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Rosa Prince provides no instances of Mrs May using this sort of language before 2013, and I doubt that there were any. (Her infamous and surely ill-advised 2002 speech in which she told Tories they were regarded as the “nasty party” did not contain any special pleading on behalf of the poor.) For the most part, she has sailed under the colours of “One Nation Toryism”, seldom sticking out her neck in promoting radical policies, though she did champion the cause of more female MPs. Her recent siding with what the Left would describe as the “victims” of society has propelled her into virgin territory.

Some commentators have ascribed these most unThatcher-like sentiments to her childhood as the daughter of an Anglo-Catholic vicar in two different Oxfordshire villages. In a recent column in The Times, Michael Gove (for whom Mrs May formed a dislike during the Coalition years, according to Prince) floated the notion that she is “our first Catholic prime minister”. Although Gove meant “Anglo-Catholic”, he placed her in the tradition of continental Roman Catholic “social teaching”, with its “emphasis on the cultivation of virtue rather than the exercise of liberty or the accumulation of prosperity”. In fact, there is no need to peer over the Channel for illumination since Anglo-Catholics — such as Mrs May’s father, the Reverend Hubert Brasier — are for the most part inspired by the adherents of the 19th-century Oxford Movement, with their newly-built inner-city churches.

Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May were both grounded in religious practice and observance. While the young Margaret Roberts attended Methodist chapel several times on a Sunday, and sometimes preached as a young woman, the young Theresa Brasier observed her father visiting the sick and ministering to his flock, which in Church Enstone and Wheatley in those days would have constituted most of the village, and included many poor people. To oversimplify, Thatcher’s Methodism led her to place more reliance on individual salvation, whereas Mrs May’s brand of High Anglicanism encouraged her to regard religion as a more socially based enterprise.

I happen to have grown up in a rectory in a similar sort of parish, only a hundred miles away at around the same time, and my clergyman father’s churchmanship was similar to Mr Brasier’s, so perhaps I can understand some of the influences that may have affected the young Theresa. If she appears aloof and ungregarious (though friends attest to her personal warmth) it may be because in the small community in which she grew up she was inevitably set apart as the daughter of the vicar, who in those days in the countryside was a respected but necessarily distant authority figure. With such an association it would have been difficult for the daughter in the rectory to fraternise on entirely easy terms. If she had had siblings, Theresa May might have been able to make up for this social impediment, but she was an only child.

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October 16th, 2017
2:10 PM
Barnier Rubble,Halal Capone Junker and team are disgusting . How about giving the EU Ed Sheeran and Bob Geldof? Just wrap them in a big ribbon with fairy lights. With the option of adding Richard Branson and Michael Heseltine wrapped in Christmas paper and Nick Cohen decked in holly and ivy. If the EU insist on having Michael Craig Martin RA in a cardboard box for display in Brussels then Theresa May should just deliver it.

October 13th, 2017
1:10 PM
M Barnier`s `disturbing deadlock` is caused entirely by his own analism and stinginess and that of his ` mandate `. He should be showering us with gold and flowers. Obviously pro-Brexit Julie Burchill in the Spectator,Ringo,Morrissey,John Lydon and Gilbert & George mean nothing to Corbyn,May,the Green Party, the Lib Dems or the BBC`s Daily Poltics. Sterile tv studios are mandatory for discussions. Brexit is more famous than anyone.

October 10th, 2017
1:10 PM
The EU`s M Barnier is poncing about. The ball is in the EU`s court. The EU is in denial because it can`t handle Brexit at all. The EU has gone catatonic and reduced to jerking movements and irrational malevolence. Even a monosyllabic tory team should be able to win by Christmas. If there`s no deal all the countries concerned would soon be beating a path to the UK`s door. Because Brexit is a brilliant quantum leap and paradigm shift. The will of the people is for Brexittania not Remainia. Trump and Brexit have rendered the dire style of politics extinct.

October 4th, 2017
1:10 PM
Theresa May`s conference speech means she can`t be `friends` with Jeremy Corbyn ? PM Macmillan got thousands of council houses built. The Thatcherites spoilt everything.

October 3rd, 2017
5:10 PM
The only word used at the Conservative conference to describe the Brexit vote was `opportunity`. Mr Johnson thinks the `quiet revolution` is a roaring lion. And Corbyn is Mr Vampire Venezuala. Another tory minister claims we are `good Europeans` and daringly `international` and `global`. Marvellous. But at the local level it`s the atrocity of Grenfell Towers, cuts to Disability Benefits, library closures, social care cuts,evictions and debts. According to Mr Rees-Mogg even the tory members are treated appallingly by the `north Korean` tory leadership. Will Theresa May be able to express any appreciation of Brexit? A nastier then ever tory party simply virtue signalling is repellent to young and older voters. Capitalism is pagan.

September 30th, 2017
11:09 AM
I`ve already decided to vote Labour again. Corbyn was absolutely right to claim that the stars of the Labour conference were 1) the Manifesto and 2) the increasing number of Labour members and voters. The Brexiteers got rid of Cameron and Osborne but neither May nor Corbyn hail this achievement. Brexit is more punk than punk and more radical than 1968. The Tories are not. The Labour Party now is. Brexitannia not Remainia won. The Honourable Members for the 21st Century are all in the Labour Party. The Tories are all Dickensian cobwebs, stingy,anal and verging on the monosyllabic. Luxury Socialism For The Many Not The Few.

September 23rd, 2017
2:09 PM
Theresa May`s speech in Florence was an insult to the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit. She should make another speech to the Brexiteers in the UK . What does she think we want? We ordered a pizza and the Tories say they will deliver but it will take at least four years. She never mentioned the will of the people om the ingredients. The problem with our political elites is that they are too Bob Geldof when they should be pro-Brexit Ringo. In Royal Academy terms the elites refuse to listen to the Fuckosophy of (tory voters) Gilbert & George. Mrs May wants `creative` ? A quick Brexit would be creative. The EU elite hates us. Appeasing it is not leadership

July 22nd, 2017
11:07 AM
I`ve changed my mind about Theresa May. I voted for Brexit and the Labour Party.

April 19th, 2017
1:04 PM
It`s good news Theresa May isn`t doing tv debates. The other party leaders are professionally jealous of her and can only rattle their bins noisily. George Osbourne is actually leading the retreat of the anti-Mayists. The majority of voters will give Theresa May her mandate.

April 18th, 2017
5:04 PM
After her announcement for June 8 Theresa May has my vote. 17.4 million Brexiteers may well have already decided to vote for her.

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