Theresa May is morphing into Donald Trump – and she won't be making Britain great again anytime soon

She tells us to have 'embarrassing conversations', because political correctness has gone mad when you can’t embarrass a brown person by demanding they singlehandedly stop Isis immediately

Click to follow
The Independent Online

“What would Donald Trump have to say for you to criticise him?” a room of frustrated journalists asked Theresa May.

Not everyone is ready to rename Theresa "Trumpesa", but there are good reasons to do so: the package is different, but the contents are the same.

He screams that greed is good. She whispers that gluttony is a sin. He’s Wild West. She’s Middle England. But, just like he wants to “Make America Great Again” she wants to “Make Britain Strong and Stable Again”.

It’s not just the Dad’s Army slogans, it’s in the nod and wink of subtle Home Counties racism that Trumpesa really comes into her own. She says “enough is enough”, because until now we’ve obviously all been too soft on terror by fighting it without internment camps.

She tells us to have “embarrassing conversations”, because political correctness has gone mad when you can’t embarrass a brown person by demanding they singlehandedly stop Isis immediately.

Can’t they talk to the “community”? And there it is – the c-word. The ultimate dog whistle. We all know it means Muslims. Here’s a thought experiment: try to imagine a picture of the white community. In their community gathering place, with their community leaders, discussing community issues and praying to their community’s sacred objects. If your mind has gone blank, it means you heard Trumpesa’s dog whistle – even if you didn’t realise it.

Perhaps the only criticism Trumpesa may have of Trump is that he isn’t going far enough. All he did was call the Mayor of London “pathetic”, when her Conservative colleague Zac Goldsmith, advised by Lynton Crosby, called him a “radical” (Lynton Crosby is advising Trumpesa on her election campaign, so clearly she is a fan of his work).

Perhaps Trump and Trumpesa’s treatment of Sadiq Khan is nothing to do with his Muslim-ness. Perhaps they genuinely feel that bringing people together after a terrorist attack is pathetic.

But they loved it when Andy Burnham did it. No one called him pathetic. No one talked about his “excuses”. What’s the key demographic difference between Khan and Burnham?

I agree with Trumpesa that there is a poisonous ideology causing these stabbings, attacks and bombings. We must name this ideology, isolate it, and discredit it. That ideology is austerity.

Sadiq Khan criticised cuts to London's policing budget

It’s austerity that cuts 20,000 police and expects there to be no cost in terms of human life. It’s austerity that reduces MI5’s budget by 5 per cent and demand they keep track of 23,000 extremists on a shoestring. It’s austerity that meant Trumpesa told police to stop “crying wolf” when they told her that “cuts have consequences”.

And it is austerity that means that now Trumpesa must blame Muslims, even though they reported both the Manchester bomber and one of the London attackers to her cash-strapped police service.

Trumpesa talks about “safe spaces” being allowed for terror (we all know she meant mosques, but saying so would have been impolite).

The only safe space given to the London attacker was not a mosque, but a Channel 4 documentary. How much perverted sense of celebrity did this show give him? If jihadists are being made into reality TV stars on Keeping Up With the Kalashnikovs, how many youths does that inspire?

The attacker was a supporter of Anjem Choudary: the Kim Kardashian of Jihadists. I remember seeing him and a handful of his supporters posing for selfies outside Regents Park Mosque as hundreds of worshippers left Friday prayers. He made it look like the crowds were there for him. The media loved it, and made him a star. It grew his fan base – and their ratings.

And now to the final piece of the puzzle: Trumpesa’s refusal to regulate the media, or to even hold it responsible for its actions. She unapologetically dropped the Leveson Inquiry. Why? It's almost as if there is a poisonous ideology that prioritises low taxes and the desires of big business and big media, over the rights of citizens to stay safe.

That same poisonous ideology then scapegoats Muslims – the same Muslims who have been reporting potential terrorists to underfunded police, and begging the media to stop making celebrities out of jihadi cheerleaders.

Shall we have an embarrassing conversation about that, Prime Minister? Maybe this Thursday?

Enough is enough.

Muddassar Ahmed is chair of Forum for Change, a British think tank working on issues of inclusion and diversity

Comments