Meet Prime Minister Theresa May

 

Andrea Leadsom just dropped out of the race to be the next Tory leader and British prime minister. This means Theresa May is apt to be the prime minister by the end of the day.

The dramatic development came in a statement issued by Leadsom, the energy minister, shortly after midday. She admitted that she has been left “shattered” by the contest in which she has faced an outpouring of anger following her comments about motherhood.

In a statement read out in London, Leadsom said she did not believe she had sufficient support to form a strong and stable government after coming in second place behind the home secretary in the ballot of Conservative MPs.

She added “I wish Theresa May the greatest success”, and promised the only remaining candidate her full support.

Leadsom’s campaign hit the rocks over the weekend when The Times of London published an interview with her in which she said that while she didn’t want to be horrible about it — because she was sure Theresa May must be sad not to have had children — she thought she’d be a better prime minister because having children meant she had “a very real stake” in Britain’s future. Then she indignantly denied having said it. The Times of course published the transcript and audio. It was obvious (to me, anyway) that she’d said it off the record, and genuinely didn’t want it published for fear of hurting May’s feelings. But it was just as obvious that she wasn’t experienced enough and unready for prime time.

Meet Ms. May:

Here she is addressing the Conservative Party conference last year:

I think she’ll be fine for the job. She’s unflashy, competent, and calm, which is what Britain needs right now. Your thoughts?

There are 90 comments.

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  1. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Claire, do you think this will expedite the transition or will PM Cameron remain in office until fall?

    I think it is better for all concerned that she take officer sooner rather than later and get on with negotiating Britain’s new status with the EU. What are your thoughts?

    • #1
  2. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    I wonder if May can be trusted to actually go through with invoking Article 50.

    • #2
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    • #3
  4. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    I hate that this matters, but it does: The Tories now have two female PM’s to their name to Labour’s nil.

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    What’s the track-record, in the UK, for “mid-term appointment” Prime Ministers winning the next general election?

    Up here in the Great White North, it’s pretty abysmal. Those who get the top job via appointment after the resignation of a PM almost never win the general.

    • #5
  6. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    While I liked Leadsome’s conservative record more, I am encouraged that Britain’s Left is very wary and concerned that Theresa May is ..no Progressive ...

    • #6
  7. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Misthiocracy:What’s the track-record, in the UK, for “mid-term appointment” Prime Ministers winning the next general election?

    Up here in the Great White North, it’s pretty abysmal. Those who get the top job via appointment after the resignation of a PM almost never win the general.

    I don’t know about all time, but in my (admittedly brief) lifetime they’re 1:1 – John Major won; Gordon Brown lost.

    • #7
  8. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Here was Peggy Noonan with regard to Theresa May in her July 1, 2016 column …

    Contrast what Mr. Johnson wrote with the statement, days later, of Home Secretary Theresa May, who had been pro-Remain though relatively quietly, certainly relative to Mr. Johnson. “Brexit means Brexit,” she said. “The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door and no second referendum.”

    “Politics,” she added, “isn’t a game.”

    Thank you, madam, and well done.

    • #8
  9. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Columbo:Here was Peggy Noonan with regard to Theresa May in her July 1, 2016 column …

    Contrast what Mr. Johnson wrote with the statement, days later, of Home Secretary Theresa May, who had been pro-Remain though relatively quietly, certainly relative to Mr. Johnson. “Brexit means Brexit,” she said. “The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door and no second referendum.”

    “Politics,” she added, “isn’t a game.”

    Thank you, madam, and well done.

    So, a Remainiac who’s response is, “The people have spoken?”

    Part of me thinks that may be the best possible outcome.

    • #9
  10. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Britain’s Merkel Moment.

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Columbo:While I liked Leadsome’s conservative record more, I am encouraged that Britain’s Left is very wary and concerned that Theresa May is ... no Progressive ...

    It doesn’t matter how progressive a Tory is, the Left will always portray them as hopelessly right-wing. It’s a great tactic for pushing the Overton Window leftwards. If they successfully paint an arch-progressive Tory as right-wing, that mean the definition of The Centre gets pushed to the left.

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: She’s unflashy, competent, and calm …

    Toss in “non-congenital liar” and it would work for me.

    • #12
  13. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: She’s unflashy, competent, and calm…

    They have a word for politicians like that. The word is ‘loser’.

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Percival:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: She’s unflashy, competent, and calm …

    Toss in “non-congenital liar” and it would work for me.

    So, she’s a liar, but at least it’s non-congenital?

    • #14
  15. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Misthiocracy:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: She’s unflashy, competent, and calm…

    They have a word for politicians like that. The word is ‘loser’.

    About your question: Mr. Major won in 1992; Mr. Brown lost in 2010. There are obviously no other examples in this generation; maybe none in the previous, either-

    • #15
  16. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    But on the other hand, since Leadsom collapsed in the face of criticism for saying it instead of standing her ground, she’s proved that her proper surname would be Leadsnone and that May is the better choice.

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Misthiocracy:

    Percival:

    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: She’s unflashy, competent, and calm …

    Toss in “non-congenital liar” and it would work for me.

    So, she’s a liar, but at least it’s non-congenital?

    I’ll take a fib here and there —  the occasional convenient stretcher — but don’t try to tell me that you made a $1000 bet on the futures market, walked off with $100K, and never tried again. Don’t tell lies a moderately intelligent ten year old can see through. It’s insulting.

    • #17
  18. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    • #18
  19. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Marion Evans:

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    Not the point. No one has to agree that mothers are superior PMs. I happen to think it’s a crazy way of thinking about politics, if funny. What’s at stake is: Should people be saying such things?, should they be allowed to, so far as public opinion is concerned?, how do we think about public discourse in a free country in relation to such statements?, &c….

    • #19
  20. Marion Evans Inactive
    Marion Evans
    @MarionEvans

    Titus Techera:

    Marion Evans:

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    Not the point. No one has to agree that mothers are superior PMs. I happen to think it’s a crazy way of thinking about politics, if funny. What’s at stake is: Should people be saying such things?, should they be allowed to, so far as public opinion is concerned?, how do we think about public discourse in a free country in relation to such statements?, &c….

    Sure they should be free to say whatever they want. But other people should also be free to criticize them for saying it.

    • #20
  21. Freesmith Inactive
    Freesmith
    @Freesmith

    “Put Britain first.”

    Isn’t that like “America First?”

    The problem with May’s approach is that it doesn’t take into sufficient account the opposition. She speaks as if she is making rules that will become and remain law “for a thousand years.” Her program is balanced, flexible and nuanced. It is common sense. It is moderate.

    But the Left will simply push, push and push until May’s government compromises and accommodates their endless demands. The Left wants something; Conservatives want to hold on to what they have.

    It is an uneven fight. Imagine a boxer in the ring against an aggressive, tireless opponent and that the boxer will not punch, he only blocks, slips and ducks his opponent’s blows.

    Who are you betting on?

    • #21
  22. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Marion Evans:

    Titus Techera:

    Marion Evans:

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    Not the point. No one has to agree that mothers are superior PMs. I happen to think it’s a crazy way of thinking about politics, if funny. What’s at stake is: Should people be saying such things?, should they be allowed to, so far as public opinion is concerned?, how do we think about public discourse in a free country in relation to such statements?, &c….

    Sure they should be free to say whatever they want. But other people should also be free to criticize them for saying it.

    Well, I take it on Ricochet we can still assume that free speech is the way for free people to associate. How about everything else, though!

    • #22
  23. Richard Fulmer Inactive
    Richard Fulmer
    @RichardFulmer

    Titus Techera:

    Marion Evans:

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    Not the point. No one has to agree that mothers are superior PMs. I happen to think it’s a crazy way of thinking about politics, if funny. What’s at stake is: Should people be saying such things?, should they be allowed to, so far as public opinion is concerned?, how do we think about public discourse in a free country in relation to such statements?, &c….

    A politician made a statement with which people disagreed.  Because of that disagreement, the politician chose not to run for a higher office.  Why is this a free speech issue?  Disagreement is not censorship.

    • #23
  24. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    Richard Fulmer:

    Titus Techera:

    Marion Evans:

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    Not the point. No one has to agree that mothers are superior PMs. I happen to think it’s a crazy way of thinking about politics, if funny. What’s at stake is: Should people be saying such things?, should they be allowed to, so far as public opinion is concerned?, how do we think about public discourse in a free country in relation to such statements?, &c….

    A politician made a statement with which people disagreed. Because of that disagreement, the politician chose not to run for a higher office. Why is this a free speech issue? Disagreement is not censorship.

    See mine above: It is not a free speech issue.

    • #24
  25. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Richard Fulmer:

    A politician made a statement with which people disagreed. Because of that disagreement, the politician chose not to run for a higher office. Why is this a free speech issue? Disagreement is not censorship.

    She should have not run because she was naive enough to believe “off the record” means anything.

    • #25
  26. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    And this is why Caucus is not allowed to make decisions like this in Canada.

    Personally I feel the fix is in.  If I were a party organizer in the UK and watched this happen I would be torqued off.

    And I would be on the horn to every other riding President demanding another candidate to be allowed on the ballot in lieu of her, since its pretty obvious she never intended to stand and was basically a catspaw to May.

    I know there are major differences between Canada and the UK system.  But if any Canadian politician did something so raw, it could and has cost them the government.  Just ask Alberta when you pull moves like this.

    • #26
  27. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Marion Evans:

    Western Chauvinist:WARNING: I’m about to make social commentary.

    It’s revealing that a career politician’s future is ended by telling the obvious truth that having children gives one (literal) skin in the game.

    The West is over if the truth is unspeakable and the rule of law only applies to the little people.

    I would tread carefully here. What if I have one child and you have three? Now you have more skin in the game? The connection between having children and doing a better job has not been made by anyone. Do you have evidence?

    This is the absurdity of political correctness. Human beings misspeak. Ms. Leadsom was inartful with her point and also thought it was off the record anyways. It was an offhand remark and there was no malice or broad implication intended. Yet the analysis and dissection of this impromptu remark takes on a life of its own and gets exaggerated out of proportion by not only the “mainstream” media but our infernal social one. And a potential Prime Minister of the great country of England is shamed into dropping out over nothing. Sad.

    It is the same thing that has happened to the word “step”  and the heartfelt greeting of good cheer … Merry Christmas!

    • #27
  28. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    So here is a good question. What happened to all those famous chaps who fought for leave? Why did Johnson and Gove leave? They don’t seem to have put up much of a fight?

    • #28
  29. Viator Inactive
    Viator
    @Viator

    That top screen shot is Theresa May in 1995 not last year. Unless the fight over Brexit aged her dramatically.

    • #29
  30. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    BrentB67:Claire, do you think this will expedite the transition or will PM Cameron remain in office until fall?

    I think it is better for all concerned that she take officer sooner rather than later and get on with negotiating Britain’s new status with the EU. What are your thoughts?

    Technically, May isn’t the party leader until their party conference in October when they hold the vote, I would think.  But the British parliamentary system is flexible enough that Cameron could resign now, and the Queen could appoint Theresa May Prime Minister now.

    • #30

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