Quick Baldrick, the PM needs a cunning plan

‘it started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle and the less said about the end the better — but apart from that it was excellent’

Not the words of the watching media, party members and viewers of Theresa May’s speech but one Captain Blackadder’s scathing appraisal of Private Baldrick’s attempt at poetry.

The similarities are clear, at some turns political, at others comic and with an underlying sense of doom lurking on the horizon, the PM’s speech at the Tory party conference was memorable for sure BUT for all the wrong reasons.

When the intervention of a comedian with a P45 turns out to be the least worse moment of your big comeback speech you know you are in trouble and there is no denying this was one set of unfortunate circumstances after another.

Damned if she leaves, damned if she doesn’t

If the PM leaves the podium amidst coughs and splutters, she is perceived as weak. She has to stay. If she shrinks from the P45 interloper she is weak. Remember, Europe and indeed a reinvigorated Jeremy Corbyn are looking on.

I don’t tend to have much sympathy for any politician but did I feel sorry for her on a human level? Yes. I wonder, will this moment of weakness, this stuttering towards the finish line turn out to be a chance for a new start for Ms May?

Whether she likes it or not, gone is the robot. Will this new vulnerable version of the PM, the leader who struggles to make the human connection her rival Jezza does with ease, turn out to be more of a vote winner?

Will it save her or bury her once and for all?

Time will tell.

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