I’d Like to Flog the ‘Manifesto Men’ Responsible for Theresa May’s Electoral Disaster

Ben Gummer’s and Nick Timothy’s strategy was downright stupid

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. Carl Court/Getty Images

I hope one day to become editor of the Oxford Picture Dictionary. If that happens, I will insert pictures of Ben Gummer and Nick Timothy to illustrate the word “useless.” These are the two “gurus” responsible for Theresa May’s manifesto and the unprecedented attack on Conservative voters within it.

Just seven weeks ago, Mrs. May was riding high, polling 20 points ahead of Jeremy Corbyn. Yet, last night we saw a ragtag of student union radicals, terrorist sympathizers and old school communists bring down the two-year-old Conservative government.

Never in the field of human history have so many lost so much as a result of the actions of so few.

It was Timothy and Gummer who thought it wise to propose taking the homes of elderly Tory voters should they get dementia. It was Timothy and Gummer who wanted to take the winter fuel payment from retired Tories. In short, they threatened their own voters with a transfer of wealth away from them and into the hands of the lazy and feckless. And it went down badly.

Within days of the manifesto launch, Mrs. May’s lead was gone and her political career was in ruins. But it is the public who will pay the price for all of this because Brexit is now in danger. The Labour plan to give Brussels £100bn, allow free movement, and hand powers over British laws to European courts looks more menacing than ever.

Thanks to Gummer and Timothy, Britain did not get a second Thatcher: It got Hillary Clinton. The entitlement candidate, whose dislike of voters and arrogance was only matched by her policy goofs. They offered us “strong and stable” but delivered “weak and wobbly.”

If the name Gummer sounds familiar to you, you are right to notice it. The Honorable Ben Gummer is the son of Lord (John) Gummer, one of the principle architects of John Major’s disastrous government in the 1990s.

Just when the disaster that Gummer senior led the Tories to in 1997 was laid to rest in 2015, along came his son to carry on the family’s losing tradition. They must be very proud of themselves.

Gummer lost his seat in Ipswich last night and rightly so, but Nick Timothy remains chief of staff in Number 10. If that doesn’t make you bring up a bit of sick in your mouth, nothing will. I assume he thinks he can stay thanks to the deal with the Democratic Unionist Party that will allow his boss to limp back into power.

That should not happen because he has proved how dangerous he can be. He has no sense of Conservatism and his desire to attack his own voters to look “trendy” in the restaurants of the West End ought to preclude him from ever holding office.

If this government continues, it must be without those who did so much to bring it down.

Andre Walker is a lobby correspondent covering the work of the British Parliament and prime minister. Before studying journalism at the University of London he worked as a political staffer for 15 years. You can follow him on Twitter @andrejpwalker

I’d Like to Flog the ‘Manifesto Men’ Responsible for Theresa May’s Electoral Disaster