Sunday, 25 June 2017

The designated adult?

Philip Hammond is suddenly the flavour of the weekend as a possible successor to Theresa May. First, The Economist Bagehot column ran a favourable portrayal under the title 'The Designated Adult' and today the Sunday Times is running with a story that he could be an 'interim' prime minister for two years with David Davis as deputy prime minister.

Bagheot argues that 'spreadsheet Phil' is a 'serious man for serious times'. No one doubts that he is serious: he reminds me of an old style bank manager who tells you can't have a loan for your business. Bagehot admits that he is 'emotionally buttoned up', but argues that he is a smarter version of Mrs May. Is this what is needed?

One British politics expert makes a good point when he tweeted, 'He has the same dull qualities as John Major. This could be a benefit in interesting times.'

The underlying problem is that the Conservatives don't have a suitable successor. Bozza, or at least his people, gave offence by going out 'on manoeuvres' immediately after the election. Admittedly, if he reached the last two, the activists would probably vote him in.

David Davis is a strong Brexiteer and has been a contrarian over the years. Amber Rudd would have a chance if she didn't have a wafer thin majority. People are then reduced to looking at the likes of Priti Patel!

What may happen is that Theresa May stays longer than anticipated. The plan is to have a long recess with Parliament not meeting again until October which would rule out the election then that so many believe in.

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