Theresa May’s speech to Conservative conference

Missy reports from the UK:


Theresa May.

Theresa May gave her first speech to the party faithful as leader today, and by all accounts it was a success. It has generally been acknowledged that the speech was about making a play for the centre, and to try and win voters from both UKIP and from Labour, she has proclaimed the Conservatives as the party of the working class.

Theresa May referred to the vote in June as a quiet revolution in which millions of citizens said they would no longer be ignored. She hailed the vote as a once in a generation opportunity to change the direction of Britain for good, and she reiterated they will make a success of it.

Theresa May also managed to get some subtle attacks against those that oppose Brexit, starting with Nicola Sturgeon where she said that Britain’s success is because they are one United Kingdom, and she will not let divisive nationalists drive them apart. Next target was the wealthy elite, she said it was easy to dismiss the concerns of ordinary people if you are wealthy. She went on to criticise the way that some politicians and commentators talk about people, that they find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient. She said they find the fact that more than seventeen million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering. She said a change has to come, and it is time to remember the good that Government can do. Theresa May said that it is time for a change to come, and to reject the ideological templates of the socialist left and libertarian right and to embrace the centre ground in which Government steps up – not back – to help people.

Theresa May defended British soldiers and said she will never again allow left wing lawyers harass and harangue British soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan through spurious trials.

Theresa May addressed some domestic issues in her speech as well, and said they were a party for all of Britain.

This speech shows that Theresa May does seem to have an understanding of the majority people in the country, their concerns and the issues that they think are important, this was a speech that will provide comfort to the man on the street, and make some worried.


The Telegraph: Theresa May’s conference speech in full

BBC: I’ll use power of state to build fairer Britain

The Conservatives will use the power of government to “restore fairness” in Britain and spread prosperity more widely, Theresa May has said.

The prime minister told the party’s conference the UK must change after the “quiet revolution” of the Brexit vote, urging people to “seize the day”.

The state should be a “force for good” to help working people, she argued.

“It was not the wealthy who made the biggest sacrifices after the financial crisis, it was ordinary working class families,” she said.

“If you’re one of those people who lost their job, who stayed in work but on reduced hours, took a pay cut as household bills rocketed, or – and I know a lot of people don’t like to admit this – someone who finds themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration, life simply doesn’t seem fair.

“It feels like your dreams have been sacrificed in the service of others.”

Promising to build a “united Britain rooted in a centre ground”, she said her government would protect jobs and “repair” free markets when they did not work properly.

Al Jazeera describes it as Theresa May turns left in Conservative Party speech

Panel views from the Guardian: Will Theresa May’s speech appeal beyond Tory conference?

  • Jonathan Freedland: She brazenly sought to colonise territory that once belonged to Labour

What did John Key tell her when they met in New York recently?

  • Polly Toynbee: The Tories are brilliant at cognitive dissonance
  • Anne McElvoy: May understands the limits of the free-market worldview
  • Giles Fraser: Genuine Conservatives are so much better for the poor than slick liberals such as Cameron
  • Joseph Harker: Calling Labour the ‘nasty party’ ignores decades of history
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31 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  6th October 2016

    The start of her speech was a cracker:
    “When we came to Birmingham this week, some big questions were hanging in the air.
    Do we have a plan for Brexit ? We do !
    Are we ready for the effort it will take to see it through ? We are !
    Can Boris Johnson stay on- message for a full four days ? Just about ?

    Reply
    • Klik Bate

       /  6th October 2016

      She’s certainly a very good looking woman, Gezza. With a little bit of work around the chin and neck area, she could be absolutely gorgeous!

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  6th October 2016

        Well, somebody thought so, Klik. The anthem they played as she walked on stage was “Start me up” by Jags & the lads. The chorus to that is “You make a grown man cry”.

        Reply
      • Missy

         /  6th October 2016

        KB, she is 60, so I don’t think she needs any work to be gorgeous. I am just jealous at how she can wear those shoes!! I lose my balance and topple in anything with a heel higher than my sneakers.

        Oh, and on her shoes, she was asked yesterday morning how she feels about all the discussion on her shoes, and she said the fixation on them just gives her an excuse to go and buy more. 😀

        Love it, no tears for it being sexist, just gives a straight answer, she was also asked about her scone recipe, it caused some controversy when she said that it could be made with butter or margarine, and again she answered the question, using it as an analogy for Brexit, and didn’t cry about the fact men wouldn’t be asked those sort of questions – unlike some of the Labour MP’s.

        Reply
        • Klik Bate

           /  6th October 2016

          You’re never too old these days Missy for a bit of a nip n’ tuck XD

          Now I’m intrigued to hear you say that the use of butter in a scone recipe ’caused some controversy’:?: I would have thought that went out years ago with the screening of ‘Last Tango in Paris’

          Reply
          • Missy

             /  6th October 2016

            I guess you can never be too young for it either KB. 😉

            It was the suggestion that margarine could be substituted for butter that caused the controversy. Essentially the TV Programme the Great British Bake Off is on tv at the moment, so everyone in the UK is now an ‘expert’ baker, and all celebrities/politicians are being asked about their baking recipes, which is where it all started.

            She did state that she prefers butter in her scones, and the harder the better.

            Reply
  2. “The reality is that ideology has not gone away: it is instead now operating under the surface of politics as a series of disguised and euphemistic motivations. An example of this is seen whenever David Cameron and George Osborne don hard-hats and high-vis jackets while simultaneously, behind the scenes, busily eroding workers’ rights.”

    Or when Theresa May proclaims “the Conservatives as the party of the working class” …?

    “‘We are not doing this because of ideology, we are doing this because we have to’ is, therefore, the most ideological statement of all, and it is used overwhelmingly to legitimise neoliberalism, to naturalise it as hegemonic ‘common sense’.

    ” … the internet – either the symptom or the cause of this mash-up culture – is dissolving all meaningful boundaries. Is the fragmentation of traditional politics inevitable, therefore, as part of a broader epochal shift, or is it the result of a specific neoliberal strategy designed to foreclose the possibility of a left challenge or alternative?

    If, as seems pretty likely, we are at some kind of grand Hegelian trans­formation point, then we all – right and left alike – need to go back to the drawing board and to reinvent politics, and political language, from scratch.” – Elaine Glaser

    http://www.compassonline.org.uk/post-politics-and-the-future-of-the-left/

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  6th October 2016

      Your continued focus (obsession) on ‘neoliberalism’ sums up well the continued failings of the modern left wing movement……….

      Reply
  3. PDB

     /  6th October 2016

    Like New Zealand the left have abandoned the middle ground so it is no wonder the right will fill the void and adapt in order to represent a larger group of the population.

    Whilst the left continue to ‘moan & groan’ and exaggerate every issue whilst offering no solutions themselves aside from increasing tax (under the guise of ‘redistribution’) the Conservatives/ National will continue to govern and be in a position to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

    Reply
    • Elaine Glaser again, “The right is comfortable in a post-ideological era: they have evolved into a kind of anti-establishment establishment, talking local and acting central.”

      The right have selectively overrun the Centre-Left ground to appear to represent a larger group of the population …

      While this situation prevails the so-called Left can do little differently and yes, are somewhat stuck for alternative policies. This is because the ‘real’ solutions are still too frightening for the Centre-Right and Right to hear … they who dominate the ‘Right’ while practicing a kind of austere, punitive Centre-Leftism …

      Reply
      • Klik Bate

         /  6th October 2016

        When it comes to Politics, I have often wondered about the origin of ‘Left & Right’.

        Just by chance, I stumbled across this passage in the Bible:

        Ecclesiastes 10:2 – “The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left”

        Thus sayeth the Lord. Amen XD

        Reply
      • PDB

         /  6th October 2016

        PZ – “The right have selectively overrun the Centre-Left ground to appear to represent a larger group of the population …”

        Hardly call it ‘overrun’ when the left have abandoned that particular political sphere and the large portion of the population that it contains.

        Maybe, just maybe, if you really think hard about it, National/Conservatives are actually operating closer to the centre of politics rather than just pretending to be doing so………

        Reply
  4. Missy

     /  6th October 2016

    I am really liking Theresa May more and more. At the moment in the UK there is a big deal being made over female MP’s being treated differently to male MPs, not just by colleagues, but by the media. Some have claimed that questions they get asked are sexist, or the focussing on clothes, shoes, or hairstyles are sexist, forgetting that much was written about Boris’s hair, and David Cameron’s clothes and weight gains.

    But Theresa May just bats away the questions that others would get insulted about, she answers them all, and all with a similar manner – never giving the appearance of thinking the question is too trivial or sexist, or that she really doesn’t want to talk about it.

    But I think the best thing about her is that she can be a really good role model for young women – regardless of political persuasion. On the breakfast news this morning the editor of the Vogue magazine was being interviewed, and she was asked about Theresa May, and she said something interesting, she said that Theresa May shows that you don’t have to dress boringly, or like a man, to be a strong, intelligent, powerful woman, that you can be those things, that you can be in a position of power, and still have a love of fashion and be feminine in how you dress. The editor of Vogue said that Theresa May should be the role model for young girls, not someone like Kim Kardashian, that girls should look to TM and aspire to be strong, and powerful, but also keep their interest in fashion, and femininity. I think that is such a good thing for people to look at, women shouldn’t want to be like men, they should embrace their femininity, but also know that it doesn’t preclude them from being intelligent, strong, and powerful as well.

    Also, the leader of the Scottish Conservative Party was interviewed, and she made a point that another MP had said, Theresa May’s interest in fashion, and the media’s obsession about it can work to the UK’s advantage, TM wears a lot of British fashion, she can showcase it, not just at home, but also overseas.

    And on Theresa May as a role model, the other thing that many are picking up on, and pushing as a positive is how she has shown that older women do not need to become frumpy homebodies, at 60 she looks good, she is stylish, she is professional, and she is an intelligent, strong, and generally respected, woman, and this shows that life doesn’t have to end for women when they become older.

    It is a lot of these reasons, that I like her a lot, and I think many girls could do worse than look to Theresa May as a role model, as I said, regardless of politics, what she has shown is that a woman can be intelligent, strong, and powerful while still being feminine.

    Femininity is not a weakness, and it is time that we stop the hard core feminists telling us that dressing like a woman and being a little girly and feminine is a weakness.

    Okay, rant over. Time for bed I think. 🙂

    Reply
    • Klik Bate

       /  6th October 2016

      Ni-Night Missy.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  6th October 2016

      Meanwhile the Left believe they have to achieve gender equality numerically – thus demonstrating that inequality is intrinsic in the distribution of talent and interests.

      Reply
  5. artcroft

     /  6th October 2016

    She’s moving the Tory’s into the center. What a rookie mistake. Corbie will be PM before he knows it.

    Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  6th October 2016

    Ms May looks like ‘junior Thatcher’ (maybe a long lost niece ?) 😀

    just what UK needs (NOT); another selfish Tory !

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th October 2016

      Well it’s up to JCorb to get his shit together if he wants to change things.

      Reply
    • You have nothing but a one-line dismissal of Mrs May Zedd. It’s gross misogynism to dismiss her as a Thatcher clone of sorts when there’s a score of more recent Conservative leaders to liken her too. She is nothing like Thatcher, other than that she’s a tad round vowelled, in a home counties kind of way. This Prime Minister is switched on, she’s inspiring, she’s astute, she’s brave and she’s ambitious for the wider British population.

      P.S. Can I add that while saying May is not like Thatcher, that is not a criticism, merely stating they are different.I am a great admirer of Margaret Thatcher.

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  6th October 2016

      SO because she ‘looks like junior Thatcher’ she must therefore be a ‘selfish Tory’??

      The sort of logic Andrew Little would be proud of.

      Reply
    • Missy

       /  7th October 2016

      just what UK needs (NOT); another selfish Tory !

      As opposed to a naïve, ideologically driven, unaware, selfish socialist?

      Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  7th October 2016

    more BORING.. Tory B-S 😀

    Im still confused.. i thought Ms May was a ‘Bremain’ supporter & now she leading the ‘Brexit’ charge, out of EU ??? :/

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  7th October 2016

      As I understand it, that is correct. She believes, she says, that the majority of the British people have said they want to leave the EU, & that the government must listen, & do what they want. She’s right.

      Reply

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