Everyone loves Theresa May. Because she’s new and fresh and untainted by the attitudes of the previous government, as she had nothing to do with it except for the minor role of Home Secretary which only involved popping in on a Tuesday to feed the cat, so it’s all different now because she loves the common person which we know must be true because she said so.
For example, she said she wants to help the poor so we must take her at her word, just as if Robert Mugabe announced, “My aim is to make children laugh, so from now on I’m going to blow bubbles and pull silly faces and pretend to be an elephant”, we’d all declare him the jolliest president ever, and only grumpy cynical people would spoil things by mentioning torture and stuff that’s all in the past.
Everything she does is sparkly; in the words of one BBC News article, “the new Prime Minister and Mrs Merkel… shared a joke and seemed to get on remarkably well.” The evidence for this was they walked along a few yards of road together, which took us all by surprise as most commentators expected May to arrive dressed as Catwoman and kick Merkel in the crotch.
And everything she does is charming and tough and assured and confident and the Daily Telegraph will soon insist Sam Allardyce starts with her in a holding midfield role for his first game as England manager.
The news channels have been like this before, when they went all soppy over David Cameron and Nick Clegg announcing a coalition in the rose garden, and columnists reported: “As the two men giggled together, a magpie tweeted and joint policies swirled in the air like glittery snowflakes of love literally sprinkled from heaven, for the beginning of an alliance that will last for at least 100 years, and a grateful people will forever regard the Liberal Democrats as princes and beg Mr Clegg to marry their daughters forever, even after he’s dead.”
But Theresa May is different, because she’s stolen the centre ground. She said, “We will think not of the powerful but of you”, promising to reduce inequality and help the working class. It makes you realise how cruel the last government was, forcing the poor woman against her will to participate in a government that cut the top tax rate, and trebled tuition fees, and introduced the bedroom tax.
Or maybe the job was so confusing, she kept thinking, “This time I’m really going to think of you instead of the powerful”, then read the papers and screamed, “Oh shit, I’ve voted for the powerful by mistake AGAIN!”
She’s also adamant that she’ll do all she can to ensure everyone is welcome here, “no matter where they’re from.” This is the same inclusive one-nation attitude she expressed when she presided over the policy to send out fleets of vans to drive round towns, with “In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest” painted on the side.
It’s hard to think of any phrase that would make people feel more welcome. She must have picked this up from the Debrett’s Book of Etiquette, in the chapter that advises: “An ideal host, upon greeting newcomers at their home for dinner or an evening soiree, will put their guests at ease by shouting ‘If you’re here illegally, you can piss right off, mate, or I’ll have you arrested’. Then, before offering a cocktail, they will alert the guest to a van driving round in circles with the same message printed in giant letters. With such grace the host ensures the ice is broken and gentle conversation about the weather may begin.”
Like all good liberals who think of the ordinary everyday working person and not the powerful, she’s made a number of speeches about human rights. In this she stands in the tradition of other historic figures such as Gandhi and Rosa Parks. While it’s true her speeches have almost all concerned scrapping the Human Rights Act, it would be churlish to quibble about that detail, because it means she thinks about human rights and that’s the main thing.
She demonstrated her commitment to this cause when she told an entirely made-up story in 2011 about how the Human Rights Act had ruled a criminal couldn’t be deported because he had a cat (the real story “had nothing to do with” the man’s pet cat, according to a spokesman for the Judicial Office at the Royal Courts of Justice.) What an example of this new inclusive cuddly government, that we have a Prime Minister who, even when considering vital international issues, is prepared to make up stories about the seriousness of hardship for cats.
The 6 most important issues Theresa May needs to address
The 6 most important issues Theresa May needs to address
The big one. Theresa May has spoken publicly three times since declaring her intent to stand in the Tory Leadership race, and each time she has said, ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ It sounds resolute, but it is helpful to her that Brexit is a made up word with no real meaning. She has said there will be ‘no second referendum’ and no re-entry in to the EU via the back door. But she, like the Leave campaign of which she was not a member, has pointedly not said with any precision what she thinks Brexit means
2/6 General election
This is very much one to keep off the to do list. She said last week there would be ‘no general election’ at this time of great instability. But there have already been calls for one from opposition parties. The Fixed Term Parliaments Act of 2010 makes it far more difficult to call a snap general election, a difficulty she will be in no rush to overcome. In the event of a victory for Leadsom, who was not popular with her own parliamentary colleagues, an election might have been required, but May has the overwhelming backing of the parliamentary party
Macbeth has been quoted far too much in recent weeks, but it will be up to May to decide whether, with regard to the new high speed train link between London, Birmingham, the East Midlands and the north, ‘returning were as tedious as go o’er.’ Billions have already been spent. But the £55bn it will cost, at a bare minimum, must now be considered against the grim reality of significantly diminished public finances in the short to medium term at least. It is not scheduled to be completed until 2033, by which point it is not completely unreasonable to imagine a massive, driverless car-led transport revolution having rendered it redundant
4/6 Heathrow expansion
Or indeed Gatwick expansion. Or Boris Island, though that option is seems as finished as the man himself. The decision on where to expand aviation capacity in the south east has been delayed to the point of becoming a national embarrassment. A final decision was due in autumn. Whatever is decided, there will be vast opprobrium
5/6 Trident renewal
David Cameron indicated two days ago that there will be a Commons vote on renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent on July 18th, by which point we now know, Ms May will be Prime Minister. The Labour Party is, to put it mildly, divided on the issue. This will be an early opportunity to maximise their embarrassment, and return to Tory business as usual
6/6 Scottish Independence
Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are in no doubt that the Brexit vote provides the opportunity for a second independence referendum, in which they can emerge victorious. The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood has the authority to call a second referendum, but Ms May and the British Parliament are by no means automatically compelled to accept the result. She could argue it was settled in 2014
This is why she’ll succeed in negotiations over Brexit. She’ll say, “I’m sorry, Ms Merkel, we can’t accept your demands on car tariffs, because it will upset Hercules, an imaginary ginger tom that lives up my chimney.”
Then, to prove her commitment to ending privilege, she made Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary, and will probably follow up this fun appointment by making Jacob Rees-Mogg Minister for Hip-Hop and Hardcore Urban Grime and Dubstep.
Perhaps May has been playing a long game, in which she cleverly planned to spend six years as a leading figure in a government increasing inequality, so she could sneak in as Prime Minister and change a few of the things she’d supported back towards how they were before she started.
If it works it could catch on, and Kim Jong-Un will announce he’s forming a new government, and from now on his face will only have to be on half the country’s walls and he’ll only be a psychopath from Mondays to Thursdays because he’s thinking about you and not the powerful. If so, I’m certain we’ll all breathe a sigh of relief as we say, “What a refreshing liberal chap he is.”