Monday 1 April 2019

Theresa May is one of the smallest people ever set in a great place

The British Government's Chief Whip Julian Smith will show in an interview to be aired tonight that a softer Brexit was “inevitably” on the cards once the Conservatives lost their majority in 2017 and the Government should have been clearer” that this would happen.

The 2017 election result meant that Theresa May was badly wounded and could not guarantee to have as majority for her positions when negotiating with the EU. 

The 2017 election result took a lot of power from the Prime Minister but would she have been able to get a better deal from the EU had she won a big majority? The election did, on the other hand, give the DUP the power to prevent a backstop that might lead to customs barriers between the mainland and Northern Ireland.

Had she had only got the deal she did get it would have been defeated even had she a majority of 90. That is assuming that the same number of Tory MPs voted against it as did so in January. 

Julian Smith calls the last few weeks 
 “the worst example of ill-discipline in Cabinet in British political history.” 
Of course he is right. The British constitution is not fit for purpose and is being remade. He by saying that is being startlingly disloyal too. 

The Prime Minister ignored the cabinet, elaborated her deal in strict secrecy and ran roughshod over the idea of cabinet government. Now cabinet government is reasserting itself while the House of Commons is doing the same thing. 

If Mrs. May fails to get her deal through this week on the fourth attempt her choices will be to leave with no deal, which she could do by proroguing Parliament for twelve days, or to call an election. if she tries to do the latter HM the Queen should insist on inviting others to try to form a government.

The truth is that Theresa May became Prime Minister despite not shining in cabinet, where she was very unpopular, according to David Laws, or in the House of Commons which she never commanded. 

I am not sure if this is because of the electoral system for electing Tory leaders, which allowed Michael Gove first to back and then to stand against Boris. I know things worked better when Tory leaders 'emerged' like they used to. I think that being a woman might make it harder for Theresa May to be a leader in the House or the cabinet, both of which are still male and clubby, but maybe it is not that. Maybe she is what Lord Macaulay called Queen Anne, one of the smallest people ever set in a great place.

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