Saturday, July 02, 2016

What qualities does Britain need in our next PM?

As the Conservative leadership election moves forward without the person who the bookies and the press had initially regarded as the favourite, there may yet be further surprises.

It is worth taking a step back and asking what is needed now in a Prime Minister.


1) Someone who can appeal to both sides

52% of those who cast ballots in the referendum have just voted to Leave the EU and are both very pleased at the result and very concerned that their victory might be snatched away.

48% of those who voted in the referendum just voted to stay in the EU and many of those people feel that they are living through a nightmare from which they cannot wake.

To put that in context, the 17 million people who voted to leave is more than have ever voted in a British poll of any kind for any other party or cause else: but the 16 million who voted remain are more than have voted for any other cause or party except the Leave vote in the same referendum.

The last thing we need now is to re-fight that referendum. If Britain is to remain a democracy in any meaningful sense we have to respect and implement the vote of the majority. But we also need, to the maximum extent consistent with this, to take account of the legitimate fears and concerns of the whole population including the 48% who voted remain.

I absolutely do not accept the argument of those who insist that the new PM has to have been on one or other side of the Referendum debate, thought I can see that it would be difficult for someone who had been a "the sky will fall in if we vote Leave" type Remain supporter to be in charge of the Brexit negotiations. But it is more important to have someone who can appeal to everyone and who has the capacity to be a good PM than which side they were on in a debate which is now over.


2) Someone with a record at the top of government and in taking tough decisions.

I want someone leading our country who has experience of government at the highest level and has shown that they can cope with it, someone who had proved that they will be a tough negotiator, someone who our friends and allies alike realise will not be a pushover.


3) Someone who can be trusted

It is a sad fact that too many people on both sides of the EU debate have just spent the referendum campaign throwing misleading statistics and dodgy statements around.

Some people's hands are cleaner than others and it will be a factor in my decision how to vote in the final ballot: I am more likely to endorse and vote for someone who I did not catch making untruthful statements or repeating misleading statistics during the referendum campaign.

Politics is also a team activity and the new PM needs to be someone who an establish a relationship of mutual trust with his or her ministers.

A track record over the last few weeks of plunging daggers into the backs of colleagues and friends is definitely not a positive.


I shall be assessing the two candidates who the parliamentary party puts to the membership against these criteria

2 comments:

Jim said...

Let me Guess,


someone who can appeal to everyone and who has the capacity to be a good PM than which side they were on in a debate which is now over.

I am more likely to endorse and vote for someone who I did not catch making untruthful statements or repeating misleading statistics during the referendum campaign.

someone who [c]an establish a relationship of mutual trust with his ministers

A track record over the last few weeks of plunging daggers into the backs of colleagues and friends is definitely not a positive.


Its looks to me like you are hoping for Gove, Right? :-)


Chris Whiteside said...

Irony meter off the scale again ... (wink)