Worried about the election of a fascist-led government in Italy? This Financial Times graphic shows that the British Conservative party has moved-- in terms of economic policy-- significantly to the right of Brothers of Italy— and to the right of Bolsonaro’s Brazilian Social Liberals and our own GOP (albeit probably not this GOP).
Yesterday John Burn-Murdoch’s jaw dropped when he looked at where the British Conservatives have wandered off to, basically “unmoored from the British people. He wrote that “In a single week, Britain has gone from being one among many nations facing fierce economic headwinds to being a financial basket case, its currency plunging, bond yields and mortgage rates rising and pension funds scrambling to stay afloat.”He pointed out— as Jonathan Pie did in the video you may have missed a few days ago. Burn-Murdoch asserted that Truss’ tax cuts “were an unforced fiscal error… signaling a departure from sensible economic thinking.”
A week into “Trussonomics,” one could make the case that this represents the first time in modern history that the government of a major developed country has decided to completely unmoor itself from not only economic orthodoxy but its own electorate.
Every few years, hundreds of political scientists evaluate political parties on various issues, from the environment to law and order, gender issues to the redistribution of wealth. As part of this they place these parties along the left-right scale of economics, with the far left indicating full-blown communism and the far right the most extreme low regulation, low tax, free-market approach.
Until last week, the Conservative party looked like a relatively normal centre-right party on economics, scoring a 7 on the scale from 0 (far left) to 10 (far right). This placed it equidistant between Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Renaissance party in France and the more hardline US Republicans.
Last Friday, that all changed. In a snap FT survey of a group of British political scientists across the political spectrum, the consensus was that under Prime Minister Liz Truss and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, the Tories now score a stunning 9.4. This puts them well beyond where the Republicans stood under Donald Trump, and just to the right of the Brazilian Social Liberal party that took Jair Bolsonaro to power in 2018.
Out of 275 parties in 61 countries, the Tories under Trussonomics rank as the most rightwing of all. It should not then be surprising that such a voluntary swerve to the right spooked the markets far more than other costlier but sensible policies.
…On the same economic scale where Truss’s government now scores a 9.4, the average UK voter positions themselves at 3.1 and the average Conservative at 4.2. The Tories have plotted a course to the very edge of the economic map, and when they scan the horizon there is nobody to be seen.
Which is, at least for now, working out just dandy for the Labour Party, up 33 points over the Conservatives in a new YouGov poll-- “the highest figure the party has ever recorded in any published survey since the late 1990s.” If the British voted today, the score would be pretty lopsided— Labour 54%, Conservatives 21%. Something tells me Truss isn't going to last too long as Prime Minister.