Tuesday 13 June 2017

The ever changing face of Theresa May's Tory party

Theresa May's directionless leadership of the Tory party has been through three distinct incarnations already, and is soon to be entering a fourth altogether more revolting guise.


When the Tory MPs ensured that Theresa May was crowned their new leader by bullying her leadership rival out of the leadership race, May attempted to recreate Margaret Thatcher's St Francis of Assisi speech by crying crocodile tears about how much she cared about social mobility and the under-privileged before immediately scrapping university grants for students fro  poor backgrounds as one of her first acts as Prime Minister.

In her first Prime Minister's Questions appearance she revealed that she was going to turn down the opportunity to abandon George Osborne's socially and economically ruinous austerity dogma by uttering a ridiculous economic platitude about how austerity means "living within our means".
This platitude not only revealed that she was going to carry on lobbing our infrastructure and services on George Osborne's austerity bonfire, but also that she was still relying on the exact same team of economically illiterate Tory script writers as her predecessor David Cameron.

Theresa May pursued the same socially and economically divisive policies as her predecessors, but she had none of Cameron's slickness and none of Thatcher's steel.

Anyone who paid attention to her in this period could see a directionless woman going through the motions of imposing one malicious policy after another, not because she particularly believed in them, but because she had no ideology of her own beyond opportunistic self-interest.


For six tedious months May stalled Brexit and fobbed off the electorate with excruciating platitudes like "Brexit means Brexit", but in January 2017 Theresa May lurched dramatically to the hard-right with her ludicrous clown costume speech.

We've all become used to UKIP having diplomatic toddler tantrums in the EU Parliament, and the propaganda rags spewing xenophobic anti-EU rhetoric, but we'd never seen such lunacy from a British Prime Minister before.

The propaganda rags adored Theresa May's ugly divisive threats that she would explode a bomb over Britain and Europe if they didn't cave in and give her the pro-corporate deal she was demanding. But anyone with sufficient diplomatic skills to deal with a small child knows that escalating to extreme threats ("I'll burn all of your toys in a fire if you don't tidy your bedroom") is a catastrophic approach to negotiations

The right-wing propaganda rags loved it because it parroted back their own anti-EU rhetoric at them, but anyone with any sense whatever saw Theresa May's threat-based negotiating strategy as a shocking display of diplomatic ineptitude.

Theresa May's antagonistic posturing continued throughout the spring and culminated in a ridiculous veiled threat that the UK would turn a blind eye to terrorism and security threats on the continent unless the EU caved into her demands.

The Tories were obviously preparing the ground to launch a snap election in the hope of hoovering up all the UKIP voters with all of this extreme Farage-like anti-EU posturing.

Theresa May's team

 After calling her vanity election Theresa May's next incarnation of the Tory party was to try to re-brand it "Theresa May's team" with almost all mentions of the word Conservative either reduced to illegibly small fonts, or eradicated entirely.

This bizarre effort to turn the Tory party into a kind of Theresa May personality cult was obviously something that had been dreamt up by image consultants as a way of appealing to traditional Labour and Lib-Dem voters who would never normally dream of voting Conservative.

The problem of course is that it reeked of insincerity and relied on the assumption that voters are absolute idiots who can be persuaded to vote for a party they despise just by dropping the name from the election propaganda!

Then there's the fact that Theresa May was still simultaneously running her hard-right blue-KIP campaign for the tabloid readers. At the exact same time she was appealing to centrists with her "Theresa May's team" will get "a good Brexit deal" nonsense, her cabinet ministers were briefing the right-wing Eurosceptic propaganda rags that they were drawing up plans to strop away from the Brexit negotiating table with nothing.

Not only was the short-lived "Theresa May's team" incarnation of the Tory party an examplar of the empty insincere political marketing that millions have grown to despise, it was also a total fraud because selling middle England the idea that only "Theresa May's team" could deliver a "good Brexit deal" is shockingly at odds with telling the Eurosceptic propaganda rags that plans are being drawn up for a nuclear Brexit.


After Theresa May's vanity election backfired and cost her the majority she could have held until 2020 the Tories immediately went crawling to the DUP for support.

The irony of continually smearing Jeremy Corbyn for having had meetings with Sinn Féin one day, then trying to crawl into bed with the terrorist-backed orange order DUP bigots the next has not been missed by most people.

Theresa May's desperation to cling onto power at any cost means that she's even willing to sling the Northern Ireland peace process onto her bonfire of vanity.

But the fact that she has to suck up to the orange order bigots to stay in power isn't her only problem, she also knows that the only reason she managed to finish ahead of the Corbyn surge was the flood of ex-UKIP voters joining the Tory cause.

These Ukippers are not traditional Tory voters, but they will need to be appeased if they are to remain Tory voters, and it seems likely that an awful lot of them are eventually going to start waking up to the fact that Theresa May has managed to stall Brexit for almost an entire year, and then made the process very much more difficult by throwing away her parliamentary majority with her vanity election.

Theresa May seems to have put herself in an impossible position. She's going to have to dance to the tune of the hard Brexit-demanding Ukippers and the orange order bigots, whilst somehow not driving all the centrists away from the Tory party.

What next?

Theresa May certainly won't want to let this disgusting orange-KIP incarnation seep into the public consciousness, so her image consultants are going to have to come up with another new Tory rebrand, and quickly.

What they can come up with to appease the orange order bigots, and appeal to the hard Brexit Ukippers, the Tory hard-right, the Tory soft-right and to moderate centrist voters is anybody's guess.

Anyway, it's going to be very interesting watching what they come up with and then begin immediately tearing it to pieces.

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