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.

1 comment:

L fairfax said...

Choosing between May and Corbyn is like choosing between a cancer that might kill you slowly and one that will kill you very quickly and very painfully (Corbyn being the one that kills you quickly).