Theresa May has now nailed not only her own colours, but also those of her whole party to the mast of HMS Chequers.


As Theresa May jigged out onto the stage at the Conservative Party conference to give her keynote speech, I had to ask myself, last year it was coughing, what's the affliction this year – until I realised she was dancing – to Abba's Dancing Queen coming over the sound system.

Then to the speech, there was lots of talk about coming together and decrying the nasty attacks that some voters make on politicians, such as Diane Abbott, yes she did mention her.

But then the PM went on to make her own vitriolic attack on the Labour Party front bench, which of course includes Ms Abbott – with the Labour Party Chair responding afterwards saying:

"While the country is crying out for real change, all Theresa May and her party offer are pinched ideas and tinkering around at the edges, relying on petty attacks to cover up their lack of vision."

But I have to wonder if this was as much a 'stop Boris' speech as anything else, although of course she did not mention him by name, but said:

"We have had disagreements in this party about Britain’s membership of the EU for a long time. So, it is no surprise that we have had a range of different views expressed this week. But my job as prime minister is to do what I believe to be in the national interest."

Yesterday Boris said that councils should be given more powers and that we need to build houses that ordinary youngsters can buy.

Today Theresa May announced the future lifting of the borrowing cap on councils to allow them to start building houses again – I wonder how she extracted that concession from the Chancellor, Philip Hammond.

She also stole the Chancellor's thunder, by pre-announcing the freezing of fuel duty rises in the autumn budget.

And she announced the setting up of a new cancer detection network where GPs will send all patients with possible cancer symptoms to rapid diagnostic centres.

Then there was the total absence of the C word – 'Chequers'.

The question is, will it all be enough to fend Boris, or maybe Jeremy Hunt, off?

But there was also a dose of double-think in her speech.

At one point she was talking about the hard choices that had been made by the Tory governments and suffered by many people since the credit crunch. And the spendthrift failures of the previous labour administration that had led to those hard choices being made. But she said the deficit was almost gone and we would soon start seeing the huge national debt being paid off.

And she lambasted Corbyn's plans for the UK saying that it would cost a trillion pounds.

But then there's her u-turn to lifting the cap on local government borrowing. Is that not then adding to the national debt?

Also, in an Animal Farmesque manner she went one step further on from the Labour Party talk of being 'for the many not the few' by saying that she wants to make the Tory Party for everyone, not just the few or the many.

But on Brexit the PM basically said that what she called her free trade deal was the way ahead. And she laid it out as if it was a proper exit from the EU.

It is clear that Theresa May is now stuck firmly in her Chequers rut.

In fact, she has not only nailed her colours firmly to the mast of HMS Chequers, she has also lashed herself to its wheel and is steering the ship towards the electoral rocks of Brexit In Name Only, with the entire Tory Party trapped in the hold, whether they realise it or not.

And to cap it all, the Tory Brexiteers stand on the deck spouting brave words but do nothing to save themselves and their party.

One however has submitted a letter of no confidence in his leader.

The MP for Rochford and Southend East, James Duddridge, submitted his letter to the party chairman minutes before Theresa May was due on stage.

I am normally a loyalist, served in the Whip’s Office for nearly five years and have never voted against the Government. He said

"However, there comes a point that blind loyalty is not the right way forward. We need a strong leader, someone who believes in Brexit and someone to deliver what the electorate voted for. The Prime Minister seems incapable of doing this.

"I have not met a single MP who thinks she will lead us into another election after the last disastrous snap election."

After the speech, the UKIP leader, Gerard Batten, said in a press release:

"Mrs May's speech at the Tory party conference was chock-full of empty rhetoric. Yet again, she speaks up for all the things she opposed during the referendum campaign yet still nothing happens.

"Theresa May is a Remainer who has no intention of taking us out of the European Union in any real sense whatsoever. Her strategy is to make pleasing noises yet say very little of substance, keeping the country in a holding position until her final betrayal is unveiled at the eleventh hour."

And the former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, Tweeted:

"Not for the first time in her career, @theresa_may reads out a conference speech and the conservative press back her. She will stay as leader and Brexit will continue to be betrayed."

So, please let us all know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thank you for watching.


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