Britain’s next prime minister, Liz Truss, has been confirmed by a vote of Conservative Party members and assumes the leadership of her party. And yet, amid the fuel crisis, the cost-of-living crisis, and unchecked illegal migrants arriving by the hundreds, the former cabinet member under Boris Johnson will receive no honeymoon period from either the British public or the Fourth Estate.
Truss won a contentious race between herself and the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak with 57% of the vote share. She will tomorrow, September 6, travel to Scotland to meet with Queen Elizabeth II and ask permission to form a government. Upon her return, the press will demand answers to the series of issues facing the nation. But will any response be deemed good enough?
The Net Zero Conundrum
Even more so than in the US, the UK media denizens have an obsession with the climate change agenda. During the leadership hustings, Truss promoted the idea of lifting the moratorium on fracking and of granting new licenses for drilling in the North Sea. However, she frequently talks the talk on sustainability and reducing the nation’s carbon footprint. And yet, according to the heavily left-leaning British Fourth Estate, her greatest potential crime is a “lukewarm” enthusiasm for Net Zero.
In an August 17 leadership statement, Truss wrote that she is “determined to build on [her party’s] track record as leader and Prime Minister by doubling down in our drive to hit net zero emissions by 2050 in a Conservative way which helps households and businesses.” What appears to be driving the media narrative, however, is that she intends to do so in a “conservative” manner.
Large swaths of the British press and broadcasters have determined that the only path to net zero is the internationalist model that demonizes coal, nuclear, and fracking. Any deviation from the script is treated as anathema to the overall climate goal.
Media Sharks Ready for Lunch
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s downfall was neither swift nor sudden. Many writers and commentators on the political right attribute his ousting to a prolonged campaign of attrition by the establishment press. While war raged on in Ukraine, the British media ran endless stories on the supposed eating of a piece of cake in 10 Downing Street during COVID lockdowns more than a year earlier. The final straw came when a member of the Tory Party was accused of inappropriately touching other men at a private members club. As Liberty Nation noted prior to his resignation, “Johnson will be the only UK leader to have been brought down by a sex scandal in which he himself was not personally involved.”
But what does this mean for Truss? It was not Johnson’s scandals that ultimately ended his premiership, but rather his political position on Brexit. UK journalism is overwhelmingly anti-Brexit. Since the historic vote in 2016, the left-leaning press has denigrated not only the ballot but also the voters, the impact, and those involved in implementing it.
Truss was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs in 2021. Since then, she has traveled the globe signing individual bespoke trade deals with scores of countries, largely proving the Brexit naysayers wrong in their apocalyptic prognostications of British isolation. Despite being against Brexit initially, Truss appears to have embraced the moment and the movement. For the press, this switching of allegiance seems to rank alongside that ignominy of Benedict Arnold.
No Sunlit Highlands Ahead
In her acceptance speech, she highlighted that she would deal with the energy supply issue and cut taxes. Concluding, Truss stated that her party’s belief “in freedom, in the ability to control your own life, in low taxes, in personal responsibility” are the key concepts that resonate with the public. But the new prime minister will have to hit the ground running. As a cost-of-living crisis engulfs the nation and energy prices soar an untenable 80% this year, Truss inherits a daunting portfolio. And she can expect no quarter from the media.