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Some Cabinet ministers have been privately advocating an early election. I must say that on grounds of pragmatism their arguments seem strong. With Corbyn as Labour leader, and UKIP collapsing, the Tories could reasonably expect a majority of at least a hundred. And yet Mrs May seems unpersuadable. It is not that she is risk averse. At some moments in her political career — for example, refusing to extradite Gary McKinnon, much to the ire of the Obama administration and the discomfiture of David Cameron — this usually cautious and always calculating woman has shown she does not mind going out on a limb. Besides, the dangers of going to the country now are very slight. She has simply made up her mind not to call an election, and being an instinctively obstinate person she is unlikely to change it. Let’s hope that, like Gordon Brown, who failed to seize his opportunity after taking over from Tony Blair in 2007, she will not come to rue her decision.

It’s obvious that none of us can know how things will turn out, and in particular how Brexit negotiations will go. I suppose I would define myself as a short-term slight pessimist and a longer-term optimist. I fear the next few years may be difficult, but believe that in the end we will emerge stronger and more self-confident as a nation — so long as Scotland is not mislaid along the way. But how long will that be? And will Mrs May still be Prime Minister when that happy day arrives?

A consideration strangely seldom mentioned by the press is her health. In 2013 she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a serious condition which does not often develop in women of her age. She injects herself with insulin four times a day, and has to take great care with her diet and the timing of her meals. She once told the Diabetes UK charity’s magazine Balance that during a long stint in the Commons chamber she had been obliged to eat nuts surreptitiously to keep herself going. Her friend Baroness (Anne) Jenkin, wife of the Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, told Rosa Prince: “There is a limit to how long people can last at the top without their health being damaged or their sanity being damaged. I just think she needs to be careful of her health. Because working at that pace is unsustainable.”

One point of difference with Margaret Thatcher is that, for the time being at least, much of the nation, including Labour voters, has taken Theresa May to its heart as it never quite did the daughter of Grantham. Many of those who had supported Boris Johnson were surprised by the sense of relief they felt when Mrs May stepped forward. It is true we still have no very clear idea what “Mayism” is in terms of policy, and even Rosa Prince’s biography, which I urge anyone interested in the subject to read, does not supply a definitive answer. But the outlines of “Mayism” in terms of character and mood can be discerned. It is a philosophy of rectitude and Christian decency applied by a tough, clear-thinking and sometimes stubborn woman.

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amcdonald
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.

amcdonald
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.

amcdonald
April 3rd, 2017
10:04 PM
George `Tampon Tax` Osborne claims the tax will raise £15 million to fund women`s organisations. £250,000 is going to the anti-abortion propaganda organisation Life. It`s deeply shameful and a disgrace. Osborne could pay the £15 million himself. Who in the Tory Party thinks it`s a great idea to tax the periods of girls and women ? Perhaps Theresa May could answer Suzanne Moore at the Guardian. Osborne is now also editor of a London junk mail freebie. It was his cocaine addicted banker friends in the City that caused the crash/robbery. He shares in their delusions of adequacy. The Brexit liberation needs no Osbornes in the Tory Party.

Arnie Ward
April 3rd, 2017
11:04 AM
In the opening paragraph Glover could have replaced the phrase "before going down from university" with a single word understood everywhere, "graduating". Such a quaint and anachronistic turn of phrase.

amcdonald
March 30th, 2017
4:03 PM
Theresa May is indeed mistress of all she surveys. Thanks to 17.4 million Brexiteers she`s now Prime Minister. The Remnants will never forgive us for destroying their illusion that they are the progressives and rebels. They are historical junk merchants. It doesn`t matter if Theresa May voted Remain. She`s now sincerely enacting the will of the people as Prime Minister. She should replace student nurse loans with grants. She should initiate a council house building project. She should fund Womens Refuges. Materialist solutions. At present which political party is even capable of delivering a pizza ? The glorious, chaotic dawn and magnificent Brexit victory was a civil war without muskets. No one at the BBC will say so. The artist Anish Kapoor is heartbroken in his Remainia. But it`s him and his set who are the small minds, small hearts (the Art Newspaper). The Ponces (as Julie Burchill has it). It`s entirely up to Theresa May and her team to prove the Tory Party can be other than `the Nasty Party`. She`s up for it and will probably get my vote in a General Election.

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