What drives Liz Truss? The people and ideas behind the PM’s economics


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On 23 September 2022, the UK’s new prime minister and her chancellor delivered their explosive “mini-Budget”, cutting taxes for the richest in society and increasing government borrowing. Global markets were alarmed – but should the reality of Trussonomics have taken anyone by surprise?

In this reported long read, the New Statesman’s writer at large Jeremy Cliffe looks at the ideas, institutions and thinkers who have shaped Truss’s politics for decades, from a society of free-market thinkers who gathered at Lake Geneva in 1947, to today’s libertarian think tanks in Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC, and Tufton Street, London (where many of the current cabinet have worked).

Cliffe talks to those who have followed Truss’s rise most closely, and who detect the influence of Thatcher, Reagan and even Khrushchev in her thinking. But is her government now too radical even for her former colleagues? And where will a prime minister who some believe “actually wants to destabilise things” go next?

Written by Jeremy Cliffe and read by Rachel Cunliffe.

This article originally appeared on 28 September on newstatesman.com and in the 30 September 6 October issue of the magazine. You can read the text version here.

If you enjoyed this, you may enjoy “Boris Johnson: The death of the clown” by Ed Docx

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