Following questions as to just who Equalities Minister, Liz Truss has been meeting with to discuss GRA Reform, this video surfaces of her from August 2019 having a very happy meeting with the US Heritage Foundation (HF).
This has not been confirmed by the Minister’s Press Office. On the other hand, Truss is backed by HF wallpaper and this clip appears on the HF’s official YouTube Channel. So the most likely conclusion is that this is not elaborate hoax or mash-up, but an actual event from last summer: 8 August, according to the time stamp on the clip.
She is there, ostensibly to talk about a US-UK trade deal. However, there are questions to be asked at two levels about her presence at this event.
Dealing with the demagogue
First and foremost, the HF wields great influence within the US. All the more reason for meeting with them, some might say. But that influence is based on cronyism. They are located within the inner circle of “Friends of Trump”: the fast growing US answer to the corrupt system of nomenklatura that once held sway within the Soviet Union and, most would argue, continues now with oligarchs who prosper through their proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
They have influence. So a case can always be made for the Trade Secretary, qua Trade Secretary, to meet with them. Because the less leverage a nation has — and post-Brexit we will have very little leverage indeed — the less choice one has in who one befriends. As the old adage puts it: “beggars cannot be choosers”.
Still, cosying up to the Heritage Foundation is arguably a new low in British Trade policy.
In bed with the sexist hogs
And second? Well, the HF is the respectable front for a range of organisations that are socially conservative, religious in the extreme and opposed to a raft of progressive policies, from women’s right to choose, through LGBT rights. Wholesale!