Sunday, 21 May 2017

May Watch...Revisited

In the 2015 General Election I voted for the Conservatives because they were the only political party with a realistic chance of power to promise a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union empire.

Now that Theresa May shows every sign of buggering up the opportunity to re-define Britain's relationship with the EU that the Referendum result provided - and saddling us with complicated and extremely expensive arrangements as well - I shall be voting for another party on June 8. Which one? Probably Labour. Why? Because they don't want to rip Britain out of the European Single Market as precipitously as the Prime Minister. I'm not sure how Jeremy Corbyn's party would honestly negotiate Britain's escape from the political Laocoon of the EU; but you could say exactly the same and much more about the Conservative Party's mystery Brexit strategy as well. 

The Conservative election manifesto is another reason. As a State pensioner, why should I vote for a party that promises to attack the security of my main source of income? As a citizen, why should I support a party that intends to go after the elderly and infirm at one end and the welfare of school children at the other? I don't believe Conservatives are natural-born bastards - an interesting mixed metaphor there. I just don't feel remotely sympathetic to what's behind Mrs May's creepy quest for a Parliamentary majority big enough to crush all valid political opposition. Why should I be interested in supporting that kind of one-party dictatorship? New Labour under Tony Blair got a landslide majority twice in 1997 and 2001 and what good did that do, ultimately, either for the party or the country? 

The more I see of Theresa May on television - those spindly arms, legs and fingers - I am reminded of the blood-sucking creature played by Max Schreck in Robert Maunau's 1922 silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. She excels at not answering questions - one of Sir Humphrey Appleby's essential qualities for cabinet ministers and prime ministers. When button-holed by a woman troubled about reduced help for people with learning difficulties and other disabilities, Mrs May tried to give this unfortunate woman a run-down on relevant proposals in the Conservative manifesto. Even a bear of staggeringly little brain such as myself could see that what was required was a bit of genuine empathy for this woman's plight. Listen to the poor old dear, don't lecture her. My memory of Theresa May as David Cameron's Home Secretary is of her being booed by members of the Police Federation. Why would they, why should we, cheer her now? She was a bit of a disaster during her six years as Home Secretary, when immigration was at its highest (it fell by 80,000 last year, when she was no longer in charge of it). What difference will she make from June 9 if the Conservatives get the majority that the polls a week ago were suggesting?

The idea that Labour's Corbynistas might close the gap at all - let alone by five points - was as unlikely as the idea of Mike Tyson sitting at home at night in Nevada watching British television series about the Tudors. I daresay even among Conservatives die-hards there are voters put off by the way Theresa May's team have superimposed themselves on the General Election campaign where the emphasis is on Mrs M and the team rather than the party. Dial M for what? Not Murder, as in the Hitchcock movie; but Mayhem. Besides, my bullshit detector does not respond well to collectives, be they 'communi-ies', 'team GB' or 'team May'. 

Every time I try to discuss Theresa May's perceived short-comings the riposte invariably comes back: 'So you think Jeremy Corbyn is better do you?' What I think about Mr Corbyn, such as it is, can be found in the blog previous to this one. He might be in his own way another political arse who says one thing, does another and makes pledges and promises impossible to keep. However, I feel less edgy about giving him a chance to prove his worth than I do Mrs May. You may say this is because Mr Corbyn's Labour Party has as much chance of winning on June 8 as I do of scratching a £1 lottery card and winning £100,000. There may be truth in that. But so far Labour, as represented by Mr Corbyn, feels less of a threat to my future well-being than the Conservatives, as represented by their leader.

The latest Youguv opinion poll, according to Newsnight, puts the Conservatives only five points ahead of Labour - 43 to 38. I await the all-out media onslaught. Nasty piece of work though Mrs May was as Home Secretary, she was reportedly good at making sure that others took the blame when things went wrong, as they usually did. Strong and stable? I don't think so.

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