Is this the 2nd woman prime minister to usher in a new age of popular Tory approval? The climate of Thatcher’s premiership was one of industrial and economic chaos, similarly, we can see the outcome of Brexit and the turbulence this has caused to the political landscape, to suggest the same settings that benefited a relatively inexperienced Thatcher at the time may also benefit May.
However, any idea she would simply be placeholder have been dispelled, she purged the previous Cabinet and has re-examined many of the previous policies set by the former Prime Minister. For example Michael Gove’s prison reforms have been stalled. George Osborne’s deficit-cutting plans have been discarded.
May wishes to expand the number of grammar schools as she believes that good comprehensives operated “selection by house price,” so that only wealthier parents could afford to live in their catchment area this could be seen as hollow as a recent study has highlighted.
The analysis of GCSE performance in selective state schools carried out by the Education Policy Institute concluded: “We find no evidence to suggest that overall educational standards in England would be improved by creating additional grammar schools.”
Russell Hobby, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “Grammar schools don’t close the education gap, they widen it. The EPI is right to state that if it wishes to raise social mobility, the government needs to do more to raise attainment in the early years of life and in primary schools.”
This revelation highlights she may have already made the wrong call choosing her first fight to be one she may lose. The grammar school debate has caused friction among her party and also seems to have finally united the fractured labour party which is now moving forward towards 2020.
With Labour now the largest socialist movement in Europe in and Corbyn coming out on top in the Leadership elections. Theresa may find that the leader of the opposition has fresh energy to challenge effectively despite his heavy leniency to the left in the upcoming general election; hence she may have made a similar mistake to her predecessor in dealing with a minor ideological cut which could lead to a major political wound.
Nevertheless, this tactic may be applauded as it shows as a veteran of party politics she knows how important it is to set herself apart from Cameron and also shows she understands the magnitude of scrutiny her first parliamentary orders of action will face and how the tone she sets now will dictate her premiership.
Furthermore, this shows she is not risk averse but she is bold and daring. She has caused some friction but it does suggest she has come to lead. This has garnished some support with Cameron accepting that May “got off to a cracking start”
Another reason May could help continue Tory approval across is that her actions speak louder than her words. May declared in a speech before entering Downing Street that her government would not be driven “by the interest of the privileged few”. Her actions spoke, as her support of the Northern Powerhouse in an article in the Yorkshire Post last month, saying it was central to her plans for a new industrial strategy for Britain. Thus highlight she wishes to help more of the working class to gain jobs and a prosperous future.
The northern powerhouse is a proposal to boost economic growth in the North of England by the 2010-15 coalition government and 2015-20 Conservative government in the United Kingdom, particularly in the “Core Cities” of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, and Newcastle. This new body, whose creation has been backed by the government, will bring together business and local politicians to commission research, share ideas, and lobby Whitehall to press ahead with devolution.
Theresa May seems bold and ready to usher a new age of politics Phillip Blond, Director of the Centre-Right Republican Think Tank stated that May is “developing a new post-liberal Conservatism that challenges the idea of so much power and wealth being concentrated in the hands of the elite.”
Theresa may be here to stay.