Theresa May has reduced the UK’s reputation to rubble

Posted By: March 26, 2019

Tom Kelly. Irish News.Belfast. Monday, March 25, 2019

To think they once ruled a quarter of the world. Now the British establishment looks about as nimble as ‘Razor’ Ruddock and John Barnes on Harry Redknapp’s ‘Full English’.

And it has all come to pass thanks to one woman – Theresa May.

She has managed (albeit with the help of the hapless Jeremy ‘throw the toys from the pram’ Corbyn) to reduce the dignity of parliament and the reputation of the UK to rubble.

For almost two years May has been a one trick pony in a three-ring circus. She repeated her single transferable speech until literally voiceless and will do so again.

That is not to say that there isn’t sympathy for the prime minister. People seem to admire her tenacity to continue albeit browbeat. But she is weak. And each day her authority ebbs further away. She makes Chamberlain and Eden look like champions of international diplomacy.

Theresa May was given good advice by former Tory prime minister, John Major- face the ‘b*****ds’ within the Tory Right down or face ruin. She took the route of ruin. The ERG now know that whilst not impossible given parliament’s propensity for self-harm, it is highly unlikely the UK will crash out of Europe.

Only political light-weights like Owen Paterson still talk about a ‘little disruption’ if there is no deal. This is a man who had as one of his chief preoccupations as Secretary of State for Agriculture the culling of badgers. Clearly, a man who can prioritize the important issues of the day. Unsurprisingly he found himself culled from office.

Now we have a deadline of April 12, maybe two deadlines but it is the EU, not the UK, in the driving seat. The British parliament will now have to decide its own course of action.

According to the prime minister, the decision is now clear.

The Speaker may have other ideas, if her motion is not substantially different he may not allow it.

The obvious thing for May to do is to incorporate some of the Labour Party proposals. She seems unwilling and incapable of doing so.

Brexit started as a cancer within the Tory party. That cancer has now infected the prime minister. Her approach has nothing to do with the well being of the UK and everything to do with escaping the blame for the catastrophic mess which she has created by her bloodymindedness.

Far from ignoring the advice of Donald Trump, Theresa May has adopted his bull in a china shop approach to persuasion. Trump finds Congress an inconvenient partner in government. May seems to have the same disregard for parliament. Her actions are the least democratic since Thatcher’s imposition of the poll tax.

Some in the media tried to portray the intervention of Speaker Bercow as setting parliament against the people. Such rubbish. Parliament is the people. The referendum only gave an indication of the views of the country. The result showed how divided Britain was on the EU. The conundrum was then passed from the people to the government and parliament – the people’s representatives – to agree to a solution that reflected the divisions.

At the time of writing more than three million people have taken to petitioning parliament to revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit. This is a truly remarkable achievement in just a few days. The pro-Brexit lobby had only mustered over three hundred thousand signatories at the time of writing. Woe to the Labour Party if they ignore this swathe of popular opinion. Corbyn’s petulant walk out of the leaders meeting only proves May’s point about tantrum driven MPs.

Nigel Farage looked like the Grand Old Duke of York after calling on his aging Brexit supporters to march from Sunderland to London – saying he would lead them – only to water it down to showing up for the start. But this is no Jarrow march.

It’s a pilgrimage for the deluded who think that the world owes Britain something. They fear things that are imagined. They protest against what they fear. They swallow shallow lies from xenophobic right-wingers, the way religious fanatics flocked to see moving statues. They will end up disappointed which will only further embitter them.

Here in Northern Ireland, the DUP will hope that they are either rescued by a new prime minister or the will of parliament. For those interested May 22 is the Feast Day of St Rita who shares the distinction with St Jude of being patron saint of hopeless cases. It seems appropriate somehow.