Tuesday, June 13, 2017


"Theresa May’s decision to call a swift General Election took everyone by surprise, except those who know her well. For some time those closest to her have been weighing the pros and cons of an early election. Mrs May was sceptical about the desirability of asking people to go, once again, to the ballot box, but the Prime Minister is strong and confident enough to be able to listen to an argument and change her position if she feels it is necessary. Theresa May is a careful and thoughtful leader, but unlike Gordon Brown whose dithering over whether to call an early General Election sealed the fate of his chaotic and pointless Premiereship, she has not allowed herself to be boxed into a corner. It is a good example of the adroitness and flexibility necessary in all successful leaders. Theresa May’s thoughtfulness has resulted in decisive and resolute action. Her care and determination over decision making and her resoluteness once a decision has been made are two of the Prime Minister’s finest qualities. She is a strong leader, but not a dogmatic one..... The need to strengthen the Prime Minister’s hand in the long negotiations and to establish that unique bond a Prime Minister has with the British people that can only be forged in the white heat of a General Election victory meant that an early election, on balance, seemed to be the sensible and positive way forward.... Clearly however the Prime Minister is right when she says this election is essentially about the leadership we need over the next few years as Brexit is negotiated and the business of the country at home is conducted".
Mark Fox, "Theresa May is right to call an early General Election". Reaction. 18 April 2017, in www.reaction.life.
"That was quite the election night — one that almost no one in Westminster was expecting. Mrs May was ready to sail back into power, shake up the cabinet and go on with Brexit as before. None of that is on the cards. Jeremy Corbyn had become increasingly confident of putting in a good performance but few in the Labour party expected to better its 2015 result. Conventional political wisdom has been flipped on its head and Mr Corbyn’s grassroots and social media support have translated into votes. Young people turned out to vote in large numbers, after threatening to do so for many years.... The anger in the Conservative party, however, is visceral, deep and set to bubble over at any time. This election was a waste of six weeks and a serious embarrassment for the party. Mrs May is in power but has no authority. So how long will she last? Her departure could come in the next few days or weeks. She might decide that she has no confidence in her own ability to lead the country and the lack of moral authority has made her position untenable. Cue a messy leadership contest between Boris Johnson, Amber Rudd, David Davis and someone from a younger generation in the party. Mrs May might last until the autumn, seeing through the first wave of Brexit talks and stabilising HMS Great Britain after the shock election result. This would allow tension to ease and give the Tories time to decide where they want to go next (they would do well to listen and learn from Ruth Davidson). Or she might last a couple of years, assuming the DUP can be placated and Brexit talks do not entirely collapse. The party might decide to let Mrs May take the flak for Brexit and ensure she is ejected before the next election. Whenever that happens, the relationship between the PM and the Conservative party has been damaged beyond repair. Regicide is in the air and it’s only a question of when, not if, Mrs May makes an inglorious exit from Downing Street.".
Sebastian Payne, "UK Election Countdown: how long can May last?" The Financial Times. 9 June 2017, in www.ft.com.
"She does share with both Eden and Brown a tendency to be both a boring (at worse) or uninspiring (at best) speaker. All three were and are not 'clubbable' and glad-handing sort of politician (Neville Chamberlain & Balfour as well), being for the most part, private individuals with few friends outside of their immediate family. The fact that May succeeded in winning the race to Number Ten by in essence avoiding taking sides in the BREXIT debate also does not bode well for her going forward. Equally problematic is the fact that like both Eden and Brown, May has surrounded herself at Ten Downing Street the same coterie of youngish aides who were with her at her departmental office. Aides who are both violently loyal to their chief, but unpopular with the rest of Whitehall 1. This is of course all in the possible future and mere conjecture. And it could very well be that six plus years at the Home Office is not as dangerous to a future prime minister's political skills as say being either Chancellor or Foreign Secretary for ten plus years. To-day Prime Minister May is the toast of the town, at least Westminster. Hopefully this will continue to be so. The portents for those who known their Prime Ministerial history is unfortunately, not the very best. Or as the ancient historian Tacitus once put it about the Emperor Galba: 'Omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset'".
Charles Coutinho, "THERESA MAY AS PRIME MINISTER: THE ILL-FORTUNE OF TOO MUCH EXPERIENCE?" The Diplomat of the Future. 19 July 2016, in www.diplomatofthefuture.blogspot.com
I would have preferred to have been wrong about Theresa May last Thursday night. Especially, since there were some (not on Brexit though) policies of hers (such as about Grammar Schools, Fox Hunting, Immigration) that I agreed with her. Unfortunately, as I predicted last year and as the election campaign (of a mere six-weeks no less) clearly, nay brutally showed, May is not the stuff that successful British Prime Ministers are made of. It is a sad thing to say, but it is a true one. All of the flaws that I pointed out (along side a few, very few indeed others) pointed out when she first was elected Tory party leader and then installed as Prime Minister have become crystal clear. Now of course the United Kingdom is in a rather horrid shape. May is in a sense (in the cruel but mot exact of George Osborne) "“She is a dead woman walking and the only question is how long she remains on death row" 1. But unfortunately, May must remain Prime Minister for the next crucial months to both stabilize the country and commence the Brexit Talks. This is of course nothing like the role that May thought of herself playing two months ago, but as Harold Wilson once aptly put it "A week is a long time in politics".
1. George Osborne quoted in the Financial Times. See: George Parker and Henry Mance, "Theresa May faces party showdown after disastrous election". The Financial Times. 12 June, in www.ft.com


Post a Comment

<< Home