In the early stages of the general election campaign, there appears to be a widespread and genuine respect for Theresa May.
I have heard “I’m not a Tory, but I like Theresa May” so many times in the past week.
May’s hard-nosed pragmatism is contrasted to the image-conscious headline-yearning politicians of Cameron and Blair. Corbyn is not even seen as a player.
“She has a hard job on her hands with the EU” is often heard and people want to see her succeed.
- Anti EU politics has united the Tories.
- The process of Brexit has galvanised them.
- The task of leaving the EU is generating support for them from unexpected quarters.
Who’d have thought it..
So, why did Theresa May call the election in the first place?
Despite the vote for Brexit, the pro-EU narrative has dominated. Brexiteers have failed to give a clear vision and sense of direction or challenge the relentless drip drip of anti-Brexit fear.
Theresa May is a hard-nosed, non-ideological pragmatist. She has become convinced that the future of her and government credibility is at stake if Brexit is not followed through.
She also needs a strong mandate and clear majority to face the EU.
She is faced with a guerrilla campaign to undermine Brexit.
So, she’s called it.
Labour is confused, at best, on Brexit and has abandoned the working class. Theresa May has widespread respect.
She’ll strengthen her hand.
For me, this election is no longer about the zombie parties, it is about principle of following through on Brexit.
© Andy Shaw, 28th April 2017