After her grovelling before Rupert Murdoch in New York City, the continuing poor performance at PMQs against a Labour leader whose party is presently at rock bottom in the opinion polls, the latest rumoured U-turn on social care costs, her sheer cluelessness on Britain’s relationship with the EU, and now ridiculous argument over a pair of leather trousers, one might think Theresa May would not be so popular with the press.
But that thought is not allowed to enter at the Daily Mail, where the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has clearly put the word out to rally support to the beleaguered Ms May, partly by telling readers how wonderful she is, but mainly by putting the boot into anyone of dissenting view, which first off means Nicky Morgan.
“It's Ms Pot versus Mrs Kettle! Remainer MP Nicky Morgan, who attacked PM for wearing £995 leather trousers, has a £950 Mulberry bag (but she says it was a present)” screams the headline. Ms May was also a Remainer, but hey ho. Do the Dacre doggies have a Tory MP prepared to support the PM? Er, just the one: “pro-Brexit Tory MP Nadine Dorries said … ‘Sadly, the ragged band of nutcase Europhiles will find any excuse to take a pot shot at the Prime Minister’”. Nadine Dorries called someone else a nutcase. Ri-i-i-i-ght.
Perhaps the Mail has someone more authoritative to back the PM? Well, of course: Dominic Lawson is always there to have his credibility sprayed up the wall in the cause of More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now. “This is not the most important political story of the year - or even of the day. It is not about policy at all. But at another level it is highly revealing of the Prime Minister's outlook - and shows her to be a more straightforward character than some of her recent predecessors”. How reassuring.
But Lawson also makes the mistake of quoting the loathsome Toby Young in support, as he asks readers to “look over there” at Young Dave, whom he calls out as a phoney. Tobes said of Dave’s attempts to be Mr Ordinary “Hang on a minute. Cameron was educated at Eton and is reportedly worth millions … His wife is the daughter of a baronet and the step-daughter of a Viscount. If they're 'middle-class', what does that make me?”. It makes you a bellend, Tobes. But you knew that already. That’s why you’re called Captain Bellend.
Won’t anyone mount a convincing defence of Ms May? Ah, but there’s always the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), who can be depended upon to deliver, er, something. “Nicky Morgan claims to be both a modern churchgoer and an ardent feminist. Her remarks were hardly evangelical or sisterly”, he tells, forgetting that he is supposed to be a church warden, but is indulging in typically un-Christian behaviour. But do go on.
Quent then goes full sneer: Ms Morgan “had been reared in comfortable Surrey … minor public school … plainly not been one of those razor-sharp pupils teachers love to remember … went on to study law at St Hugh's College, Oxford, where she twice failed to be chosen as chairman of the university's Conservative association [wait for it] In the second contest, she was beaten by Dan Hannan, the brilliant politician who went on to become became a Eurosceptic MEP”. Oh just f*** right off Quent.
Hannan, the biggest liar in the European Parliament, “brilliant”? At least Nicky Morgan takes notes in meetings, eh Quent? With defenders as inept as those at the Mail, Theresa May should be worried. And with good reason. Because she’s not up to the job.