Gareth Roberts Gareth Roberts

What we’ll miss about Liz Truss

Liz Truss (Credit: Getty Images)

As Liz Truss prepares to leave Downing Street after 47 days in power, the PM’s reputation is in tatters. Seeing out the reigning monarch after seventy years, spooking the financial markets like a distant hyena terrifies a family of meerkats, and, incredibly, tanking the Tories’ poll rating to its lowest ever level at the same time as paying everybody’s gas bill. But listen, Liz. I wouldn’t worry. Because it doesn’t take very long before people start pining for and eulogising former prime ministers that drove them potty when they actually were in office.

Just this weekend gone, singer Tanita Tikaram sent a much-liked tweet saying she would like Gordon Brown back. Theresa May pretty instantly developed a camp coterie of young gay Tory men who revel in the ‘shade’ she throws from the back benches. Even the rarely-spotted David Cameron has his admirers.

The further back you go, the warmer the nostalgic glow. John Major, viewed during his heyday as a walking calamity of a nerd with the charisma and voice of Michael Palin as Reg Pither, has grown a fan club that hail his every utterance as a beloved elder statesman. There were some very odd photographs of him strolling about chummily with former arch-nemesis Tony Blair when they made their optimistic intervention in the EU referendum campaign. One pictures them now as two old gents under the pavilion at a bowling green, perhaps sharing a jug of Pimms, reminiscing about the days at the despatch box, occasionally looking up to check on the state of play. ‘Perfect spin on that bowl there, did you see that, John?’ ‘Yes, but then you always liked some good spin, Tony.’

‘I was prime minister’ Truss will think, arranging to pick up her daughter from a party or taking the bins out

Then there are the might-have-beens, and they can be forgiven anything.

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