The markets may have reacted badly to Kwasi Kwarteng’s “fiscal event”, sending the pound tumbling to its lowest level against the dollar for decade, but you can always count on some stoic British humour in the face of the government tanking the economy.
Conservative MPs and bells don’t always go well together – remember when Jeremy Hunt nearly decapitated someone on HMS Belfast with his flying clanger? – and this old clip of Liz Truss having trouble ringing one did the rounds as a metaphor for her handling of the economy so early in her tenure.
Liz Truss playing with the economy pic.twitter.com/AKrbE7XlPD
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) September 27, 2022
Another clip of Truss, this time reacting to Kate McCann fainting in front of her during a TV leadership debate, was usefully recast as the prime minister’s reaction to the plight of sterling. McCann fortunately was unhurt and made a full recovery. The jury is still out on whether Truss will be able to say the same about the pound’s exchange rate.
Liz Truss watching the £ pic.twitter.com/Uadvpe2gOt
— Phantom Power (@PhantomPower14) September 26, 2022
Fresh from his recent appearance on the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg show where his deadpan “I’m actually very rightwing and I love it” response to Truss’s leadership victory interviews was pounced on by the Daily Mail, the comedian Joe Lycett was right there with his support for the new prime minister, urging her to “hold ur nerve babe u got this” as the pound plummeted.
While some people noted that it was incredibly fast work by Truss and Kwarteng to cause this much market turmoil within weeks of coming to power, others pointed out that they would have done it even faster if they had not been delayed by the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
Bonus achievement to crash your economy after less than three weeks in office when the Queen’s death suspended politics for 12 days of it
— Jonathan Lis (@jonlis1) September 26, 2022
The Queen’s final act of service to the nation was to selflessly buy the economy one last fortnight.
— Tom Hamilton (@thhamilton) September 26, 2022
Some saw patriotic imagery in the fall of sterling.
Love this photo of the White Cliffs of Dover 🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/PuO4O0oxfT
— Neil Gibbons (@neilgibbons) September 26, 2022
The news veteran Jon Sopel decided he could splash out and treat people.
— Jon Sopel (@jonsopel) September 26, 2022
And fair play to the production staff at the Daily Star for both the movie pun headline and already breaking out the Photoshop clown’s nose for the new chancellor when he has been in office for less than a month.
Who ever writes the Daily Star headlines is a genius. pic.twitter.com/Gt6Q5RweLZ
— Nick Anstead (@NickAnstead) September 26, 2022
A trusty old screengrab of Chris Lilley’s character Ja’mie King saying “I am so random. I can’t believe I just did that,” popped up as ever.
Liz Truss after crashing the economy 3 weeks into the job pic.twitter.com/79oaOas7sS
— Louis Staples (@LouisStaples) September 26, 2022
As did references to the least valuable amount of money you could find in a box in Deal Or No Deal.
Liz Truss checking the value of the pound tomorrow morning pic.twitter.com/5kJdshsDWy
— SHANE REACTION (@imshanereaction) September 26, 2022
But easily one of the most shared clips on social media was the classic The Day Today sketch about the pound being stolen from the Bank of England. The 1994 programme so effectively skewered the rhythm of 24-hour rolling news channels that the clips continue to be relevant nearly 30 years later.
Be rude not to share this classic on a day like today ...
The Day Today - Pound Stolen pic.twitter.com/vSPFpF7IA2
— Ben Lucas (@benjameslucas) September 26, 2022
In the Chris Morris-fronted skit, it is revealed that the pound was vulnerable to theft by a gang disguised as cleaners and their white Montego getaway car because bankers had “removed it to play with at lunchtime, and forgot to put it back later”. It remains unclear what getaway car the current chancellor might have to use if the rapid sterling devaluation under his watch continues, though it is unlikely to be a skateboard.