THE strapline is “where globalism goes to die.” The Conservative Political Action Conference styles itself as “the largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world”. It’s a strange coalition – and not these days a particularly conservative one.

CPAC assembled in Maryland this year, and the cast list seems to consist primarily of economic nationalists, superficially religious authoritarians, cynical panhandlers, cryptofascists, social media edgelords, the indicted-but-pardoned – and diverse other reactionary oddballs, fanboys, and people who spend too long on the internet.

The headline act is inevitably the great terracotta Weeble himself – Donald Trump, the once and future president of the United States – but the British delegation has been expanded from Nigel Farage to the sitting MP for South West Norfolk, one Liz Truss.

Like him, she clearly hopes to make it big across the pond by saying ­stupidly ­reactionary things in public. The track ­record of stilted British politicians ­taking American politics by storm is not ­encouraging – but I guess there’s still plenty of dollars to be picked up along the way.

READ MORE: Lee Anderson has Tory whip suspended over Islamist comments

One of my favourite details about the gruesome cast is that they include an ­unfrocked bishop who was deprived of his mitre for endorsing the description of Pope Francis as “a diabolically ­disoriented clown” – a description which, as luck would have it, neatly captures a number of those he’s been sharing a platform with, ­including our own Truss.

Footage from the event ­confirms she’s decided to besiege the next stage of her life with the same manic gusto which brought her to her 49-day premiership.

In her renewed mission to “save the West”, fortify her bank balance, and achieve international celebrity on the ­populist right, the People’s Liz has decided to ­explore strange new worlds of political ­reality, ­extending the frontiers of political ­awkwardness by boldly going where no Truss has gone before.

In addition to endorsing Trump and ­calling for Farage to be readmitted to the ­Tories to save their soul from Rishi Sunak’s state socialism, the former Tory leader ­offered viewers a fresh account of the main reasons why her brief stint in Number 10 went south, insisting she’s been thwarted by the “deep state”.

The National: Liz Truss

“The left”, in her imagination, is a great sprawling conspiracy of wokery, whose powerful tentacles have engulfed all the main institutions of the administrative state (over which her party has presided for almost 15 years).

Despite Britain having one of the most uncontrolled constitutional frameworks in the world, despite parliamentary ­sovereignty, despite the total domination of the legislative branch by the ­executive, despite the “elective dictatorship” Lord Hailsham invoked in 1976, Truss told the world that UK Conservatives “are now operating in what is a hostile ­environment and we essentially need a bigger bazooka in order to be able to deliver”.

There are different ways of ­interpreting this. One is pure escapism. In reality, the left are so powerful in the UK, they can’t even convince the Labour Party to run on a left-wing ticket. The sensible ­centrists have shown themselves again and again, happy to bend over backwards to accommodate right-wing and rightward demands.

Back in Britain, Truss’s former ­allies and fellow travellers chuckle into their sleeves, shake their heads, and lament that it’s a shame what Liz has now ­become. But they shouldn’t get away with it ­because what Truss has become is what she ­always was, what she was ­championed for – and if the vista of her career now looks sad, it is only because it was a complete ­disaster nobody who made her possible is ­prepared to accept one iota of ­responsibility for.

READ MORE: Liz Truss silent as Tommy Robinson called 'hero' on Steve Bannon podcast

For these people, the truth is that Truss’s greatest political sin isn’t that she’s a ­maniac but that she’s now ­embarrassing her backers. Because her self-serving, self-deceiving attempt to pull on the costume of the maverick ­politician – the unlikely outsider destroyed by ­entrenched ­interests – is precisely the ­opposite of the truth.

They can squirm now at the monster they’ve created, but Truss was the right-wing establishment’s runaway choice to be prime minister – enabled and ­supported by outlets who don’t think they should lose an iota of self-respect just because the creature they created – the politician they nurtured, and the agenda they ­championed – spontaneously combusted after just over a month.

The shadowy special interest groups with their opaque funding structures which curated her policy platform see no reason to be abashed by their ­failure. Newspapers like the Daily Mail – which ­proclaimed her economics plans “at last, a real Tory budget” – see no reason to look back in anger or even regret about their role in creating the alternative knowledge system she’s still operating in. But now, she’s making them look ridiculous. And that’s unforgivable.

The National: Suella Braverman

The tut-tutting over Suella Braverman and Lee Anderson this weekend has a ­similar quality. It goes without saying that the former home secretary and ­former Tory vice-chair both ­articulated ­dangerous, bigoted nonsense, using the language of the far-right, feeding ­conspiracy theories and demonising not only Sadiq Khan but other Muslims in prominent places in public life. But really, what’s new?

This has cued significant handwringing from centrists about how strange and disorientating it is to hear this kind of ­unapologetic, undisguised prejudice ­being broadcast on the national news media by supposedly mainstream politicians.

But the only way you can credibly take this view is if you’ve never read the ­British media nor watched the British telly nor ­followed the political platforms of the main political parties in the UK at any point in the last century.

Because if you had even a passing ­acquaintance with the kind of material routinely and unapologetically published by the establishment press for decades, you must know the kinds of views are ­articulated all the time in national ­papers, on national telly, by supposedly ­“mainstream” commentators.

READ MORE: Ofcom is failing to take action on GB News, say senior TV executives

Don’t believe me? Flip open the house organ of the Tory Party this ­weekend, and you’ll find one article arguing ­“wokeonomics is destroying the West” and Baron Moore of Etchingham – ­former ­editor of The Telegraph and ­Spectator, ennobled by Boris Johnson – suggesting that “Parliament has taken the knee to the Islamists who rule by fear”.

These people are in no position to mock the extremity of Truss, Braverman or Anderson. They’re just selling the same upmarket, high-street, plausibly deniable version of the same copy, pretending to be terrified of everything from vegetarians to critical race theory and trigger warnings.

These interventions aren’t consequence-free. Experience tells us they often have very good consequences for people ­prepared to make themselves ­useful to the reactionary establishment. They have the habit of falling into the orbit of ­government ministers or – if they’re ­particularly lucky – into the House of Lords. The same goes for ambitious ­politicians. Why was Braverman made home secretary, if not to service these kinds of prejudices?

The National: Lee Anderson

Their crime now is their lack of ­subtlety. Their offence is that they’ve said the quiet part out loud. The brutal ­reality is that ­British politics operates on the basis of what you might call the Goldilocks ­theory of political prejudice. The ­acceptable ­parameters for establishment bigotry are defined in simple terms – not too hot, not too cold – just right.

Too little xenophobia in your ­platform? Your ambitious politician will be ­monstered on Question Time and in the ­tabloids about legitimate concerns and false suggestions talking about immigration is taboo. But if there’s too much explicit prejudice in what you’ve said?

Suddenly centrist melts will start ­noticing things, clutching their consciences and bemoaning the falling standards in public life, as if all the ugly dogwhistles about being captured by minorities, feral youth and infiltrated by Islam only just started playing.

Stick to the Goldilocks Zone, and it is amazing how many people in British ­politics don’t hear a peep.