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Liz Truss is UK Prime Minister: What's Sunak's future?

ANALYSIS: Rishi Sunak, the man in a hurry, is alleged to have stabbed BoJo in the back by resigning at the most opportune moment, triggering about 60 more resignations out of coincidence or conspiracy, hitting the nail in Johnson's coffin. Much maligned by a series of scams for quite some time, the voluble, pretentious, hilarious BoJo's support base among the Conservative party MPs had already been crumbling fast, even leading to a no-confidence vote which he narrowly survived a while ago.

Now that he had lost his "best job in the world", BoJo was determined to take revenge on Sunak, and launched vicious underground campaigns like the green card scam to tarnish his image he had been assiduously building up for long in anticipation.

The PM might have played a role in putting up Truss who was not in the reckoning in the beginning when nearly a dozen names were floated for the prime ministerial race. It is said Johnson mobilised support for her from the background, putting to use all the resources at his disposal. Truss thus became the dark horse, gradually taking on the front-runner Sunak.

Assuming for a moment Sunak were not to be a candidate this time, his bringing down the disgraced Prime Minister would have had an enormously positive political advantage for him for future use. The immediate public perception would not have been one of betrayal of BoJo (Although the reality would not change).

He had done many a thing in the immediate past to carve out an artificial image to promote his ambition. Even the $18 billion package might one day be seen as a freebie. Then everything happened in the month of July in supernatural speed. Later he was even directly questioned at several of the hustings about the integrity in bringing down BoJo.

The long and short of it is that morality in public life and literature as an integral part of British culture and long democratic tradition is an invincible force in the kingdom but at times mistakenly taken for granted!

What is the fallout?

by RM Nair

LONDON, Sept 5: British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is the new Prime Minister, it was announced on Monday at 12:30 pm local time (5 pm IST), after the counting of Conservative party votes. Truss defeated runner-up and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak by 81,326 votes to 60,399. She will be the third woman Prime Minister of the UK after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

Delivering her victory speech, Truss said, "I will take bold action to get all of us through these tough times, grow our economy, and unleash the United Kingdom’s potential...I know, we'll deliver, we'll deliver, we'll deliver."

Sunak tweeted, "I've said throughout that the Conservatives are one family. It's right we now unite behind the new PM, Liz Truss, as she steers the country through difficult times."

Mary Elizabeth Truss, 47, who has been the frontrunner in a neck and neck race with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak for No 10 Downing Street to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson who had resigned, was declared elected by Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs and returning officer for the polling.

There were 1,60,000 voters across the country casting their postal ballots. The Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ), the headquarters of the British Conservative Party, was the official organiser of the polls. Truss will be the PM for the ramainder of BoJo's term, till 2024.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will travel in the morning on Tuesday to Balmoral castle in Scotland where Queen Elizabeth is currently staying to hand over his resignation. Usually the function takes place in Buckingham Palace but not this time as due to health reasons she willl not be coming back to the palace soon. So also the PM-designate will reach there and accept the appointment from the Queen. A ritual called "kissing of hands" between the outgoing and the designate PMs follows, where actually nothing happens. At 4 pm the new PM will make a speech outside 10 Downing Street where as Prime Minister she will outline her plans and policies and launches herself as the new PM. By this time the Cabinet will be in place. At noon on Wednesday will be the customary Question Time in the House of Commons where the PM faces the Opposition leader.

Runner-up Rishi Sunak, who timed his resignation as Chancellor of the Exchequer recently such that it set off a chain of resignations by about 60 ministers and officials leading to a rattled Boris Johnson's resignation, earned the notoriety of stabbing in the back BoJo who gave him space in the Cabinet. Although the Britons called it only as questionable "integrity". He looked like having struck BoJo at the most opportune moment and in the fastest way. The PM had just managed a confidence motion not long ago! At the end of his farewell BoJo appeared to have had an emotional upheaval over having to leave the "best job" in the world as also the fact that sections of his partymen ditched him. He left the stage abruptly. But before leaving he had pointed to a section in the audience.

Boris Johnson was determined to hit back. Truss was not in the reckoning at that time when others began announcing their candidature. BoJo reportedly backed her and she emerged as the dark horse. It is said he did whatever he could in whatsover way to mobilise support for her to defeat Sunak who had for quite some been trying to earn the image of the next prospective PM candidate. And in that he succeeded. Once it was rumoured that BoJo was behind an underground camapign against Sunak that he is a US green card holder and will one day run away.

Conservative party members from across the UK numbering 1,60,000 cast their votes to choose a Prime Minister in place of Boris Johnson, who resigned as he was losing majority support in view of a series of scandals and a host of problems like uncontrolled inflation and rising cost of living mainly due to high energy costs and supply issues.

There had been five to six rounds of voting by party MPs to narrow down the list of contestants. Once the number came down to two, the party members from all over the country cast postal ballots to choose the new Prime Minister.

WHAT THEY PROMISED

SUNAK:

(Rishi Sunak, 42, served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022, previously was the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. A member of the Conservative Party, he has been the Member of Parliament for Richmond since 2015. Of Indian origin, he is a British born citizen.)

Taxes, inflation, cost of living, energy bills, Brexit, Net Zero: The UK is currently facing an enormous economic crisis eluding a resolution for several months now, especially made harder by the covid pandemic and the Ukrainean invasion. The problems are: Inflation has hit a 40-year record in July and the consumer prices increased 9.1% over the last 12 months. It's the fastest increase in prices since November 1981. High energy bill following Ukrainean invasion is the main contributor. There are also shortages of goods, recession, supply bottlenecks etc.

No tax cut: Sunak said he will not reduce taxes because taxes are required to balance the books after the pandemic dole-out and record borrowing. A $ 18 billion package was provided in May to set off cost of living crisis.

More support for households to neutralise price rise: Now he will again offer fresh support to lower income people. This may be unlike of a Conservative policy but he wanted to do really bold things.

As for green levies, he wanted it to continue to meet the target set for 2050.

About Brexit, he had been a supporter since 2016, the very beginning he was in the Governmnet.

About household heating bills shooting up, Sunak promised more money will be pumbed in to support the low income people as the situation has worsened. "I will act. Government efficiency savings will fund support," he said. Energy bills constitute a major chunk of the rising cost of living, which has emerged as the main issue. During the pandemic, he had offered substantial support to pay workers to prevent layoffs. Sunak claims wherever he goes people come up and say "thank you." He was bold in action, especially while doing things non-Conservative in nature.

TRUSS:

(Mary Elizabeth Truss, 47, is the British Foreign Secretary since 2021. She was Minister for Women and Equalities since 2019. A member of the Conservative Party, she has been Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk since 2010.)

Taxes to be cut: On the other hand, Truss said she "will start cutting taxes from day one," corporate etc. She claims this will lead to economic growth and that will take care of the problems. She assumed that that would put the country on 'autopilot.'

Interest rates: She said she will review the Bank of England's mandate to fix interest rates. But later she tended to make a volte face like she opposed Brexit in 2016. Betraying a lack of vision.

Climate: She is committed to 2050 net zero but said will slash the levies. Will try to find better ways to raise resources.

No concrete plans: She had always evaded a direct answer, saying she "will act immediately" upon taking over, not specifying any concrete plan, to help households get through the winter. She wrote in the Sunday Telegraph that she will get cracking within the first week. There will be immediate action on checking the price rise, rising energy bills and the supplies.

Thatcher: Dressing like Thatcher, wanting to be bold like her but not knowing what to do really. She is the third woman PM after Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May.

Brexit: She beat a hasty retreat on Brexit to be on BoJo's side.

Surveys like YouGov had projected Truss as the front-runner all through but at the closing hustings Sunak had recovered a lot of lost ground.


SELECTIONS FROM OUR ARCHIVES

The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The ISRO said on Thursday evening that after rolling out from Vikram lander to the Moon's surface in the previous night, Pragyan's rover mobility operation commenced during the day on Thursday. The exploration has started.

Chairman Somanath said everything is working very well.

The rover will mainly study the mineral composition of the moon, the ions and water ice***, its atmosphere and any seismic activities.

Chandrayaan-3 had successfully landed on the Moon's south pole on Wednesday at 6:03 pm as per schedule, making India the first country ever to touch down on the polar surface.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

“All subjects directly connected to the people should be shifted to the State List. Particularly the subject of education. Only if this is done can cruel exams like NEET be abolished,” Stalin said. Education was moved from the State List to the Concurrent List with the 42nd Constitution Amendment made by the Central Government in 1976.

Decentralisation has been at the core of Tamil politics since the times of CN Annadurai. Stalin indicated there will be political changes in the offing.

TAILPIECE: While the Centre and the States are at loggerheads, it takes a different cognitive acumen to know that entrance tests are not the way for students' admission to courses.

A University of Florida Professor, Harrison Hove who was on the flight, posted on social media that the incident was "terrifying." He said, "I've flown a lot. This was scary ... The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops ... Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin."

As recently as Tuesday Craig Robertson had posted on Facebook: "Perhaps Utah will become famous this week as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist." Biden was scheduled to make his first visit to Utah as President Wednesday afternoon.

  • Let's Go! The legal immigrants should be allowed the flexibility to change jobs and travel without obstacles. Doing away with the country cap on Green Cards only can do this easily.
  • Bureaucratic delays in the US legal immigration system are also a drag on the country's economy while leaving so many families in limbo, the Congressmen argued.
  • In fact, the country cap was introduced to ensure diversity of immigrants as well as to prevent monopoly by any one country like China leading to distortions in the American culture and politics in course of time.
  • In any which case, it is high time the US straightened its convoluted immigration laws for their own convenience and to allow the immigrants their basic rights!

Maruti is recalling 87,599 S-Presso and Eeco vehicles to inspect and possibly replace parts in the steering system. All reputed companies around the world do recall their products when a defect comes to light.

Meanwhile, a question arises why just in about a year so many accidents have taken place involving Mercedes sent to India while the car has won safety awards abroad? In most cases, the vehicle collided with divider, while manoeuvring a turn. Was there a split second delay in the steering system coming to a grip when at high speed? Did anybody in India bother to study a pattern in several of these accidents that took place one after other?

Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died when his Mercedes-Benz-SUV hit a divider in Gujarat. Cricketer Rishabh Pant's Mercedes-Benz-SUV rammed a divider in Uttarakhand and smashed. It went up in flames but he escaped with injuries. Brother of PM Narendra Modi, Prahlad Modi's Mercedes-Benz-SUV met with a similar accident in Mysuru. And many more.

  • Experts blame violation of the Visual Flying Rules (VFR) for most of the chopper crashes in the mountains as the leading cause. VFR means fly only visually - because of the lack of navigation aids in remote areas or unreliability of GPS-like aids in hilly terrains or a remote manipulation of instruments in cases of sabotage - as the topography plays havoc especially in the monsoon (mid-June to September).
  • Even when VFR is followed, most crashes occur due to CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) - that is, everything else is OK but the aircraft collides with hills or trees hidden by the clouds. This also occurs mostly in the monsoon.
  • On Tueday with Manang, the chopper was brand new, pilot was highly experienced. But it hit an 'invisible' tree and then crashed against a hillside. This CFIT occurred when the pilot tried to dodge patches of clouds even as he was following the VFR.
  • Simply put, everyone knows flying in the hills during the monsoon is risky, but the companies want to make more money in any which case. This type of tragedy is very frequently invited in the Indian hill State of Uttarakhand as well, where pilots are even made to fly without the mandatory rest.

The new offer will enable H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US to apply for a Canadian work permit, while also offering study and work permit opportunities for their family members accompanying them.

The selected applicants will be granted an unrestricted work permit for a maximum period of three years. The IRCC will entertain 10,000 applications. The window is open for one year.

  • Curfew was clamped on areas in Paris on Thursday lasting till Monday. The police apprehend an escalation of volence in the coming days. There will be "actions targeted at the forces of order and the symbols of the State", they said.
  • Under present law, the police have brute powers to deal with traffic violators. Young Nahel was shot point-blank by a cop for purported traffic violation and an anticipated crime.

Way back when on June 20 EST after searches were launched, India Travel Times had, on an analysis of the data available, indicated the probability of Titan undergoing a sudden and massive implosion (inward collapse) at great depths. (SEE: Titanic expedition goes missing: A ray of hope from sounds of bang) Now videos taken by a Canadian robot that reached the floor on Thursday evening, June 22, has confirmed it. The fragments are lying scattered. Horizon Arctic's ROV robot found the debris 1600 ft from Titanic bow.

The submersible imploded at 500 metres above sea bed, if we go by our calculations. The water pressure it had to withstand at that point was 2,345 kg per sq inch. The hull was not built to take that, as per the court cases fought by concerned people at the time of building the sub and going by the details revealed in the cancellation of booking by at least one ocean expert.

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