SOME people are beyond brazen. I did not have Theresa May pegged as one of them until she arrived on stage at the Conservative Party conference to the strains of “Dancing Queen”. The audio said good times, the visuals were a cry for help.

That was conference 2018. It turned out to be Mrs May’s swan song. Still, at least she managed three conferences as leader before being shown the door. At times this week it has looked as if Liz Truss’s first conference speech as Prime Minister, delivered yesterday, would be her last. Not yet a month on from becoming Prime Minister, with half of that taken up by the Queen’s passing, she came to Birmingham with the clock already ticking on her premiership following a disastrously received mini-Budget. To a screeching U-turn on higher rate tax she managed to add a looming rebellion over benefits.

One former Minister gave her ten days, another predicted it would be all over by Christmas. Even by the standards of a party that has raised regicide to an art form, that would be impressive.

But here she was, for now, coming on stage to M People’s Moving on Up, the beloved anthem of Legs, Bums and Tums classes everywhere. How does it go? “Cause I’m moving on up, you’re moving on out; time to break free, nothing can stop me.” You heard the lady: nothing can stop her. Like Japanese knotweed this Prime Minister ain’t for budging. Except she is.

M People were said to be “livid” at the Conservatives using their song. Join the queue people. While those of us watching at home waited for her to arrive at the podium, the studio chat turned to what she had to do in this speech.

Basically, the bar was set at not falling over, not scaring the markets, and not being handed her P45 by a protestor, like Mrs May. There was a surprise demo, two women from Greenpeace who had managed to get into the audience, brandishing a banner asking “Who voted for this?” Funnily enough, Ms Truss’s former Cabinet colleague, Nadine Dorries, had tweeted something similar.

As the crowd booed, the Greenpeace Two were hustled out of the auditorium, with one delegate tearing off the duo’s name tags as they passed. Angry faces, angry party.

Ms Truss used the incident to her advantage, even daring to make an impromptu addition to her speech. She was going to talk about the opponents of growth later, but they had turned up early! How delegates laughed.

Otherwise, the Prime Minister’s eyes stayed glued to the teleprompters, which had been set too widely apart, causing her gaze to dart from side to side like a hen fearing the arrival of a fox, or Michael Gove.

Her speech was pitched at the level of a children’s book. “The Very Hungry Food Bank Client” maybe, or “Charlie and the Deregulated Chocolate Factory”, and not forgetting, “Where the Wild Things Are: A Guide to Scotland”. On second thoughts, this speech would not have passed muster with an audience of five-year-olds.

Down Memory Avenue we sallied. Ms Truss had not had it easy, you know. She had fought hard to get where she was today. As a woman, as a mother, she knew what it was like to be treated unfairly. Out came the rapidly ageing story of the time young Liz had gone on a plane with her brothers; the boys were given badges saying “junior pilot”; her badge said “junior air hostess”. It would take a heart of stone, etc.

Paisley and Leeds, two places where she had grown up, got it in the neck too. They showed her what it was like to live in a place that had been left behind while the rest of the country enjoyed the fruits of growth. Boarded up shops. Drugs. Families struggling to put food on the table. Not on her watch, mister. She wasn’t interested in cutting up the same old pie; she wanted a bigger pie so everyone got a bigger slice. Pie-ism in place of Johnson’s cake-ism.

Not that it would be easy, baking this bigger pie. “Whenever there is change, there is disruption,” she said. “Not everyone will be in favour, but everyone will benefit from the result – a growing economy and a better future.”

Disruption is not a word that normally receives a positive reaction. It brings to mind divorce, moving house, all those fun events. Disruption is something best avoided, like massive roadworks.

Yet in Liz’s bold new world of permanent revolution, disruption is to be embraced as the price to pay for growth.

Standing in the way, however, was something called the “anti-growth coalition”, which is a pretty poor name for an enemy. Pitch that at a comic book meeting and you would be laughed out of the room.

Members of the anti-growth coalition were the usual suspects, including “Labour, Lib Dems and the SNP, the militant unions, the vested interests dressed up as think tanks, the talking heads, the Brexit deniers and Extinction Rebellion”, all of them jumping in taxis to the nearest BBC studio to call for higher taxes and more public spending.

It was a brief speech but she managed to incorporate a container load of cliches. She was on the side of the “real heroes”, people who go out to work. The “mission” would be difficult but necessary. Can’t give in. Must stay the course. No alternative. And the cherry on the top: “The status quo is not an option.”

Hearing this drivel, a mish-mash of old Tory slogans from years gone by, the nature of this Prime Minister suddenly became clear. She is the David Brent of politics, a tin-eared, brass-necked, beyond embarrassment middle manager who has been mistakenly promoted to the top job. It’s a grotesque error, should have left the decision to the board, but what can you do? The shires want what the shires want. And now she’s refusing to go.

There could be two more years of Liz Brent on the way. With a double digit majority the party could dig in, wait to see if Labour’s poll lead can survive a winter of strikes. It could have another leadership contest. Beyond the pale but doable. Or it could do the decent thing and have a General Election. What a way to run a country – all the way into the ground.

Read more by Alison Rowat:

Sturgeon, Starmer, Kwarteng, anyone – who would you make Prime Minister?

Sturgeon praises BBC host's Strictly turn as parties tangle over tax

Is victory within Labour leader's grasp?