Support 100 years of independent journalism.

The right-wing press are in Theresa May loyalty mode – for now

Away from the frontpages there are signs that May's new agenda might not have as easy a time after the election.

By Stephen Bush

Talk about walking on water. Today’s papers are in and they will have the Conservatives grinning from ear-to-ear.

“Blue Labour” roars The Sun. Whether that’s a commentary on Theresa May’s roaming into Labour territory or how the Opposition will be feeling, I’m not sure. (Works both ways, I guess.) And that paper is first out of the traps with their election endorsement, too. (Spoiler alert: the Conservatives.)

“Mainstream May reaches out to Labour heartlands” is the Times‘ splash, while “May breaks with Thatcherite faith in centrist pitch to Labour voters” is the FT‘s. “May’s manifesto for the mainstream” is the Telegraph‘s take, while the Mail opts for “At last, a PM not afraid to be honest with you”. The i goes for the Ronseal approach: “May’s vision for Britain” is their splash.

But away from the frontpages there are signs that May’s new agenda might not have as easy a time after the election. In the Telegraph, Judith Woods accuses May of forcing her daughters to become her carers to keep the family home. (I suppose “accuses” isn’t quite right as that is 100 per cent what May’s care plans do.)

Over at the Spectator, Will Heaven has coined a phrase that might stick: the “dementia tax”.

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

That Jeremy Corbyn is seen as a surefire loser means that the plans are getting an easier time now than they might otherwise, and that it’s an election season means the right-wing press is also firmly in loyalty mode. But the difficulty with introducing an inheritance tax by lottery is that the right dislikes inheritance tax and the left dislikes lotteries, and that isn’t going to go away on 8 June.

The Conservatives think that Corbyn is an asset because he locks in a big majority on 8 June. But there’s a problem there, too: it means that when those grumbles about the social care changes move from the middle of the frontpage things could get messy. Fairly or unfairly, people will say that far from getting a mandate to take away “the family home”, May won because of Jeremy Corbyn. It feels a lot like George Osborne’s £12bn of welfare cuts – he could win an election that, but he couldn’t govern on it.