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Here there are differences between the two of them. Margaret Thatcher in 1975 was the unfinished article, but she had four years of opposition to acquire the art of leadership. During this period she also read some Hayek and was effectively tutored in politics and economics by such advisers and supporters as Keith Joseph, Alfred Sherman and T. E. Utley. She developed a political philosophy, though the term “Thatcherism” was not widely used until the 1980s.

Theresa May, by contrast, has been thrown in at the deep end. Politically speaking, she is a work in progress. From May 2010 until July 2016, she was an extremely hands-on and preoccupied Home Secretary. She fought skirmishes with the police, strove unsuccessfully to bring down immigration, deported the “hate preacher” Abu Qatada, refused to extradite the autistic hacker Gary McKinnon to the United States, introduced a Bill against modern slavery, grappled with the inefficiencies of the Border Agency and the Passport Office, and maintained a beady eye on security. This tough and often obdurate lady didn’t have the luxury to fashion a political philosophy, even if she had been minded to do so. It is true that in 2013 she delivered a speech in which for the first time she alluded to the need to help communities which had been left behind. According to Prince, the Cameroons were less than overjoyed by what they regarded as an unwarranted excursion outside her brief, calculated to advertise her leadership credentials. I’ve been told by a member of her current staff that Number Ten subsequently discouraged such interventions.

Like Thatcher, Theresa May established a reputation as an efficient despatcher of business with whom other ministers tangled at their peril. (Prince tells us that she had repeated clashes with George Osborne over her attempts to curb immigration, and after a wealthy Chinese businessman was strip-searched at Heathrow she was on the receiving end of a diatribe from the Chancellor in Cabinet. She never forgave him and, on becoming Prime Minister, sacked him with apparent relish.) But unlike Thatcher in 1979, she is still some way from being able to append an “ism” to her name. Apart from Brexit, where she has made her position admirably clear (“no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”) we are mostly in the dark, as indeed she herself may be, as to what kind of country she would like this to be.

Yet she has been making up for lost time. On becoming Prime Minister last July she delivered a truly remarkable speech outside Number Ten that could probably not have been made by any previous Tory leader. In invoking black people treated harshly by the criminal justice system, white working-class boys overlooked at school, and those born poor who “will die on average nine years earlier than others”, she sounded much more like a Labour leader than a Conservative one. These themes were taken up again at the Conservative Party Conference last October when she declared that “the government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the rich and powerful but by the interests of ordinary, working-class families”. She has spoken in a similar vein on other occasions, and will unquestionably do so again.

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October 16th, 2017
2:10 PM
Barnier Rubble,Halal Capone Junker and team are disgusting . How about giving the EU Ed Sheeran and Bob Geldof? Just wrap them in a big ribbon with fairy lights. With the option of adding Richard Branson and Michael Heseltine wrapped in Christmas paper and Nick Cohen decked in holly and ivy. If the EU insist on having Michael Craig Martin RA in a cardboard box for display in Brussels then Theresa May should just deliver it.

October 13th, 2017
1:10 PM
M Barnier`s `disturbing deadlock` is caused entirely by his own analism and stinginess and that of his ` mandate `. He should be showering us with gold and flowers. Obviously pro-Brexit Julie Burchill in the Spectator,Ringo,Morrissey,John Lydon and Gilbert & George mean nothing to Corbyn,May,the Green Party, the Lib Dems or the BBC`s Daily Poltics. Sterile tv studios are mandatory for discussions. Brexit is more famous than anyone.

October 10th, 2017
1:10 PM
The EU`s M Barnier is poncing about. The ball is in the EU`s court. The EU is in denial because it can`t handle Brexit at all. The EU has gone catatonic and reduced to jerking movements and irrational malevolence. Even a monosyllabic tory team should be able to win by Christmas. If there`s no deal all the countries concerned would soon be beating a path to the UK`s door. Because Brexit is a brilliant quantum leap and paradigm shift. The will of the people is for Brexittania not Remainia. Trump and Brexit have rendered the dire style of politics extinct.

October 4th, 2017
1:10 PM
Theresa May`s conference speech means she can`t be `friends` with Jeremy Corbyn ? PM Macmillan got thousands of council houses built. The Thatcherites spoilt everything.

October 3rd, 2017
5:10 PM
The only word used at the Conservative conference to describe the Brexit vote was `opportunity`. Mr Johnson thinks the `quiet revolution` is a roaring lion. And Corbyn is Mr Vampire Venezuala. Another tory minister claims we are `good Europeans` and daringly `international` and `global`. Marvellous. But at the local level it`s the atrocity of Grenfell Towers, cuts to Disability Benefits, library closures, social care cuts,evictions and debts. According to Mr Rees-Mogg even the tory members are treated appallingly by the `north Korean` tory leadership. Will Theresa May be able to express any appreciation of Brexit? A nastier then ever tory party simply virtue signalling is repellent to young and older voters. Capitalism is pagan.

September 30th, 2017
11:09 AM
I`ve already decided to vote Labour again. Corbyn was absolutely right to claim that the stars of the Labour conference were 1) the Manifesto and 2) the increasing number of Labour members and voters. The Brexiteers got rid of Cameron and Osborne but neither May nor Corbyn hail this achievement. Brexit is more punk than punk and more radical than 1968. The Tories are not. The Labour Party now is. Brexitannia not Remainia won. The Honourable Members for the 21st Century are all in the Labour Party. The Tories are all Dickensian cobwebs, stingy,anal and verging on the monosyllabic. Luxury Socialism For The Many Not The Few.

September 23rd, 2017
2:09 PM
Theresa May`s speech in Florence was an insult to the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit. She should make another speech to the Brexiteers in the UK . What does she think we want? We ordered a pizza and the Tories say they will deliver but it will take at least four years. She never mentioned the will of the people om the ingredients. The problem with our political elites is that they are too Bob Geldof when they should be pro-Brexit Ringo. In Royal Academy terms the elites refuse to listen to the Fuckosophy of (tory voters) Gilbert & George. Mrs May wants `creative` ? A quick Brexit would be creative. The EU elite hates us. Appeasing it is not leadership

July 22nd, 2017
11:07 AM
I`ve changed my mind about Theresa May. I voted for Brexit and the Labour Party.

April 19th, 2017
1:04 PM
It`s good news Theresa May isn`t doing tv debates. The other party leaders are professionally jealous of her and can only rattle their bins noisily. George Osbourne is actually leading the retreat of the anti-Mayists. The majority of voters will give Theresa May her mandate.

April 18th, 2017
5:04 PM
After her announcement for June 8 Theresa May has my vote. 17.4 million Brexiteers may well have already decided to vote for her.

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