Mercifully, there remain a few Thatcherites, even in the Cabinet, who believe in the power of liberty, responsibility, commerce and voluntary action.
His sedulously-crafted speech wasn’t so much a crowd-pleaser as a big argument about Britain, Brexit – and the future.
Political leaders always say that the election they are fighting is the most important for a generation, but the next time Britain goes to the polls it will probably be true.
We have, in effect, a national bar that takes the power to out of the hands of local people and leaves it with Sir Humphrey.
May needs to demonstrate that Whitehall is prepared – deal or no deal. Crossing one’s fingers and hoping for transition is not an alternative, or shouldn’t be.
We will have one shot at getting the revision of the Planning Framework right. This makes the next eighteen months critical for the Conservatives’ long-term future.
His Telegraph article message: “Britain can flourish on WTO”. And how it will inevitably be read: “With May out of Number 10 – and me in”. Watch for calls for his dismissal.
Clarke, Grieve, Morgan, Soubry, Neill, Stephen Hammond, Wollaston, Sandbach and Lefroy back major changes to the Bill (as do some Brexiteers)
Plus: investment increasing, Heseltine declining. Listen to Farage – especially if you disagree with him. And: Activate sounds like dermatological face cream.
As the Conservatives anxiously mull their prospects with younger voters, shouldn’t they think a bit more about the two-thirds who don’t go to University?
For all his manifesto mistakes, his core take is correct. The key people in elections are who he has always said they are: lower middle-class, provincial, home-owning voters.
May’s manifesto is real politics – that’s to say, a serious attempt to prepare Britain for the post-Brexit challenges of the future.
It is doubtless bad manners to ask, on day two of his new job, what he will do next. But posing the question and trying to answer it is irresistible.
Today’s papers show she already has a tough time pleasing everyone.
Some might like to table amendments to instantly delete bad EU regulations. But that would be a gift to those who seek to disrupt Brexit.