Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why do people actually trust Theresa May to deliver Brexit?


Theresa May's two main political characteristics are her savage authoritarian streak and her abject incompetence, but somehow significant swathes of the public somehow trust her to deliver a good Brexit deal for Britain!

Incompetence

Given that fears over immigration played such a pivotal role in the EU referendum debate, the lack of scrutiny of Theresa May's woeful track record on immigration has been extremely noticeable, especially the silence of Brexiters and the anti-immigration right-wing propaganda rags.

In 2010 Theresa May arrived at the Home Office promising to cut net migration to below 100,000 but by 2016 she had overseen one all-time record high spike in immigration after another, yet somehow an awful lot of Brexiters have this bizarre misguided confidence that Theresa May is some kind of "safe pair of hands" who will steer us through the Brexit negotiations.

One of my favourite demonstrations of Theresa May's abject ineptitude was the time she gave a huge parliamentary shout out to a vile misogynistic, xenophobic extreme-right Twitter troll during Prime Minister's Questions. We all know how the press would have reacted had it been Jeremy Corbyn reading out a Tweet from a disgustingly abusive Twitter troll in order to score cheap political points, but as darling of the mainstream media Theresa May was allowed to totally get away with it.

Another example of Theresa May's incompetence is the shockingly inept "negotiation strategy" she took over six months to come up with. Not only is "give a load of favours to our corporate mates or we'll launch a mutually destructive nuclear Brexit" a woefully inept diplomatic gambit, it's also a completely ludicrous stance to take if you're not even drawing up a contingency plan in case you're actually made to play your bluff.

Yet another example of Theresa May's incompetence is the fact that she allowed Philip Hammond to include his manifesto pledge wrecking National Insurance hike in the spring budget, and didn't even brief her cabinet about what they were going to do. Attacking ordinary working people with tax hikes whilst giving handouts to their corporate mates was bad enough, but not even telling her inner circle what they were planning so that they could coordinate their excuse-making was so brazenly inept that even the right-wing press (Telegraph, Times, S*n, Spectator) picked up on it.

Authoritarianism

Theresa May's track record at the Home Office provides plenty of proof of her right-wing authoritarian streak. She's clearly the kind of person who thinks that the public exist to serve the will of politicians like her, rather than vice versa.

Theresa May introduced secret courts, discriminatory economic apartheid measures against British families, and Dripa, she oversaw the development of the extremist Snoopers' Charter, and she blabbered on endlessly about scrapping our human rights and introducing legislation to curtail the free speech of law-abiding citizens.

Since she became Prime Minister her authoritarian streak has got even worse. Who could forget her bragging about her willingness to commit mass indiscriminate genocide? Who could forget the passage of the Snoopers' Charter into actual law, meaning that our private communications data can be snooped on and trawled through by dozens of non-terrorism related state agencies like the Food Standards Agency, The Gambling Commission and the Health and Safety Executive?


Perhaps the most glaring example of Theresa May's authoritarian extremism was her effort to scrap the principle of parliamentary sovereignty in order to establish the precedent that she can make up and repeal laws at her own will, free from parliamentary scrutiny or approval. The fact that her attempt to turn Britain into her own personal autocracy was beaten in the High Court, and then beaten again at the Supreme Court is another demonstration of the incompetence I detailed above.

A lot of people used "freedom" as their justification for voting Brexit. Freedom from the unelected EU technocrats, freedom from EU laws ... that kind of thing. What I suspect they didn't vote for was the "freedom" to be treated as a worthless peasant who is undeserving of basic human rights by a power hungry hard-right autocrat.

Where does confidence in Theresa May's abilities stem from?

It's pretty well understood that once propaganda narratives have been set it's incredibly difficult to undo them, no matter how downright misleading they actually are. The reason being that it's a lot easier to fool a person than convince them they've been fooled.

The reason Theresa May was subjected to so little scrutiny as she was being appointed as leader of the Tory party, and consequently Prime Minister of the UK is absolutely obvious.

Instead of allowing the media to focus on the extraordinary failure of David Cameron's self-serving EU referendum gamble, his cowardly resignation, and the blatantly undemocratic coronation of his inept and savagely authoritarian successor, the Anyone But Corbyn mob decided to make their inept coup plot the main focus of the mainstream media headlines for the entire summer.

If Labour had spoken with a united voice in condemnation of the Tory Brexit shambles, the blatantly undemocratic Tory leadership election farce, and Theresa May's shocking track record at the Home Office, they could at least have established some public doubts about Theresa May's leadership and the ridiculous "safe pair of hands" trope being pushed by right-wing media hacks but instead they focused their efforts, and the mainstream media's attention on their ridiculous pre-planned coup against their own party leader!

Of course the hard-right dominated press were always going to be biased in favour of Theresa May, but by launching a cynical pre-planned revolt against their own leader at the least opportune time imaginable, the Labour Party right-wingers gave Theresa May the easiest ride possible, and allowed the mainstream media to go virtually unchallenged as they set the extraordinarily misleading propaganda narrative that this incompetent and dangerously authoritarian woman is some kind of "safe pair of hands".

In my view nobody is more responsible for the lack of scrutiny that Theresa May has benefited from than the coup-plotter Labour MPs.


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