Do you know why Theresa May chose June 7 as her departure date? It means she will avoid being the shortest-serving prime minister in the UK – by eight days.
As ever, her resignation drama has been entirely about Theresa May’s ego – and nothing to do with the good of the United Kingdom.
Some media commentators – most notably the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg – have tried to make Mrs May look heroic, giving up after a long and hard fight for what she believes. But members of the public have been quick to point out that what Mrs May believes isn’t worth the fight:
No. This is brutal. Get a grip. pic.twitter.com/BF3RApyK1J
— Gary Shaw (@GaryMerseybox) May 24, 2019
And Ms Kuenssberg herself attracted criticism for attempting to defend the worst prime minister of the last two-and-a-half centuries:
Still, she wasn’t the only one.
A very dignified statement from @theresa_may. Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 24, 2019
Here’s the appropriate response:
Heart-warming messages of support pour in for Theresa May from MPs who’ve spent the last six months relentlessly slagging her off.
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) May 24, 2019
And what are we supposed to make of this?
During the last three years of leading our nation through times of profound change and uncertainty, Theresa May has shown determination, resilience and a sense of public duty that has never wavered. That is a service to us all that deserves our admiration and gratitude. (1/6)
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) May 24, 2019
It is deeply disturbing to hear such words, from the national leader of a church that is supposed to be about love, about a woman whose policies were so filled with hate.
The general reaction has been far more realistic – although the following may be satirical:
— acid womble (@acidwomble) May 24, 2019
The simple fact is that, as Mrs May herself was fond of saying at often-inappropriate moments, nothing has changed:
Austerity is still happening. The NHS is still being cut to the bone. Grenfell families are still waiting for justice. Brexit is still tearing this country apart. That is this government's legacy. A resignation speech trying to tug on the nation's heartstrings won't change that.
— Matt Western MP (@MattWestern_) May 24, 2019
On the subject of Grenfell, the comment from the Fire Brigades Union is revealing:
statement from the Fire Brigades Union on Theresa May and Grenfell. No further comment necessary. pic.twitter.com/3a4yEAaqMJ
— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) May 24, 2019
“Many of the underlying issues at Grenfell were due to unsafe conditions that had been allowed to fester under Tory governments and a council for which Theresa May bears ultimate responsibility. The inquiry she launched [into the Grenfell Tower disaster] has kicked scrutiny of corporate and government interests into the long grass, denying families and survivors justice, while allowing business as usual to continue for the wealthy. For the outgoing Prime Minister to suggest that her awful response to Grenfell is a proud part of her legacy is, frankly, disgraceful.”
#TheresaMay harmed the country, she deserves neither respect or pity, just derision for her arrogance and incompetence
— John Smith (son of Harry Leslie Smith) (@Harryslaststand) May 24, 2019
Getting back to Ms Kuenssberg’s comments, here are some more responses:
Her xenophobia as Home Secretary led directly to premature deaths of countless British citizens deported because they were black. She's willfully destroyed the happiness of thousands thru her racist citizenship policies. She stirred resentments + hate.
— Tom Brown (@TommasoMarrone) May 24, 2019
Well and truly spoken.
— Majestic Primate (@majesticprimate) May 25, 2019
To put it into perspective, she's hardly likely to have to visit a foodbank or turn to prostitution to survive after losing her job. That's brutal.
— LockdownLozza (@DameLozza) May 24, 2019
Particularly inflammatory has been her decision to claim that she has been influenced by Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of children from the Nazis in the months leading up to World War Two.
— Simon Barrow (@simonbarrow) May 24, 2019
The lack of self-awareness required for Theresa May – responsible for "Go Home" vans, the Windrush scandal, and disgraceful treatment of foreign students falsely accused of cheating – to quote Winton, who struggled against indifference or worse to save refugees, is mind-boggling. https://t.co/RbgLmhFTpo
— Jonathan Portes (@jdportes) May 24, 2019
As for celebrating compromise – British politicians love to forget the compromises forced on the Kindertransport movement by the British State. Thanks to people like May, thousands of Jewish children not to mention their parents were left to die in Europe. This is her heritage
— jewdⒶs // ייִדהודה (@jewdas) May 24, 2019
And Mrs May never compromised on anything. That’s why her negotiations with Labour failed. When she did claim to have made a deal with other politicians, she reneged. Ask the so-called Tory rebels who agreed to support her Brexit legislation after coming to an agreement with her that she renounced immediately after getting the support she wanted. Or ask the DUP.
Observer journo Sonia Sodha has it right:
May will be remembered as the PM who couldn’t deliver Brexit and didn’t do anything else constructive, just the hostile environment and austerity – reacting on BBC news channel earlier. pic.twitter.com/DNK73loOTk
— Sonia Sodha (@soniasodha) May 24, 2019
But the prize for having the most to say must go to Owen Jones. It is as though he started storing up vitriol back in 2017 when Mrs May lost the Tories their Parliamentary majority, and has finally been able to open the floodgates and let it all out.
In a Guardian article entitled Feel no pity for Theresa May. She has been the worst prime minister in modern times, he stated: “May is the worst prime minister – on their own terms – since Lord North’s reign in the late 18th century, when the US colonies declared their independence.
“May did indeed inherit a terrible hand. She then proceeded to douse it liberally with petrol and set it alight.”
On Brexit: “May had no meaningful plan at all, other than undeliverable red lines. She couldn’t negotiate a deal with her own party, let alone with 27 foreign governments.
“The official leave campaigns, and their vitriol about migrants and refugees, merely built on the foundations laid by a home secretary who sent “go home” vans around mixed communities, who spread pernicious myths of being unable to deport illegal migrants because they owned a pet cat, and under whose watch gay refugees felt obliged to film themselves having sex to avoid deportation. There is only one discernible consistency in May’s ideology – and that is bashing migrants.”
On political discourse: “Her allies in the media set about monstering her opponents, poisoning the well of political discourse: the notorious “ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE” Daily Mail front page was penned by James Slack, who promptly became her press secretary. The May premiership will be remembered for creating an environment where terms like “traitor” and “saboteur” became commonplace. She, too, deliberately stoked a culture war that threatens to consume Britain, most notoriously in her demagogic “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere,” speech. She appointed Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, antagonising the EU states with whom she needed to strike a deal and reducing Britain further to the status of a laughing stock. For purely domestic partisan gain, she repeatedly made inflammatory speeches about the EU that achieved nothing but fostered bad will.”
On domestic policy: “She declared war on the “burning injustices” she correctly identified had paved the road to Brexit. And then, in the subsequent three years, she oversaw the biggest jump in child poverty for three decades; a housing crisis which has only worsened; the rollout of a universal credit system which is a life-destroying disaster. The Grenfell fire will endure as a reminder of a social order built by Toryism which prioritises money over human life. The Windrush scandal – in which British citizens were denied medical care, kicked out of their homes and even deported from their own country – will remain a salutary lesson of where the migrant-baiting May promoted leads. The surge in violent crime will always testify to the disastrous consequences of the austerity May herself championed.”
On foreign policy: “Whether it be selling weapons to Turkey’s murderous regime, or arming and backing a Saudi dictatorship that has rained British weapons on Yemen, slaughtering thousands of innocents and creating the world’s worst humanitarian disaster… If you wish to spend a moment expending valuable human sympathy, do it not for May – do it for them.”
At the very start of his piece, Mr Jones wrote that people might say, “Oh, wasn’t she given such a terrible hand!”, “is it her fault that her backbenchers are such a bunch of Neanderthal extremists?”, and “it’s not her fault Brexit is such an undeliverable mess, is it?”
To the best of my knowledge, nobody has done so. Nobody worth mentioning, anyway.
Not satisfied with the written word, Mr Jones then took to the airwaves, much to our national enjoyment:
— The Left Bible (@theleftbible) May 24, 2019
And when Thicky Nicky (Morgan) tried to slap him down for daring to comment on the leadership contest that will follow…
— Guido Fawkes (@GuidoFawkes) May 24, 2019
… Mr Jones had the right answer:
Very good point from @OwenJones84 on #PoliticsLive defending himself against argument why is he commenting on Tory leadership contest: "That new leader will be my Prime Minister." It is a debate for *all of us* and what happens to our future, not just that of Tory MPs.
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) May 24, 2019
And he took his criticisms to Sky News, much to the dismay of Adam Boulton:
No doubt the execration of Theresa May will continue for some time to come. I’m going to need another article to discuss the tears she she during her resignation speech.
Afterword: I apologise. There was one voice other that had something nice to say about Mrs May – and was quickly stifled:
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: