Theresa May is not delivering on the will of the people. It's the will of the extremists in her own party

From taking office May set out her stall as a born-again hard Brexiteer, promising to pull Britain out of the single market and customs union

James Moore@JimMooreJourno
Saturday 17 November 2018 11:14
Brexit deal: Theresa May's draft withdrawal agreement explained

“What the British people want is for us to get on with delivering Brexit.”

We’ve heard several variations of this from Theresa May over the past couple of days. Presumably the assumption is that if you bash people over the head with the same lie for long enough they’ll start to believe it.

It’s the sort of thing a defence lawyer called upon to defend a bloke who knifes a former friend in front of CCTV cameras and then tells the police that “the bastard deserved it” is left to rely upon when they later refuse to admit their crime and insist on pleading not guilty.

Keep on hitting the jury with “he’s innocent” and who knows: the 12 good men and women might accept the whole (un)reasonable doubt argument.

There are those who say they feel sympathy for May, even among Remainers. They speak up for her fortitude and say she’s got a terribly hard job. They note that, in contrast to her Brexiteer ministers, she has stuck around while they’ve run away from what they’ve done as fast as their little legs can carry them.

Enough already.

Theresa “mendacious” May has proven that she’s so desperate to keep her job that she will do anything and say anything, regardless of the consequences to the country she claims to love.

That includes talking about the British people’s “desire for delivery”. This is as cynical a lie as anything you’ll hear from Boris Johnson or his Brexiteer chums who, let’s face it, basically wrote the book on how to cook up porky pies with their “Britain holds all the cards” and “It’ll be the easiest thing in human history” to do a deal. Ian Birrell, a former deputy editor of The Independent, has put up a masterful thread on Twitter with some of the Brexiteers’ choicest cuts. I recommend it to you.

May’s monotonous monotone about the will of the people and her arrogance in concluding that she knows what the citizens of this poor country want is not only blatantly dishonest – it’s frankly offensive.

Remember, she said this on a day when a caller into James O’Brien’s LBC show literally broke down in tears and apologised for voting Leave in response to the godawful mess she and her colleagues have made.

Meanwhile Brexiteer financier Crispin Odey gloated to The Times about what a good day it had been for him as the pound crashed, leaving the rest of Britain very much poorer.

There are many like O’Brien’s caller among the Remainer Now community – those who have changed their mind since the referendum. They’re not all upset. In fact most of them are just hopping mad. I see their tweets.

They have every right to be. This wretched politician’s statement is a slap in the face to them. It delivers the same to the more than 16 million who voted Remain and who have been all but excised from the political discourse (I see you, BBC).

From taking office May set out her stall as a born-again hard Brexiteer, promising to pull Britain out of the single market and customs union, concluding that that was the “will of the people” even though such questions weren’t posed to the electorate during the referendum. In fact people like Johnson and Farage regularly talked about the “Norway option” that is now regarded by them as the rankest heresy.

May might have inched towards something softer through the course of the mishandled negotiations she’s largely conducted while David Davis and Dominic Raab were twiddling their thumbs and checking out Amazon Black Friday deals on the office computer, but that’s irrelevant.

We now know the whole country was criminally misled during the course of a campaign that was tainted by truckloads of dodgy cash and breaches of Electoral Commission rules.

In taking the course she has, and in ploughing on in the face of this, May has also allowed the Brexiteer loons in her party to sail further off into the badlands of a no-deal disaster, which they at every stage said simply couldn’t happen during the campaign.

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Moggy, Davis, Johnson, Raab and co also like to blather on about the will of the people, and their consciences, all the while furiously condemning the campaign for a People’s Vote that would put that will to the test.

The deal is the will of Theresa May and the dwindling part of her party that still backs her. The false choice of no deal she presents is the will of the extremists in her own party, and perhaps some number of bigots and racists that cheer them on.

The truth is that the prime minister knows that the “people” want a say and deserve one. But she is resisting giving us one because she knows she and the shabby band of Brexiteer hucksters she has continually kowtowed to would lose.

The only hope we have of salvaging something from the train wreck she is delivering is if there are enough MPs with consciences to put power back into the people’s hands.

The honourable members had best not let us down because it could otherwise get very nasty.

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