The Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA) has invited former Prime Minister Liz Truss to speak about her memoirs on 24th November.
“Ten Years to Save the West”, which was announced earlier this month, argues that Truss’s downfall occurred due to a lack of “support for Conservative ideas”. It is planned to be released in April 2024.
Truss read PPE at Merton College and matriculated in 1993. However, she was president of the University’s Liberal Democrat society, rather than the Conservative alternative.
Truss reportedly began her shift to conservatism towards the end of University, joining the party in 1996. It shocked some, as a fellow student had highlighted her as a “very strong radical liberal”. Truss reportedly promoted the decriminalisation of cannabis at the Liberal Democrat Freshers Fair stall.
However, another Oxford Lib Dem Mark Littlewood viewed it as a natural change, given that she had been “a market liberal all of her adult life”. He attributed the change to Truss joining whichever party was the “most likely vehicle for her to succeed in politics and get what she wants to get done”.
Looking back at her Liberal Democrat activism, Truss stated that “[we] all make mistakes, we all had teenage misadventures, and that was mine”.
The politician began her professional life as an accountant, first standing for a parliamentary seat in the 2001 general election. However, she did not succeed at first and only in 2010 did she become MP for South West Norfolk via David Cameron’s “A-list” of priority candidates.
From 2021 to 2022, she held the position of Foreign Secretary, tackling the Northern Ireland Protocol and then the UK’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Her premiership began on 6th September 2022, following Boris Johnson’s resignation due to several ethics scandals.
However, Truss’ administration marked her as the shortest-serving prime minister the UK has seen, lasting only 45 days in Downing Street. Her promises to cut taxes and lessen the role of the state may have brought her victory in the leadership election, but the chaos of her and Kwasi Kwarteng’s “mini-budget” led to her downfall.
Her memoirs now seek to teach lessons from her time in power “to avoid a managed decline of the western architecture that has presided over generations of relative peace and prosperity”. Truss points to this decline and her own being down to there being too much support for the “global left”.
OUCA’s term card for Michaelmas also includes the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP and Minister for Security Tom Tugendhat MP.