Alright, read the piece.Thoughts:
- Theresa May is a woman who I don’t believe I’ve ever seen look comfortable. She always looks like she’s trying to put a persona on or would otherwise rather be anywhere else. I genuinely think this is a shared driving pieceof personality for a lot of Tories: An intense restlessness and uncomfortableness around other people, informing those sociopathic compulsions of theirs. Particularly for someone like May, who has no real belief system and simply is whatever her party needs her to be in the moment.
- She’s right that the Tories need to be more than the anti-Corbyn party (although I think that purely on its own is enough to secure them a good 25% of the vote), and to her credit she doesn’t talk much about him. Her proposals sound… weirdly old school left wing? Since when have the Tories been interested in “industrial strategy” and the government stepping into the economy? It’s extremely weird to read a Tory leader using those sorts of soundbites in 2018, even just as a play to Guardian readers.
- Once again she talks up ending a decade of austerity, but notably absent from this was any mention of reforming the finance sector that caused it. Probably the most significant thing here in terms of where Britain is going post-Brexit. Tax haven ho!
- She mentions patriotism in her opening spiel, but again notably absent from all this is any kind of call to national pride or destiny. I don’t think you can pin this on it being the wrong audience for that, because Corbyn and his people have used those tropes liberally in their own addresses. It all feels rather cuddly Conservative circa 2012 in that respect. Is an end to the borrowing cap on councils building new housing going to be what gets Leave voters’ blood pumping?
That’s it. It’s all hokum of course but it’s not a bad pitch, you could see some middle aged centrists being swayed by it. If the grand plan is to win the next election by being the party of Careful Now they’re in for a rude awakening though, it’s completely out of step with where the country is now.