There are two kinds of politician. There are conviction politicians, those that speak on matters which affect the life of the nation. These politicians take chances because it is likely that there will be those who take an opposite view. They are prepared for the battles and the skirmishes that follow when you have beliefs and seek to uphold them. Then there are the chancers, those who are scanning the horizon for opportunity and who calculate in such a way as to further their own chances of advancement.
Andrea Leadsom falls into the first category. During the Referendum Debate she took a position, and in a very public way she sought to argue that position. She did so with grace and with great forcefulness. She has without doubt won many admirers, rightly so, but she has also made enemies. This is in the nature of politics.
Theresa May falls into the second category. A declared supporter of Remain she swiftly disappeared from the radar and I am at a loss as to discover what contribution she made to the Referendum debate. She might have an excuse of which we are unaware. She might have been sick. She could possibly have got lost. She might well have been unable to choose an outfit that suited the occasion. On the other hand, she might just have been keeping her head down in the hope that we wouldn’t notice, and waiting for the battle to blow over. She could then take her opportunity to emerge from the cave into the bright sunshine of opportunity and having made no enemies discover that she had thus enhanced her chances of advancement.
There are two kinds of soldier. There are troops who are loyal to Queen and country. When the whistle blows they go over the top. They take their chances and advance in the hope that despite the cost their cause will prevail. Then there are the cowards, who crouch shivering in the trench, unable to steel themselves sufficiently for the conflict.
When the whistle blew, where was Mrs May?
I suggest that she was attempting through her absence to keep friends. She simultaneously avoided facing her opponents. A strange episode and one that must raise questions over her fitness to lead the country. We have had enough of opportunists.
In time of challenge could we count on Mrs May? Maybe yes, maybe no.
As for Andrea Leadsom, I feel the clue is in the name.