It’s hard to believe last year’s Tory party conference was only last year. Back then Cameron seemed indestructible and Osborne was the assumed next prime minister. It is amazing to think that less than eleven months later, here we are, both of their political careers over.
Or are they? We live in such strange political times, writing anyone or anything off is dangerous. But the fall of Cameron and Osborne makes me think that perhaps we are entering a period in which prime ministers will come and go with reasonable regularity. Winning the Tories their first majority in over 20 years wasn’t enough to save Cameron – how safe is May, particularly given the minefield of Brexit she has to try and now cross?
This may even be the reason that May doesn’t want an election, at least in part. At the next election, unless something miraculous happens to the Labour Party very soon, the Tories will end up with a thumping great majority, one they will hold onto for some time. Surely that would cement May’s position? I don’t think so. The Tory MPs will know that Corbyn played a greater part in achieving that majority than anyone else did. In a sense May got the premiership by default after the referendum, when the Brexiteers panicked. If they are displeased with the Brexit package May negotiates then I don’t see why they wouldn’t feel empowered to move against her. Why worry about signs of disunity when there is no opposition?
Having voted for Brexit and cast Boris Johnson in the role of Foreign Secretary, the United Kingdom is in danger of becoming a joke in the eyes of the rest of the world. A never ending series of coups, out the other end of which our prime ministers just get increasingly right-wing, may cement this vision of Britain abroad.
All of the signs are there for the door to Number 10 becoming revolving: division with the Tory ranks (which the May coronation only froze for the time being), the Left in pieces, the rise of the alt-right (which is only just starting to make the kind of dent in the UK they have in the US); a period of instability beckons. Like most things I write about these days, I really hope I’m wrong about this. Whatever her faults, Theresa May is definitely the best prime minister we’re going to get anytime soon.
Warren Tarbiat says
I think we are heading into an era where we have an unfunctioning Government & an opposition that cannot exploit overall.
Phil Beesley says
Or an era of shorter political careers?
William Hague looked out of place (to me) as Conservative Party leader, but the people I know who met Hague told me that he was a more substantial man than they expected. I wasn’t surprised when William Hague had a minor political come back.
I can’t imagine a come back for Cameron or Osborne. Or a Miliband.
David Bentley says
I suspect May is more likely to call a
general election in 2017 than invoking article 50. Maybe the latter will follow soon after perhaps.
Whilst Labour’s political direction is at a ‘crosswords without a signpost’ there is every chance that May’s senior ministers will seek to reinforce their party’s position & their own beyond 2020.
In addition iyt wouldn’t surprise me if May does a behind close doors deal with Sturgeon to achieve SNP support for her forthcoming Brexit demands in return for a reciprocal voice in favour of scottish independence.
Matt (Bristol) says
Hmm. A slow, wobbly economy, rule usually by one party within which there is a constant series of internal coups.