Thursday, 5 October 2017

Why nobody should be feeling sympathy for Theresa May's after her catastrophic conference speech


It's easy to laugh and jeer at Theresa May's calamitous conference speech because it was probably the worst political speech any of us will ever see a serving Prime Minister make. But in the grand shceme of things it's just one more, rather trivial, thing to lob on the top of the already huge mountain of evidence that Theresa May and the Tories are nowhere near equipped to deal with by far the biggest diplomatic challenge the UK has faced since the Second World War, which is Brexit.

Yes, the conference speech was an absolute shambles. Letting a prankster get within touching distance of the Prime Minister just minutes after she'd been patting herself on the back about her (actually woeful) record on national security was unspeakably inept. The cough that made it seem that even her own body was rejecting the absolute codswallop she was spewing was excruciating. The letters falling off the slogan behind her and demonstrating that the Tories are incapable of even making a sturdy sign, let alone "a country that works for everyone" were a perfect illustration of a party in absolute disarray. And worst of all, even though it was billed as her big make or break moment, the content of the speech itself was just more of the same lazily rehashed, brazenly dishonest, reality-reversing, myopic claptrap that we're all so utterly tired of hearing from her.

But to get a real idea of how catastrophically inept Theresa May and the Tories are, and how much of a mess they're certain to make of Brexit, a recap of the 2017 General election provides much stronger evidence of Tory ineptitude than Theresa May's absolute shambles of a conference speech.

When Theresa May decided to call her vanity election in April 2017 she had a political poker hand full of aces, but somehow she managed to blow it and throw away the parliamentary majority she could easily have just clung onto until 2020.

  • The Tories had an almost unprecedented 25 point poll lead over the Labour Party when the election was called.
  • The Tories were the only party who had control over the timing of the election, meaning they called it when they felt they had the biggest possible advantage over Labour and the other opposition parties.
  • Theresa May was still riding the new Prime Minister bounce that most PM's benefit from in their first year in office as millions of people are just getting to know them and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
  • Theresa May and the Tories had a once in a lifetime chance with the implosion of UKIP, causing an unprecedented flock of Ukippers to herd behind the Brexit flag that Theresa May (who opposed Brexit until it suddenly benefited her political ambitions to start supporting it) had nicked from the actual Leave campaigners.
  • They also had the advantage of Labour being bitterly divided and still reeling from the spectacularly failed Anyone But Corbyn coup attempt the previous summer.
  • The Tories had the vast majority of the mainstream media on their side, and even the minority of supposedly left-liberal publications like the Guardian, Independent and Mirror were bitterly divided over Corbyn.
  • The Tories also had a huge economic advantage, raking in more donations than all the other politcal parties combined from their billionaire backers.
Theresa May had an incredible hand full of political aces and assorted high cards and somehow she managed to squander her advantage and lose her General Election gamble.

Theresa May and the Tories managed to screw up such an extraordinary position of political advantage, so just imagine how much of a mess they're bound to make of Brexit given that as a nation we're holding an absolutely crap hand full of duff cards, while the EU negotiators have all the aces.

Some people are even expressing sympathy for Theresa May after her absolute shocker of a speech, but she doesn't deserve any sympathy.

Theresa May and the Tories have shown no real sympathy for the victims of their systematic abuse of disabled people, the workers being exploited in the gig economy, the vulnerable people dying in their thousands as a result of the huge Tory cuts to the social care system, the generation of students lumbered with vast unpayable debts for the crime of aspiring to have professional qualifications and half decent jobs, the public sector workers who have had the value of their wages eroded away year after year by Tory austerity dogma driven pay freezes, the private rental tenants being exploited by virtually unregulated buy-to-let slumlords, the local communities decimated by the savage Tory cuts to local government budgets, or the millions of young people priced out of ever owning their own home by runaway house price inflation and the lowest levels of house building since the early 1920s.

Theresa May's big pitch in her speech was that she's in politics because she cares, but her actions prove beyond doubt that this "caring Conservatism" shtick is just more of the exact same reality-reversing propaganda rubbish she spouted on the day she was handed the Tory leadership by her Westminster mates without even giving the members of the party the chance to vote.

Given the enormous challenge we face in resolving the Tory Brexit shambles in a way that inflicts the least amount of damage on the UK economy, the least amount of suffering on the most vulnerable people in society, and the least amount of tarnish to the British reputation, there is no room for misguided feelings of sympathy whatever.

Theresa May and the Tories got themselves into this mess, and anyone expressing sympathy now is spectacularly missing the reality that the national chaos can only get worse from here on in if the most inept Prime Minister in generations and her cabinet full of ideologically deranged charlatans are allowed to continue their ruinous austerity madness and their directionless blundering towards disaster just because people feel sorry for Theresa May over the utterly cringeworthy mess she made of her big make or break conference speech.

 
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