis, price rise and burden from value added tax. Despite being part of Johnson's cabinet, Truss is yet to share a clear picture of how to deal with the economic crisis. The new prime minister is known for her presumptuous attitude on all issues. When Truss was asked about if she planned for any tax cut to the wealthy fair, she said "it is fair", adding that " The people at the top of the income distribution pay more tax so inevitably when you cut taxes you tend to benefit people who are more likely to pay tax." To question of how she would feel if she had to order a nuclear attack, Truss said: "That is the prime minister's job. I'm ready for it." She packs all the flavours for the extreme rightwing. As a Foreign Secretary, she showcased the stubbornness of war-mongering that would not yield to truce or dialogue. Britain is a Nato backer that supplies troops and weapons to Ukraine. Britain is sending to the warfront against Russia 10,000 trained Ukrainian soldiers in every four months. British special operations forces are active in Ukraine. Her line is that peace talks will follow only after Moscow is defeated.
In West Asia, she is Israel's best friend. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Truss introduced each other that way. She shared in the joy of Tel Aviv's shedding the blood of the Palestinians. She justified in the name of the right to self-defense the Israeli attack last August that claimed the lives of 45 Palestinians. Israeli leaders unanimously welcomed her election. Defence Minister Benny Gantz also expressed hope that Truss being a senior friend of Israel, defence and commercial cooperation with Britain could be strengthened. While fearing about Russia and China improving economic ties with the Arab countries, Truss has no doubt about increasing economic cooperation with Arab countries, albeit not hiding her racial outlook. When Truss takes over from wishy-washy Johnson, confusion, lack of policy and stance are evident in the descendants of the empire over which the Sun once never set. There is no reason to think that a change in leadership will change the fate of Britain - until the new leadership proves otherwise.