In one’s weaker moments, you can almost start to feel a sense of empathy with Theresa May. She is stubborn, obstinate, unyielding, defying the odds and her numerous, often equally inadequate, critics. Many journalists have fallen into this trap, as equally unwilling as they are to speak frankly about her as to offer any praise. Her most dedicated supporters (who a small car could probably accommodate) claim that she is the woman who goes above Parliamentary bickering in the fight for a national consensus. A woman who governs in the battle for British interests.
But Theresa May governs with the crazed idea of a Tory Party united over Europe, deluded by a fantasy of national unity. The Prime Minister is living in a continual swirl of promises, defeats and denial. Last week, while her party lost three MPs, she ventured off to Brussels once again, in the almost comical hope of retrieving more ‘concessions’ over the Irish backstop. She has come back again, empty handed. She will go again, and again. Parliament will never give its backing to anything she comes back with, bar being faced with the catastrophe of no-deal. That is her fault entirely.
The situation in Westminster, where the Prime Minister is sleepwalking her way through running the country, is the exact result of the most pure form of Mayism. Since her years as Home Secretary, where she boosted the department’s reputation as a refuge for inhumanity, May has never offered any hope of reconciliation.
After defecting to the newly-formed Independent Group, Anna Soubry complained on Newsnight that May had a ‘problem with immigration.’ This is undeniably true. May gave herself a reputation for unassuming barbarity in relation to asylum cases. Motivated by the hope of reducing migrant numbers to produce electoral success, she produced a policy that defies any sense of morality, common sense or compassion.
With the Hostile Environment policy and her crude ‘Go Home’ buses, she instituted the style of vengeful, deceitful politics that has encapsulated her two and a half years in No. 10. Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, her Machiavellian advisors, are the main force behind this policy in the corridors of power. They presided over the zombie administration that rules Whitehall, dealing with national crises with the diplomatic skill of an approaching avalanche.
Political reason, logic and any sense of humanity are locked out of the May fortress, as the illusion of another bite at the Brexit cherry propels the leader towards her distant rest. Mrs May, who initially set up her Prime Ministerial stall as the compassionate woman trying to curb ‘burning injustices,’ has instead eternally marked her place in the Parliamentary history as the crusher of all aspiration. Any sense of potential witty repartees from anonymous Parliamentarians has dissipated. All that remains are the simpering cries of unwavering disciples, and the violent but powerless screams of those who might ultimately be May’s downfall.
The incompetence of those who prowl the corridors of power is only sustained by the utter inadequacy and hopelessness of the Opposition. Jeremy Corbyn himself is woefully unfit to hold any position of power, and his sly accomplices are the only reason he can muster the slightest pretence of authority, even if it is only those who see him as the messiah who are unable to see through his ‘good-guy’ persona. Corbyn and his acolytes do not care in the slightest about the complications of Brexit, they have bigger fish to fry in plunging the British economy into recession.
And yet, there is no sign of resistance in either of the Leaders' Offices. Promises of no-deal ministerial resignations are tour only hope of comfort in the heat of the never-ending conflict. Nothing that is pulled into the No. 10 bubble can ever come out with the slightest hint of sanity.
Theresa May cannot negotiate. It is as simple as that. We have a Prime Minister who came to power to sort out the Brexit shambles and to clear a smooth pathway. She did neither, and it is really no surprise in the end.
The strategy never changes, no matter the circumstances. She will set out her ‘red lines’, explain why she cannot take any compromise and then walk away, insisting that there is somehow a clear passageway way to victory in the foreground. Her reckless intransigence has not been in ‘the national interest.’ It has been in the interest of the Tory Party, and she has failed in that as well.
The new Independent Group offers, supposedly, a chance of redemption. The grouping, which mainly consists of B-list Labour MPs, has no clear message or leader, but the idea of independence from the cycle of vengeance that asserted itself in the other two leaders resonates appealingly. Whether the broken political system means they can ever come close to holding the sway of power is quite another matter.
There is no policy for the country under Mayism, only a bland resistance to the chaos of a Corbyn government. There is just the matter of surviving until the end of the day, hoping that the ever-threatening hardliners will delay there moment to pounce once again.
Churchill once said that an appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile, hoping that ‘it will eat him last.’ For two years, the policy of appeasement to the end has been the hallmark of this government. Britain is not being held hostage, we are being tortured to believe that there is a finishing point. This is the mentality of our Prime Minister, who errs and strays away from the desired outcome, forever searching for the lost solution she had destroyed years ago. Eventually she will succumb to the Brexit catharsis, and bear the burden of her Tory Party, whom she has failed to unite so spectacularly, as it reveals its wrath. That will spare us having the country offer its damning verdicts on the party leaders, and the ultimate chaos that any victor would bring with them.