Voices: Kwasi Kwarteng Uncensored was everything we expected it to be

Voices: Kwasi Kwarteng Uncensored was everything we expected it to be

The official ratings do not provide any kind of figure for the number of people who watch TalkTV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored only intermittently, not least because they have before now been forced to conclude that the number watching it all to be, statistically, zero. It may in fact only be me who watches it roughly once every three months and has yet to alight on a single occasion in which the apparently uncensored Piers Morgan is even present at all.

On two prior occasions, I have encountered Piers Morgan Uncensored as hosted by Jeremy Kyle, and on Thursday night, when the very ex-chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng calculated very wrongly indeed that the world was now desperate to hear from him, he would turn to Piers Morgan Uncensored to be interviewed by Reform UK leader Richard Tice – and the only very occasional inadvertent source-jailing journalist Isabel Oakeshott.

It’s only a theory, but one is forced to wonder whether finding quite possibly the only three people in public life more performatively imbecilic than Piers Morgan himself, and then having them host Piers Morgan Uncensored on his behalf is an act of genius. Though I only ever watch the show when forced to for work purposes, I cannot be alone in finding myself in the unlikely position of actually longing for Piers Morgan.

Or, on this specific occasion, longing for a very stiff drink, ideally of whatever it was that Bosnian war criminal downed in The Hague. It’s hard to tell, really, if there’ll ever be a time in which anyone wants to hear what Kwasi Kwarteng thinks about anything.

Having proven himself to be – and it’s very hard for me to see how this not a statement of straightforward fact – the single most execrable holder of high office this country has ever produced, it is not in any way clear why anyone should concern themselves with a single word that exits his mouth for the rest of his life, with the possible exception of the word “sorry”. But even then, probably not.

Naturally though, Kwarteng himself feels different. He has long been the most highly self-regarding person in Westminster, and evidently has concluded that three long months of keeping quiet is long enough. For a while there, it’s possible he had to consider whether absolutely everyone else on Earth might be right about him and that he might be wrong.

And that actually, despite having won various prizes for Latin and Greek poetry, he is in fact entirely devoid of any of the skills required in his chosen career. But mercifully, a few short months of soul-searching have self-evidently been long enough for him to remember that he was once the cleverest boy in his year at Eton so he really must be a genius and it’s time to stop worrying.

Naturally, he had some opinions to pronounce on others, before himself. He would tell Tice and Oakeshott that the trouble with Nicola Sturgeon is that what she had done “defied common sense”. He was speaking, specifically, about the row about the convicted rapist and trans woman Isla Bryson being sent to a woman’s prison, before later being moved.

One wades into the debate on trans issues with due trepidation but it is reassuring to see that Kwarteng remains as blinded to his own stupidity by the dazzling light of his own self-regard as ever. It is a pity, really, that he wasn’t able to last in high office for longer than a single haircut.

How exciting it would have been to watch him waft in and deal with all the questions around trans issues with good old “common sense”. It’s not like there’s any complexity there, after all. All that’s needed to deal with the challenges of non-binary people in a binary world is just common sense, isn’t it?

And it’s the kind of common sense for which Kwasi Kwarteng will always be known. It is, after all, just “common sense” in a period of already massive inflation to just borrow tens of billions of pounds for no reason other than to hand it out to people who are already loaded. Sadly, he was never really asked why it was that absolutely all of the financial markets considered that his and his boss’s plans were rather short on common sense and were, in actual fact, completely and utterly insane.

What he did say, though, was this: “It was a turbulent time. We were caught in a firestorm.” To which you can only reply, not exactly. Firestorms are a quite possibly unique weather event, in that they can be either naturally occurring or manmade. The kind of firestorm we were caught in was not unlike the ones that followed some of the worst bombing assaults of the Second World War, it’s just that Kwasi Kwarteng was not so much caught in them, but rather flying high above them, in a little plane marked with the logo of the Luftwaffe.

Liz Truss has already admitted that part of the problem is that neither she nor Kwarteng understood what they were doing. That, specifically, they didn’t understand the problem of the exposure of pension funds to liability-driven investment vehicles, and so had no idea that their plans were going to blow up the economy.

This admission would be partly to her credit, if she hadn’t in her next sentence blamed it on everyone else for not telling her. That it’s not the prime minister or the chancellor’s job to understand the consequences of their actions.

It’s absurd, of course it is, but perhaps we should take such protestations at face value. So let us make it very clear this time: absolutely no one wants to hear from either of you ever again. You really have been warned.