TOTALITARIAN Theresa or the proverbial Russian Doll? Take your pick. Nothing knocks her over. Nothing but an armoured tank will take her out.
While her deputy David Lidington blithely announces that we are stuck with the EU elections after all, despite his boss’s best (apparently bearing fruit) endeavours with friend Corbyn, the genuinely far, far too decent chairman of the now spineless and toothless 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, who has been reduced to pleading with the termagant to set her resignation date, looks increasingly out of his depth. The news is that she gave him short shrift.
My colleague Michael St George has just described him to me as ‘a sheep in wolf’s clothing’. It is, I am afraid, horribly apt. As Michael points out, what with Sir Bufton Tufton, aka Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, saying that May must be asked ‘to set out a road map for her departure’ (yawn, yawn), the National Conservative Convention (of Conservative Associations) not being held until 15 June, and then debating only a very deferential motion asking May ‘with great reluctance’ to ‘consider her position’, which is non-binding and thus unenforceable anyway, Kim May does not have much to worry about.
Add to that Sir Graham et al wanting to give her until July even to name a departure date, being so excessively chivalrous and honourable, and we have the would-be Tory rebels playing by Marquess of Queensberry Rules, while Kim herself is playing by Saul Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals.
May, worried about the outcome of the EU elections? She couldn’t give a stuff. Her MEP candidates – if there are any – can just suck it up. As no doubt she expects the 1922 Committee to do too.
No wonder they’re getting nowhere. They’re like someone bringing paper darts to a gunfight.
The seismic shock that they should have set off long ago is happening elsewhere. The under-reported real rebellion we described here on ‘Toppling Theresa’ a couple of days ago is taking place at the Brexit Party’s rallies up and down the country. This Claire Fox (never one for hyperbole), the Brexit Party MEP candidate, confirms:
‘Though I’ve been involved in politics and public speaking for decades, I’d never experienced anything quite like this. We walked on stage accompanied by rock anthems, Brexit Party adverts adorned big screens, crowds greeted Nigel Farage with cheers and chanting. Naysayers may disdain this as the Americanisation of our politics, but actually, I love it – not because of the performance, but because these rallies are extraordinary. This is a serious shakeup of politics as we know it, and it feels authentic and important. Despite the operational smoothness, we participants aren’t being stage-managed . . .’
And when the jokey Michael Deacon of the Telegraph writes that Farage himself is no longer clowning and joking, but deadly serious and steely, and thinks he is in with a genuine chance of delivering us from the EU, it is truly time the timid Tories upped their game. Put up or shut up, one is tempted to say.
At TCW we continue to count the days until they see the light and get rid of May.
Today is Day 34 . . .