No one who has ever quit a dead-end job could fail to recognise the look of relieved bliss on Theresa May’s face last Saturday as she busted out her favourite Pinocchio-like moves to ABBA at Henley Festival. It was the dance of a woman who has weathered every political storm, been called every name under the sun, and chosen
Cut through all the background noise and the facile soundbites, and Theresa May has allowed herself a binary choice between either a customs union or a no-deal Brexit. That amounts to acting either in the least bad interests of the country or, in a desperate bid to keep the Conservative Party intact, knowingly acting in its very worst.
It is only just beginning to sink in how disastrous Theresa May’s failure is for the Conservative Party. The opinion polls have recorded huge drops in Tory support. The most recent from ComRes put the Tories on 23 per cent, which may be an outlier but there is no reason why they should not fall further.
Politics is going round in circles. Five years ago, Nigel Farage emerged triumphant from the European parliament elections, after Ukip won the most votes and seats.
Has a small political miracle taken place? For the first time since the Brexit vote, Labour has been able to show a coherent, confident profile on Europe in place of the confused contradictory circumlocutions associated with the Corbyn shadow cabinet’s appearances on the BBC, and in other media.
Twenty years ago, not altogether long after Blair’s landslide election victory, and with William Hague driving around the country in a rather mad “Keep the Pound” white van, I happened to go on a school sixth form trip to be in the audience on the BBC’s Question Time.
Elections can be energising, they can be bruising, and over the past few years the public have been to the ballot box far more often than expected.
Theresa May defended the decision to leave without a deal. She said it was the only way to implement the 2016 referendum.
When the prime minister applied for and got a second extension to the Article 50 period, she did so because she wanted to save the country from the disastrous consequences of leaving the EU without a deal. She did the right thing, putting the country first.