The Conservatives Made Everything in Britain Worse (Yes, Even the Weather)

With Liz Truss as its next prime minister, Britain is about to get a second helping of the policies that created its current crisis.

By guest authors Jonathan Pie and Adam Westbrook, the later is Video Producer for the New York Times.

Liz Truss
If you don’t follow events in Britain that closely, you might be surprised to learn just how precarious things have become over here in the past six months.

Yes, things are hard in many countries, but in Britain we’re experiencing what we Brits would politely describe as a veritable omni-shambles.

Most grave among the current crises is a sudden rise in the average cost of home energy bills, which soared by 54 percent in April.

This, alongside rising food prices, has pushed inflation into double digits; a recession looms. That, in turn, has prompted workers across a range of sectors into strike action: To live in Britain this summer has meant navigating a slalom of shutdowns, from our rail network to our trash collection. For anyone hoping to get away from it all, mass flight cancellations, airport staff shortages and the continued fallout from Brexit all conspired to ruin thousands of vacations.

And that was before temperatures in July broke all records, killing around a thousand people and creating conditions that ignited a string of wildfires.

Astonishingly, in the midst of these disasters, Britain has had no leadership. After being ousted as prime minister in July, Boris Johnson spent his final months in office on two holidays and a self-indulgent victory tour, while his potential successors battled it out.
Astonishingly, in the midst of these disasters, Britain has had no leadership. After being ousted as prime minister in July, Boris Johnson spent his final months in office on two holidays and a self-indulgent victory tour, while his potential successors battled it out.

On the day we were warned our energy bills could rise further to levels many of us cannot afford, not a single government minister appeared on the radio or television to reassure us.

To capture the bewilderment and anger that millions of Britons feel, Opinion Video turned once again to the satirical character Jonathan Pie, a fictional reporter created by the comedian Tom Walker.

In our new video, he introduces Liz Truss, who this morning begins her first full day as PrimeMinister. She won the leadership contest by promising that only she can solve the veritable omni-shambles but — as Pie argues — her low-tax, small-government, big-business ideology is precisely what got us into this mess.

Jonathan Pie’s acerbic style is not for everyone, and you should be aware that this video contains strong language and blue humour. We made this creative choice because his performance expresses the furious exasperation at 12 years of Conservative rule — with more still to come.
Watch the video here.

www.wsj.com