Theresa May has just made her crossing the threshold speech outside No 10 Downing Street. It was striking for two reasons.
Firstly, it revealed the shallow understanding of history that characterises these people, as she claimed that the Conservative Party's full name 'Conservative and Unionist' had something to do with uniting all the nations of the UK (and gave the impression this meant peace, love and happiness). In fact, the 'Unionist' bit of the name is entirely due to the title of a political faction among the Liberal Party that opposed Home Rule for Ireland and later allied with the Conservatives, as any speechwriter would have been able to check on Wikipedia.
Secondly, the new PM May made a lot of references to improving social justice, being anti-the privileged few and helping workers. This was a clear appeal to the Brexit working
class! The Tories have shown real political skill at sorting out this stage of the mess.
This is likely to add to the UK Labour Party's turmoil. Unless Boris Johnson becomes the new Chancellor of the Exchequer (announcements of Cabinet posts are due later), Labour has had it in the 'Blairite' mould, since the Tories will look like they can do things better. But Labour is also unelectable in a more 'radical' mode, given the nature of the British working class.
Interesting times ahead.
Tony Norfield, 13 July 2016