Theresa May and the Cavalcade of Calamity

Let’s be honest, Theresa May is far from an inspirational public speaker. Unnervingly stilted and forever crippled by an unmistakable undercurrent of disingenuity, she doesn’t so much kindle the fires of hope within your being, more gradually drowns your helpless soul under an ever rising tide of apathy.

Still, for better or for worse (spoilers: the latter) she is indeed our Prime Minster and, ostensibly, our leader on the world stage. So it was to the consternation of many to see her cutting a decidedly isolated figure amongst EU leaders at the recent summit in Salzburg.

It was almost as though we’d done something to piss them off.

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Should have worn blue really.

Everyone saw it. The nation and indeed the world as a whole looked on aghast as Britain, once a major influence within the European Parliament, reduced to a similar role to that of a evolution textbook in Alabama.

The howls of indignation from the usual suspects of hard Brexit mouthpieces were as excruciatingly illogical as they were predictable. How dare they treat our Prime Minister this way – all the while conveniently side-stepping the fact that they’d spent the past two years accusing May of being a Remain saboteur who was desperate to sell out the nation to her EU masters. Though such transient morality should hardly be a surprise when it comes from those that place feelings firmly ahead of facts – feelings can change in an instant, facts tend to be more rigid.

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Leave.EU here, feigning shock at the very same EU leaders they’d spent years insisting we shouldn’t hang around with not being especially keen on hanging around with us themselves.

Breathtaking hypocrisy aside, it seemed like an apparent eternity of ritual humiliation had taken its toll on poor Mrs May. As if being harangued at home by those who wish to replace her with a bumbling yet sinister Etonian new potato wasn’t bad enough, her cherished Chequers proposal (I’ll stop short of calling it a coherent plan) had suffered an inevitable rejection on account of it being entirely unworkable.

An understandable quibble perhaps, but it certainly proved to be the straw that broke Theresa’s back. So much so that, upon her arrival back on our shores, she felt compelled to take to the stage and deliver an unexpected statement – albeit after power issues at Number 10 caused a delay in a not at all metaphorical blooper brought about by sheer happenstance.

What happened next had to be seen to be believed – and even then it’s likely to mistake it for some sort of horrendous, narcotic induced hallucination.

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Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – except not really in this case.

It really was a sight to behold – almost a performance piece of denialism straight out of the uncanny valley. It’s fair to say that there was somewhat more vigour in this speech than the usual flat-line; as if the recent rebuff had finally ignited a flicker of emotion within the first replicant to ever hold high government office. However actually managing to win the attention of your audience does come with the odd potential pitfall – they’ll actually be listening to the words you’re saying.

The delivery may have been marginally more forthright, but the content was ultimately the same formulaic, heavily rehearsed piffle that we’ve heard a billion times before; yet here she was, repeating her incredibly dubious dogma as though the added semblance of gusto will somehow drag it kicking and screaming into the realms of plausible reality. Unfortunately, as our self imposed deadline grows ever closer with time fast trickling away, trotting out unfounded assertions and attempting to sling the burden of culpability over to the EU’s side of the court isn’t terribly useful – unless your objective is to look like a demented fantasist and crash your own national currency.

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If you thought that was bad, wait until her speech at the Tory Party Conference causes the Sun to explode.

Granted not everyone looked upon it as an embarrassing failure – the Daily Express referred to it as her “finest hour”, perhaps unwittingly offering a tacit admission as to how low the bar of acceptability has really sunk when it comes to May’s time in office. The Sun also offered us this typically ludicrous front page, which clearly won’t be looked back upon in years to come as the very apex of nationalistic stupidity.

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Geri Halliwell wore it better.

As for myself, well it left me feeling rather despondent. Perhaps I should be used to such a sensation by now but we really are approaching the end game. Seeing our nation’s attempts at international diplomacy still marooned in the jingoistic sloganeering stage is just further confirmation that absolutely no progress has been made since the UK voted to leave. It’s become almost immaterial as to whether the lazy attempts at PR wash with the public anymore, it’s clear by this point it’s all May and her government really have – so that’s all we’re ever going to get.

It’s this state of perpetual impasse that reveals the inherent irony which has plagued Brexit from the very beginning. While initially heralded as a bid to “take back control”, achieve true independence and show the world what we as a nation are capable of, in actuality it’s been a sorry procession of blunders, eternally undermined by the lack of any clear objective; all the while maintaining a stubborn insistence that the endless cavalcade of calamity is somebody else’s fault – namely the European Union.

Which leads onto perhaps the most delicious irony of all. Hidden away amongst the more familiar soundbites in May’s speech was a minor yet oh so telling new addition – frustration that the EU haven’t provided a counter proposal to soothe the headaches exclusive to the United Kingdom.

For all Theresa’s attempts at posturing and playing hardball, it’ll all be for nought. The only thing Donald Tusk will see is a desperate British Prime Minister, waiting in vain for the EU to solve a Brexit conundrum entirely of the UK’s own making.

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Boris Johnson – The man, the myth and the mugwump

Cast your mind back to the 30th of June 2016. Sure it was hardly an idealistic time of promise and national unity, what with Brexit’s narrow victory the week prior setting into motion over two years of hapless political bumbling that we’re somehow yet to escape from, but there was one small crumb of comfort to be had – at least Boris Johnson wouldn’t be our Prime Minister.

Having just about thrown his considerable weight behind Leave, a move which by this point is now almost universally accepted as one motivated entirely by self interest, Boris’ master-plan was oh so spectacularly undone by a move straight out of his own playbook, with Michael Gove publicly plunging a knife into the spine of his longtime confidant. That’s just how friends treat each other in the Tory party apparently.

The naively optimistic amongst us may have thought such a spectacular capitulation would spell the end of Johnson’s leadership ambitions, finally vanquishing the lingering threat of our supposedly proud nation inexplicably opting to be lead by a man who seemingly revels in his carefully crafted persona of an odious clod.

However if you’ve spent the past two years existing in blissful exile underneath the most hospitable rock you could find, this morning’s headlines will most certainly have jolted you from your slumber and back into the increasingly disconcerting reality we now occupy.

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Happy Sunday everyone!

Yes, Boris is indeed back in the spotlight – though in actuality he never really went away. While it’s true that he maintained a comparatively low profile upon the demise of his pseudo Churchillian dreams, he remained a familiar face in Theresa May’s cabinet; lingering in remission while maintaining an altogether disquieting facade of dutiful obedience – save for the odd not so accidental slip from the party line.

Not that anyone with even the slightest morsel of insight into the mind of Boris Johnson was especially convinced however. Boris wants to be the nation’s head honcho with the same obsessive desperation a man lost in the desert would have for a glass of water. So when the painstakingly calculated moment came to eject himself from the cabinet, with it came a feeling of freedom that, while undoubtedly bringing a great amount of relief to Boris himself, regrettably brought about a dark sense of foreboding for those with sufficient vigilance to see where this is all heading.

Sadly for Boris, the human mind has the capability for remembering events that occurred prior to the previous ten minutes. He can no longer play the fool, swanning around with the same effervescent buffoonery as before – the stage managed Benny Hill tribute simply doesn’t wash anymore and Boris is acutely aware of this.

So he’s had to change tactics. A leopard may be unable to change its spots, but that’s not a problem when said spots were painted on in the first place – and, providing the artist in question whispers enough promises of personal glory into Bojo’s ear, he’s more than happy to rent out his repulsive hide as a canvas for the highest bidder to doodle upon.

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If at first you don’t succeed, sell your soul to the nearest far right propagandist.

For all his internal delusions of being the next Churchill, leading our country to victory through times of unimaginable strife, Boris is ultimately a moral blank. The surrounding pantomime brought about by his purportedly chucklesome antics has never been anything more than a vehicle by which to gain access to Number 10 – even if that means ram-raiding his way through the front door. He wants to be Prime Minister and if that means claiming the highest office in the land without a single scruple in his pocket, then so be it.

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If you’re one of the 17.4 million, you probably don’t want this man speaking for you.

It is subsequently of little wonder that Boris hasn’t shown the slightest resistance to becoming Leave.EU’s would be leader of choice – a propagandist group with so little regard for the very notion of integrity itself, they’ll happily sit in front of a parliamentary select committee and smugly confirm that they routinely lie to everyone. Ultimately it’s of mutual benefit to both parties – Boris gets the unwavering support of a prominent social influencer while Banks and chums get themselves a media puppet with access to the highest reaches of government and beyond.

Though it’s not with this symbiotic relationship where the real problem lies, however ghastly a tag team they may be. For reasons beyond the understanding of my relatively modest intellect, Boris remains inexplicably credible to a significantly large demographic of voters. While his absurdly jingoistic twaddle may attract scorn from many corners, there remains a substantial base who see the appeal in such belligerence – still resolute in their belief that Boris Johnson is the political maverick who speaks for them and it is only through incendiary rhetoric that they’ll get the fantastical Brexit they’ve always craved. Fanciful perhaps, but the frankly astonishing power of self persuasion that comes with deep seated faith is not to be underestimated.

Those who, in spite of his galling ideological transience, continue to back Boris to the ends of the Earth are unlikely to find many arguments that sufficiently resonate in order to puncture their bubble of subservience. It’s the ‘feelings over facts’ situation all over again. Nevertheless, irrespective of its almost inevitable futility, there is one tiny question I consider worth posing to them – once Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister, what then?

There’d likely be unbridled joy amongst his disciples at first, but this is likely to be swiftly extinguished by the practical implications of their triumph. After all, what can a man who is effectively a mouthpiece for hire really stand for?

And given that Steve Bannon is the one currently pulling his strings, we can only hope we’re never to find out.

 

 

Open Letter to Theresa May – A somewhat disgruntled response

Hello Prime Minister,

We’ve never met. In fact, we’re unlikely ever to do so – I’m merely one of those British citizens you were curiously reluctant to meet back in 2017, avoiding us with the same steadfast caution normally associated with an outbreak of the norovirus. To you I’m little more than an irrelevance, ultimately offering you nothing beyond a cat in hell’s chance of periodically lending my solitary vote to your party.

However I couldn’t help but notice your article in The Telegraph yesterday. Given how your tenure as Prime Minister has been almost entirely characterised by a rather alarming disinclination to engage with those your purport to represent, it’s fair to say my interest was piqued. Having witnessed many previous attempts at addressing your people, your stage presence laced with insincerity and a cold streak that sets off every Voight-Kampff machine within a ten mile radius, I can’t deny I was rather interested to see what your smarts could come up with when limited to the relative safe-haven of print media – a medium in which your many foibles and staggering disingenuity should arguably be less of a crutch with the gaze of a nation no longer transfixed directly upon you.

So I had a read. After all, as a member of our nation’s electorate it was essentially addressed to the likes of me – albeit indirectly. Nevertheless, despite inspiration being a term that has never previously been associated with yourself, I’m forced to admit that, in this case, your words did indeed inspire a reaction within me.

Regrettably, said reaction was one of unbridled rage which left me feeling obligated to respond – just who the hell do you think you’re talking to?

I can only presume that the thought process behind your lamentable screed was one of empty placation. As reclusive as you evidently are, it can’t have escaped your attention that a feeling of chronic consternation has long since enshrouded the populace you serve. Each and every day we continue our ungainly stumble towards the Brexit precipice, each step accompanied by a grim yet inevitable dose of reality urging us to reconsider. People are understandably worried and not just for themselves. They’re worried about their families, their friends and, perhaps most of all, what a Brexit you’ve routinely failed to define will actually do to their country as the last moments of the 29th March 2019 finally trickle away.

And this was the best you come up with? The same empty and diversionary platitudes you wretched out over two years ago? While it’s true that the political class has always held the cognitive capacity of the proletariat in a perpetual state of withering contempt, to fob off legitimately concerned citizens with such formulaic piffle is but further testament to the achingly apparent disdain you clearly possess for our collective intelligence. Such a verdict may indeed seem hasty, but the only alternative I’m able to fathom is that your mind could simply be lost within a haze of impenetrable delusion – which once again is a perception that brings little in the way of comfort.

Now I’m not the smartest of cookies, nor am I the sharpest tool in the drawer by any means – which is why I’ll leave the finer points of your waffle to those who would easily best me in a battle of political acumen. That said, I do still possess working eyes, ears and a modest yet functional ability to interpret what’s going on around me – and, even with this limited arsenal of intellectual weaponry, I’m able to decipher as to when events are going horrifically awry. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that a fifth of EU doctors preparing to leave our already crippled NHS isn’t exactly a cause for celebration. You don’t have to be Stephen Hawking to realise that our continued economic decline most likely isn’t an unfortunate coincidence. It also isn’t the most profound of insights to determine that our own government making plans to stockpile food and medicine is an alarming symptom of a nation preparing for capitulation.

Yet you, our nation’s Prime Minister, are not only happy to exhibit such breathtaking hubris as to sweep the warnings of experts (who are infinitely smarter and more experienced in such matters than yourself, I hasten to add) under the carpet, you also demonstrate a callous disregard for the lives and well-being of the millions trapped under your pitiful stewardship – a duty of care that has been neglected to the point whereby you deny them the chance to regain some sense of control over a destiny you clearly don’t care about.

Putting your obvious incompetence to one side, such a reckless and stubborn commitment to a jingoistic fantasy can only be interpreted as the actions of a demagogue acting purely in their own self interest. We’ve all found ourselves bemused onlookers to the laughable spectacle of the Conservative Party imploding under the weight of its own ideological imbalances – and staving off what is at this point now an inevitable collapse seems to be your only desire. After all us mere plebs can only vote against you every five years and without an election on the horizon our concerns are of no interest to you – hence your risible, half-hearted and sporadic attempts to placate us.

You ask us to trust you, yet you fill your cabinet with liars. You say you’ll deliver a “bold and exciting” future for our country outside the European Union, yet can only back this up with vague and wholly dubious proclamations. You say you will offer strong and stable leadership, yet you cannot answer even the simplest and most dichotomous of questions. With this in mind, it’s perhaps rather obvious as to why you’re against giving the public a final say on Brexit – for there is little else which could possibly provide such a damning indictment on the deplorable state of your eternally regrettable tenure as Prime Minister.

Don’t worry though – when all’s said and done you’ll be fine. Being the Prime Minister undoubtedly pays well and you’ll be able to utilise such an employment history to accrue further unmerited income for the rest of your days. I’m afraid to say that’ll be no help to the rest of us however. Us normal folk will still be toiling away and desperately attempting to make ends meet from one unstable pay-cheque to the next – only now we’ll be further hamstrung by the crumbling economy of a once prosperous nation; fully perpetuated by your protection of the very same dogmatic careerists who set this sorry pageant into motion in the first place.

Not that you’ll care though. Why break the habit of a lifetime?