Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tensions between May and Hammond mean the government is neither strong nor stable

What makes a government weak and unstable?

Tensions between the prime minister and the chancellor that's what.

It was when Margaret Thatcher fell out with Nigel Lawson in 1989 that she started to look vulnerable. She did not last much longer.

Which is why the most important political news today is this one behind The Times paywall:
Relations between the chancellor and Theresa May’s top team have deteriorated following a series of clashes over policy and presentation. 
Philip Hammond infuriated senior Downing Street aides by effectively committing the prime minister to ditching a promise not to raise VAT, tax or national insurance days after she called the election and before the policy had been settled, The Times has learnt. 
Yesterday, both sides denied reports that Mr Hammond had initially opposed Mrs May’s promise to cap energy bills for 17 million households as they sought to present a united front before the launch next week of the Conservative manifesto.
The report goes on to say that Hammond's relations with Theresa May's chief of staff Nick Timothy are particularly strained. The latter is said to have been "incandescent" at briefings (blamed on Hammond's aides) that he is economically illiterate.

All of which strengthens the impression that Theresa May is a control freak surrounded by a group of tantrum-prone manbabies.

The claim that her government is strong and stable is as false as the one that a big majority will somehow improve the deal she gets from the European Union,

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