• Development Intelligence

What’s wrong with the Maybot?

Annika Has / CC by 2.0

Cripes!  Where to start?  Let’s put aside the obvious things: a total lack of personality, an inability to convey any known human emotion, a charisma bypass, a Gerald Ford-like ability to magnetically attract mishaps, a botched snap election, the loss of Cameron’s slender majority, the need to be propped up by the DUP, a disunited, plotting Tory Party behind her, the endless Boris psychodrama, and of course in Brexit possibly the greatest political crisis since World War 2.  Let’s just pop those minor issues to one side for a moment.

The main problem is she has no political agenda.  At all.  Nothing.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  No narrative.  No vision.  No direction.  What is her Government trying to achieve?  Other than Brexit, what else is on the agenda?  She could possibly ride out many of the ‘minor’ problems above if she rose like a phoenix from the ashes and declared her big idea.  Her dream.  Her direction of travel.  Her target.  Wrap it up in some nice PC verbiage.  Play ‘I vow to three my country’ in the background and, bingo bango, we’d all say: “Well actually we’d like a bit of that”.  Then all she’d have to do is deliver just some of it.

But no.  It’s a curious thing that a modern day politician who presumably dreamed for years of what she’d do as PM (as they all do), has absolutely no idea what to do with the job once she’s got it.  She is the ultimate ‘empty vessel’.

So she flip flops around from one day to the next.  Buffeted by ‘events’, Corbyn’s reworking of socialism’s greatest hits or the latest botched coup briefed helpfully to the media.  One day giving a speech extolling the benefits of the free market, then a few days later promoting active intervention in the free market via Miliband’s energy price caps.  Or trailing a conference speech that like SuperMac she’s going to solve the housing crisis, but then throwing a piffling £2 billion of small change at affordable housing with all manner of strings attached.  Or by finally forcing reality into local authorities’ housing numbers via the Housing White Paper’s OAN consultation, only to propose capping the numbers if they’re a bit too scary for any one local authority.

The main problem with her luckless conference speech was not the things beyond her control that went wrong – the prankster, the coughing, the collapsing stage set – but her complete inability to articulate a coherent vision which could be saleable to the electorate.  A completely underwhelming lacklustre response to the extraordinary challenges the nation faces right now.

The DI team think that the Maybot is the Tory equivalent of Gordon Brown: she’s lusted after the top job for years, positioned herself over decades but has no idea how to do it once in post and is in fact absolutely unsuited to the role in any case.