Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Theresa May's weak leadership is a danger to Britain

Over the weekend the new Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid decided to tear up the longstanding British convention that our government opposes the death penalty in all circumstances. He apparently made this decision entirely on his own, without any cabinet discussion, legal advice, or permission from the Prime Minister.

Theresa May is such a weak and incompetent leader that she's absolutely failed to correct or discipline Javid for making up government policy on the hoof, and ended up eventually agreeing with him in order to minimise the scandal, which is a very dangerous green light to all of her other ministers to just completely make things up as they go along without fear of repercussions.

It's possible to imagine that May's lackadaisical attitude to Javid inventing policy on the hoof could stem from the extraordinarily weak political position she's in (very few remaining allies, razor thin majority in parliament, under constant threat of a "no confidence" vote triggered by Jacob Rees-Mogg and the ERG Brextremists) but this incompetence isn't actually new.

Back during the 2017 General Election campaign her (now resigned in disgrace) Defence Secretary Michael Fallon made the shocking announcement that Britain would consider using nuclear weapons as attack weapons, which amounted to a sudden declaration that the UK is abandoning the long-established "no first strike" policy, and endangering the "Mutually Assured Destruction" deterrence compromise that has existed between the nuclear powers since the 1950s (by giving other nuclear powers a clear incentive to get their strike in first before Theresa May does).

Amazingly Fallon made this seismic change to Britain's nuclear weapons policy without cabinet discussion, legal advice, or permission from the Prime Minister. But Theresa May decided not to discipline him or put the record straight on Britain's actual nuclear weapons policy for fear of making one of her ministers look like a fool during an election campaign.

Even more amazing was the way the media (and especially the BBC) completely ignored this extraordinary on the hoof abandonment of Britain's longstanding nuclear weapons strategy in favour of a certifiably insane "yes first strike" policy, and instead focused all of their nuclear weapons political questions on relentlessly attacking Jeremy Corbyn for sticking with the traditional "no first strike" policy!

If Theresa May allows her ministers to just make up new policies on issues as important as nuclear weapons and the death penalty with no discussion, legal advice or permission, her incompetence and weak leadership is clearly and obviously a danger to Britain, British standards, and the British way of life.

And the fact that she actually ends up agreeing with them in order to save face, even though they went behind her back to announce these new policies has set a dangerous precedent. It doesn't matter how dangerous, regressive, un-British, or downright insane the new policy, she'll probably end up green lighting it just to avoid the fuss of disciplining them and putting the record straight.

Even if you somehow agree with the Fallon's crackpot "yes first strike" strategy or Javid's efforts to undermine Britain's longstanding opposition to the death penalty, there's absolutely no way that you can agree that the correct way to introduce these wild new policies was to do it behind Theresa May's back, safe in the knowledge that she's such a weak and directionless leader that she'd simply agree to them after the fact to avoid a fuss.

And if the non-reaction of the bulk of the mainstream media to Theresa May letting her ministers go unpunished for repeatedly going behind her back to announce wild new policies this is anything to go by, then she's not going to be held to account for this dangerously weak and incompetent attitude either.

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