As predicted in the previous post, (it didn't require psychic powers) the media have now abandoned serious analysis of the problems facing our society and the world and are wallowing in analyses of Mrs May's political career and, even more prurient, having fun with the posturing of the contenders for the poisoned chalice. (The Guardian today devotes pages 2-11 - all of which I've skipped - to Mrs May and only a quarter of one page, and that mostly a picture, to the world-wide school-children's walk-out in protest about the climate crisis).
Most of what I've read and heard so far concerns Mrs May's mishandling of Brexit. Whatever the pros and cons of that, I personally prefer to remember her for the disgusting creation of the hostile environment for immigrants during her six-year tenure at the Home Office, plus the fact that in her three year premiership she has presided over the continued policy of government austerity which has caused local authority services to be shredded, the continued roll-out of Universal Credit causing hardship and misery to the most vulnerable in our society, and the selling of weapons to the Saudi dictatorship which have been used to kill about 10 000 people in Yemen . . . to name but some
And all this from a woman who almost weekly has flaunted her Christianity with (presumably arranged) photographs of her entering or leaving church. The Bible teaching of what we do "to these the least of His (Jesu's) brethren (and, presumably, sisteren) we do unto Him" seems to have passed her by.
The criticisms of her handling of the Brexit issue seem to concentrate on her lack of flexibility, failure to "reach out" to either Remainers or members of other parties, and failure to compromise. In that she may have done we Remainers a favour.
Had she reached a compromise acceptable to parliament we should be out of the EU now but most probably on terms which require us to observe most if not all EU rules without any say in making them. That would have been a ludicrous position. What is the point of leaving an advantageous and prestigious position in a Club, with a major share in making its rules, and then leaving but still being subject to them and the jurisdiction of its court?
The truth is that Mrs May was set an impossible task: to fulfil the Brexiteers' false promise that we could "leave the EU and retain al the advantages of membership." It could be argued that she did her best, but the prize was unobtainable.
And, of course, it still is, Whoever wins the Tory leadership, we cannot "have our cake and eat it." If nothing else, her experiences over the past three yeas have exposed that lie. The surprise is that so many leading and not so leading Tories are contending for the opportunity to try.
There is talk that Mrs May's premiership is the biggest failure since Lord North and the loss of the American colonies.
She didn't deal the impossible hand she was required to place. That accolade goes to her predecessor, David Cameron.
- He was the one who called an unnecessary referendum to get the Tory Party, not the nation, out of a difficulty (the haemorrhaging of Troy support to Ukip);
- he was the one who failed to provide for suitable safeguards such as reasonably truthful campaigning and an adequate majority for any change;
- he was the one who made the unconstitutional promise that the result of the advisory referendum would be observed "no ifs, no buts";
- he was the one who walked away the morning after the result didn't go his way
Some commentators are arguing that the options before us are now reduced to two: leave with no deal or Remain.
Remain is still perfectly possible: all parliament needs to do is revoke Article 50. If the sense of taking this step becomes clearer in the next three months of Tory barnstorming, then perhaps they may not be wasted.