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May’s Time Is Almost Up

Theresa May isn’t gone yet, but as Fraser Nelson explains [1] it is just a matter of time until she is replaced:

So Theresa May will go – make no mistake about that. She will never be forgiven, by the country or her party, for this debacle. But the Tories also know that, given the damage that she has inflicted on their party, they’re in no fit state to fight another general election. And as soon as they’re ready, they’ll get rid of her. It’s a question of when, not if.

It is a testament to how badly May failed that she has left her party in such a bad state that it can’t risk ousting her right away for fear of losing the next election. Nelson writes:

She is not being defenestrated because her party doesn’t want a leadership election now, having demeaned itself enough in the eyes of the electorate. Another Boris v Gove debacle could mean another election and Jeremy Corbyn in No. 10; stopping this is now the number one Tory priority (more so than Brexit).

The desire to delay another leadership contest is understandable, especially in light of what happened during the last one, but I doubt it can be put off for more than a couple months. May doesn’t really have the confidence of her party or the electorate, and everyone knows it, so my guess is that a rebellion will occur before the summer is out. It is possible that her desperate and ill-advised [2] partnership with the DUP will blow up in her face just as her election gamble did. There is a report that she is seeking a formal coalition deal [3] with the DUP, which is potentially even more destabilizing for Northern Ireland than a “confidence-and-supply” arrangement. If the Tories are responsible for wrecking the peace there on account of May’s political shenanigans, they may lose the next election regardless of when they oust May and they will deserve to.

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25 Comments To "May’s Time Is Almost Up"

#1 Comment By Acilius On June 10, 2017 @ 10:38 am

The concern that the Westminster government won’t be able to mediate in Northern Ireland if it is in partnership with one of the parties there is in one sense a well-placed concern. On the other hand, if Northern Ireland MPs can never have even an informal role in the UK government, then the Union is effectively dissolved and there’s nothing for Westminster to mediate.

#2 Comment By William Dalton On June 10, 2017 @ 11:35 am

I truly don’t understand why anyone who isn’t a partisan opponent of the British Tories would be sounding Theresa May’s political death knell. The Conservative representation in Westminster went down from 330 to 318. In American elections many an American President has survived even worse losses in Congress without suffering universal calls for resignation – Clinton and Obama among them, who actually lost their control of Congress to the opposition party. May’s party still finished first in Thursday’s vote and no one who finished behind her has any business telling her what the public wants or what she must do. Given that Sinn Fein picked up three seats and now holds seven which it refuses to fill, and that the Speaker of Parliament does not vote, the number of seats required to hold effective control of the House of Commons is not 326, but 322. So the 318 Conservative members and their 10 DUP allies give them 328 votes, from which they can lose six and still win any vote in Parliament. That’s a better situation than Republicans currently enjoy in the U.S. Senate, where it takes a super majority of 60 assure the passage of legislation. Replacing Donald Trump with Mike Pence won’t improve that situation and neither will replacing May with another Tory improvement the governing ability of that Party in Parliament.

Can someone explain to me why the major parties in the UK – the Tories, Labour, the LibDems, even UKIP, run candidates in England, Scotland and Wales, but not in Northern Ireland? If the right leaning “friends” of Theresa May in Ulster were actually organized as members of the British Conservative Party rather than a peculiarly Irish one, there would be no talk of a minority government or a hung parliament.

#3 Comment By Robert Levine On June 10, 2017 @ 11:52 am

@William Dalton:

I truly don’t understand why anyone who isn’t a partisan opponent of the British Tories would be sounding Theresa May’s political death knell. The Conservative representation in Westminster went down from 330 to 318. In American elections many an American President has survived even worse losses in Congress without suffering universal calls for resignation – Clinton and Obama among them, who actually lost their control of Congress to the opposition party. May’s party still finished first in Thursday’s vote and no one who finished behind her has any business telling her what the public wants or what she must do.

You clearly know nothing about the British parliamentary system. But, to put it in simple terms, May lost an election that she called in the belief that she would win it – in short, running the ball into her own end zone.

Under the US Constitution, presidents don’t call elections, and thus aren’t held as responsible for lost elections. And presidents aren’t elected – or unelected – by the majority party of the legislature, as are British prime ministers.

There are plenty of “British Tories” calling for her to step down, by the way. They’re doing so because she hurt the party badly, and because a prime minister – unlike a US president – is subject to what amounts to a recall. And she will be recalled – by her own party – if she doesn’t step down.

#4 Comment By rayray On June 10, 2017 @ 12:20 pm

Also worth noting, she called the election to achieve a stronger mandate for Brexit negotiations. Given that she now has a lesser mandate, she not only weakened her leadership but she’s weakened Britain’s negotiating position in what is arguably the most important negotiation of our time.

She’s toast.

#5 Comment By dave On June 10, 2017 @ 12:47 pm

@ William Dalton, to add to the discussion, a big part of it for me is the context. While in an absolute sense I agree with your math, as an audition for the role of leading the Brexit negotiations it seems she failed rather spectacularly, demonstrating inflexibility, an inability to effectively communicate with the electorate and blinding overconfidence. I’m sort of left with the feeling that Britain will have a hard go of it negotiating with the EU.

In a larger context, with the chaos the U.S. continues to sow in the GME and the relative rise of China and their new silk road, I believe there will be an increasingly strong pull on the EU to look east rather than west. One of the keys to the special relationship of the UK and US in recent years was the role the UK could play in keeping the EU aligned to the west. With the UK out, their usefulness to the US will be diminished, and despite the historical ties, expediency may dictate that the US devote much more attention to the EU. The UK may end up out in the cold. It’s a tricky spot at the moment. She’s not showing herself up to it, I’d say.

#6 Comment By M. Orban On June 10, 2017 @ 2:21 pm

@Dave: what is GME and why should we know it? Even Google can’t find it…

#7 Comment By dave On June 10, 2017 @ 2:22 pm

Put another way, you are a leader of the EU. You can focus on one of two things – closer economic integration with China, or joining with the US in an attack on Iran. Which would you choose? And what would make the UK relevant, in either case?

#8 Comment By Kalmia On June 10, 2017 @ 2:43 pm

As long as the DUP get some money bunged towards some projects in NI they’ll be fine and they’ll insist on a softer Brexit because they don’t actually want a hard border with the Republic for practical reasons. So, all in all, they’re most likely to make the negotiations less ideological, which may sound odd given the DUP’s reputation, but that is actually over-hyped by the media. On certain things like flags on poles or national anthems, it is true that the DUP are as hardline as it comes, but everythingelse is negotiable. While everybody in the rest of the UK is shocked by their socially conservative religiously-influenced policies, they wouldn’t cause Mike Pence to raise an eyebrow, so from a US perspective they’re not really as exotic as the press coverage would make out. For the record, I am an NI ex-pat of the Presbyterian variety.

#9 Comment By Myles On June 10, 2017 @ 3:08 pm

If the Headmistress thinks she can deliver strong and stable government by doing business with the DUP, then she’s positively delusional.

#10 Comment By collin On June 10, 2017 @ 4:02 pm

I think a lot of your analysis is correct and May was the HRC like candidate here versus looney Corbyn. But it is indicating that the Party coalitions are breaking on both Conservative/Liberal to along national/globalist interest. Wasn’t it the revenge of the Remainers in London and other middle/wealthy areas voting Labour? (Versus France where the conservative/left center globalist went heavy for Macron?)

That said I very interested in:
1) How is Brexit negotiations will go as Merkel/Macron are salivating of the possibilty of bringing Finance jobs to Paris, Brussels, and Berlin. A together France/Germany with other Euro nations has all the aces here.
2) In the US, the GA06 election is coming and we really don’t know the results here!!!

#11 Comment By EliteCommInc. On June 10, 2017 @ 4:18 pm

If there’s a failure it was in calling for the special election in the first place. She said she wouldn’t and then pro0ceeded to do so.

Given the level of skepticism about politicians in general it was a risky choice. Whether that means she will be unable to govern is something that her party will have to decide.

#12 Comment By dave On June 10, 2017 @ 4:31 pm

@ M.Orban, I am sorry about that, with GME I was referring to Greater Middle East.

#13 Comment By Viriato On June 10, 2017 @ 7:02 pm

@dave: “You can focus on one of two things – closer economic integration with China, or joining with the US in an attack on Iran. Which would you choose? And what would make the UK relevant, in either case?”

Why can’t the UK also seek closer economic integration with China? This would be not only in the UK’s interest, but in China’s interest, given Hong Kong’s strong historic and cultural ties to the UK, and growing separatist sentiment in Hong Kong. In other words, closer economic links between China and the UK would make Hong Kong more relevant and prestigious within China, which would in turn reduce separatist sentiment in Hong Kong. A win-win for everyone concerned, and no need for the EU.

#14 Comment By Peter Miller On June 10, 2017 @ 7:51 pm

@William Dalton, “Can someone explain to me why the major parties in the UK – the Tories, Labour, the LibDems, even UKIP, run candidates in England, Scotland and Wales, but not in Northern Ireland?” – yes, I can explain: because Northern Ireland isn’t really a part of the United Kingdom; it’s a post-colonial embarrassment that Britain has been desperate to abandon since the day that it (NI) was created. The intention of the original Home Rule bill (1886) was that Ireland should be detached from Britain as a complete entity (“the Protestant tail must not wag the Irish dog”) but Loyalist terrorism (“Ulster Will Fight And Ulster Will Be Right”) ensured that the Irish Protestants achieved what the South African Whites did not: an enclave where their apartheid regime could endure, after most of the country had been lost.
Almost no-one expected Norn Iron to last more than a few years before it allowed itself to be subsumed by Eire.
Britain will abandon NI into the custody of Eire as soon as the Catholic/ Republican population has grown big enough to win the referendum.
And quite right too; Britain has as much right to be involved in Ireland as France had to be involved in Algeria.

#15 Comment By mike On June 10, 2017 @ 11:57 pm

Best possible outcome? The only openly Christian party in the Western world now has influence on a major power. Sounds like a good result – one more Inspector Clouseau incident from the “Conservatives”. Surprise majority in 2015; Brexit in 2016; and a minority government depending on a Christian party in 2017. You have to love them. The vital project now is getting a Conservative majority in Canada.

#16 Comment By Ellimist000 On June 11, 2017 @ 12:10 am

“You clearly know nothing about the British parliamentary system. But, to put it in simple terms, May lost an election that she called in the belief that she would win it – in short, running the ball into her own end zone.”

Not to mention that due to the parlimentary system, losing the majority means that May needs to ally with a party apparently backed by literal terrorists to have any power at all.

#17 Comment By mike On June 11, 2017 @ 12:15 am

Grudges aside (Catholic or Protestant) – you have to LOVE the DUP!!
It is the only party in the Western world with the guts to stand up for Christian Civilisation.

#18 Comment By mike On June 11, 2017 @ 12:40 am

We absolutely MUST follow the DUP in resisting the irresistible – the Franco-American secular-revolutionary “enlightenment” neo-pagan neo-barbarism which has demolished Christian Civilisation in the West.

#19 Comment By dave On June 11, 2017 @ 8:22 am

@Viriato, certainly. I was using the choices to highlight both the pull east on the EU as well as a part of the challenge for the UK. It’s not a prediction, and things are never that simple. I mean, for a time I was following some Transition folks and Red Tories, I think they were, and I’d guess they’d have an altogether different take on the costs and opportunities. Pinkerton touched on that aspect of Mays’ manifesto.

I guess you could say with Brexit everyone in the UK is a red Tory now, whether they want to be or not. Good or bad, who knows. But the red Tory answer to the question might be who cares, the important thing is the general welfare of the populace, not geopolitical relevance. Something May could have said. Repeatedly.

#20 Comment By kalendjay On June 11, 2017 @ 4:39 pm

Buck up, maties. The coalition May is forced to cohabit with is nothing like the Tory-Liberal coalition that was forced on Cameron, when the Tories were arguably weaker and less proactive in the wake of Blair, Brown, and the glimmering realization that the EU was a useless junkpile. That previous coalition brought to bear a muddle-through mentality of Obama-like fiscal policies and no growth, combined with grin-and-bear it acquiescence to the Libs’ libertarian social justice.

May’s snap election was unnecessary, since some gentle persuasion why Brexit occurred and what it would mean by way of individuals and institutions stepping up to the challenge is what is needed. But there is enough goodwill toward conservatism to endure May and actually roll back Labour even more than before, not to mention the SNP, which actually happened.

My take is that this election prevented a Never-Trumplike media coup from taking hold of the polls and ruining the reputation of government more than 10 Downing ruins itself. But we and the British are now at the point where it is time to defend the original arguments of the New New Transatlantic Right, as we shall see Post-Comey.

#21 Comment By EliteCommIc. On June 12, 2017 @ 6:34 am

” . . . but Loyalist terrorism (“Ulster Will Fight And Ulster Will Be Right”) ensured that the Irish Protestants achieved what the South African Whites did not: an enclave where their apartheid regime could endure, after most of the country had been lost.”

Some of your response, it’s tad extreme. Nothing about Ireland comes close to apartheid. And I would be curious how one explains Ireland’s search for true Independence as it refuses to get off the teet of British bailouts financially.

And while one may point a finger at England, for Ireland[s troubles, the internal instability that exists within Ireland didn’t need an English occupation which has largely existed to squelch the internal violence within Ireland.

Note: I am not anti-irish independence, but upon having it within their grasp thy constantly look to English pounds for assistance.

#22 Comment By Hibernian On June 12, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

@ Mike: “The only openly Christian party in the Western world…”

Founded by the Rev. Ian Paisley… …really Christian.

#23 Comment By Hibernian On June 12, 2017 @ 8:36 pm

“Nothing about Ireland comes close to apartheid .”

It’s only very recently that your statement can be respectably argued.

#24 Comment By Hibernian On June 12, 2017 @ 8:39 pm

@ Mike: “Grudges aside (Catholic or Protestant) – you have to LOVE the DUP!!”

What grudges doeas a Protestant have to put aside to love the DUP?

#25 Comment By Barry On June 12, 2017 @ 9:29 pm

dave says:

“In a larger context, with the chaos the U.S. continues to sow in the GME and the relative rise of China and their new silk road, I believe there will be an increasingly strong pull on the EU to look east rather than west. ”

This is an interesting point.