It took 22 days to reveal the official version of the cause of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a suspect in itself. On Thursday this week the BBC published her death certificate. She died, she says, of “old age”: old age.
Since the BBC clarified that only in “very exceptional circumstances” is old age identified as the sole cause of death of a British man or woman, we can be sure that doubts will flourish, and then conspiracy theories.
If there are those who believe that Donald Trump won the 2019 presidential election, that Neil Armstrong never set foot on the moon, and that Prince Philip, the father of the current king of England, ordered the assassination of Princess Diana, then it has to be a matter of Time for someone to propose that the truth about the queen's death is being hidden from us.
I will get ahead of the conspiracy theorists and I will propose my theory, the one I had from the first moment but that for a matter of decorum I have preferred not to make public until now. She was killed by Liz Truss, the new British Prime Minister. No, I'm not saying she put polonium in his tea. Nor that it was her intention to end the life of her majesty. I say that after meeting Truss, the queen she lost, as they say in English "the will to live": the will to live.
The meeting took place at Balmoral Castle two days after Truss was elected leader of the ruling Conservative party. In official photos, the queen looked perfectly healthy for a 96-year-old woman. She was smiling – a forced smile, I'd say – and she was on her feet. And then, almost exactly 48 hours later, she left this valley of tears, hopefully for a better world.
The queen possessed, unlike Truss, judgment, the most valuable virtue in a leader. She had acquired it after a long life in which she had gotten to know 14 prime ministers of her country well. He took a look at number 15, heard him say his first words and understood that of all of them and of all of them this was the least charismatic and dumbest person. And she sensed that the ruin of her country was approaching.
He wouldn't have been wrong. As soon as the ten days of official mourning were over, Truss got to work. His mission: to complete the process of national suicide that began six years ago with Brexit. Just as it was not his intention to kill the queen, so it was not his intention to plunge the United Kingdom into the gravest crisis in living memory. He did it because that's who she is. It is the nature of it, like that of the scorpion: what it touches it destroys.
It basically consisted of announcing a reduction in the taxes paid by the richest one percent of the population accompanied by a cut in public spending (in, for example, the already rickety health system), which in turn caused a rise in inflation and interest rates, the result of which will be condemning millions to a dramatic increase in their mortgage payments.
Don't believe me, I know little about economics. Believe in the verdict of the financial world, which suddenly plunged the value of the pound sterling; believe in the IMF, which criticized Truss's measures with the same harshness that he usually does with those of countries like Zimbabwe or Venezuela; believe in the London Stock Exchange, also in full collapse, which indicates that not even one percent trust Truss; believe the verdict of the British people who have dramatically lost faith in government, according to the polls.
A former Conservative Party finance minister, veteran Lord Kenneth Clarke, said this week that Truss had made "a catastrophic mistake" and that he was not aware of any government that had fallen into such disgrace in such a short time in his country's history. . The mistake, according to Clark, was to cling to the old and discredited dogma of the trickle down effect: thinking that if you make the rich rich, everyone will win, that the economy will trickle down generously from the top down.
Liz Truss's mindless dogmatism has generated a general sentiment bordering on panic. I see him in the British media, I hear him talking to my friends in London. One –nothing unusual– told me that her mortgage was going to be multiplied by two. And not to mention the inflationary drop in wages along with the rise in food, electricity and gas prices. Lord Clarke believes that the British economy, always perceived as strong and stable, risks becoming similar to those of Argentina or Greece.
The underlying problem, as a Financial Times columnist suggested, is the mindset that led to Brexit. That is, imagine that the United Kingdom is what it was in another era and not what it is today. That it is on equal economic terms with the United States, that the pound is as strong as the dollar, that it has access to a market of hundreds of millions of people, that if they leave the European Union, no problem, the rest of the world will come running to offer them homage and money. The country that Truss imagines is a small dog who thinks he is a big dog. Truss's judgment is that of a chihuahua convinced that he is capable of eating a big bad wolf.
Now fantasy has collided with reality. The United Kingdom, the shadow of the power it was when Elizabeth II ascended the throne seventy years ago, is a country that is increasingly irrelevant in the world, less productive, poorer and even less healthy. A scientific study published this week revealed that the British are the most obese of Europeans, the ones who consume the least fruit and vegetables, the ones who sleep the least. Everything will now get worse, and that at the same time that the public health system is collapsing.
OKAY. I admit that what I said about Liz the Prime Minister killing Liz the Queen is a slight exaggeration. But there is always some magical thinking behind this about kings and queens, something atavistic that we carry inside, and I am tempted by the idea that they had in other times that the death of a monarch heralded great changes and disturbances in nature. Another nonsense, perhaps, but what is being shown is that what a 17th-century French king said, "après moi, le déluge", is becoming a reality in the United Kingdom after the death of Elizabeth II. Almost, almost overnight.