Was Theresa May’s coronation speech delivered on the steps of Downing Street genuine political intent or an opportunity for Conservatives to land grab the centre ground? Could this be the end of business as usual?
Four weeks into May’s reign and an unexpected opportunity has presented itself for May to demonstrate her commitment to the promises made to the electorate. ‘The Government I lead will be driven, not by the interests of the privileged few but by yours‘. An incredible statement for a Tory hardliner. Yet the BHS scandal may have handed Theresa May a unique opportunity to address a very public corporate injustice. One that has heaped penury on so many for the benefit of so few. May has precious little time to act. Already the sides have taken up their positions, with Green’s lawyers threatening to muzzle government ministers. Claim and counter-claim are posing a real threat to an effective and fair pension resolution. At stake is the financial security of thousands of BHS employees who may suffer long-term consequences if left unprotected and forgotten.
By acting immediately and decisively May has the chance to demonstrate her compassionate side. One that has been visibly lacking in her political career up to now. By seizing this opportunity May will be seen as fair handed and tough. Tackling those who appear to hold no moral conscience and providing a voice for the powerless employees now facing a far less certain future. Could this be the acceptable face of post-Brexit conservatism and be seen as a positive example of taking back control?