Truss is frantically blowing on the embers of neoliberalism. But it is a funeral pyre

Andy Beckett

Neoliberalism, the belief that free markets, low taxes and a state with little or no interest in equality will produce the best economic and social outcomes, has fallen out of fashion even among the business elite and their chroniclers. In the Financial Times this week, the columnist Rana Foroohar argued that the west was entering a “post-neoliberal era”: there would be more state intervention in economies, more regulation of markets and more power for workers.

Yet Truss says she wants a country with the opposite characteristics: a “lean state”, less “red tape”, less redistribution of wealth and stricter anti-union laws. This confrontation between Downing Street’s neoliberal purists, still pushing for a few last victories, and the political, economic and even financial market forces massing against them, is making Tory politics a compelling and globally significant spectacle, at least as much as the party’s divisions. In Britain, arguably the first democracy where neoliberalism was tried, it is simultaneously ploughing onward and dying….