NEW Tory leaders like to cite two previous iconic occupants of No.10 as their political heroes. In recent times they’ve tended to channel their inner Margaret Thatchers and Winston Churchills. How refreshing then to see our new Prime Minister Liz Truss seeking to impose her own unique brand on the office. Ms Truss appears to have reached back to the wonderful English sitcom, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin as her spiritual guide.

The eponymous hero in this wonderful comedy drama – now being re-run on one of the UK repeat channels on the cooncil telly – is the late Leonard Rossiter. He plays a bored, middle-aged junior manager in a dessert factory who decides to fake his own death and start all over again. Improbably, his new venture, a shop called Grot, specialises in selling useless items or household appliances that don’t work. “Everything we sell is absolute rubbish,” is the mission statement of his new enterprise.

As the shop begins to meet with spectacular success, Reggie decides to collapse it by employing his most feckless and incompetent old friends and colleagues to ensure its demise.

When Boris Johnson became Prime Minister his first act was to sack the last few remnants of decency and competence in the UK Tory party and replace them with the bottom-feeders and six-fingered banjo players among the Tory backwoodsmen. This resulted inevitably, in the two-year-long corrupt enterprise in PPE equipment which sought to exploit Covid-19. The bacchanalia in Downing Street during the same period was also predictable.

Truss has since managed to do what we’d thought impossible: find a crew that make some of the last lot look almost human and rational.

Already a new suite of policy proposals are beginning to float into view as a result. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new Minister for Business, wants to cancel the irresponsible and soft-touch policy of actually paying workers when they go on holiday. “It’s very hard to believe that the right to paid holiday is an absolute moral right,” he once said.

In his new role Mr Rees-Mogg will be expected to dovetail with the equally new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng. This pair immediately call to mind the English 1960s comedy brothers, Mike and Bernie Winters when they appeared for the first time in front of the notoriously unforgiving Glasgow audience. When one, then the other took to the stage, a loud west of Scotland voice boomed: “Aw naw, there’ two of them.”

Mr Kwarteng feels that now, on the cusp of a cost-of-living crisis, is a fine time to re-introduce bankers’ bonuses. He feels this will help stimulate the economy without providing any of the fine detail. In the recent experience of this country, whenever you give already rich people even more money they either make elaborate arrangements to hide it from the tax authorities or accumulate share and property portfolios. Helping to stimulate the economy by, say, loosening overdraft restrictions or advancing small loans to distressed companies don’t tend to figure in their blueprints for recovery.

It was from amidst this cartel of corporate predators and their familiars in the UK’s creative accounting community that the 2008 banking crisis laid waste to the British economy.

The Rees-Mogg/Kwarteng tag team are the apotheosis of all traditional Tory thinking: penalise people who are already low-paid and make life easier for the super-rich. All their roads inevitably lead to this. At other times they’ve conceal this with the help of the right-wing prints, but Ms Truss, it seems, has decided to dispense with any artifice.

Already, Ms Truss has signalled her intent to make it easier for firms to sack striking workers. This will also bring some satisfaction to Mr Rees-Mogg. The Business Minister has been advocating this for several years.

I think we can see where this is all headed. I’d expect to see restrictions soon being placed on poor people having children. Let’s face it, the working classes shouldn’t really be having children unless they can afford it. And, with this suite of Tory policies waiting to be unleashed on them, that won’t be happening any time soon. Who knew that the child-catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a piece of futuristic social comment?

I’d also be looking again at the sentimental concept of paid sick leave, a measure which has been abused for too long. The Tories have long believed that the British employees are a collection of footless and workshy curs. The new Prime Minister said so recently herself.

Anyone who calls in sick should first be visited by a team of HR back-to-work facilitators who would immediately put you through a series of simple exercises clinically proven to determine a person’s ability to work. You know, tasks like rapid blinking of eyes and sitting down unaided. If you can carry out these tasks successfully then you’d be deemed fit to work. Sudden amputation, car crash trauma and any ailment requiring intensive or critical treatment would obviously be considered more benignly, but a doctor’s certificate would still be required.

In these straitened times it’s important that we take our cue from the new Chancellor and think about ways we can help make the bosses’ lives a bit more bearable. They’re the ones, after all, who will get this country back on its feet. Think about visiting car boot sales and bring-and-buy events to source your own office furniture. Perhaps when recruiting new staff, preference should be given to those candidates who can source their own desks and chairs.

The self-indulgent and, frankly, soft habit of heading home at night to your loved ones and a warm roof over your head, should also be reviewed. Perhaps we should be looking at a suite of tax incentives to encourage bosses to turn the shop floors into dormitories after 8pm so that workers can finish late and start early without the added pressure of running for a bus or train.

This would also strengthen the transport bosses’ hand when dealing with threatened strike action by the Stalinists and war criminals in the RMT.

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