Opinion – Theresa May’s authority slips as she bores Britain with empty answers | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian

Here’s a must-read op-ed article in the Guardian from left-wing writer, Owen Jones. He reports that the odds are still stacked against Labour – but after May’s shaky performance in the hustings, a historic defeat may not be inevitable

Theresa May’s authority slips as she bores Britain with empty answers | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian

It still looks like May is most likely to win but most probably with a small majority. She called the election to boast her political support in parliament and not be dependent on the right of the Conservative Party. Against her own objective, she has failed and it’s just possible that she will fail to form the next government.

May made the campaign presidential and seemed to muzzle many Tory heavy-hitters. It was an arrogant campaign and assumed that Jeremy Corbyn was incredibly weak. But Corbyn has performed well, whilst May has gone from one banana skin to the next.

When May called the election, I commented that it was her race to lose but I never expected her to be a disaster. The campaign based on May’s strong leadership has backed-fired. She’s now that ‘weak and wobbly woman’. Many people who voted for Brexit in the referendum must be now scared for their future, especially with Theresa May as leader.

This leads to an open question:

Does the UK really want and need a weak and wobbly woman leading Brexit negotiations?


One response

  1. Dr Alf brings us an unusually good piece from the Guardian and as much as Owen Jones is unpleasant and supercilious to me, his article hits home.

    May, raised in more genteel times is not a fan of plain language which means that people of modest or low intelligence do not understand her but even the stupidest understand that “difficult choices” means getting less or paying a lot more.

    They see that fat cat bosses who export nothing, sell nothing, deliver nothing and pay little are not dealt with as promised but that the “difficult choices” will be made by “little people” just like them.

    On obesity, malingering, hypochondria and NHS management layering, May could have said and done something when she came into office.

    With the junior doctors who were striking about overtime, swift action to fire them and replace them, Ronald Reagan style, en masse and clear out useless NHS managers would have marked her out as a no nonsense Prime Minister but instead matters were allowed to drag out.

    Talk of banning strikes in essential public services has proved to be so much hot air as has helping the “Just about managing”.

    What we get are soundbites scripted by a wily Antipodean, Sir Lynton Crosby, which are designed to “Not frighten the sheep”.

    People once upon a time would listen to a politician talking rubbish but agree with him/her because they spoke with the right accent or were considered honourable.

    Those days have long gone because with the internet people can compare each statement with what has actually been started,the progress made to date and the end result.

    May is said to carefully prepare for everything but preparing for negotiations, boxing matches or anything else is not enough.

    What matters is your ability to follow through and effect demonstrable progress.
    May fails to prepare because as Dr Alf points out, neither she nor her Ministers ever cost or risk assess anything which is why there are so many U Turns.

    I say she fails to think ahead and futureproof which means she is focussed always on the present where smart opponents can see her telegraphed moves and counter them.
    In battle this represents the route to early defeat for a country it means negotiations in which we lose before we have even begun.

    Mrs May at 62 is probably rather too set in her ways but she would do well to learn about OODA LOOP and read the book entitled a “Discourse on Winning and Losing” by Lt Colonel John Boyd who developed the concept having read the Art of War by Sun Tzu,The Book of Five Rings by Myamoto Mushashi and then applied it in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

    The initial O stands for observe with that observation giving you a clear view of your opponent ideally without you doing the same in reverse. The second O stands for orient where you see the lie of the land in relation to your respective positions and position yourself to take advantage of your opponent without him realising what you are going to do next.Ideally you have 2 or 3 alternatives up your sleeve ready to be deployed.

    This brings us to the D which stands for deploy which is the equivalent of “locking on” to your target if you are Boyd but the equivalent of having your arguments marshalled but secret if you are a politician like May.

    Margaret Thatcher in her prime used to deploy facts in this way so very few people ever caught her flat footed or delivering a platitudinous answer.

    The A represents act.

    Action should of course be swift, powerful and hard to counter.

    Mrs May fails to do any of this, her Ministers are even worse and to make matters worse she does not understand “going the distance” or “getting up from the mat”,both concepts from boxing.

    May thinks that by wearing the right clothes, speaking in a slightly preachy tone and giving boring answers she will bore people into voting for her.

    Owen Jones has shown us that this may well be her undoing and his assessment is correct.

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