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Theresa May’s incompetence did nothing but embolden Britain’s far right

TOM HINCHCLIFFE sheds no tears for a prime minister who steered the nation sharply towards reaction

THERESA MAY’S leadership ended in tears –  which highlighted what we have known all along, that she only cares about herself. After failing to shed a single tear when visiting the actual site of the Grenfell disaster and refusing to meet victims, she thought it more important to put on a brave face, which turned out to be one of indifference.

The Prime Minister has actually succeeded in what seemed to be a pretty difficult thing to do in uniting both Remainers and Brexiteers against her leadership and her botched Brexit deal. Negotiating a deal that appeased nobody was inevitably going to be opposed by everybody. But, aside from plunging the Conservative Party into its worst crisis for a generation, as the issue of Europe tends to do, this utter incompetence has emboldened the likes of Nigel Farage and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson), and allowed them to steal the narrative from moderate politicians.

With the birth of the Brexit Party, as a direct result of May’s failures, came this sort of disturbing acceptance that people like Farage are back in British politics — and may been given the opportunity to stay.

Tory failures have also put our politicians at risk once again. In presenting Parliament with the worst of both worlds deal, Theresa May has reignited the public’s disconnect. This has allowed people like Stephen Yaxley-Lennon and his ilk to scapegoat MPs who are merely voting in what they see as the best interests of their constituents.

It’s a shameful indictment of how low this country’s political discourse has sunk when actual candidates, for a party that not long ago received over four million votes in a general election, is happily making unforgivable jokes about raping a member of Parliament with seemingly no repercussions.

All this just two-and-a-half years after Jo Cox was murdered by a neonazi terrorist in the streets of her constituency.

Not only were Theresa May’s desperate attempts to get her Brexit deal over the line dangerous and irresponsible in the previous sense, they were also strategically flawed.

Offering “Brexit-lite” to those on the right who are hell-bent on crashing out of the EU with no deal, and who make up the majority of the Conservative Party’s grassroots, was just never going to wash. David Cameron’s referendum split the country down the middle and Theresa May has carried on his work by allowing the right of her party to make any negotiated deal look like a bad deal.

The halfway house burned down a long time ago. Parliament’s tiresome indicative votes process went a long way in proving this, and showed that the only way to break the parliamentary deadlock is to go back to the people in a general election. At this stage, it’s difficult to see what a second referendum would do for the unity of such a deeply polarised country.

Theresa May’s leadership began with a promise to “crush the saboteurs” but only ended in tears, with a far right who now look like they’re going to sweep up in the European Elections.

Aside from Brexit, her legacy should be remembered as the Windrush scandal, four million children in poverty, record levels of homelessness, record foodbank use, the Grenfell tragedy, life expectancy decreasing for the first time since the second world war and deporting members of the LGBT+ community to their deaths.

For these reasons, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s very difficult to feel sympathy “on a human level” for somebody who hasn’t shown an ounce of humanity for the last three years.


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