Lessons in getting it wrong
It is not exactly hero to zero, but Theresa May's authority has been seriously depleted, not simply by her catastrophic decision to hold a snap general election, but also what was considered an inadequate, even cold, response to the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Now even her future as Prime Minister is seriously under question after barely a year at 10, Downing Street. The Tories have only themselves to blame. They grotesquely underestimated Jeremy Corbyn’s political acumen and followed slavishly the naive and frankly useless advice from outside “experts” on how to run the election campaign, instead of relying on their own instincts.
Corbyn successfully tapped into the youth vote - something no British political leader has done before - and now he is to appear at the Glastonbury Festival, another feather in his cap. Things could hardly look bleaker for the Tories. The truth is, the Tories seemingly did all the wrong things after Grenfell, while Corbyn, seen hugging survivors, did all the right ones. It seems cruel, even obscene to equate Grenfell with political point-scoring, but Corbyn was easily the winner.
Now, to add to May’s woes, there is already talk of a leadership contest being considered by her fuming Tory critics, which could see her flat on her face with the ludicrous Boris Johnson in charge. And now with the Brexit discussions looming and the threat of a general election - which they would surely lose - hanging over them like a black cloud, the Conservatives could hardly be in a more dire position.
- Let us park Theresa May in a layby for a while. She once described the Tories as the Nasty Party. But for the Really Nasty Party, I would instantly plump for the Liberal Democrats, whose leader Tim Farron was virtually hounded out of the job by colleagues because of his Christian principles on abortion and homosexuality.
I wish he would have stood up to these bullies, but he felt he could not lead the party in these circumstances. It must have been all the more galling for him to be attacked by David Laws, of all people, who was sacked from the Cabinet after 17 days for a breach of the expenses rule.