‘Theresa May announces dramatic re-think on “dementia tax”‘, 22 May 2017

In a hastily-scheduled (and totally-hypothetical) media appearance, Mrs May said the following:

‘Governing is about making hard choices but it’s also about listening and, wherever possible, about building a national consensus.

In the last few days it’s become clear to me that people all over the country are worried about the policy floated in the Conservative manifesto on social care.

I believe I have a duty, as a responsible and responsive Prime Minister, to listen and to reflect those concerns.

If that means re-thinking a policy floated in a manifesto, then I think it’s important that a politician – especially one running for the top job in British politics – should be big enough to do that.

After all, no-one should think they have a monopoly on wisdom – especially not on a question as vital to all of us as social care.

That’s why today I’m announcing that, if I am fortunate enough to be re-elected as your Prime Minister, that I will call for a Royal Commission on Social Care so that we can achieve a genuine, cross-party, practical and affordable solution to one of the toughest issues facing every single family in the UK – now and in the future.

I realise that, in doing this, I will be accused of a U-turn, of having made a mistake. My reply to that is that it is always better in politics, as in life, to pause for thought rather than plough on regardless, heedless of genuine concern on the part of the people and the country which I aspire to lead.

Yes, governing is about choosing.  But it’s also about listening.  And that’s what, on social care and how we pay for it as a nation, I, as your Prime Minister, have decided to do.’


About tpbale

I teach politics at Queen Mary University of London.
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