It was on my eighteenth birthday that Theresa May became Prime Minister. I remember in first year chatting to my bedder as she told me that her husband, a lifelong Labour supporter, was probably going to vote for May’s Conservatives in the election that year; she herself was not yet completely convinced. Nevertheless, fairly remarkable.
For the better part of a year, Theresa May, the obtuse Home Secretary known for her funny high heels and hollow promises on immigration, reigned supreme and unchallenged over Britain. Not only was she able to ride a wave of Thatcher comparisons and earnest attempts at unity within the party, but she also had no effective opposition. Tim Farron was very pleasant but seemed like a bit of a div and his devout Christian faith hung over him like a dark cloud (some Liberal Democrats can be quite illiberal if your personal morality is based on religion when it comes to things like abortion). The SNP were wetting their kilts over Sturgeon’s Really Useful Trips to Brussels and preparing for a referendum they knew they’d lose and never called. UKIP was busy finally becoming properly racist now that they had nothing else to do. And of course, the Labour party was slowly realising that oh goodness me, isn’t Corbyn doing well? No, wait, he’s not going to win, is he? Quick, Andy, say you would also nationalise the trains! (Now the dullard is my “Metro Mayor”, so finally Greater Manchester can experience the useless extra layers of democracy which Londoners have been enjoying.) Our Jezza won 59% of the vote, if I recall correctly; a total wipeout of the New Labour establishment, but it left Labour looking insane to the average punter. Theresa May must have had to pinch herself once she realised that her main opposition was a miserable veggie from Islington on his third wife who liked Hamas and wanted to nationalise everything.
Yet Theresa May was never really in the job she wanted. She wanted to be Prime Minister, but she was the Prime Minister who had to deal with leaving the European Union, also known as #Brexshit. The first real opposition she came up against wasn’t an MP or a politician of any sort, but Gina Miller, a Guyanese businesswoman intent on getting Parliament to have a say in the triggering of Article 50, meaning that said triggering was delayed by the courts and subsequent parliamentary business until the Spring of 2017. Then, another problem reared its head for our Theresa; her wafer-thin majority of 20-odd meant that she relied on the Eurosceptics among her MPs (as opposed to the majority who backed Remain). Furthermore, the lure of an incredibly unpopular Corbyn proved too tempting. An election seemed too good not to do, and it had to be soon, before the Eurosceptics became too powerful and before Corbyn was removed by his own MPs. That is when I had the chat with Jackie, at the start of that dramatic campaign, and we all know what followed; manifestos, terrible dementia policy, the Manchester attacks. I remember going to the Union after Lola’s on election night, and realising before the others there that with every Con loss and Lab gain, the DUP drew nearer to Downing Street. When I pointed this out to a prominent leftie vegan behind me, he became less than pleased. But that night, people I knew would come up and laugh at me. How little they knew. Needless to say, I had the last laugh
The sharks began circling poor Theresa, but with the lack of any good alternative for leader (thanks Gove!) she clung on with the support of our Unionist friends. I could now talk about the constant Remainer propaganda which sprung up around this time, infecting almost every news outlet, but what’s the point? We’re here to talk about Theresa. And here’s where she went badly wrong. First off, she tried to cede Northern Ireland to the EU with the backstop, with the argument going something along the lines of the Republic and Northern Ireland not being in the same customs area being against the Belfast Agreement (I’ve read the Belfast Agreement and it just is not true, and David Trimble, who wrote the thing, agrees with me), or that it would cause the IRA to start up again (and therefore we, the United Kingdom, should let ourselves be bullied into giving away bits of our country by a few tits in camo jackets and tights). She was quickly shot down by Arlene Foster.
Then she came out with the Chequers Plan, which was quite something. The Chequers Plan must have been the only plan unacceptable to the ERG, Labour and the European Union all at once, and her insistence upon it led to Boris and David Davis resigning, weakening her government further. Still, she soldiered on, and finally came out with the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU late last year, which is her worst work yet. Martin Selmayr, the man who runs the EU with Juncker as his feeble puppet, himself has given an interview to his hometown’s local newspaper bragging about how humiliating the deal is for Britain. Unsurprisingly, May’s deal, even with its meaningless guarantees, has been shot down twice, and heavily, by the Commons, and quite right too. The Withdrawal Agreement would be a complete humiliation for any country to sign, but for us, a nation which has over a thousand years of history, of fighting for liberty, of driving civilisation forward, of being a great power on the global stage, for us to sign this rag would be to sign away the inheritance of countless generations of our forebears, of the men who fought the Armada, of the men who fought against the tyranny of King Charles I and King James II, of the men who won at Trafalgar and Waterloo, of the British people who throughout our history have struggled bitterly for our freedom and our way of life, for the preservation of our nation against tyranny and foreign domination. To sign this Withdrawal Agreement would be to turn to our countless ancestors who toiled all their lives to preserve this great nation and say, “no.”
And to get this deal through, May will stop at nothing. She has now resorted to extending the Brexit deadline for two weeks in order to get it through the Commons, and keeps saying that she will not leave with No Deal unless the Commons votes for it, presenting a choice, now, between her rotten WA, or staying in the European Union. She was handed a clear mandate for Brexit, no opposition and a united party, and she has managed to turn that into this mess which we currently have. Let us be clear here; it is long past time for May to leave, and she should leave office now or as soon as possible. She should’ve left after the election debacle, or after Chequers, or after the WA came out, but certainly our situation would not be made any worse by her leaving now. We have clear, Brexiteer alternatives to her, such as Boris, Davis, Raab or even Gove. We have a clear mandate, from the Referendum result and the general election, to leave the European Union come what may, and on time. We have a clear mandate from our manifesto to leave the Customs Union. We are a great nation of more than sixty million people, one of the most powerful countries on earth. Any No Deal disruption which might occur will be short and it will be dealt with. We can always negotiate a trade deal with the EU from outside (if anything, that might be preferable). We don’t need to erect a hard border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and they won’t erect one either. It doesn’t contradict the terms of the Belfast Agreement. Half of our trade is with countries outside of the EU. Let’s get rid of May, get rid of the EU, and let’s go WTO.