WEASEL words. They’re all we’ve ever had from Prime Minister’s Questions. But Liz Truss’s second outing at the despatch box scraped the barrel with a masterclass in evasion and bullshit bingo.

Opposition leaders asked about mortgage rises, fuel costs, market turmoil, pension instability and tanking of the pound. The Tory leader answered like a Trussbot, trotting out the same pre-scripted answer to each question with the same shameful dishonesty as her robotic predecessor, Theresa May.

Keir Starmer asked if Truss would reverse her kamikaze Budget.

Truss answered that she was “genuinely unclear” about Labour’s stance on the energy price guarantee.

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The first part of that prompted howls of derisive laughter on Labour benches and “I am genuinely unclear” started trending online – cold comfort to the thousands of folk sick with worry about the imminent prospect of going cold and defaulting on their mortgages.

Ian Blackford asked if Truss would stop scapegoating the Bank of England’s governor.

She retorted that the SNP should build nuclear power stations and back gas exploration in Scotland.


The SNP’s John McNally asked how her government will cope with more homeless people.

Truss replied that her government has acted decisively to deal with the energy crisis.

Yip – nothing to do with the question at all.

It would be vaguely comical if the situation wasn’t so desperately serious.

There was only one exception to the Trussbot’s repetitious evasion, and that was a downright lie, whose full force could yet bring the Prime Minister down.

When Keir Starmer asked if she stood by a campaign pledge not to cut public spending, there was surprise when the “lifesaving” energy package wasn’t mentioned and the PM answered quickly and unequivocally: “Absolutely [i.e. no spending cuts] – we will spend public money well.”

Wowser. On the face of it – good news.

But haud on a minute.

If there are to be no cuts in public spending, no reversal of tax cuts, no axing the mini-Budget and no borrowing, then how the heck will Liz and Kwasi wow a sceptical world with their wizard escape wheeze on October 31?

You don’t need to be Einstein to realise that they won’t – so within minutes, more “market panic” was filling the airwaves along with dire warnings from bankers and former government advisers: “If the Tories don’t face economic reality, the markets really will take fright,” and “the Truss economic strategy is being salami-sliced by economic reality”.

But just as negative comment was reaching fever pitch, the Prime Minister quietly backtracked. Or rather, she got her people to issue a “clarification”.

A spokesman said overall government spending would rise – but that was because of the energy subsidy package. Beyond that, “clearly difficult decisions need to be taken”.

Or, put simply, vast spending cuts absolutely ARE on the way, masked by the whopping energy bailout.

And the PM has another Get Liz Out of Jail Free Card – the fact that standstill budgets at a time of rampant inflation really mean a huge real-terms cut for underfunded public services, already on their knees. If there’s any doubt about the dreadful state of the NHS in England, powerful, frightening testimony arrived yesterday with the first-ever amber alert about low blood supplies. Hospitals in England may have to postpone some elective surgery because there simply aren’t enough staff to oversee blood donation. And that’s before the result of ballots on strike action by nursing unions.

So, that’s the Liz Truss game, then.

In front of the cameras, she’ll brazen it out, change the subject, talk incessantly about her energy package and Putin’s invasion while denying any suggestion of U-turns, spending cuts, austerity planning or government borrowing.

But behind the scenes, she’s preparing to make the people pay for her own calamitous mistakes and precious tax cuts, even if that means public spending cuts and a refusal to inflation-proof benefits.

But that might not work.

Obviously, the callous and destructive impact of cuts will not much bother Liz “let them eat cake” Truss. But she may not get them past Tory backbenchers, most of whom didn’t back her as leader and don’t support her dogmatic, tax-cutting, unfunded, cack-handed economic “strategy”. It’s not that Tory MPs are on the side of the angels. It’s just that they’re keen on keeping their seats.

Is there another option? The obvious one is to cancel the corporation tax cut, claiming (of course) that the handout to business is still just around the corner (aye right). Boris Johnson had planned to raise corporation tax (a levy on business profits) from 19% to 25% next April. But Kwasi Kwarteng cancelled the hike in his mini-Budget.

So, might shelving the corporation tax cut work?

Or would such a massive policy U-turn simply prove to voters and markets alike that Truss and Kwarteng huvnae a scoobie?

Whatever the Terrible Two come up with, they are effectively snookered.

The markets simply don’t believe that spending cuts can fill the £60 billion fiscal hole since they will inevitably be whittled in votes in the Commons.

But if Truss axes her much-vaunted tax cuts – however much she claims they are “temporarily suspended” – she will have failed completely. Liz Truss won the Tory leadership by claiming that tax cuts alone can generate economic growth. Already that stance is falling apart.

THE PM has already U-turned on the pointless and obscene tax cut for top earners, she’s approved a windfall tax (because that’s what it is) on renewable and nuclear energy generators, she may phase in the cut to the lower tax threshold and there’s pressure on her to scrap the corporation tax cut altogether.

Lordy, lordy. Trussonomics could be the shortest-lived bit of economic twaddle to ever have graced the doorstep of Number 10. And that’s really saying something.

But if she drops crazy tax-cutting plans, where does that leave Truss as Prime Minister? Clearly, senior former ministers are plotting to replace Truss with Boris Johnson – who has been rehabilitated as not a total disaster since Liz Truss currently hogs his old place on the political spectrum. If yet another prime minister is toppled, it’ll be a massive disruption for Britain, slap-bang in the middle of an unprecedented economic meltdown. But the only way to restore real confidence will be a General Election. More uncertainty. None of which is confidence-inspiring for the markets’ chappies.

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But if Truss limps on – politically wounded, without credibility or strategy, having trashed previous conservative orthodoxy before trashing the economy herself – what then?

Heads she loses, tails she loses.

And citizens also lose – big style.

Opinion polls revealed that Scots were ready to remove every single Tory MP at the next General Election even before the pound-tanking mini-Budget and the disastrous demise of Liz Truss. How much stronger is that desire to permanently escape Conservatism today?

Whatever indyref2 decision the Supreme Court eventually arrives at, Liz Truss has done us one big favour. By destroying Britain’s supposed reputation for economic stability, the Prime Minister has also single-handedly demolished the biggest obstacle to independence.