“A leader is a dealer in hope”
Apart from the Atlantic, there is another factor that separates the US President from the UK Prime Minister…one is an outstanding campaigner and a lousy administrator – the other is the polar opposite.
Theresa May is my local Member of Parliament. When she knocked on my front door during her 2015 election campaigning, she was greeted by two over-energetic Battersea rescue dogs and a man who’d rushed out the shower. She was unflustered, articulate and confident. I liked her already. I liked her even more after that day, and you will find very few of her constituents that have anything but the highest regard for her abilities.
Unfortunately, despite being presented with seemingly endless opportunities to finish off her opposition, she just wasn’t able to do so. I can only conclude that Jeremy Corbyn must have read Napoleon Bonaparte as well as Karl Marx because, as the French emperor prescribes, he dealt hope at any and every opportunity.
I am not sure what today’s election outcome means for Mrs May’s future as PM (personally, I hope she stays), or the implications for our Brexit negotiations with the EU or UK fiscal and monetary policy. My best guess is that the Tories, despite their reputation for ruthlessness, will give their leader a chance, the Brexit negotiations may be a little easier and UK fiscal and monetary policy will be softer as the British electorate are developing a strong distaste for austerity, especially when opposition parties are promising hand-outs. If I am right, UK bond prices will ease and equities will be preferred. Either way, there will be lots more surprises to come and we will be ever-mindful to protect against sudden bouts of volatility as best we can.