Saturday 4 March 2017

Does Theresa May actually have any debating tactics other than hubristic threats?

It's a constant source of bafflement that so many people imagine Theresa May to be doing a good job as Prime Minister.

How can anyone conclude that she's doing a good job in light of domestic policies like the continued abuse and economic persecution of disabled people, the NHS and social care funding crises, the abolition of university maintenance grants and bursaries, the continuation of George Osborne's socially and economically ruinous austerity agenda, and the abolition of the right to privacy from government snooping.

As for her diplomatic abilities, well, they're no better than a toddler having a tantrum. She spent six months hiding from questions about what her Brexit negotiating strategy was going to be, offering nothing but vacuous platitudes like "Brexit means Brexit" instead of anything even remotely resembling coherent answers. Then after six months of dithering she finally announced that her Brexit "negotiating strategy" is going to be to make impossible demands from the EU, and threaten nuclear Brexit as retribution if they don't give her favoured corporations the special favours she's demanding.

Theresa May is playing an incredibly dangerous game of brinkmanship with our 27 former European allies, and the consequence looks ever more likely to be a catastrophic "no deal" nuclear Brexit.

Now she has decided to use the same kind of ridiculous brinkmanship tactics with Scotland. She's told a gathering of Scottish Tories that she's going to block any further moves towards devolution apparently in order to try to force the Scottish government into launching a new Independence referendum.

Theresa May is clearly eyeing up stuff like the Scottish farming and fishing territories for Westminster rule, rather than allowing Scotland to have control over their own agricultural policies or territorial waters.

She's even trying to lay the groundwork for the weakening of the Scottish parliament by whinging about the 1998 devolution settlement as if Brexit somehow renders Scottish devolution redundant.

The fact that Theresa May and the Westminster Tories are intent on dragging Scotland out of the EU and the Single Market against the will of the Scottish electorate is bad enough, but making a such an obvious grab for Scottish farming, fishing and other issues, and threatening the existing powers of the Scottish parliament are obviously going to play extremely badly with the Scottish electorate.

David Cameron came surprisingly close to losing Scotland in 2014, but he was saved by a bunch of lies about how voting for independence would jeopardise Scotland's place in the EU and by Gordon Brown's last minute pensioner-targeted fearmongering.

This time around Theresa May is setting out a bullying and astoundingly hubristic "we're having your territorial waters and you'll do as your damn well told" stance, which is absolutely certain to drive hundreds of thousands of moderate Scots into the welcoming arms of the independence campaign.

Theresa May's domestic policies are utterly appalling; her threat-based Brexit "negotiating tactic" is an absolute farce that looks highly likely to result in a catastrophic nuclear Brexit, and now her authoritarian hubris is leading her to adopt a spectacularly ill-conceived grab for Scottish powers that will likely fuel the break-up of the UK.

David Cameron undoubtedly laid the groundwork with his failed EU referendum gamble, but Theresa May is the one who looks set to complete the demolition job by marching us towards nuclear Brexit, trashing the social democratic model, scrapping our rights and liberties, and ensuring the break-up of the United Kingdom with her hubristic authoritarianism.

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