On borrowed time

As predicted in this space – and, to be fair, by everyone else who had paid attention for more than 5 minutes – Liz Truss has been forced into a humiliating reverse on her signature tax-cuts policy, jettisoning Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng for good measure.

Any hopes Truss may have had that this display of relative sanity might calm the markets, or quell the discontent within her parliamentary party, seem set to be dashed, as gilt yields have continued to climb, and talk of a challenge to her leadership has if anything intensified. The only thing that might save her is Tory MPs’ instinct for self preservation; few of them would relish facing the general election that would surely be demanded by the nation if they tried to impose yet another new PM upon us.

So I expect that some face-saving compromise will be arranged whereby Truss is allowed to stay in Number 10 for a slightly more respectable period of time before bowing out, on the understanding that real power will lie with new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and other representatives of Conservative orthodoxy. Since they are exactly the people responsible for getting us into this mess in the first place I’m not optimistic that the lights will stay on this winter…

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