PM May On Way Out As Leader of the Free World Looks Forward to Election Victory

by Lib Dem FoP –

Two pieces of Euro-news. Opinion polls put Angela Merkel in an unbeatable position to remain as German Chancellor after federal elections on September 24. The second is the start of the exit of Theresa May as British Prime Minister. The latter needs a bit of “reading the runes” but bear with me.

The latest opinion polls give Merkel’s CDU/CSU (the aligned parties have different names in some lande) 38% and the main rival Social Democrats 22%. Four smaller parties; the [far] Left Party, the Greens, the centrist liberal Free Democrats and the neo-Nazi AfD (“Alternative for Germany”) are all hovering around the 9-10% mark. Germany’s proportional system means that no party will have overall control but it is probable that the “grand coalition” of the CDU/CSU and the Social Democrats will continue. The leader of the Free World therefore appears to be safe to continue her work.

Theresa May on the other hand is looking increasingly vulnerable. She is currently on her Grand Brexit tour of non-EU countries trying to give them the idea that they should sign new trading agreements after March 2019 when the UK is due to leave the EU and all existing arrangements fall, leaving the UK on “WTO” terms unless deals can be done. In the past month or so what with her holiday, summit meetings and bi-lateral discussions, it looks like she’s spending less time in the UK than Trump is not playing golf.

Her visit to Japan is vital as the country has just signed its own agreement with the EU.  Many Japanese companies established their European headquarters in the UK as an English-speaking “gateway” to the huge Single Market. But looking at the choice Abe has — 60 million customers or 680 million — which would you prioritize?

While Despicable May is away, the minions are playing up. After her constant declarations that “Brexit means Brexit”, her team of negotiators have been trying to arrange the “divorce” so we can find out what the hell she means. The approach seems to be “we want exactly the same advantages as being an EU member apart from you Johnny Foreigners coming over here or telling us we cannot buy crappy vacuum cleaners that gobble power and deafen us”. That argument seems to be falling on deaf ears in Brussels. The EU 27 have decided the discussion timetable and are sticking to it. No nice little concessions on irrelevant matters until the intractable problems like the Northern Ireland/Eire border are settled. Her team of “Brexiteers” cannot even agree what they want.

May has scuttled out of town to avoid the backlash from her decision to call a General Election to give her the mandate for a “strong and stable” government, only to lose her majority and having to get into bed with some very dodgy Ulster neo-Nazis Protestants, much to the annoyance of the more liberal in her party. Her decision to give a “heartfelt” interview to placate her party rather fell flat. This was she said happened after her husband told her of the exit polls that showed she would lose. (Warning: you have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at this video)

More recently, the aftermath of the fire at Grenfell Tower has produced the reaction in the (non-photoshopped) picture at the top. Poor woman, she went and “supported the troops” by chatting to the emergency services but was delayed at a summit meeting. Not only that, she managed to totally ignore the survivors of the fire during her initial visit. (Does this sound familiar Mr Trump?)

The prime minister has been heavily criticised for appearing to show a lack of empathy in the wake of the disaster.

It began after she visited the site but did not meet victims, despite other politicians and later the Queen and Prince William talking to residents in Kensington.

Mrs May eventually met victims, residents and volunteers at a church near the scene in west London, but was met by furious crowds chanting ‘coward’ and ‘murderer’ as she was given police protection before quickly leaving.

What’s been the red rag to the Tory bulls this week is an interview in which she declared she wants to be Prime Minister at and after the next General Election. This is scheduled for 2022. It was an attempt to emulate Margaret Thatcher who said that she wanted to go “on and on” as PM.

Thatcher was ousted three years later but it looks like the timescale is going to be a lot quicker this time round. This week in Japan

“I’m not a quitter,” Mrs May said, when asked to clarify her remarks as she finished the first day of a three-day trade mission.

She said there were “real issues that we need to be dealing with and I’m there to do it”.

Asked about scepticism over her leadership ambitions back home, she said: “For most members of the public, they would say they want the Government to get on with the job and that’s exactly what I and the Government are doing.”

Just two months ago, in an interview with The Sun, Mrs May refused to commit to fighting the next general election as head of the Conservatives.

Last week, reports emerged that Mrs May was going to quit her premiership on 30 August 2019.

The above is from Murdoch owned Sky News. The page also has a list of the “runners and riders” likely to be involved or considered in the party election to replace May.

The Conservatives have two options. Somebody could stick their head above the parapet and challenge her in a leadership election. They would probably lose to another candidate who had not “knifed May in the back” in a similar manner to how Thatcher’s successor won. The more traditional route would be for a group of party grandees, the so-called “men in grey suits”, to tell her that her time is up and they cannot guarantee the support of the Tory MPs.  She would then resign as Leader but stay as PM until a new party leader was elected.

Trump and May share a common character trait of simply not appearing empathetic to the poor and disposessed. Trump ignores them in favor of his constituency — the 1%. May tries to appeal to the “JAMs” — those in work but who are “just about managing”. Of course that’s after her party’s imposition of wage increases below inflation so the real value of pay packets reduces.  At least she is managing to enlarge her target audience!

So, who is forced from office first? Trump or May?

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos