Amid jokes and economic chaos, UK PM Liz Truss is compared to lettuce

LONDON – What do British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ political tenure and a wilted head of lettuce have in common, you might ask? They all have an expiration date.

Truss has been in office for less than six weeks after the dramatic ouster of her predecessor, Boris Johnson, last month. But already some pundits say her days at work are numbered, largely blamed for holding on to her political life on a dizzying economic roller coaster.

She has also become the butt of a quintessentially British joke – most notably by The Economist (considered one of the world’s preeminent news journals) and The Daily Star (an entertainment-focused newspaper) Focused tabloid, which bills itself as the “House of Funny Stuff,” and regularly showcases photos of scantily clad celebrities.

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The joke started with an article in The Economist earlier this week, which referred to Truss as the “Ms. Iceberg” and bluntly predicted that her career had a “shelf life for lettuce.”

By Friday, the Daily Star was offering readers a live head of lettuce (worth 60p — less than $1 — with a shelf life of about 10 days) alongside a framed photo of the lettuce. Truss, with the question: “Day 1: Which Wet Lettuce Will Last Longer?”

Since then, the decline of livestreaming has attracted more than 350,000 viewers, as people tune in to see if Trus’s political career or salad staple (with a brief wig and squishy eyes) will expire sooner.

On Friday, the Daily Star accused Truss of being a “lame duck prime minister” after a “chaotic day” as she sacked her finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng after just 38 days in office , and changed tax policy in hopes of stabilizing a wobbly economy.

Kwarten would go down in history as Britain’s second shortest-term Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he was also laughed at by the British press, who pointed out that the shortest-term chancellor had died (Iain Macleod in 1970 years in the UK after 30 days) work) rather than being ousted.

The hashtag “#lettuceliz” grew in popularity on social media Saturday, with users unsure whether to laugh or cry about the state of affairs in the country.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” wrote a person on twitter. “outstanding,” wrote other.

Some online have complained that the cheese in their fridges has a longer shelf life than Kwarteng was in office, while a transatlantic observer joking“In America, we measure these things by Scaramucci,” referring to White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who has been in the Trump administration for less than a week.

The British prime minister was also criticized for holding an unusually brief press conference after announcing Kwarteng’s departure on Friday, lasting just 8 minutes and 21 seconds.

Daily Mail calls press conference ‘car crash’, Guardian front page condemn A “chaotic day”, while the Mirror tabloid simply said “it’s about time”.

Meanwhile, Britain’s opposition parties are calling for a general election.

“Changing the prime minister will not undo the damage done in Downing Street. Liz Truss’ reckless approach has crashed the economy, sent mortgages soaring and weakened Britain’s position on the world stage,” Say Labour leader Keir Starmer, whose party gained a boost in the polls. “We need to change the government.”

smaller Liberal Democrats echo Similar opinion: “Enough. It started with Boris Johnson failing our country and now Liz Truss ruining our economy. It’s time for the people to have their say .”

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Truss’ promise to cut taxes and maintain social programs at the same time without borrowing heavily has left markets and her party members teetering over the past few weeks, with the pound tumbling and forcing the Bank of England to intervene unprecedentedly to calm the financial turmoil.

She quickly replaced Kwarteng (who attended an IMF meeting in Washington before flying frantically back to Britain) with former foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, who on Saturday pledged to restore economic credibility. Hunt lost the 2019 Conservative leadership race to Johnson.

She said Truss also rolled back one of her top campaign promises — to now allow corporate taxes to be raised from 19% to 25% in April 2023.

Like the rest of Europe, Britain is grappling with rising inflation, a cost of living crisis and multiple strikes by workers in sectors ranging from transport to health and postal services, with some predicting a possible winter of discontent.

At least, the average price of lettuce hasn’t risen too much.

Karla Adam and William Booth contributed to this report.

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