Richard Lutz reports on how numbers matter when it comes to kingmakers.
A political boss once said that the first rule of politics is to learn how to count. Count as in know who is right behind you, and who is right behind you with a rusty razor.
Those words came from ex-US President Lyndon Johnson. And today, Theresa May and Donald Trump must be memorising his pithy but crucial warning. May will be swivelling her neck 180 degrees night and day to see which Tory heavyweights want to shove her out the door, especially after her gaff-ridden reaction to the horrific tower block fire. Trump also knows damn well he has to watch back room Republican Party bigwigs who just may have had enough and decide to turn off his political life support system.
But should May stumble once more with her government in limbo or should Trump find, let’s say, he really does face criminal charges of obstruction, we could find big changes afoot. May would be out the door in a flash via a palace coup – the Conservative Party is notorious for getting rid of its leaders in a mini-second. And if the power plug is pulled on Trump and he is knifed in the back by GOP kingmakers, the world will have dry as ice Mike Pence to lead the US.
So, let’s get it straight.
Both hardliners face their biggest threats from within their own structures, not from outside opponents. Think Julius Caesar and those with lean and hungry looks, the dry lipped politicos in the smokey back rooms who will make heavyweight decisions if no-one is bothering to count..