I was getting ready to go to bed and then I made an exception to my ‘no social media/iPad use’ after 9pm to see whether a miracle had happened. Had Liverpool had signed a commanding centre half? Was Virgil going to join the bi-annual transfer of players from Southampton to Liverpool? No. Instead, I got another depressing reminder of what a hopeless politician and dreadful communicator and relationship-builder our Prime Minster is as she plumbed new depths of tone deafness. Her comment that she intended to stay around for the long term and lead the Conservatives into the next election would be funny it wasn’t so tragic – political tragedy of Shakespearian proportions.
As a Tory my head went straight into my hands and then shook my head so much I feared it may fall off. What a mess. What an unholy, risible, pathetic mess. Not only is Mrs May’s new position – another u-turn from a public position; this time saying I would stay until the party decides otherwise – a problem on so many levels, least of all its total lack of credibility, but worse of all it brings back on to the agenda her leadership and the future leadership of the party. This is just at the time when the country was happily settling in for a period of stability and quiet whilst we get on with the Brexit negotiations – using summer beach holidays to bury our heads in the leadership sand.
Mrs May’s tone deafness is now legendary. Her ability to misread the mood of the public, her cabinet or in this case her party seems to know no bounds. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of this futile attempt to reassert her authority is the lack of anger with which it has been met. The party is collectively shaking its head in disapproving, almost embarrassed, disappointment. Like a parent looks upon a naughty child – not annoyed, simply weary from another mistimed and misplaced tantrum.
Mrs May has zero chance – that is zero chance – of leading the party into the next election and ironically her pronouncement last night moved that prospect from a 1 in 100 chance to zero in a hundred. How can you get it so wrong?
Simple. Mrs May has no feel for politics. She has no sixth sense for what will play or how others are feeling. She lacks any ability to connect with others who don’t share her views or beliefs. She may be the cat’s pyjamas at running a department or a government – note I said “may” – but of the world of politics, narrative, positioning and communications she is the cat’s litter tray. Her latest communication and leadership failure also reveals a lack of strategy. If she really wanted to stay on as Prime Minister past the Brexit negotiations she would need a clear, well developed strategy that understands the landscape; the key players; the path to success. She has shown again that not only does she lack a strategy she cannot even open her mouth without placing her foot squarely in it.
The timing of this latest tone deaf outing could not be better – just as the transfer window is closing. It’s such as shame that despite being on the transfer list, despite losing her colleagues in the dressing, despite being a team mate that nobody wants to pass to, we are stuck with her. At least until the transfer window reopens in January. Her ill-judged comments last night mean that more agents from rival players will be getting ready for the January sales and she may very soon be looking for another club.
Photo taken from BBC news website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41106679