Sunday, 3 July 2016

Theresa May: authoritarianism and incompetence


With the majority of Labour Party MP having decided to commit collective suicide in response to the Brexit vote by launching a pre-planned and incredibly ill-timed coup attempt against their party leader, it looks highly likely that the Tory leadership contest is going to determine which direction post-Brexit Britain goes in, and the right-wing tabloid press have already chosen their favourite. 

Theresa May represents the right-wing authoritarian faction of conservatism. She doesn't just believe in the classic Tory stuff like the upwards redistribution of wealth, deregulated financial services and mass privatisation of public property, but she also has a belief that the government has a right, or even a duty, to interfere in the lives of citizens as much as possible.

She also hates the concept of human rights with a passion, believing that our human rights should be scrapped and replaced with a set of Tory allowances. She's been pushing this policy for years.

Toxic legislation

May has served as Home Secretary since the Lib-Dems enables the Tories back into power in 2010. In her time in office she has been responsible for some of the absolute worst legislation to come out of David Cameron's government. 

  • The ban on Khat: Against pretty much all advice from drug experts May decided to make the mild stimulant Khat illegal. It is similar in addictiveness and harm to coffee, and is mainly used by Somalian communities).
  • Secret Courts: Theresa May introduced new legislation to introduce secret courts (which applies to civil as well as criminal courts). This means that a defendant can have their fate determined in a courtroom they are not allowed to enter, on charges that they are not allowed to know, based on evidence that they are not allowed to see.
  • Ripping apart British families: Theresa May oversaw the introduction of harsh and discriminatory income thresholds for the non-EU spouses of British citizens. These ridiculous rules discriminate against people in poorer communities, and against women. May's draconian crackdown has left tens of thousands of British families with the awful choice of living in exile from their own country, or living apart/splitting up.
  • DRIPA: When the Snowden leaks revealed that the UK intelligence services had been doing all kinds of unlawful spying activity without any parliamentary approval, Theresa May rushed through emergency legislation to make the unlawful mass trawling of data and other things lawful. Shockingly, only 48 MPs opposed this appalling cover up operation.
  • Psychoactive Substances Act: Theresa May decided that banning mild stimulants like Khat wasn't enough and that the UK should ban all drugs (whether they even actually exist or not) except things on a pre-approved government list which includes two of the most harmful, addictive and lucrative substances of all: Alcohol and Tobacco. Despite evidence that the introduction of a similar law in Ireland had coincided with a massive spike in the numbers of people using novel psychoactive substances, and complaints from law enforcement specialists that the "ban everything, even if it doesn't exist" law was completely unworkable, May pushed it through anyway.
  • Deporting workers: In April 2016 Theresa May oversaw the introduction of new rules to deport non-EU workers from the UK for the "crime" of earning less than £35,000 per year. Thus people who have come to the UK to work and contribute to society as teachers, nurses, care workers, other health specialists, engineers, IT experts and all manner of other professions face being thrown out of the UK because the Tories believe that anyone who earns below £35,000 (the vast majority of workers in the UK, immigrant or not) is useless scum.  
Incompetence



In 2010 Theresa May vowed to reduce net migration to below 100,000 per year, but by 2015 net migration had increased to an all time record high of 330,000. Instead of acknowledge her appalling failure to deliver her promise, she had the absolute gall to launch a sickening tirade of anti-immigrant fearmongering and recycle her broken 100,000 per year promise!

The Psychoactive Substances Act (detailed above) is another example of severe incompetence. Not only did she imitate a disastrously failed policy from Ireland, she also pushed on with it despite experts in the field condemning it as completely unworkable.

The reason Theresa May hates human rights so much is her incompetent efforts to deport the hate preacher Abu Qatada. He fought several successful appeals against deportation, but was eventually deported anyway. Theresa May blames the concept of human rights for the repeated failures to deport him, but she's the real culprit. She managed to deport him eventually, so if she'd found a way to deport him without ignoring his human rights in the first place, she could have deported him the first time around. Just because Theresa May and her team can't be arsed to learn the law and abide by it in their actions, doesn't mean that the law should be scrapped.


The future

Theresa May has been working on a number of other right-wing authoritarian plots. One of them is a brazen assault on civil liberties dressed up as an attempt to counter Islamist extremism. The plan involves scrapping long held British liberties like freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy in order to silence and oppress so-called "extremists" who haven't actually broken any laws whatever. Anyone who thinks that a law that can revoke the freedom of speech from people who have not broken any law whatever will only ever be used to combat Islamist fanaticism is clearly very naive and unaware of the concept of function creep.

Another of Theresa May's right-wing authoritarian schemes is to scrap our human rights and replace them with a set of Tory allowances. The whole idea of the European Convention of Human Rights was that there should be a set of minimum standards below which no country could fall. It was a British idea championed by Winston Churchill (Tory) and Clement Attlee (Labour) after the Second World War in order to try to prevent what happened in Nazi Germany ever happening again. If Theresa May ends up dragging the UK out of the ECHR, then we would join the severely authoritarian post-Communist dictatorship of Belarus as the only non-signatories on the whole continent of Europe.

Conclusion

Theresa May embodies a terrifying mix of barkingly right-wing politics, severe moral authoritarianism and brazen incompetence.

The vision of a post-Brexit UK led by this appalling woman is beyond nightmarish. It's bad enough that David Cameron allowed her to continue her reign of savage right-wing authoritarianism and incompetence for six long years at the Home Office, if she becomes Prime Minister, there's no telling how bad things could get.


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