The BBC’s rather charming piece entitled “Who is Theresa May: A profile” sets out a life reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher, from her early days as a schoolchild to the ascension to the most powerful job in Britain. It’s a piece littered with affection and sentiment, typical of a state broadcaster.
“An early advocate of Conservative “modernisation” in the wilderness years that followed, Mrs May quickly joined the shadow cabinet in 1999 under William Hague as shadow education secretary and in 2002 she became the party’s first female chairman under Iain Duncan Smith. She then held a range of senior posts under Michael Howard but was conspicuously not part of the “Notting Hill set” which grabbed control of the party after its third successive defeat in 2005 and laid David Cameron and George Osborne’s path to power.”
The BBC continues with an almost evangelical hysteria, crowing that May “has pledged a shake-up of boardroom ethics as part of which workers will be guaranteed representation on company boards while shareholders votes on executive pay deals will be made binding every year.” I’ll eat my cat if ever that happens!
Even worse, the BBC story went as far as to make direct comparisons with Thatcher, mentioning; “Former Conservative chancellor Ken Clarke also had run-ins with her and was recorded on camera ahead of an interview last week saying that Mrs May was good at her job but a “bloody difficult woman” – before adding as an aside, a bit like Mrs Thatcher. A reference to be Conservative leader can hardly come better than that.”
Having depicted Theresa May as a tough, good sort, with traditional English stiff upper lip values and a sense of social justice, one could be forgiven for forgetting that she has forced through some of the most oppressive laws Britain has seen since the start of World War Two in what many see as the start of an authoritarian leadership style bordering on dictatorship.
And as our new prime Minster gets her knees under the table at No10, would it come as a surprise to learn that her authoritarian style has actually ordered a clampdown on her own ministers speaking, or even making contact with journalists without gaining explicit prior permission from her office.
An outright ban has even been put on ministers having informal lunches, dinners, or a chat over coffee with friendly and trusted journalists who –