Tory leadership: Contenders clash over Brexit|By Justin ParkinsonBBC News//
May’s close advisers described their approach as a ‘new model conservatism’, with overtones of Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army. But he led a civil war that oversaw a regicide – not just the summary firing of a chancellor of the exchequer out of the back door of Downing Street. If Brexit was an uprising against the governing ‘political elite’ and their international friends, it was also a challenge to the way policies are imposed. ‘Take back control’ has thrilling, democratic implications if it means that people themselves start to take control. Brexit was not just about unfair policies, it was also directed at who made decisions and how policy is decided. Freedom from the European Union should have delivered the country on a more democratic course, replacing the hyper-centralisation of Whitehall and winner-takes-all elected dictatorship as well. Instead, re-imposing them will crush the vitality and democracy out of Brexit.
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A truly bad day for Theresa May, one which would certainly count as the worst-ever for many other prime ministers, actually began very late the previous night as the newspaper front pages dropped on social media.
Probably the most brutal of a scathing bunch was the Telegraph, traditionally the bible of Conservative thought: “Desperate, deluded, doomed,” it read, above a trio of images of the prime minister in mid-gurn giving her Brexit speech.
With reaction to May’s “10-point offer” becoming more negative by the hour, the apparent No 10 strategy seemed to be to somehow get through the day, and thus on to the media purdah of Thursday’s European elections, and then into next week’s parliamentary recess.