What others say: New prime minister makes good first impression

  • Sunday, July 24, 2016 6:56pm
  • Opinion

In any job, first impressions are important. It is always possible to recover from a difficult debut; but it is more forgivable to mess up in future if the initial outing has been a success. So Theresa May’s confident and fluent first performance at Prime Minister’s Questions will have come as a great relief to her party and something of a revelation to a wider public unsure of her qualities. From what we have seen so far, it is clear that the Conservative Party made a wise choice not just in elevating Mrs May to No 10, but also in avoiding a damaging two-month leadership campaign.

Andrea Leadsom, newly installed in the Cabinet, must have watched her leader’s performance in the Commons yesterday with an even clearer understanding of why she was right to pull out of the contest. Indeed, throughout her first week in the job Mrs May has looked to the manner born. We have no idea yet how she will handle a major crisis or manage her Government and her party. But while PMQs may look to outsiders like a noisy bear pit, it remains the weekly showcase for a leader to strut their stuff. Mrs May certainly did that — though, as David Cameron discovered, looking and sounding like a prime minister does not guarantee longevity when events intrude. All sorts of pitfalls await the new premier, especially in handling the vote to leave the EU.

To that end, Mrs May travelled to Berlin last night and will be in Paris today for preliminary talks with Europe’s two most important leaders about how that might be achieved to the advantage of all concerned. Here, again, first impressions will prove important; so, too, will any indications that Mrs May is able to give as to where she wants to end up at the end of the Brexit negotiations.

It is too early for her to say anything definitive; but when asked by one Conservative MP to rule out any notion of staying in the single market by another means, such as through EEA membership, Mrs May said her aim was to secure the best trade deal in the national interest. On the vexed question of immigration, she said the concerns of voters, apparent in the referendum outcome, had to be addressed; but she also implied that a strict target of reducing net numbers to the “tens of thousands” has been replaced by a more sensible aim of achieving “sustainable levels” of inward migration. The Prime Minister is right to avoid any dogmatic posturing on these crucial issues. This has been an excellent start.

— The Telegraph, United Kingdom,

July 20

More in Opinion

Promise garden flowers are assembled for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Let’s keep momentum in the fight against Alzheimer’s

It’s time to reauthorize these bills to keep up our momentum in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other types of Dementia.

Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., questions Navy Adm. Lisa Franchetti during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 14 on Capitol Hill.
Opinion: Music to the ears of America’s adversaries

Russia and China have interest in seeing America’s democracy and standing in the world weakened

Dr. Sarah Spencer. (Photo by Maureen Todd and courtesy of Dr. Sarah Spencer)
Opinion: Alaskans needs better access to addiction treatment. Telehealth can help.

I have witnessed firsthand the struggles patients face in accessing addiction care

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Need for accounting and legislative oversight of the permanent fund

There is a growing threat to the permanent fund, and it is coming from the trustees themselves

(Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Imagine the cost of health and happiness if set by prescription drug companies

If you didn’t have heartburn before seeing the price, you will soon — and that requires another prescription

Mike Arnold testifies in opposition to the use of calcium chloride by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities on Kenai Peninsula roads during a Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Votes: Civic actions that carried weight

Watching an impressive display of testimony, going to an event, or one post, can help so many people learn about something they were not even aware of

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Helicopter fishing a detriment to fish and fishers

Proposal would prohibit helicopter transport for anglers on southern peninsula

The cover of the October 2023 edition of Alaska Economic Trends magazine, a product of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (Image via department website)
Dunleavy administration’s muzzling of teacher pay report is troubling

Alaska Economic Trends is recognized both in Alaska and nationally as an essential tool for understanding Alaska’s unique economy

Image via weseeyou.community
5 tips for creating a culture of caring in our high schools

Our message: No matter what challenges you’re facing, we see you. We support you. And we’re here for you.

The Alaska State Capitol is photographed in Juneau, Alaska. (Clarise Larson/Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Vance’s bill misguided approach to Middle East crisis

In arguing for her legislation, Vance offers a simplistic, one-dimensional understanding of the conflict

A rainbow appears over downtown as residents check out rows of electric vehicles at Juneau’s EV & E-bike Roundup on Sept. 23. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: We should all pay more for the privilege of driving

Alaska has the lowest gas tax in the country

Opinion: Sports saves

ASAA has decided to take a vulnerable subgroup of these youth and reinforce that they are different and unwelcome