The complacent lass?

by on April 19, 2017 at 4:28 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

The Easter message confirmed something about Mrs May that continues to escape some of the commentary about her. She is a believer in things. She has her own view of the world and it comes, if not from scripture, then at least from the Anglican cast of mind.

She favours a gentle society over a dynamic one, views the market with the suspicion of a mild social democrat and takes nationhood more seriously than the universalist end of Christianity tends to. None of these beliefs are extreme but they are held with enough strength to drive the government.

That is Janan Ganesh on Teresa May (FT).  Here is a good BBC analysis of some of the game-theoretic considerations, and one that makes May look a bit less complacent (and less of a lass, too).

1 Owen April 19, 2017 at 4:39 am

Another interesting view at LRB (bonus: not paywalled):
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n06/david-runciman/do-your-homework

2 dearieme April 19, 2017 at 10:32 am

Thanks for that.

3 peri April 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

Yes, thanks. Her view of public service seems very idiosyncratic to me. I liked the quote in which she complained about the UK not being able to deport someone “because he had a pet cat.” She was right: at the very least, the cat should have been given to fainting fits, if not full-blown uppgivenhetssyndrom. One must not become complacent about standards.

4 Steve Sailer April 19, 2017 at 4:45 am

I’m not paying enough attention to have much of an opinion, but Ms. May seems off to a good start in her 9 months or whatever as PM, right?

5 Sam Taylor April 19, 2017 at 9:03 am

Judged relative to the opposition, she’s doing fantastically. But that is an exceptionally low bar.

Judged by any objective criteria it’s been poor. All she’s managed to do is piss off Brussels with needless rhetoric, make a few strategic errors leading to abrupt U-turns and is for some bizarre reason obsessed with bringing back the grammar schools, because the 1950’s were so wonderful.

If her time as home secretary is to be any guide, much of her policy will be driven by how well it plays with the base (to the point of absurdity – see the psychoactive substances bill) as opposed to whether or not it’s good policy.

She’s inflexible, incurious, dogmatic and bears a serious grudge. Not the ideal person to be in charge right now.

6 Sam Haysom April 19, 2017 at 9:25 am

The fifties were pretty wonderful for Britain.

7 Scott Mauldin April 19, 2017 at 9:52 am

Not relative to Germany.

8 Art Deco April 19, 2017 at 10:19 am

The Soviet Zone or the western zone?

If you level some place with ordnance, they’ll have high growth rates during their recovery. Sounds inviting.

9 Sam Taylor April 19, 2017 at 10:18 am

We had a lot of rubble to rebuild from at the time.

10 robert April 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Just about around this time Prime Minister Harold MacMillian was elected on the campaign slogan “You Never Had It So Good.” i

11 Art Deco April 19, 2017 at 10:16 am

Judged by any objective criteria it’s been poor. All she’s managed to do is piss off Brussels with needless rhetoric, There are no good countries in the Middle East or Africa. I

The people who would care that she managed to ‘piss off Brussels’ are not her constituency. They are not in the constituency of any politician of sense.

12 Sam Taylor April 19, 2017 at 10:21 am

God forbid she approach the most significant negotiations facing the country for at least 50 years with an air of tact and diplomacy.

13 Art Deco April 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

It matters not a whit how she approaches them. Her detractors don’t like what’s coming and will kvetch. Their problem, not hers.

14 Cyrus April 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm

If she believes that Brussels’ negotiators have neither reason or inclination to give Britain any more favorable treatment than other WTO countries, and that asking nicely won’t change this, why ask nicely?

15 Alistair April 21, 2017 at 8:16 am

People who believe that polite niceties explain more than, oooooh, 10% of negotiation outcome really need to go back to their basic economics and game theory classes.

16 Art Deco April 19, 2017 at 10:20 am

Check-out Scott Sumner’s commentary. If he’s in one of his snits, she’s doing something good and right.

17 Adi Gaskell April 19, 2017 at 5:50 am

I’m not sure how we can say she’s a believer in things when she seems to flip-flop her opinions so readily. Before the referendum she was a believer in the EU and the single market, yet now she wants to jettison both. She believed that we shouldn’t have an early election, now we are. She believed the tax rise on sole traders was a good thing, and rapidly aborted that.

Where has this notion that her word can be trusted come from?

18 Art Deco April 19, 2017 at 10:17 am

Before the referendum she was a believer in the EU and the single market, yet now she wants to jettison both.

Her business is implementing a public decision contra the EU. You want her to filp the bird at the electorate on ‘principle’?

19 The Cuckmeister-General April 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Pretty hoary today Art. Guess you haven’t had much BBC over at the house of late

20 msgkings April 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Maybe I’ll get a date this year.

21 Melmoth April 19, 2017 at 8:08 am

Janan Ganesh is always worth reading.

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