Sunday, 12 February 2017

May needs no sympathy

Andrew Rawnsley suggests the need for some sympathy for Theresa May, our "accidental prime minister", who just happened to be "in charge when the music suddenly stopped" (Mrs May discovers you can`t be a bridge builder and a bridge burner, 05.02.17). There was nothing "accidental" about May`s arrival at Number 10; she deliberately kept a low profile during the referendum campaign, and did not gain from her colleagues the nick-name, "Submarine May", for no reason, though it appears particularly prescient, in view of the new depths to which May has taken British foreign policy!
   The idea that she is a "victim of her baleful circumstances" also beggars belief. May applied for the Tory leadership after the Brexit vote, and whilst Trump had not yet arrived at the White House, political and economic expediency would have demanded some arrangement with America. "Circumstances" did not demand an obsequious approach to the new president, nor a visit to the torture-practising Turkish ruler, nor even a rebuff for John Kerry`s description of Netanyahu`s administration as being the "most right-wing" in Israel`s history.
     At home May has overseen the continuation of the totally unnecessary austerity polices, suggested the return of outdated grammar schools, blamed GPs for the NHS crisis, caused by bed shortages, and done nothing to back up her own rhetoric about helping the "just about managing". Yes, Britain is "in such a precarious lonely place" at the moment, which some might describe as a "hole". The prime minister needs to stop digging, and, indeed, to stop treating both the leaders of the EU countries, and the British people, as mugs. Cameron and Osborne did that for long enough, and look where it`s taken us!

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