POLITICS

5 Life Lessons from the Shortest-Serving Prime Minister in British History

2: Seek Scrutiny, Don’t Duck It.

Ahmar Shah, PhD (Oxford)
5 min readOct 25, 2022

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Lizz Truss (LT) has just made history. She is now the shortest-serving Prime Minister in British history. She achieved this unenviable ‘feat’ by a distant margin (resigned after 45 days and this included 10 days of mourning!).

Success leave clues and so does failure.

For anyone entering politics, becoming the Prime Minister is the epitome of success. LT managed to reach this epitome, only to spectacularly fail within days. The meteoric fall of LT is an eye-opening case study for all of us.

Not everyone would aspire to enter politics. Nevertheless, both success and failure have patterns that transcend disciplines. Here are the five profound life lessons to absorb from the LT Premiership saga. Let’s dive in.

1: There Are No Shortcuts in Life

The downfall of LT’s government was triggered by the (now fully defunct) “mini-budget” announced on 23 September 2022.

In the UK, every budget is accompanied by an independent analysis undertaken by the official fiscal watchdog (Office for Budget Responsibility). This process helps instill market confidence in the government’s economic plans. The ‘mini-budget’ was anything but mini and contained the “biggest tax cuts in generations” to be funded by borrowing. By announcing these plans under the guise of a mini-budget, LT and her Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng (KK), dodged any independent forecasts.

LT and KK took a shortcut to implement their ideology…

And it backfired.

Spectacularly!

If given a choice in life, don’t gravitate toward shortcuts to bypass processes. It will backfire down the line.

2: Seek Scrutiny, Don’t Duck It

KK actually refused to allow the Office for Budget Responsibility to provide independent scrutiny of the “mini-budget”. It’s incomprehensible what they were thinking and the market was, understandably, spooked.

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Ahmar Shah, PhD (Oxford)

Scientist (several research publications in prestigious journals such as The Lancet, Brain, Thorax, IEEE Transactions), love writing for meaning & impact…