Wednesday 21 June 2017

Theresa May's first Queen's speech was a total shambles

Theresa May's first, and almost certainly last, Queen's speech was every bit the shambles you would expect from a directionless charlatan with no ideology other than a self-serving desperation to cling onto power at any cost.

The May-DUP deal

Theresa May delayed the Queen's speech in order to buy herself time to make a deal with the DUP. The Tories then failed to agree a deal with their right-wing ideological blood brothers, and then the speech went ahead without the deal in place.

I'm not going to walk you down the garden path to conclusions about Theresa May's competence and deal-making abilities. Just think about it for yourself.

Even if this May-DUP deal does go ahead before the Queen's speech is voted on, it will clearly be a demonstration that Theresa May is willing to sling literally anything on her bonfire of vanity, even peace in Northern Ireland.

Ripping up their own manifesto

One of the most extraordinary aspects of Theresa May's vanity election was the way she wilted under public pressure and began ripping pages out of her own manifesto before the polls had even opened.

She backpedalled furiously on her depraved proposal to impose a 100% stealth inheritance tax for people who get frail in their old age and need social care, and the pledge to provide infant school children breakfast at 6.8p per day was also bunged into the shredder too.

The Queen's speech revealed that both of these Tory policies have gone, as have many others from their manifesto of misery including their plans to scrap the pensioners' triple lock and to means test winter fuel payments, their plot to bring back fox hunting, and their scheme to bring back educational apartheid based on exam results at the age of 11.

Other things that were dropped were promises of 10,000 more mental health nurses (impossible after Theresa May's scrapping of NHS bursaries drove 10,000 trainee nurses out of the profession in a single year), the plan to nick Ed Miliband's energy price cap idea, and the plan to scrap the independent Serious Fraud Office in order to give the Tory government control over financial corruption cases.

Making it up as they go along

The way the British political system usually works is that the parties present their proposed legislative agendas in their manifestos, the people vote, and then the party with the most seats outlines their legislative agenda in the Queen's speech.

By ditching so many policies from their manifesto for their pared-back Queen's speech, the Tories are signalling their intent to just make it all up as they go along for as long as they can cling onto power.

What is the point of parties bothering to write manifestos at all if they just sling them in the bin after they get elected and then do whatever the hell they want to?

Any MP who votes in favour of Theresa May's Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to allow Theresa May and the Tories to simply make things up as they go along.

The Brexit U-turn

Theresa May has been warned in no uncertain terms by dozens of her Europhile Tory backbenchers that an economically ruinous "no deal" Brexit strop is now out of the question

As a result of this internal Tory rebellion the Queen's speech makes absolutely no mention whatever of her diplomatically inept "no deal is better than a bad deal" threat to explode an economic bomb over Britain and the EU if she doesn't get her own way, and all we get instead is a platitude about making a success of Brexit.

Theresa May is now dancing to the tune of her backbenchers, but the Tory party is brutally divided between hard Brexit fanatics like Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and John Redwood, and the Europhile MPs.

If Theresa May manages to get her Queen's speech through then it's going to be fascinating to see the absurd political contortions she is going to have to do in order to satisfy both of these ideologically incompatible factions, both of which will have the power to bring her weak and unstable government to its knees at pretty much any point.

Any MP who votes in favour of Theresa May's Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to foist an incredibly weak, unstable and ideologically divided government on the UK.

Attacking Internet freedom 
"A commission for countering extremism will be established to support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms, both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to spread."
Theresa May is absolutely fixated on controlling the Internet. She piggybacks this right-wing authoritarian agenda onto every single terrorist attack, even when there's no evidence whatever that the attacks could have been prevented by revoking Internet freedom.

If Theresa May had any real concerns over public safety from terrorism then she would use existing legislation to prosecute the appalling hate speech and glorification of terrorism that goes on in places like the Britain First hate group, and she certainly wouldn't have allowed known jihadists to go completely unwatched as they planed and executed their deadly terrorist attacks.

The real reason Theresa May dislikes Internet freedom is that it allows people to discuss and debate politics outside the narrow spectrum of right-wing opinion that is deemed acceptable by the mainstream media.

She knows that she lost her majority because the Internet is allowing people to break down the right-wing propaganda tropes that have dominated UK political discourse for decades, so she wants to stamp it out and return to the time when fanatical Tory hard-right economic dogma was subjected to virtually no scrutiny whatever. It's an impossible fantasy, but since when have realism and groundedness ever been factors in Theresa May's political calculations before?

Any MP who votes in favour of the Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to help Theresa May destroy the freedom of the Internet for her own right-wing authoritarian political purposes.

Attacking democracy
"A bill will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act and provide certainty for individuals and businesses."
Another horrifying announcement in the Queen's speech is that the Tories are actually intent on continuing with their anti-democratic effort to completely bypass parliament and allow Tory ministers to rewrite the laws of the land as they see fit.

The anti-democratic Tory repeal bill is an absolute affront to democracy. 

Only the most hypocritical of Brexiters could possibly try to argue that Tory ministers rewriting the laws of the land without any parliamentary scrutiny whatever is a price worth paying to end the supposedly anti-democratic influence of the EU.

Either you think parliament should be sovereign, or you think that government ministers should be allowed to make up the law of the land as they go along with no parliamentary scrutiny whatever.

 You simply can't believe both unless you're 100% immune to cognitive dissonance.

Any MP who votes in favour of the Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to help Theresa May and the Tories destroy British democracy by rewriting the laws of the land to suit themselves with no democratic scrutiny whatever.

Britain for sale
"My government will work to attract investment in infrastructure to support economic growth"
This particular part of the Queen's speech should leap out to anyone who understands the Tory track record on investment. Since 2010 the Tories have ruthlessly and recklessly cut back on infrastructure and investment meaning that the UK is getting left further and further behind in the global economy.

The UK spends only 1.7% of GDP investing for the future when the average amongst developed nations is around 3%. This deliberate ideologically driven under-investment will have devastating consequences for our future economic prospects.

When the Tories talk about "attracting investment", they don't mean that they're going to invest in the UK economy at all, it means that they're going to go around the world begging countries like Qatar, Oman, the UAE and China into buying our public infrastructure.

In November 2016 Theresa May's government handed our publicly owned aviation fuel distribution network directly to the governments of Oman and the UAE. In March 2017 the Tories handed the Southwestern rail franchise to the government of Hong Kong, and later in March 2017 Theresa May begged and grovelled in front of the Qataris for them to buy up even more British infrastructure.

Any MP who votes in favour of the Queen's speech will be demonstrating their intent to help Theresa May and the Tories requisition even more publicly owned British infrastructure and services to distribute to foreign governments.

An authoritarian with no authority

Theresa May's vanity election has reduced her to the ridiculous position of being a savage right-wing authoritarian with no authority.

Even if the DUP decide to put their own party interests above the interests of the United Kingdom by voting through Theresa May's economically treasonous, Internet freedom-attacking, democracy-hating Queen's speech, she'll still be left in an incredibly weak position where she will have to dance to the whims of her bitterly divided Tory backbenchers to keep them in line, and every move she makes will be subject to approval by the DUP.

Any politician with any regard for the best interests of the United Kingdom would not vote in favour of Theresa May's shambolic Queen's speech, but then the Tories will always put their own party political interests above the interests of the nation as a whole, meaning it's only the DUP who have the power to prevent Theresa May from forming a government that is both full of malicious intent, but also so weak and unstable they'll be completely unable to run the country or the Brexit negotiations effectively.

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