Letter from . . . June 2019
The Brexit bust
On Theresa May’s failures of leadership.
There has been an unofficial contest among British political commentators in recent months, in which we show off our historical prowess in debating about the last time the nation had a prime minister as breathtakingly bad as Theresa May. John Major, whose craven approach to the European Union’s attempted control of Great Britain put his party out of office for thirteen years from 1997, is a recent contender. Ted Heath, who created a Conservative corporate state in the early 1970s, with controls on prices and incomes, ad hoc nationalizations, and an assortment of socialist horrors, is another. Anthony Eden mangled Suez, but at least had earlier triumphs to commend him. Then one considers Chamberlain, who is guilty of having appeased Hitler but did increase defense spending so that when Britain entered the war the nation was adequately prepared; Balfour, who split his party over free trade; or even Rosebery, who...
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