Paddy Power attempted to run this print advert offering a bet on the Conservative-DUP alliance to NOT survive 2017. Sadly it went almost as badly as Theresa May’s election campaign, after getting the heave-ho by not one, not two, but all of Britain’s newspapers. The advert in question pokes fun at the alliance, as well as at the DUP’s controversial stance on gay marriage, through an image of Theresa May and Arlene Foster kissing outside 10 Downing Street under the line: Unholy Union? Conservative-DUP Alliance To Not Survive 2017 – 3/1
You can’t blame them for their failed negotiations though – even the best would struggle. Isn’t that right, Theresa?
Following May’s dismal performance in the General Election earlier this month – which could be the kiss of death to her leadership – the British PM had been scrambling to secure a deal with the DUP to form a minority Conservative government. That deal was finally secured today but, with the alliance built on weak and wobbly foundations, Paddy Power are offering odds of just 3/1 (25% chance) for it to end this year.
Guido’s anonymous source on the Paddy Power marketing team says:
“After almost two weeks of negotiations, it looks like May and Foster have finally agreed on a deal, and what better way to seal it than with a kiss? Joking aside, we were surprised the newspapers didn’t take up our offer, as the subject matter has been on the nation’s lips ever since the general election.”
Newspapers were surprisingly prudish about this kiss ‘n tell story…
Content produced and sponsored by Paddy Power.
Back in February Guido told you Theresa May was considering Article 50 day as the cut-off date for EU citizens’ right to remain in the country. Well, tonight May has announced that the 3 million EU citizens in Britain on Article 50 day, March 29, can stay with access to schools, hospitals etc. The final cut off date has been left open and could be any date up to the point Britain leaves the EU, meaning it is on the table pending the rest of the negotiations. But any EU citizen here on Article 50 has the right to remain. An open and generous offer…
“I don’t gossip. I don’t go drinking in Parliament’s bars. I don’t often wear my heart on my sleeve. I just get on with the job in front of me,” Theresa May is famously fond of telling us. As a sign of how much things have changed, this evening she is throwing a drinks party for Tory MPs at Number 10, taking the unprecedented step of schmoozing her own MPs. Colleagues say this is a rare occurrence – not many of these events have taken place under May. Good to see the PM finally come round to the merits of a drink and a gossip…
Tory MPs expected the PM to have a deal in place with the DUP well before tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech, instead it has gone right to the wire. Nine days have passed since Downing Street erroneously announced a deal had been struck, only to have to clarify that it hadn’t. An announcement could finally come today, though there is growing unrest among Tory backbenchers about the way the negotiation has been handled…
By announcing from the offset that a deal would be made, Tory MPs believe the PM has allowed the DUP to hold her for ransom for all the bridges and roads they want, or else fail to reach a deal and look even more chaotic. Tory MPs say anyone with a basic understanding of Northern Ireland knows there is no way the DUP would bring down the government and allow Corbyn into Number 10. A formal deal they argue therefore isn’t a necessity, a Tory minority government would still be able to pass a Queen’s Speech without one. By putting all her cards on the table and pre-announcing her unequivocal desire for a deal before it had been negotiated, May handed the DUP all the negotiating power. As one Tory snarks, “Good thing we don’t have any other big negotiations coming up…”
Theresa May and Liam Fox have confirmed the UK will leave the customs union by hiring a globally respected Chief Negotiation Adviser. Crawford Falconer is a New Zealander with 25 years of experience at negotiating trade deals. His job will be to “develop and negotiate free trade agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries”. An important moment in the ongoing battle for Brexit: striking trade deals would not be possible if Britain were to remain in the customs union. Sorry Phil, bad news for opportunistic Remainers…
Theresa May certainly deserves criticism for the way she has handled the Grenfell fire. But this front page claiming she didn’t meet survivors is just plain wrong. May met survivors yesterday in two separate visits…
“The country needs you” – resident in Kensington tells Corbyn pic.twitter.com/1CStyqDAqV
— Maya Goodfellow (@MayaGoodfellow) June 15, 2017
Rightly or wrongly the Grenfell Tower fire has been quickly politicised – and Corbyn is winning. His photo opportunity speaking to residents on the ground is being replayed repeatedly on the news channels, the BBC is carrying pictures of locals telling the Labour leader “the country needs you”. Online, Corbynistas are sending tenuous stories about Boris / Gavin Barwell / the Tories being somehow responsible viral. That is what people are seeing on their Facebook feeds today.
By contrast the pictures from Theresa May’s visit are all long lens shots, with no footage of any conversations with residents. True to form, the Maybot did a piece to camera in Downing Street rather than at the scene. An online story about the new Kensington Labour MP being on the board of the management company – equally tenuous as the attacks on Tories – has not gone viral.
This all fits into the narrative that Corbyn is a modern-day Jez-us, May is aloof, the Tories are out of touch and Number 10 is unable to communicate any positive message to the public. Downing Street is chaotic and understaffed – it has yet to appoint a comms chief, the Lobby is unhappy about lack of information, broadcasters are pulling their hair out and yet another of May’s SpAds has quit.
The Tories thought Corbyn weaponising the terror attacks would seem tasteless and backfire. Instead it turned attention on police cuts and helped him. That is happening again today…
Ousted Tory MPs have set up a WhatsApp group called “2017 Victim Support” to console each other about losing their seats. It has provided a forum to air frustrations about the Tory campaign and Theresa May’s lack of emotional intelligence in failing to mention them in her post-election speech on the steps of Downing Street, or to get in touch since Friday. Many of the defeated MPs have still not had a phone call from the PM. Karl McCartney has been bemoaning how awful IPSA is, so some things haven’t changed. Ousted 2015 intakers, who were MPs for two years and one month, have expressed concerns about qualifying only for a measly parachute payment. Theresa May’s implied offer of financial support from the Tory party for defeated MPs has not materialised, she would be wise to get a move on…
Theresa May tells Bercow:
“Mr Speaker-elect, can I congratulate you on your re-election. At least someone got a landslide.”
Encouraged by her new chief of staff Gavin Barwell, Theresa May is aggressively pursuing the dangerous narrative that “austerity is over”. Barwell told Newsnight that he lost his seat because public sector workers in his constituency wanted a pay rise. May has apparently accepted this analysis and told Tory wets she will pursue Labour-lite economics to win back Corbyn voters. Hers was already the most economically left-wing Red Tory manifesto since the seventies and it was rejected by the public. By contrast David Cameron won a majority while Labour screamed about spending cuts. The Tories had a 24 point lead before the manifesto was released – it was the dementia tax and the student offer not austerity that lost them their majority. Ending austerity is the wrong inference from May’s failure…
The national debt is nearly £1.9 trillion. It grows at a rate of £5,170 per second. The debt burden is 86% of GDP, more than double what it was pre-2008. Public sector borrowing is £51.7 billion this year – that is government overspending by £1 billion a week. May’s manifesto already kicked the deficit reduction can down the road to 2025, ten years later than George Osborne’s original so-called austerity programme. Young voters chose Corbyn, now May wants to win them back by saddling them and future generations with even more debt.
The only Cabinet minister who so far seems to recognise the recklessness of all this is Michael Gove, who told the Today programme “we need to get on with the job of reducing the deficit so that we do not saddle the next generation with a burden of debt”. The trouble with the government’s “austerity is over” spin is the deficit and debt can’t be spun away. If the gilt market loses confidence interest rates shoot up, as inflation takes off wage demands will spiral and the UK’s own version of Chavez will be installed. CPI has hit a 2.9% high this morning, above expectations. Not a good signal to loosen the fiscal stance and abandon austerity…
When May became PM one of her more sensible appointments was putting staunch Leaver David Jones in the Brexit department. The move allayed concerns among Leavers that May would sell out on Brexit. She has now decided to sack Jones, a knowledgable and competent minister, after just 11 months in the job. He has been replaced by Baroness Anelay, a Remainer…
George Bridges, Brexit minister in the Lords, was widely respected by all sides and quickly gained a reputation as one of the most impressive ministers in the government. He has also now left DexEU.
This is all going down really badly among Tory Leavers:
“One suspects the table banging would have gone on for a lot less than 25 seconds had she had the guts to complete her reshuffle before going to the 1922.”
“An almost whole new Brexit team. What was that about needing stability because negotiations started 11 days after the election?”
A pertinent point. Why is May taking the axe to her Brexit team just days before the negotiations start?
“I got us into this mess, I’m going to get us out,” Theresa May told the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers tonight. In a performance described to Guido by MPs as “impressive” and “humble“, the PM showed contrition, repeatedly saying sorry for her election campaign and specifically apologising for the dementia tax.
She told colleagues “I’ll serve as long as you want me”, one MP present says, and she explained to the room that she had stuffed envelopes for the party since she was 12 years-old. May assured the room the DUP’s less palatable views would not affect policy, though conceded somewhat worryingly that she will listen to voices across the party on Brexit. (The Spectator reports Ruth Davidson, Amber Rudd and Philip Hammond met this afternoon to discuss how to stop Boris and achieve a softer Brexit.)
The PM’s very popular new chief of staff Gavin Barwell, who lost his seat, was warmly received. Afterwards MPs were positive, Boris described the “percussive noises of support” and Gove gave the thumbs up. MPs were always likely to back May tonight, she has time, the is no appetite for a challenge for a while yet…
May tells the 1922 committee of Tory MPs:
“I got us into this mess, I’m going to get us out.”
When other elements of the right-leaning media were enthusiastic about the May regime, Guido was always sceptical:
- May Attacks Libertarian Right
- May’s Five U-Turns in Three Months
- May: Hiking NI Taxes is Fair and Progressive
- May’s SpAds Trying to Escape
- May Pretending She Backed Brexit
- Tax Burden to Hit Highest Level Since 1969 Under May
- Voters Already Tired of May’s Coalition of Cliches
- Gogglebox Focus Group’s Damning May Verdict
- Peter Oborne on “Empty Politician” Theresa May
- May Manifesto Rejects Free Markets and Individualism
- Weak and Wobbly May U-Turns and Exaggerates “Fake Claims”
- May Also Misleading on “Dementia Tax” Origin
- Mayism: Job Losses, Higher Inflation, Living Beyond Our Means
- May’s Energy Price Controls Savaged By Experts and Her Own Cabinet
- Quentin Letts Calls May a “Glumbucket”
- Article Pulled By Telegraph After May Pressure
The last article in particular has stood the test of time – it was pulled from The Telegraph and reprinted in the middle of the Tory leadership battle by Guido with the author Jonathan Foreman’s permission – resulting in hot calls from Team May and a certain coldness thereafter. […] Read the rest