Theresa May has gone rogue. Or as rogue as Wheatfields May is going to go. As we slowly collapse through the last days of her reign, the embers flickering and spluttering over the moving crates, May is finally standing up and saying something.
Two weeks ago she looked at climate change, announcing plans to make Britain carbon neutral, with greenhouse gases emissions cut to zero by 2050. The plans were enacted in legislation last week. In a timely move, the French government did the same thing. And May said she’d call on all G20 leaders to follow.
In a separate moment, May launched into the housing debate. She called for more social housing and more tenants’ rights as part of an “ongoing housing revolution”. If only she had been in a position to do something about it earlier…
During May’s lacklustre premiership, new home building collapsed. In 2017-18, 6,535 social rent homes were delivered in England. This was a decline of nearly 85 per cent since the start of the decade.
Is Theresa May in the midst of some Damascene change? Or an attempt to lay down legislation that will really annoy Boris Johnson? Either way, it doesn’t matter. The bigger question is why wait until now? Why not do this, and other things, when she was not a dead duck?
She had three years to bring forward the sort of policies that would have helped the people of Britain, particularly those just about managing, those she said on day one she’d prioritise.