- The American Conservative - http://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Why May Should Go

Iain Martin makes the case [1] for a new prime minister:

Whoever it is and whatever the mechanism, be it a short leadership contest in September or a cabinet-imposed choice with parliamentary approval, the elders of the Tory tribe need to get on with it. To that end, Mrs May should do her party one last favour by indicating soon that her duty is done and that she will step down on the first day of the Conservative Party conference on October 1.

The British are noted constitutional innovators. But even by our standards, attempting the most complex negotiations for more than 70 years without a functioning prime minister seems a step too far. The Tory party needs to find a new leader and soon.

Martin makes a solid case that May isn’t up to the job of successfully negotiating British exit from the EU, and since everyone understands that May is finished politically the Conservatives should replace her sooner rather than later. The next Tory leader may or may not be an improvement, but after the election debacle there really is no excuse for May to stay on any longer in her current position. If the U.K. is to get the best deal it can from the EU, it can’t be led by someone who doesn’t have the confidence of party and country. May should have resigned right away after the election, but she still has the chance to help her party recover from the mess that she made during her brief tenure by leaving soon.

6 Comments (Open | Close)

6 Comments To "Why May Should Go"

#1 Comment By Clifford Story On July 12, 2017 @ 6:54 pm

When I saw the headline, I immediately pictured May walking off into the sunset, hand in hand with Tony Abbott. The Failed PM Club.

So who would replace her? Boris Johnson? Arlene Foster? Well, I can’t think of any Tories who aren’t jokes.

Except, perhaps, Ruth Davidson, but May’d surely block her.

#2 Comment By Just Dropping By On July 13, 2017 @ 9:30 am

@ Clifford Story: I’m kind of hoping it’s Johnson just for the entertainment value at this point.

#3 Comment By joseph On July 13, 2017 @ 10:30 am

I’m surprised by this comment: ” If the U.K. is to get the best deal it can from the EU, it can’t be led by someone who doesn’t have the confidence of party and country.”

The relative confidence of party and country in their leader has never been a particularly good measure of success in negotiation, and history is littered with disastrous events led by widely popular politicians pursuing wildly popular ends by wildly popular means.

At the same time, history also evidences deals that were unpopular, done by unpopular politicians, “shoved down the throats” of the public, that turned out well.

The relative popular and elite support for a politician and policy is largely irrelevant to the quality of deals a leader negotiates.

#4 Comment By Howard On July 13, 2017 @ 12:49 pm

My guess is she gets a no-confidence vote sometime this year.

#5 Comment By cka2nd On July 13, 2017 @ 11:00 pm

George Galloway, from the left, thinks that David Davis would be a good choice. Davis certainly seems to have good credentials when it comes to civil liberties, Brexit and even opposing increases in tuition fees.

#6 Comment By sherparick On July 14, 2017 @ 3:22 pm

It has to be remembered that Theresa May won the leadership contest in July of 2016 because all the other candidates for the Conservative Party were so horrible and busily stabbing each other in the back. As the Irish Times wrote last month: “Inertia takes many forms but tends to happen for one reason. When a lifeless marriage lasts for decades, when a job is dire but its holder keeps showing up, it is for want of alternatives. Tories have cast around their number, examined candidates to replace May and concluded that rumours of their mediocrity are, if anything, too kind.” [2]