June 25, 2017

How useless can our MPs be?

Our jaws dropped when we learned that some Labour MPs had nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership, just so that his voice would be heard in the debate (which they were sure he would lose). What have they done to the country, these supposedly professional politicians?

In the event they may have saved us from a Labour government. For who else could have lost against Mrs May?

Tory MPs are even more culpable. All of us in the country knew Mrs May had been a hopeless Home Secretary. Mostly she did nothing except cut police numbers and the border force. When forced to actually do something, like seeing up an enquiry into historical child abuse, she got it astonishingly wrong. Repeatedly.

She ducked governing because she was timid, because she lacked imagination,  and because she lacked intelligence. She ducked communicating with people because she was shy and cold. She sat silently in cabinet meetings because she was out of her depth and had nothing to contribute.

Yet Tory MPs - after seeing this charmless, over-promoted woman up close for years - chose her as their next leader. And she has proved every bit as hopeless as her record as Home Secretary suggested.

May does not deserve our pity for her present situation. She put herself forward as leader when she surely must have known she did not have the brains to be PM, nor the judgement, nor the charisma. This timid, vain woman continues to cost the country dearly with her puffed up, delusional ambitions.

The population of England shot up during her time as Home Secretary. Nor was there any serious attempt to address the separation of Islamic culture from the UK mainstream. May timidly feared that anything she did might make matters worse. She continued to try to communicate through traditional "community leaders".  Liberated Muslim women complain that they cannot get a hearing from government. May stuck her head in the sand and refused any meaningful initiatives. As for boldness and fresh thinking. Pah.

After the latest terrorist attacks she announced that "enough is enough". It was a stupid formulation (we can tolerate a few terror attacks but not so many?), but as ever with May there was no follow-up to the slogan, there seemed to be no thoughts in her head at all.

Outside SW1 we all had our individual moment when we realised how poor May was. For me it was her wooden answers in her interview with Andrew Neil. But there were plenty of other occasions.  By the time she visited Plymouth, she had become a figure of fun.

And how can an experienced senior politician not realise that a manifesto isn't a tick list for governing, it's a sales document? It's not: Here's a list of what we'll do. It's: Here's why you should vote for us. But what reason did she give us? None.

Thanks to this woman the government has no Commons majority, the establishment is stirring to sabotage Brexit, and even Corbyn looks more prime ministerial than May to many people.

For her achievements over many years, Theresa May deserves our deep contempt.

June 09, 2017

Yes, she was the big loser in this election

And so it turned out that Theresa May, the Wizard of Oz of politics, showed herself the worst pafrty leader at campaigning in modern times.

As for governing, she is serious abut it but she is no good at it.

And building alliances? Hopeless.


The Tories need to give Boris a coronation, as he is the only Tory with an actual record of - you know - actually winning elections. David Davis should be the kingmaker and shove all the cabinet into line.

Davis should be Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Brexit, with Gove as DPM in charge of domestic policy making up Boris's troika.

P.S. Apparently, some Tories are ludicrously saying May should stay but she must change her whole style of government.

This misses the point. It is not a style of governing that Mrs May can change for another, like a coat: she lacks the ability to govern in any other way.

So she must go.

June 07, 2017

The big loser in this election

Whatever the result of tomorrow's election, the big loser is Theresa May. She sneaked into the Tory leadership after Boris and Gove self-combusted, and Andrea Leadsom kept collapsing in floods of tears.

May was unexamined. We knew she had been ineffective for six years at the Home Office. What we didn't know is how devoid she is of ideas. How she cannot think on her feet. How she oozes awkwardness rather than charisma. Shyness can have its charm. But her non-answers to questions are an insult to voters and an insult to democracy.

Adam Boulton reports activists describing her as brittle, hollow, rumbled, vindictive, shallow, and evasive. That all seems justified.

In principle she has a serious attitude to governing - a welcome change from several predecessors. But in practice, her policy-making is as cack-handed as her personal manner.

It's several months since she announced what sounded like a back to the past policy on grammar schools. But this policy has still not been fleshed out. A free vote on fox hunting was a pointless announcement in an election campaign, and again suggested an emotional attachment to old Tory policies. And re-instating the Board of Trade? Why would anyone be interested in that?

On social care she seems to have failed to consult, relying on her notoriously tight and closed inner circle.

She emerges as an economic fiddler, with no overarching philosophy of the economy or society, but rather a penchant for meddlesome interference. She tries to blame on others the ineffectiveness of policy during her arid years at the Home Office, and promotes to the Cabinet second-raters who were her junior ministers. No encourager of talent she, she is the grey controller.

The only advantage of May is that she will probably keep Corbyn's Labour out. Against an able, moderate Labour leader (if any became available) she would probably have floundered hopelessly. Against anyone with the charisma of Blair she would have been toast.

In short, I will be voting against Labour, but in no sense will this be a vote for May. Like the Wizard of Oz, she has been found out, exposed as being without power or magic or any real substance. May failed for six years at the Home Office, and her days as Prime Minister should be numbered. For the good of the country, let us hope so.

May is the big loser in this election. If she stays around, so are we.

June 01, 2017

Theresa May - the Wizard of Oz of politics

Let me be very clear about this. Theresa May is hugely over-promoted.

She is the accidental prime minister. After being a very poor Home Secretary she became leader by accident, so her inadequacies weren't exposed at that stage. She is a control freak who can't delegate, she can't think on her feet, she can't improvise, she has no charisma, and she lacks empathy & imagination.

I am very clear about this. May is a clunker. She got away with being a useless Home Secretary who got nowhere near her net migration targets, and didn't help herself by cutting the border force.

Commentators who want to urge a course of action on her naturally shy away from discussing her shortcomings.

But I want to be clear on this. She is wholly unfit for high office.

Take her wooden, wholly unspecific answers to a few simple questions on a visit to Plymouth yesterday. Quite apart from being wholly inadequate from any politician of any seniority, they are an insult to the democratic process, as they tell the voters of Plymouth nothing about her opinions on some major local issues.

Now, it's not as if arriving in Plymouth took her by surprise. And it wasn't her first visit. It's not as if she couldn't have been briefed on local concerns. But it looks as if Theresa May couldn't be arsed. She insulted the voters of Plymouth. And she thought that was absolutely fine.

Now we know why she was so quiet in the EU referendum. It wasn't some calculating master plan. It was because she had nothing to say. Then she became leader by accident. Gove and Boris self-combusted, Leadsom emerged as a crybaby, and May was never tested.

While May was surrounded by her officials and her aggressive special advisers, commentators assumed there must be some substance to her.

But let us be absolutely clear. She couldn't avoid being exposed in this campaign. And she has been exposed as inadequate.

Adequate maybe - maybe - as a junior minister. But not fit for high office.

People were in awe of the Wizard of Oz. He was a fraud. A clever fraud, but a fraud.

I want to be very clear about this. Theresa May is a fraud. In the campaign that she called, the Tories started with a landslide lead. Now the country wonders if they are going to be buried under an avalanche. Whether they win or not, May's career should be over.

The Wizard of Oz should fly off to Maidenhead and obscurity.