Too Tough on Theresa│ Tom Bedworth

I thought I’d dip my toe into an uncontroversial topic, as I’m still getting to grips with blog-writing, and what I want to write about. So, as I said, an “uncontroversial” topic…

Theresa May.

Now, hang fire for a second. Just hold off exiting the page before you’ve heard me out. And we’ve got the comment section for you to argue all you like, if you disagree with me. Yes? Shall we continue?

Turn back to 2015; it’s only three years, I’m sure you can manage. Prime Minister David Cameron is scared of UKIP. The hard-right of the Conservative voter pool included people some MIGHT (note; “some” people – I’m making no such claims… out loud) suggest were racist sceptical of immigrants. Less tolerant people, whom may argue that they’re simply more vigilant than the rest of us, whom willingly open our borders to immigrants who might not have pure intentions.

So, how could Cameron ensure the Tories won a majority in the pending general election, against a Miliband-led, fairly united Labour Party? Offer the UKIP-ers something. But what the bloody hell did they want? Well, it’s in the name, really. “Independence” from the EU. Cameron was pretty certain that the UK on the whole wanted to remain within the European Union, so what’s the harm in giving them a vote?

24th June 2016. The result is in. 52% Leave. 48% Remain. Cameron lost the referendum, and stepped down as PM. It’s a resounding win for the Conservative core of eurosceptics, but the party is without a leader.

I don’t think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination – David Cameron

Skip ahead a week, and the Tory leadership race is underway, only to end abruptly. Boris Johnson was stabbed in the back by Michael Gove, forcing Johnson to pull out of the race. Soon followed by Gove crashing out, too – karma? Andrea Leadsom set herself on fire as well, paving the way for the “submarine” – Mrs Theresa May, Home Secretary.

Nobody knew what the hell Brexit entailed. Yes, we were going to leave the EU, but what about trade? Movement of people? Workers’ rights? International cooperation? Eurovision?!?! The people wanted answers. And fast. But the only thing that the new Prime Minister knew was that she had an uphill battle to fight.

Everything is going wrong for May, but not much is going right for the now-leader of the Labour Party, (oh) Jeremy Corbyn, either. There’s an opportunity here. A big’un. Critics of May are suggesting she has no legitimacy as a leader as she wasn’t voted in by the people (funnily enough, those critics don’t understand how the British electoral system works). Now she could change that…

The country is coming together, but Westminster is not – Theresa May

8th June 2017. Oh sh**. The exit polls are suggesting a “hung parliament” (no party has enough of the vote to form a majority government) which means Theresa May has, frankly, ballsed up. Big time. She’s lost her majority, all in a power grab designed to prove that she was a capable leader. Ironic.

“I used to run through fields of wheat[…] the local farmers weren’t too pleased about that” – Theresa May

Fast forward to July the following year, and the Conservative government has finally ironed out a Brexit strategy at Chequers, the country residence of the PM. Or so May thinks. Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns from May’s cabinet. The man supposedly fronting the nation’s negotiations with the EU has quit. How bad was the plan?! Well surely things can’t get worse for Theresa May – at least Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary, vocally supported the plan, eh?

Bollocks. Johnson’s resigned. The face of the “Vote Leave” campaign during the 2016 referendum has swaggered away from the table. Undoubtedly shaking the (already threadbare) confidence of “Brexiteers” within the Conservative Party, and Leave voters in the electorate, too.

So, in short, a good politician (regardless of whether you agree with her politics, she was a “good” politician, hence her lengthy reign presiding over the Home Office; 2010-16) was handed a job that nobody wanted, in a situation voted for by barely half of the eligible voters, in a party that backed Leave AND Remain, whilst being expected to please everyone. Oh, and she had to keep an eye on Boris Johnson. And she now has to rely on the support of plotters within her party, seeking to undermine her wherever politically convenient (Michael Gove).

Political ideologies aside, I feel that we’re all a little tough on Theresa May. There’s no question about it that she’s trying to do her best – but she’s in a no-win situation. The country cannot come away from Brexit substantially better off than we were before we voted to Leave. That’s a cross we should all bear, not just Theresa May.

May’s drinking from a poisoned chalice. A chalice that we, the people, handed to her. Let’s take some responsibility for ourselves, as well as scrutinising the government. We shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses.

But who am I to tell you how to act? We’re in a democracy, we can act how we like. We can vote how we like, and if that means voting to distort the future of the country, in order to “stick it to the man” then let’s do that! Just remember this:

That’s how we ended up in this mess.

The right are “too right,” the left are “too left,” and none of them speak for us – Russell Howard

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