Saturday 20 July 2019

Weekend Open Thread: Theresa May in History

So: counting down in hours now.  Mrs May is currently pouring out the initiatives & money etc at such a rate, it's hard to be definitive on what her legacy may be.  But it's always fun to take a stab at the First Draft of History.

How will May be remembered 50 years hence?  

Answers BTL, please.  If anyone can come up with a non-facetious positive, I'll be interested to read it.  Offhand, I can think of only one.

We'll check back in 2069 and award prizes then.  'Cause I'm quite sure the NHS will keep me alive that long ...



Charles said...

Well there has been a marked decrease in the stupid articles saying that if there were more women managers and directors the world would be a better place. That has to count for something.

Anonymous said...

Top comment Charles!

Its difficult to make parallels, because there are zero historical parallels to the UK situation, where the media/academic/political class are in the hands of people with little allegiance to the country.

"Who now remembers the Heptarchy?" - Michael Heseltine 2001.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say, I found TM's family tree online - she's from pretty humble stock, much more so than say Pippa Middleton, so it's a real pity her Premiership (and her genetic line) has ended this way.

(And various people seem to have been cleaning the web of references to her father, which is making various other people imply that there's some dark secret. I don't think she needs that)

Still, she lived politically by veering with the prevailing winds, and when the Brexit storm arrived it soon showed the weakness of her rudder and keel. Or, to vary the metaphor, she was a flat track bully.

We had the Cameron betrayal ('If Leave win I will not resign', 'make no mistake, if the vote is Leave than we will leave'), we've had the May betrayal, now stand by for the Boris Betrayal.

Only then will the Great British Public finally get the message of the BBC and Guardian into their heads.

"Resistance Is Useless"

Bill Quango MP said...

On Cameron, surely no sensible person believed for a moment he would remain as PM if he lost?

He HAD to say he would not leave, in order not to give labour voters a chance to get rid of him by voting leave.
By the same token, he had to resign, as it would be impossible, for the head of vote to remain, to stay in post to negotiate Brexit.

Anonymous said...

"He HAD to say he would not leave, in order not to give labour voters a chance to get rid of him by voting leave."

Tories still had a decent majority, it would just mean (as happened) a change of PM, not a Labour government. He could have said when asked that he couldn't comment on a hypothetical.

You're saying its OK to lie to us and that we should expect it. That way lies third world status i.e. our current trajectory.

I'm sick of being lied to.

Anonymous said...

Evening Standard (= Osborne) has a list.

- worst election manifesto from a government
- highest rate of ministerial resignations ever
- largest and second largest parliamentary defeat of the modern era (assume he means for a government motion)
- shortest list of concrete policy achievements for 50 years
- first ever Chancellor to disobey Whip

Not that Osborne's sore.

Raedwald said...

She is an utter vacuum, bereft of a single virtue, overladen with self-preservation and the stench of false piety. Not even worth the ink of an empty laudate. A nothing, a no-one, an irrelevance, a feculent stain on the step of Downing Street, an empty fart.

Y Draig Goch said...

I have to agree with Anonymous @ 5:16. Saying "no sensible person believed the prime minister when ..." just confirms the widespread assumption that all politicians are lying about everything all the time.

If you think Cameron's lies were OK - or even necessary - then you can't complain when, for example, ordinary people decide that vaccines must be dangerous because politicians are claiming that they are safe.

Anonymous said...


Tell us what you really think.

Anonymous said...

I can forgive May a lot of the above, because of the Parliamentary arithmetic. But that's down to her awful judgement in calling a GE. With a decent majority (which she inherited) she may have been able to sack the Clarkes and the Hammonds. That of course assumes that she intended to implement Brexit - maybe a false assumption.

Any MPs who voted against calling a referendum, and who specifically stated they didn't believe in it and wouldn't honour the vote - then they are entitled to vote against no deal. I'm not sure that was the position of a single MP - any Lib Dems or SNP say that?.

But those voting against the capability for a No Deal exit are sending our delegates (assuming again, any of them actually want to leave) naked into the conference chamber. In any negotiation you have to be able to walk away to get any kind of deal. I can't think of any word to describe these people other than the one that begins with T, used to attract the death penalty, and means an agent of a foreign power.

Bill Quango MP said...

Y drain go home.
A very good point. And exactly what happened.

But you must realise politicians say things, in public, to send, or reinforce, a message. That is their job. And it is the same the entire democratic world over.

Hunt says today, we will not have war with Iran. If Iran sinks that tanker, and a half a dozen more tomorrow, should he resign? Should our PM, if we had one, resign?

No. The statements they make today are purely for reassurance. Of public and markets. Hint does not want war. We couldn’t afford and could never win it.
However if the revolutionary guard go off on one, we might have a war anyway.

This is not “ politicians are liars.” It is just the world in reality.
Which is why politicians lie. That they do so, even when they don’t need to, explains why MMR was such a terrible scandal.

Something I wrote about on this blog, blair’s Lies led to huge fall In vaccinations, many years ago.

Bill Quango MP said...

Y drain go home ,?
sorry, that sounds so like Trump.

It was only meant to say Y Draig Goch before spellchecker .

dearieme said...

50 years from now? Foreign commentators will remark that she was the penultimate sane PM, before the Trot takeover.

Anonymous said...

If President Trump is reversing the policies which got him elected and is set on war with Iran, I can see that the UK might be forced to trot along in his wake - simply because we need to be allied to someone other than Portugal. Any war would be in neither countries national interest, but neither were Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, and that didn't stop us.

Hitching a ride with an economically declining but militarily strong power may not be the best option, but it might be the only available one. It worked pretty well for France from 1900 to 1960.

Anonymous said...

dearieme - Kerensky meant well and was a decent guy, so the parallel with May and Corbyn doesn't quite work.

Timbo614 said...

A History book might say:

"The First woman leader of the then united kingdom (a group of islands off the north coast of Eurasia) was Mrs Magaret Thatcher. She was nicknamed "The Iron Lady". The then leaders of the now defunct E.U. and the labour unions (labour was physical manual work & unions a group of such people) of the time feared her mightily.She was a great reformer of.......
The second woman leader (kown as a Peemmm) of the islands was a certain Mrs Theresa May. There are sketchy details but it has been ascertained that Thatcher she was not!"

Anonymous said...

"The post-Thatcher years were a curious combination of ever-increasing government power, married to governments of ever-decreasing capability. The success of the Thatcher years were frittered away, whilst the failures left to fester. The nadir was reached under Theresa May, whose micro-managerial and bunker mentality was the opposite required to navigate the manifold issues brought on by Brexit. A weak, and mostly ineffective, politician, any failings exposed during a position were eclipsed by those that bore fruit long after she had left the position they were sown in. Her actions at the Home Office would, long after she had departed, consequence in the breakdown in trust between communities and government, and her actions as Prime Minister provided the platform that would hamstring the following Johnson premiership and usher in the brief, but disastrous, 'Rainbow Coalition'..."

Y Draig Goch (YDG) said...

RE: BQ @ 7:26pm

Thanks for the explanation. I think I'll switch to YDG in future - which is almost a Welsh word anyway.

andrew said...

After a mediocre career as home secretary
Theresa May had a brief stint as british prime minister. She negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the EU that could not be agreed by the british parliament. This paved the way for what was at the time termed a 'hard brexit'.

At the time, a 'hard brexit' was widely thought to be very economically damaging at the time, whilst increasing the independance of the uk parliament.

Few thought at the time that the exact opposite would be the case, as became clear after the 2050 global cooling riots and is still true now.

Anonymous said...

OT, but when people wet themselves over Trump's language and long for the golden age of 2015 and before, remember the voters of Massachusetts, who for 40 years returned as Senator a man who they knew (at minimum) had left a girl to suffocate to death in a car at the bottom of a river, in the early hours of the morning, and didn't call anyone about it until the following day.

RIP Mary Jo Kopechne July 18 1969.

Nick Drew said...

Anon @ 10:11 gets the biscuit so far

My single positive - and it's only a potential positive - is that the 2017 GE put off the next 'regular, scheduled' GE to 2022. This, as noted before, could be the undoing of Corbyn / McDonnell

Then again, could be GE by the Autumn!

AndrewZ said...

British politics is in a period of transition in which the old consensus on how things should work has been rejected by a majority of the public but its replacement has yet to emerge. Fifty years from now it will be seen as an ideological interregnum between two distinct eras. Theresa May is a product of the old era who happened to come to power just as it was ending. She didn’t really understand the huge social and political changes that were taking place and could not respond to them effectively, but that is a normal feature of such transitions. Unless the status quo is suddenly overthrown by a foreign invasion, it is normal for the last representative of any political settlement to be a mediocrity who spent all his or her career working within that paradigm only to be left hopelessly stranded when it suddenly became obsolete. History will remember Theresa May in the same way as “Sunny Jim” Callaghan, without the “Sunny” part.

E-K said...

Great dancing and kitten heels.

hovis said...

BQ: O/T the scandal aroud MMR was use of a vaccine known to cause harm, (see JCVI minutes of the time so now in the public domain) and the subsequent stink to make any discussion impossible. (I do always smile at the high court verdict in favour of John Walker-Smith.)

Anyhow the point follwing on from the above is that politicians lie becase they know little and often care less and will not/cannot challengelong standing policy.

Positives for TM? She is the prism throug which the true state of the political nation was seen correctly.

Anonymous said...

Think this article sums it up

The promises of political parties are empty because they do not have the ability or the authority to pass the legislation or to promote the policies they promise. These are the roles of parliament and government.

So unless you have a large majority (e.g. T Blair) the promises made will never come into effect and will be called "lies". So extrapolating forward, Boris will be "weak" since on current projections cannot get his promises through and may not risk a GE as there is no guarantee of a majority. We may all have to suffer all the way to 2022 when a GE cannot be avoided.

So TM's saving grace may be seen by then that she was not Boris.


L fairfax said...

How about the only person to ever buy a full priced sofa from DFS?

Nick Drew said...

Anon @ 8:17

An interesting line of thought, but it needs to take into account that the man in the pub loudly disbelieved them all anyway

(though later, 'lies' may be a useful stick to beat the politicians with)

another way of looking at it is this: the 'promises' (whch are often called aspirations anyway) are a kind of well-understood virtue-signalling

"we're the kind of people who, in a perfect world, would love to abolish tuition fees / increase defence spending ..."

Anonymous said...

Andrew - "a period of transition in which the old consensus on how things should work has been rejected by a majority of the public"

No, the old consensus, what used to be called 'the post-war settlement', was rejected by our elites. The public have just caught up.

The old consensus was based on "paying our way", the new consensus is based on debt. Remember when an adverse balance of payments could lose as party an election?

The old consensus cared about something called "standard of living". The new consensus just cares about GDP.

Real male median wages are lower than in 1997. House prices are through the roof.

Britons are a minority in many of our great cities, and many natives who can afford to are getting out. Sixty years after it happened in the US, and sixty years after a politician warned that we were bringing the problems of the US upon ourseleves, white flight is manifesting itself in the new building going up round every single county town in England and Wales. While our politicians talk 'climate emergency'.

Oh, and debt slavery now starts when you're 18. By the time you're 22 you'll owe about 50k, compounding at 3%+RPI.

Graeme said...

Surely you mean increase rather than decrease?

Anonymous said...

The future our elites have planned for us

GridBot said...

Late to the Party.

Try this one on for size: Remembered as the forward looking politician who committed UK to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, ushering in a green revolution in technology, ultimately paving the way for UK to be global leaders in this field...

ND - I've met quite a few folks in industry at the moment flapping around about Net Zero by 2050 - they seem to be taking it "seriously" would welcome a post on what it would take to get there!


Anonymous said...

"ultimately paving the way for UK to be global leaders in this field..."

Don't you need a decent sized 'smart fraction' to be global leaders in pretty much any field? We're reducing the size of that smart fraction with every generation.

Nick Drew said...

GridBot, I probably will. It's a Big Topic & I need to find a quiet moment ...