You know that the first mini-budget hasn’t gone down that well when before you’ve even been in office for a month “resign” is trending on Twitter, and following Monday’s climbdown over the abolishment of the 45p tax rate, social media was awash with people poking fun at the prime minister, Liz Truss, and her beleaguered chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng.
For a leader who had openly boasted about her willingness to take unpopular measures, it turned out that there were, in fact, limits.
And while Truss and Kwarteng weren’t quite making “sorry, it’s my first day, I’m new here” excuses, several people were at pains to point out that there aren’t many jobs where you cause the Bank of England to have to inject up to £65bn into the economy to stabilizes it, and then simply just waltz on with it.
Over the weekend, the Conservative party chairman, Jake Berry, said: “People know when they get their bills, they can either cut their consumption or get higher salaries or higher wages, and go out there and get that new job.” And there is always plenty of advice about how people on benefits can make barely nutritious monotonous meals using minimal ingredients to keep the kids eating happily and healthily all week long. Some put the two together.
Berry wasn’t the only Tory MP to find his words of support for the policy over the weekend being thrown back at them on social media on Monday. Plenty of people went to quote tweet and remind the leveling up secretary, Simon Clarke, how his Sunday morning response from him to a Liz Truss television appearance had aged like milk sitting on a windowsill in direct sunlight.
That tweet had aged almost as well as this Daily Mail front page, which people also kept reminding us of.
You probably wouldn’t have “monarch dies, markets crash, and humiliating U-turn on flagship tax policy” down as your to-do list for your first month as prime minister, nor “and now even the pizza delivery people are laughing at us again”.
The social media brand managers at Domino’s Pizza had obviously looked at the latest Labor lead in the polls and figured that they aren’t going to lose customers by piling in on the government, then performed a monumental u-turn of their own by later deleting the tweet.
You knew a certain trusty old cartoon dog was set to make an appearance.
And another dog with an innocent face also got in on the act, quoting the government’s line that the 45p tax cut hadn’t been a bad policy, but it had become a distraction from their real agenda.
In response to Dan Wootton’s pull that “the political establishment and MSM who demanded a leftwing U-turn from Truss” had – “just like with lockdowns” – won again, the famous video of the GB News presenter’s private and very discrete laying of flowers at Buckingham Palace got a re -airing, re-captioned as his tribute to the short life of the 45p tax rate cut policy.
And will there ever be a political story again where someone on social media doesn’t wheel out a clip of Joe Lycett’s performance on the opening edition of the BBC’s Sunday flagship Laura Kuenssberg show?
This time it was’t his “I’m actually very rightwing and I love it”, but his turn to a visibly amused Emily Thornberry about how reassured he had been by Truss’ vague promises of future help during her earlier appearance on the show . “You’re reassured, I’m reassured, are you reassured?”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism