Whatever you make think of Theresa May, her speech today in Birmingham was a success. Attempting both to position herself and her party in the centre ground of the political spectrum, obviously a particularly ambitious proposition, she both dismissed Labour’s extreme plans for the economy and issued a stark rebuke of the supposed ‘austerity’ of the Cameron years, and era she has constantly made of a point of distancing herself from.
The actual details of the speech itself were more left wing than Tony Blair. In dismissing and ridding the country of the apparent ‘austerity,’ a term that was peddled continuously by the left after the financial crash, Mrs May made a a pledge to fund more council homes, which Margaret Thatcher famously and controversially allowed for ownership back in the Eighties. After enduring a torrid few months after a strong start to the year, the Prime Minister finally allowed herself some breathing space, with a rapturous reception from the at last large crowd in Birmingham Symphony Hall. With the odd choice of showing her moves once again to the backing theme of ABBA’s Dancing Queen, May set her self out as a new and radical one-nation conservative, a pitch many others have been making this week in a plot for their own personal ambitions.
Although this specific speech may not be a saving grace, for Theresa May, it has certainly given her some space to formulate a post-Brexit future, whether she is still leader then or not we shall see.