No, Theresa May, you are absolutely not on my side

I don’t use the term ‘fascistic’ lightly, because it is uttered too often, and usually incorrectly – but May’s speech was at least testing the borders of it

James Moore
Thursday 21 March 2019 13:13 GMT
Brexit: Theresa May puts blame for what she has called a national 'crisis' on MPs

Theresa May saying she’s on my side is one of the most offensive things I’ve heard a senior politician utter in recent history – and I make that assertion in the full knowledge that we’ve heard some real doozies over the past three years.

Yesterday, a matter of hours before her appalling performance, I logged onto Amazon and dropped £166 on a pack of 500 blood-testing strips. They are available on NHS prescription for type 1 diabetics such as myself, but given how unhinged the prime minister has become, I didn’t want to rely on the reassurances peddled by her government. My life and health are at stake if I can’t monitor my blood sugar levels to adjust my insulin dosage. Without them, I’m basically toast.

A few hours after I’d clicked “buy” and listened to that appalling speech, my former Independent colleague Ben Chu, now with the BBC’s Newsnight, broke a story that revealed it to have been money well spent. He reported a warning from NHS Providers that English hospitals are already facing shortages of 160 medicines. One hospital trust was running low on 300 such drugs.

The organisation accepted there was a “correlation with Brexit”. The Department of Health, with the sort of Trumpian mendacity we have come to expect from May’s ministers, denied this was the case.

On the one hand, you have people who actually know what they are talking about; on the other, a department run by a man, Matt Hancock, who wants to be Tory leader and knows his only route to fulfilling that ambition is by snarling “Brexit, Brexit, yeaaahhhh” to appeal to the ageing band of bigots that make up the majority of his party’s declining membership.

A while back, I raised the issue of the medicines I need directly with his department, to illustrate the issues faced by people with type 1 diabetes – not to mention a plethora of other conditions. I was given the usual spiel: apparently his people “have analysed the entire supply chain for every single medicine”. More promises about supply followed, all of which this Newsnight story called into question. The patronising, and borderline insulting, kicker? “Clearly if you have concerns about your own treatment it would be better if you spoke to your GP.” Mr Hancock’s spokesperson actually said that (and I’ve kept the email).

You might therefore be able to understand why May claiming to be “on my side” felt rather like my being told the same thing by the owner of a rabid pitbull while lying on ground after an attack in the hopes of receiving emergency first aid and a tetanus jab.

Perhaps you might also understand why, when I was composing this missive in my head, I thought very carefully about whether or not to start it off with “f*** you, Ms May”. And this morning MPs seem minded to say the same thing, albeit a little more decorously, as a result of the prime minister of this country saying that none of the situation we find ourselves in is actually her fault. After all, she’s only the leader of the country who has been almost dictatorially running the Brexit process for the last three miserable years, and humiliating us all throughout the process. No no, not she; it’s the fault of all those MPs.

The only MPs I blame for my having to buy medical equipment from an American-owned website, as opposed to getting it from the NHS she and her party are trying to destroy, are the extremists in cabinet and on her back benches. I’m talking about those who actually want to crash the country out of the EU with a no deal, despite promising that achieving one would be, as cabal member Liam Fox once described it, the “easiest thing in human history”. They’re also the ones who spit “betrayal!” and cry crocodile tears for democracy while opposing a democratic people’s vote that they fear they’d lose, while blowing dog whistles to thugs as they do.

But these rogue politicians have only been given the power to create this desperate situation because, rather than face them down and declare that she will act in the national interest, Theresa May has put her party and her own survival first – and kowtowed to them at every step.

BBC News presenter struggles to find tweets supporting Theresa May after speech

And the dog whistling has now been echoed by Theresa May herself. That was perhaps the low point of the prime minister’s speech last night, the backlash against which has only grown in volume today. May essentially gave a green light to every piece of extreme right-wing filth that might have been thinking of lobbing death threats, or even worse, at those elected representatives who fail to dance to their sick tunes. Go get ’em, she seemed to be saying.

Labour MP Wes Streeting, who represents my constituency, had this to say on the issue: “I’ve thought long and hard before saying this, but Theresa May knows that MPs across the house are subjected to death threats – some very credible. Her speech was incendiary and irresponsible. If any harm comes to any of us, she will have to accept her share of responsibility.” It was that, but May doesn’t appear to recognise the concept of responsibility.

I don’t use the term “fascistic” lightly, because it is uttered too often – and usually incorrectly – by people, such as the yellow vest protesters, who are very close to being fascists themselves. But May’s speech was at least testing the borders of it.

Such is her towering ego and divorcement from reality, I now fear she will pitch us into a no-deal Brexit simply to satisfy her lust for a legacy by means of a scorched earth policy – just like those indulged in by the fascist leaders of an earlier age.

Unless, that is, the MPs she has demeaned find a way to stop her. The clock is ticking.

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