Liz Truss’s love of Toploader suggests we’ll soon be dancing in the bullshite

A resurfaced NME interview from 2001 revealed Truss's love for the Eastbourne dross-peddlers. And, our columnist argues, augured disaster for the country

When Boris Johnson signed off on the mid-pandemic advert telling all creatives to chuck in their art and their dreams and retrain for cyber in anticipation of AI taking all of our jobs, little did he know that his own might be one of the first to fall into robotic clutches. As Rishi Sunak faces an uphill struggle to convince the Tory party membership to vote him into Number 10 (tfw you start to realise excluding three million self-employed entrepreneurs and small business owners from COVID support might come back to bite you on your lying arse), the Trussatron 3000 cranks awkwardly into pole position for PM like a Robot Wars minnow with no axle. This enthusiastic porkophiliac with new opinions regularly uploaded into her 1G memory direct from Darren Grimes Twitter polls is widely touted as the continuation Johnson candidate, which is a bit like being the political version of Emily In Paris season two, or Omicron BA. 5.

Signs of the sort of out-of-the-frying-pan government she might lead are manifest. Her populist, far-right flip from rabid Remain to lunatic Leave. Her fantasy economics and Cruella-level callousness towards refugees. An eagerness to roll her Dalek wheels over international law, the Good Friday Agreement and the European Convention On Human Rights in aid of her ERG handlers, to ensure that Brexit turns Britain into a tax exile sweatshop fuelled by Dixie Fried Ratburgers, which burns to the ground once a year and has a three-week queue to get out. The fact that she does her very best to look like a Margaret Thatcher waxwork that’s had a couple of feet lopped off the bottom to make a crafty Michael Gove, and then become 36 per cent sentient. Oh, and lest we forget, in merely engaging her mouth output about the Ukraine war, unleashing a superhuman degree of stupid that almost started an actual nuclear war.

But perhaps the biggest red flag of the kind of country she’ll make of Britain emerged last week, when a photo of an old 2001 NME interview she conducted while an ardent Lib Dem reappeared online. In it, she revealed that the last record she’d bought was ‘Onka’s Big Moka’, the debut album by Toploader. If we were wondering which brand of machinery Truss is, now we know: she’s your aunt Linda’s iPod Shuffle. “We’re doomed,” read the caption, pertinently. For what does being led by a fan of their cover of ‘Dancing In The Moonlight’ augur? A Britain, led by a simple-minded follower of the basest public tendencies, transformed into a facile, hollowed-out, monetised throwback to the early ‘70s, and only even remotely bearable after three bottles of Lambrusco.


I suppose we should be grateful she wasn’t trying the usual politician’s trick, when asked about music, of pretending to know anything at all about it. Perhaps those were more honest Lib Dem times – and Toploader are, after all, the Lib Dems of bands. As a Tory, if asked today she’d doubtless claim to be heavily into The Halseys or Golf Alice. But the sheer lack of imagination, individual vision and desire for a better world exposed by the act of buying a Toploader album at 25 is evidence enough of Truss’s fundamental inadequacies for top office. And that she bought the record in 2001 – two years after it came out, ferchrissake – only goes to prove that she’s a woman well acquainted with the bargain bin, and likely not averse to turning post-Brexit Britain into one.

Musically, it’s been a sorry sort of leadership election so far. With no youth vote to court, no-one’s been pretending to like The Smiths or New Order. Considering the demographic of the Conservative Party membership, they’d be better off trying to photoshop themselves into a selfie with Michael Buble, Dame Vera Lynn or Vivaldi.

At least Penny Mordaunt came up with the gimmick of proposing a UK “theme song” if she became PM, although I suspect that might not have played out quite the way she intended. She no doubt imagined Sam Ryder wailing a celebratory anthem called ‘Blue Passports’ or Roger Daltrey re-recording a Who classic to release ‘We Didn’t Get Fooled At All’. More realistically though, in summing up the state of the nation, we’d have adopted Elvis Costello’s ‘Shot With His Own Gun’ or They Might Be Giants’ ‘Your Racist Friend’. Or, considering the attitudes of the leadership candidates, a Stones cover now called ‘Hey, You, Get Out Of My Toilet’.

For now, though, there’s only one soundtrack to the next six weeks or so of fake promises, overt bigotry, grasping greed, hate and disaster capitalism disguised as a ‘getting Brexit re-done’. Altogether now: “Everybody’s dancing in the bullshite…