Professor Bastion gets Trussed up as she witnesses opportunities in Kiev.

When I heard the new PM’s words, “I am willing to be unpopular”, I felt goosebumps.  At last an economist in charge willing to do the right thing – capital R, capital T – come what may.  Not since I lunched with Thatcher and Pinochet have I felt such a tingle.

Now Truss and her man, Kwarteng, may not be getting it all right – I would be happier with less debt – but that is not the point.  They are ready to do whatever it takes. They even seem to answer questions with straight answers.

The problem with more recent governments is that they have sought approval from the masses.  Liz Truss has realised that she need not pander to the people.  Democracy is so often a barrier to following the true path to economic growth.

My former star pupil and finance wizard, Crispin McDonal, rang me immediately after the mini-budget. He was over the moon. He trained Kwarteng back in the day and knows he is basically up for the job.  He had given “Kwasi spelt Quasi” as he rather unkindly called him, a pep talk last week to keep him on track. 

Crispin has invited me to lunch next week to Valenski’s to try deconstructed chicken Kiev so we can work out the next moves for Kwarteng.

Crispin knew that the budget would be badly received by the City idiots and placed his money accordingly, making a killing as the pound hit rock bottom.  He has never given that ignorant herd the time of day or he wouldn’t have been one of the most successful hedge fund managers in the UK.

These are truly exciting days.  Crispin has invited me to lunch next week to Valenski’s to try deconstructed chicken Kiev so we can work out the next moves for Kwarteng.  This restaurant in Mayfair is a new venture of his serving traditional Ukrainian food with a twist.  It is cooked and served by war refugees, who he and his fellow private equity investors were putting up in their spare houses.  Of course, it is now the Number One restaurant in London for anyone with serious money.  As Crispin has often said, there is no situation where there isn’t a commercial angle.

He has promised no exploding puddings this time – we did have a giggle together over that memory.  He is such a charming companion and I do feel my days of influence are not over.  Maybe we really are returning to the hay days of the 70s….


I am only now returning to complete this exciting missive after a major interruption. As my mind was drifting back to those halcyon days, screaming came from the bathroom.  

It was Martina, our cleaner.  My demented neighbour upstairs, Joan, who has previously assaulted me with her washing, had left her bath running. As a result, the whole bath had fallen through our ceiling onto Martina together with tonnes of water.  She was in a very bad way trapped under the debris and utterly denched.

What followed was harrowing.  Thomas, my trusty husband, was first calling 999 for an ambulance, but after two hours there was still no sign of one and Martina’s groans had become weak sighs despite our efforts to keep her topped up with sweet tea.

At that point, I sent Thomas to find his friend, Robina Fitzwell, our resident spiritualist, and ask her to get her nephew, our local MP, to pull some strings.  Even then it was another hour until a harassed ambulance crew arrived to take her to our local hospital.  They are such indomitable people, but they didn’t look happy today.

Poor Martina is going to be off work for some time and she has told Thomas that her agency is not going to keep her on.  I am sure though Truss’s drive for economic growth with a more flexible labour market will mean she finds a new job very soon.  Trickle down to counter the effects of a flood no less Ha!

Update: Very disappointed as U turns mount up! Goose bumps gone.

Verity Bastion

Verity is an emeritus professor of economics now living in a retirement apartment with her husband, Thomas, after a distinguished career. She writes a regular column for The Mint on …

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