Special Interest & Their Hounds


After an eleven-day interlude from the Queen’s passing to her funeral on the 19th of September 2022, the media hounds have once again been unleashed.

For Conservative Members of Parliament who really believed that the media storm would die away after Boris’s clinical removal, it must have been a wake-up call.

That this was on the cards must have been obvious early on during the seven weeklong Conservative Party leadership campaign.

Whether Rishi or Truss, the prospective Prime Minister would be treated in the same brutal manner as had their more charismatic predecessor.

Much like him, they would not really be allowed to govern. The sense of “crisis” would be a permanent feature of the news cycle, whether real or not.

Indeed, the early signs were many.

For criticising the failed institution that is the Bank of England and its hapless Governor, Andrew Bailey, Liz Truss was branded “deeply irresponsible”.

Although, in May this year, he stated in front of an incredulous Treasury Select Committee: “there isn’t a lot we can do about inflation” – a statement of ineptitude so clear that his P45 should have been waiting for him on his desk the very next day.

That month inflation shot up to 9.1%, 455% higher than the 2% target rate set by government. That target is the cornerstone on which the entire edifice of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street’s independence is granted. On every metrics he failed.

In fact, the Bank of England has been behind the curve on inflation since at least April 2016. As Savvas Savouri, Chief Economist at Toscafund, a multi-billion-pound UK focused investment house, wrote in a note to investors, six years ago with the UK unemployment rate plunging below 5%. “The Monetary Policy Committee failed to tighten.” This has been the pattern for over half a decade.

More shockingly though, rather than trying to do its job and remain neutral, the Bank of England stepped into the field of politics, starting with overpromoted Mark Carney and his Brexit related “Project Fear 1.0”. 

From the vitriol poured on Truss’ head after daring to speak of the Bank of England’s perennial ineptitude, the message was clear: conservatives can’t criticise the permanent bureaucracy whether it is fit for purpose or not.

Indeed, if it helps vested interest, then any condemnation by Conservative Politicians is now out of bounds.

A few weeks later, during the leadership campaign, in the field of Foreign Affairs, Liz Truss was asked about whether Emmanuel Macron, the effete French President, was a “friend or a foe” by her interviewer.

She quite diplomatically replied that “the jury is out” and that he would be judged by “deeds not words” in her cross-Channel dealings as leader.

France’s position on immigration, fishing, borders, subsidies and much more are observable facts. Liz Truss, like most of us with eyes to see, judge the man by his deeds and not his words.

From that objective perspective, the “jury is indeed still out.”

For that however, the media and their acolytes attacked her relentlessly. Again, our media is comfortable with foreign leaders and institutions attacking our leaders, when they are conservative. Indeed, the same media relished the rumour that Boris was known as the “Clown” in the Elysee Palace. In this case, not a peep from our righteous propagandists in the media, apart from bovine nodding in agreement.

The double standards have become too obvious to ignore. Certainly, they are not an accident. It is about the by-passing of democracy and our parliamentary institutions. Why wait for an election cycle to finish, when you can orchestrate the removal of a democratically elected leader?

As such even sounding conservative as a politicians is enough to send the press, part of the financial markets and commentators into a paroxysm of manufactured hatred and fury. Every insult goes. Even grossly racist comments are forgiven.

Kwasi Kwarteng, our current “only superficially Black” (in the disgraceful words of race-baiter and Left-wing MP Rupa Huq) Chancellor, is in the crosshairs of this mediatic doom machine.

His mini budget was nothing more or less than a typical Conservative budget. It was also a clearly stated change of direction.

Indeed, a few years ago, it would have been seen as a par for the course.

In short, it merely cancelled proposed tax rises in the future, making our country more appealing to outside investors, raising infrastructure spending and ensuring that people and businesses would not struggle with their energy bills.

As he added “we are going to create Investment Zones across the UK, with an unprecedented set of tax incentives and liberalised planning rules for business to invest, build, and create jobs.” As an aspiration, it was perfectly agreeable.

But he went against the consensus and for that he was hounded just as violently as Boris, his former boss. This is, unfortunately, for him only the beginning.

But as we know about “consensus”, as James Fergusson, an economist at MacroStrategy, reminds us:

“When everyone agrees, they are usually wrong.”

In challenging the status-quo, Kwasi was and is right; they were and are wrong.

The media, though fresh from its success in defenestrating Boris, now smells blood. With a huge dollop of incandescent viciousness, it feels it now has the tools to by-pass a pesky electorate. The strategy is simple: it needs to construct a political inevitability. Nothing is too crude, unpleasant or false. So far, they have been rewarded. Most of their political targets have folded.

Why not carry on?

They now have the recipe. They implemented it once with our one election winning machine; they will now perfect it with lesser electoral mortals.

Their aim is an even more pliable political class than our current one.

In terms of implementation, the three short years from July 2018 to July 2022 were mainly about defenestrating Boris.

In this context, his survivability was impressive and mainly down to his huge, and in many cases, personal democratic mandate.

Where Boris had the support of 14 million voters however, Truss only won 81000 votes out of an electorate of barely 150 000.

In terms of magnitude, the pool of support of our Prime Minister has shrunk greatly. She has the same title as her predecessor but a very different electoral footprint.

The island of her support is as minute as her legitimacy is fragile.

By shrinking the link between the Prime Minister and the electorate to such an extent over the course of a few years, the media-led assault on our democracy has notched up victory after victory.

The purpose of all of this is neatly encapsulated in a Tweet from Guy Verhofstadt, an extremist European Union Federalist:

He wrote just before the mini-budget was delivered:

“The EU will never accept [that] the UK can have all the advantage of free trade, and not aligning with our ecological, health & social standards. We are not stupid! We will not kill our own companies, economy, single market. We will never accept ‘Singapore by the North Sea’!”.

That is the crux. We voted to leave in 2016. We gave Boris a large mandate to do so in 2019. But the opponents of national sovereignty have not accepted the vote and never will. They are playing for time and with their allies within our institutions, they know they can win.

In the end, by removing Boris, we have strengthened their hand immeasurably. Now that the deed is done, Kwasi Kwarteng must stay the course. And Liz Truss must back him to the hilt. Without Boris’ charisma, they both need to focus on delivery. If we don’t face down this powerful, but unrepresentative and well organised cabal of Totalitarians, we will lose much more than just another government; our democracy will have become just another meaningless West End Theatre stage. We can’t allow that to happen.

Alex Story is Head of Business Development at a City broker working with Hedge Funds and other financial institutions. He stood for parliament in 2005, 2010 and 2015. In 2016, he won the right to represent Yorkshire & the Humber in the European Parliament. He didn’t take the seat.