The effect of the Brexit result for the EU referendum has had a seismic impact on UK politics. Both the two main UK political parties, Conservatives and Labour are in disarray.
The prime minister has announced his resignation triggering a leadership contest for the Conservatives. Boris Johnson, long touted as Cameron’s probable successor, has had to drop out of the race soon after it began because it became clear he did not have enough support. George Osborne, also long rumoured as another possible successor, vanished from public view altogether for quite a while despite the fact that he is still the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had backed the Remain campaign.
Worst of all, Theresa May the home secretary, has thrown her hat into the ring and has so far garnered by far the most endorsements from Conservative MPs. This is something of a worst case scenario as far as I am concerned. She announced for Remain, in a totally cynical and calculated career move. She gambled and lost. The vote went for Leave, it is ridiculous that she is even standing in the leadership contest.
MAY’S INTENTION TO DELAY BREXIT
As part of her leadership bid announcement she has stated her plan to delay the Brexit process AT LEAST until the end of the year, i.e. for 6 months, and hey, who knows maybe even longer (1):
“And there should be no decision to invoke Article 50 until the British negotiating strategy is agreed and clear, which means Article 50 should not be invoked before the end of this year.”
You never know, it could even take a year or two…
MAY’S RECORD ON IMMIGRATION
In 2015 she made a tough-sounding speech saying that high immigration was bad for social cohesion (2). She made this speech at a time when immigration was running at the highest rates of all time (3), and – she was the home secretary and had been in that post for nearly 5 years. This also despite the fact that the Conservative party she was a part of had been elected on the promise that they would reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands (“no ifs, no buts” were Cameron’s words). The home secretary is responsible for immigration, just as a window cleaner is responsible for cleaning windows. You would not expect a window cleaner to make a speech about how dirty the windows are, after he had failed to clean the windows.
Many foolish people were eagerly expecting this speech was going to be the start of her bid for leadership of the Conservatives. However, their expectation was also that she would lead the LEAVE campaign because surely, surely, she would not have a hope of reducing net immigration while we remained a part of a union that regards free movement of people as one of its most important principles?? In the event, she decided her best bet was to come out for REMAIN, and sit on the sidelines! A wait and see approach that was clearly all about maximizing her chances of gaining the leadership following what she expected would happen, a vote for REMAIN. By announcing for REMAIN but also staying out of the campaign she was hedging her bets and also crucially, avoiding the alienation of the Tory MPs who were campaigning for LEAVE. No principles involved. If you are doubting this, just ask yourself, why did she not CAMPAIGN FERVENTLY for Remain if she believed it was the best course for the UK to stay in the EU?
An example of great oratory or an example of Orwellian doublespeak (4)?:
‘We’re not talking about curbing free speech. We recognize that free speech is one of our values. But we have to look at the impact some people have in terms of the poisonous ideology they plant in people’s minds that will lead them to challenge, lead them to undermine the values we share as a country.’
I’ll translate – what she was saying here is that she is planning to curb free speech. Apparently one of “our” values is tolerance of those who have no tolerance of our way of life. In her view, If we have a problem with these intolerant beliefs of other people, then we should shut up about it, because it might make those intolerant people angry.
MAY’S INTRODUCTION OF BAD LAWS
Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders (will soon be before parliament). Around the time she first proposed these orders, she was calling for it to be made illegal to ‘undermine democracy’, but these orders would themselves undermine democracy because they would give the government of the day the power to silence their critics, and interfere with freedom of speech in any way they saw fit. Democracy has no meaning without freedom of speech. A home secretary who creates legislation that (if applied logically and consistently at least) would criminalize herself and her colleagues in the government is a type of idiot that should not be in government in the first place, let alone be the Prime Minister (why am I even needing to point this out to people?).
Snooper’s Charter – she has pushed for internet history of all UK citizens to be stored for a year as part of this bill, among many other things (5). The objective of this bill is not to catch Islamic terrorists, contrary to the prevalent misconception. The bill is designed to enable the government to gain more power over the oiks, the ordinary people, you and me. The records will be used in conjunction with the Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders to find and silence the government’s critics. Most Islamic extremists tend to hide in plain sight and are quite easy to spot, for example the killers of Lee Rigby were known associates of Anjem Choudary, one of them even appeared in a video available on Youtube with that notorious Islamic preacher. There is no need whatever to gather data on every single person in the country in order to find these people. Targeted investigations are what is needed.
While she has been busy devising these appalling attacks on our freedom and civil liberty, she has of course also been too “busy” to address problematic laws that the Labour party introduced such as the Racial and Religious Hatred Act. There are others, I will be writing more about these in future.
MAY’S APPALLING IGNORANCE OF THE ISLAMIC RELIGION OR WILFUL BLINDNESS
She has routinely trotted out the “Nothing to do with Islam” line following terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslims, even when they were justifying their acts with direct recitations from the Koran.
She has claimed that Sharia Courts benefit Britain (6).
MAY’S LACK OF INTEREST IN THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF ISLAMIC GANGS IN OUR PRISONS
While not technically her personal responsibility, as the prisons are now the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, she nonetheless should be taking a keen interest in this situation, due to her responsibility for policing and security.
A growing feature of our prison system (according to the prison officers association) is the increasing presence and influence of Muslim gangs (7). Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t really feel all that safe knowing that the most violent offenders in our country are being lured (or coerced) into joining a religion that encourages them to wage jihad against the unbelievers, while they are supposedly being rehabilitated back into society.
Perhaps journalists should be focusing more on this sort of thing, instead of waxing lyrical about Theresa May’s terrifying fashion sense (2) and (8).
Theresa May is the most worst of the available candidates to lead the UK through Brexit (or at any time for that matter, as far as I am concerned). I have not decided which of the other candidates I think is the best option yet (it may be more about deciding who is the least worst), but this one thing I am sure of, is that Theresa May is the most worst. Our freedoms and democracy will not be safe in her hands.