It’s long been observed that there’s something just a little off about Theresa May. No matter how hard she tries, each and every attempt to merge seamlessly into a public setting brings with it an unmistakable stench of the uncanny valley. Whether it’s her inadvertently subversive attempts at dancing, her recent failed bid to decipher the intricate mechanism of a pool cue or her obvious discomfort with any situation in which she’s confronted with a living, breathing member of the human race – there’s something unmistakably inhuman about Mrs May.
Understandably, at this point it’d be par for the course to launch into the seemingly obligatory ‘Maybot’ routine – unleashing a deluge of quips pertaining to her automaton tendencies and her apparent reluctance to undergo the Voight-Kampff test, but I’ll spare you the tedium.
The jokes have been made, relentlessly so but, as with all spawning points of enduring humour, beneath the wry chuckles there’s much truth to be had.
It’s been quite the roller-coaster ride living under the rule of Theresa May – by which I mean it’s been entirely characterised by terror induced nausea as we lurch from one pitfall to the next with no viable means of escape. While I can’t deny that there’s been the odd moment of light relief, namely the most pitifully inept election campaign in living memory, the experience as a whole has been underpinned by an ever growing sensation of helplessness – as we regrettably bear witness to a would be autocrat treating the nation as mere collateral, as she doggedly carries out her solitary compulsion to cling onto a power which can only be justified in her own delusions.
Then again, she did invent the ‘hostile environment’ as Home Secretary – so what did we really expect?
The May approach to leadership has been as obstinate as it has incompetent. While there’s an understandable school of thought that a steely determination to see your aspirations through to completion, remaining unswayed by the naysayers and potential hardships which litter your path to the finish line provides grounds for justifiable admiration, it pales in the reverence stakes when compared directly to the ability to both recognise and accept obvious realities. If your head is to be in the clouds, make sure your feet are firmly rooted on the ground – and May’s tootsies are stationed so far beyond the stratosphere that the millions of citizens below aren’t even visible, let alone a consideration.
Such ghoulish detachment to the consequences of her actions may seem unfathomable to anyone with a functional sense of empathy, looking upon callously negligent acts such as reducing human lives to poker chips and attempting to bypass the parliamentary process altogether with appropriate levels of horror.
Though if your envisioned route out of this nightmare is a successful appeal to her better nature, creating a storybook ending in which Theresa finally touches base with the concept of empathetic thought before striding joyously over the horizon to teach the world to sing, you’re likely to be bitterly disappointed.
May’s premiership has never really been about Brexit, despite it being set to make up the huge bulk of her ministerial epitaph. Her primary motivation has never been guided by a steadfast belief in delivering a glorious Brexit, that was merely a circumstantial necessity should she wish to hold onto what she cherishes the most – power. At any cost.
Curiously enough, Leave propaganda spivs have it somewhat correct when they argue that May is a Remainer in Brexiteer’s clothing. She is – though they’re mistaken in their assertion that she’s trying to bring the whole sorry caper down from the inside. Following the Brexit doctrine was a requirement for an incoming Prime Minister’s survival, such was the nature of the zeitgeist.
Trouble is, when the criteria for success was limited to such a narrow precept, May’s inclination to be brutally dogmatic came to the fore. All sense of diplomacy vanished into the ether, with the capacity to be rational and whatever dwindling morsel of empathy she may have once possessed going with it.
All that remains now is, in effect, an intransigent husk of a leader. Shorn of reason and flexibility of thought, with a laughable repertoire of pre-programmed slogans being the all purpose response to any line of inquiry – Theresa May has indeed become the very essence of the unfeeling automaton many have jokingly proclaimed her to be.
Just a shame her solitary directive reads “Brexit means Brexit”, leaving the rest of us doomed to be swept along in her mission to salvage whatever authority she can – by securing a victory that was never on the table to begin with.Follow @grahamlithgow