(Cover image courtesy of ‘The Spectator’ they also have a great transcript of the speech I cover here: http://specc.ie/2dJB8Zm)
Every time I mention Theresa May in this blog it’s usually an act of critisism – and while I’d like to say that today is the day all of this changes I am not in the position to make such promises, because my opinion of Theresa May continues to spiral to greater depths every time she starts talking.
I know as I study politics that much of what PM May is saying is just electioneering, I really do, but she’s always been someone with some rather sketchy opinions which never fail to raise my hackles, from EDOs to the ever so sketchy ‘British Bill of rights’ so in some ways I actually believe that she believes in what she’s saying – and her attempt to gain votes by leveraging the post Brexit rise of acceptable casual racism and the resurgence of good old fashioned ‘Patriotism’ which is certainly anything but.
Theresa May has suggested that “If you do the right thing, the government will be on your side” and beyond sounding like a line cut from a cheap dystopian rip off of 1984, this line, when considered alongside her other ideas such as EDOs, is rather an unnerving one – because the idea of the ‘right’ thing is such a sketchy one, especially as me and PM May would disagree on many an issue.
That was me giving you a warmup to prepare you for the other abject horrors of Theresa May at the Conservative party conference this week – with ideas so ghastly that even Jeremy Corbyn came out of his jam making kitchen to complain.
(Though if the plans for the sale of “innovative jams and marmalades” to France post Brexit are all we have to hold in this uncertain time then he may come in handy – that being if my good friend in the most sarcastic sense Ms Leadsom’s selling bottles of air plans don’t come through)
Gone are the bygone days where Theresa May was content to merely blame cats for unfavourable human rights rulings – now in this great and modern age of Theresa May as conservative leader and leader of the country we can finally blame those awful human rights lawyers for that!
Yes you did read that right, Theresa May is actually complaining about human rights lawyers doing their jobs – and wants to ‘protect’ the British army from them by opting them out of the European convention on human rights. Beyond being a horrifying exclamation of disregard for the basic tenets of human rights and the importance of military ethics and holding rogue soldiers to account this is also slightly scary when you think that she and her party will be drafting the ‘British bill of rights’ which in itself shows a shocking lack of commitment to upholding world human rights standards.
If disregarding human rights wasn’t enough for you this week it gets better – from the murky depths of the Conservative party conference came many other brilliant ideas including businesses having to publish a foreign worker record, designed to encourage them to hire from the U.K. which I fear is designed for anything but, taxes on junior doctors trying to work abroad to escape the poor working conditions in the U.K., an exodus in many ways of foreign doctors which we rely on in the U.K. and a whole host of other anti immigration sentiment hidden under patriotic rhetoric… It was a horror fest to watch
And goodness knows I almost had heart failure when she talked about the good of faith schools! No matter how many reports and responses and reviews she has been sent from some of the best in the business including those in education suggesting otherwise she continues to believe that they are a good thing!
My business here is not to dissect every word and every fibre of the Conservative party conference as I don’t have the rest of my life to sit here and complain – it is simply to make five proactive suggestions.
Number one – If Human rights lawyers and doctors are your enemy you are probably making a mistake – these are people who sacrifice years of their lives to help others and to make the world a better place, it is a sad day when you are standing on the wrong side of the line to them and act smugly about it
Number two – Yes people have been ignored and they are upset – but you don’t have to resort to cheap xenophobia to keep them happy (or to win their vote which I feel is more appropriate for this advice) – Leave it to whomever is the UKIP leader these days, you can limit immigration without pandering to nasty nationalism, and can take the people’s opinions into account without isolating and villainisng people who come into this country to work and to live alongside everyone else and contribute a great deal to the ‘British culture’ you love so much (yes I understand that not all immigrants are good people – but can you honestly say that all people who were born in this country are? And that they wouldn’t – and don’t – do all the things you complain that immigrants do) If Marine Le Pen approves of your policy on immigration then you are making a mistake.
Number three – Nationalism and patriotism is not the be all and end all of citizenship, you can be a ‘citizen of the world’ and value people in it – to finish a section of your speech on science and progress with such a concept is ghastly, science being a concept designed to help us understand the world we live in and make it a better place, I can be proud of where I am from (though I am not) and still have strong commitments to the wider world and feel part of a wider world community – If you were trying to win the 1951 election you nailed it but this is 2016, we are a global multicultural society
Number four – Don’t criticise other parties without making sure your own house is in check first – you can’t call labour the nasty party while preaching xenophobia, or call them divisive while being divisive yourself
Number five – Stop trying to hide nasty policy and hatred under saccharine rhetoric you are fooling nobody so save yourself the effort! And refrain from trying to sell the centrist act as centrists like myself can tell that you aren’t centrist from a mile off