I’m told the PM and Chancellor planned to visit my constituency this week. They didn’t have the courtesy to tell me as parliamentary custom requires. Still, they also didn’t tell the Cabinet about the budget and forgetting to brief the markets unleashed chaos.
The Tory Party is a ruthless election machine, capable of constantly reinventing itself to stay in power, but after 12 years they appear to have lost their way. They’ve reverted to that dangerous habit of picking a leader they didn’t want, simply to prevent someone they wanted even less. The last time they did that, they ended up with Ian Duncan Smith.
He proved a disaster and was eventually ousted in a coup during a party conference. Tory coups are quite commonplace. Boris Johnson did it to Theresa May and then almost his entire Cabinet turned on him. What fate awaits the new PM?
Only weeks after taking over, she’s handed a resurgent Labour its biggest poll lead since records began. Her Chancellor quaffed champagne with the very financiers who profited from the pound’s misfortunes hours after his catastrophic budget. She was completely exposed during a disastrous round of local radio interviews last week and, on the first full day of her conference, was forced to admit that plans to give a huge tax cut to millionaires was a mistake. Her future is already the talk of the conference.
She is apparently keen to model herself on Margaret Thatcher. I didn’t have much time for Mrs Thatcher but at least she was a conviction politician who knew her own mind.
Our new PM is a different kettle of fish. She started life as a Lib Dem who once wanted to abolish the monarchy. She was against Brexit and as recently as Sunday night was claiming she would tough it out over tax. She’s a conflicted individual who doesn’t appear to know what she believes.
Is she what we need at a time when the country faces so many difficulties? A lot of traditional Tory supporters are now asking that question and wondering how on earth they ended up with her.