Thursday, 15 June 2017

We all now know that Theresa May is not up to the job

It got to the point with John Major, I remember, that it seemed like Will Hay was Prime Minister. It's clear to everyone, Brexiters included, that Theresa May is less competent by quite a long way.

"Never glad confident morning again!" Robert Browning's words were famously quoted by Nigel Birch to describe Harold Macmillan's position after the Profumo scandal. 
Macmillan had been not a great but a formidable Prime Minister. In Theresa May’s case, of course, it isn't even late afternoon for her.It's already late in the evening.

Gordon Brown like Theresa May aroused great hopes when he became Prime Minister but only until he failed to call an election three months later. Then in Vince Cable's words he went from being Stalin to Mr. Bean. It was calling an election that did for Theresa May of course. No-one will ever criticise Gordon Brown again for not doing so, just as no one any longer criticises George H. W. Bush for not invading Iraq.

And yet the country is stuck with Theresa May. She's a brick who, if dislodged, could bring the wall falling down. 

I hoped a new Tory leader could emerge among MPs, but nowadays this would seem undemocratic even though it is far more democratic than a vote of party members. And a leadership campaign would be fought on what sort of Brexit the Conservatives wanted. 

And if they were allowed to discuss this why should opposition MPs not do so?

The consolation Theresa May and her party can take is that after three years of hanging onto his position while clearly not up to the job, Gordon Brown only very narrowly lost the 2010 election. He probably did as well as Tony Blair or David Miliband could have done. 

This parallel would suggest we are looking forward, at some point in the future, to a coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn, before or after Britain leaves the EU.

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