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”.
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.