Theresa May handed over £1.5 billion to the DUP for no reason.
That is the message from 10 Downing Street today, as the Conservative minority government prepares to offer other parties a chance to help make policy.
Clearly, it is further confirmation of the existence of the “magic money tree” – despite Tory denials. Not only do they have access to an infinite amount of cash, they can also afford to waste it.
That will be cold comfort to the family of Jodie Whiting, who took her own life after the Tory-run Department for Work and Pensions stopped her Employment and Support Allowance. Apparently the Tories don’t have money for the sick and disabled, and will find any excuse to stop paying their benefits (in this case, it was missing an appointment).
It will also be hard for our public servants to accept – like the police who are being driven to suicide by the effects of Tory cuts. Mrs May doesn’t have money for a properly-funded, fully-staffed police force, and doesn’t care how badly her cuts hinder their ability to do their job.
But she will happily waste £1.5 billion on a deal with the DUP – and then negate that deal by asking every other party in Parliament to help shore up her weak and wobbly government.
Her language is deliberately contradictory. In her heavily-trailed speech tomorrow, she is expected to say she is “convinced that the path that I set out in that first speech outside No 10 and upon which we have set ourselves as a government remains the right one”.
She will try to hide her weakness in going cap in hand to Labour and the other Opposition parties by saying: ““At this critical time in our history, we can either be timid or we can be bold… We can play it safe or we can strike out with renewed courage and vigour, making the case for our ideas and values and challenging our opponents to contribute, not just criticise … In everything we do, we will act with an unshakable sense of purpose to build the better, fairer Britain which we all want to see.”
Labour’s campaign co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne immediately called it out for what it was: “Theresa May has finally come clean and accepted the government has completely run out of ideas. As a result they’re having to beg for policy proposals from Labour. This is further evidence that this government can no longer run the country.”
And I have a comment from Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Christina Rees, who said: “If Theresa May seriously wants to broaden her horizons and ambitions for Wales, she need look no further than Welsh Labour’s ambitious General Election manifesto.”
That could be applied to the whole of the UK – but, in that case, there’s no point in having a Conservative government at all. If Mrs May doesn’t have any ideas, and can’t govern without help from the Opposition, then for crying out loud, let’s have another election and bring in a Labour government that can!
In the meantime, it seems we will be subjected to the pitiful spectacle of May’s right-hand-worm, Damian Green, burrowing through the TV and radio studios, making a fool of himself and his party.
Here he is on LBC:
And here, on Sky News:
It’s nonsense. Opposition politicians contribute to government all the time in the normal Parliamentary process. It is up to the government to either adopt those contributions or reject them.
It seems to This Writer that Mrs May is trying to dodge that process. Why?
Perhaps because she fears her own party will (metaphorically) knife her in the back.
She thinks her own Conservatives are plotting to replace her (and she’s probably right) so she is trying to find a way to obviate their influence.
But doesn’t that expose her as a nakedly power-hungry, would-be tinpot despot, willing to betray everybody just to hold on to a vestige of power and authority?
She has no mandate from the public.
She has no policies.
She has no right to negotiate Brexit – her vanity election was called on that basis and the public rejected it.
She is losing the support of her own power base.
She must go. If she won’t resign, how can we remove her?
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