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Liz Truss ousted as UK prime minister, outlived by online lettuce
What connects a decaying salad vegetable with something called 'the 1922 Committee'? Enter the wonderful and frightening world of British politics
The analogy was first drawn by august finance journal The Economist, which said the shelf-life of a lettuce was longer than Liz Truss's period with any actual political power as British Prime Minister, after she "blew up her own government with a package of unfunded tax cuts and energy-price guarantees on September 23."
Then no-holds-barred tabloid the Daily Star ran with the idea, broadcasting a live online feed of an actual lettuce decaying in real-time next to a photo of the British Prime Minister. Could the lettuce last longer than Truss, whose political future appeared doomed?
Now, the salad veg appears to have won, looking a little shoddy but at a stretch still edible next to Truss, who is totally finished: she resigned as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister this afternoon, UK time. She was officially in power for just 44 days.
This departure comes after she sacked the UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng mid-October for implementing her pisspoor package of tax cuts, and replaced him with Jeremy Hunt, who was then seen as the de facto ruler. Then her Home Secretary was pushed out, some more U-turns, mild chaos in Parliament, and then some.
Zero Truss Architecture
Truss's decision to quit followed a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee.
For those who might assume such a thing emerged fully formed from a Monty Python sketch or the pages of a Borges short story, the 1922 Committee is a group of Conservative Party Members of Parliament who do not sit on the front bench (the leadership team either in government or opposition). Members of the group provide a way for backbenchers to co-ordinate and discuss their views independently of the party leadership. This being Britain, it of course began as a small dining group of new members elected in 1922.
If enough Conservative MPs do not support the party leader, they can have them removed via a process run by the 1922 Committee. Both Truss, and her predecessors Boris Johnson and Theresa May, were removed this way… in less than four years.
Readers may remember Johnson resigned in July. Having been in power for two and a half years, he at least left enough of a tech legacy for The Register to review.
Lasting just six weeks, Truss gives us no such option. But, as one keen tech copywriter pointed out, it at least gives us a minimum unit of political tenure, with 1 Merkel equal to approximately 140 Trusses, something The Register can at least add to its weights and measures standards converter.
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The Conservative Party will now go through a leadership candidate selection process with Members of Parliament, and then to a vote of its own party members, repeating the process through which it selected Truss, the prospect of which leaves most of the British population considering the more palatable option of eating their own heads.
At least the process is promised to take less than a week this time, rather than the six weeks it took to select Truss.
Since Monty Python star John Cleese seems determined to demonstrate exactly how cancelled he is by appearing all over the media, perhaps the former Minister for Silly Walks would consider a return to frontline politics. Surely it couldn't be any worse? Could it? ®