Liz Truss accused of using fabricated Rothschild quote in new memoir

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Liz Truss accused of using fabricated Rothschild quote in new memoir

Spokesperson for former PM confirms Truss came across the quote and 'thought it was a useful way of illustrating a point about the Bank of England' 

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

2JXGN45 London, UK. 7th Sep, 2022. Liz Truss, Prime Minister, leaves 10 Downing Street for her first Prime Minister's Questions (PMQ's) Credit: Ian Davidson/Alamy Live News
2JXGN45 London, UK. 7th Sep, 2022. Liz Truss, Prime Minister, leaves 10 Downing Street for her first Prime Minister's Questions (PMQ's) Credit: Ian Davidson/Alamy Live News

Liz Truss’s spokesperson has defended the former prime minister’s use in her new memoirs of a quote widely believed to have been falsely attributed to the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty about his desire to gain “control” of a nation’s money.

On page 234 of her just published book Ten Years to Save the West, Truss writes: “If only the words attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild of the famous banking family had been heeded: ‘Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.’”

But historians claim there is no conclusive evidence that Mayer Rothschild ever uttered the words, and that the quote may have been presented as his by those holding antisemitic views.

Instead, the first use of quote attributed to Rothschild appears to be in a book entitled Money Creators in 1935, which was written by Gertrude Coogan, who was widely accused of antisemitism due to his views on the international banking system.

Asked why Truss had decided to use the “control the money of a nation” quote in her book, a spokesperson for the ex-PM said:”Liz came across the quote and thought it was a useful way of illustrating a point about the Bank of England.

“Numerous online sources have stated that it was attributed to Rothschild, so she attributed it thus.”

The spokesperson also stressed Truss had shown “support for Israel and British Jews” – including an interview with ITV’s Robert Peston, in which she claimed the foreign office had a “tendency” not to favour the Jewish state.

But on Thursday evening, the Board of Deputies issued a statement suggesting the publishers of the new Truss book had themselves apologised for the use of the quote.

The Board said:”We have written to Biteback publishing regarding a fabricated quote, attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild, being used in ‘Ten Years to Save the West‘. They have apologised and have promised it will be removed for the e-book & any future print editions.”

Biteback also later confirmed they had emailed the Board to say they were “mortified to learn that this fabricated quote with such a pernicious origin was mistakenly cited by the author, and also that it was not identified as such and eliminated in our fact-checking process.”

Earlier, the respected author  Dorian Lynskey had claimed the use of the quote was an example of the lack of “rigour” applied to Truss’s memoir.

Lynskey wrote: “If you’re curious about the editorial rigour applied to Truss’s book, this quote was dubiously attributed to Rothschild in a 1935 by Gertrude Coogan, a Rothschild-obsessed antisemite who claimed ‘the World is ruled by the International Money Masters.’”

Antisemitic conspiracy theorists have long been obsessed with the Rothschild family and often portray them as evil puppet-masters.The family is often falsely accused of controlling 80 percent of global wealth, and with issues relating to Israel.

Research suggests the quote attributed to Rothschild could well be a variation of an English proverb that can be traced back two centuries prior.

The proverb the quote is thought to have derived from is: “Let me make the songs [or ballads] of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”

According to the Grammarphobia blog the quote has been attributed to Mayer Rothschild at different points in history from 1790 to 1863. Mayer Rothschild died in 1812.

It is not the first time that Truss has faced criticism over her remarks relating the Jewish people.

In August 2022 she suggested: “So many Jewish values are Conservative values and British values too, for example seeing the importance of family and always taking steps to protect the family unit; and the value of hard work and self-starting and setting up your own business.”

At the same time she was accused of “using” the community to launch an attack on the civil service by claimed she was wanting to protect it from “creeping antisemitism and wokeism.”

Two civil service unions, the FDA and Prospect, condemned Truss for suggesting civil service culture was antisemitic, while a leading rabbi also questioned her remarks.

UJS president Joel Rosen interviews Jeremy Corbyn

Joel Rosen, then the president of the Union of Jewish Students, said at the time:”“Many students have reached out to me in light of Liz Truss’s remarks … As UJS Sabs, we have spent hours educating student unions and university officials about antisemitic tropes.

“Her comments about setting up a business being a Jewish value constitute an inaccurate and offensive portrayal of the Jewish community … Many Jewish students have found her remarks to be ill-judged and offensive. We hope she reflects on her words, withdraws these remarks, and reaches out to our community.”

In speeches given to right-wing organisations since her brief stint as PM came to an end, Truss has also repeatedly made conspiratal remarks attacked “globalists” and the “deep state.”

Jewish News has contacted Biteback Publishing and Truss for further comment.

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