Current Affairs Politics

Britain’s Theresa May: Isolated, Frustrated, Scornful

It’s not often in Western Europe that one gets to watch a head of government staging a live television broadcast from her official residence, carried by the country’s main TV networks, appealing directly to the people of the nation for their support and understanding while castigating their elected representatives in the national legislature for their failure to cooperate with her policies. But that was the spectacle presented late last night by Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The description of the whole affair by the international press, the Conservative Party leader alone with the cameras in a near empty room inside 10 Downing Street, journalists denied access to the event, is redolent of all sorts of political “downfall” scenes from history. The “bunker” memes almost write themselves. As for putting the blame for the Brexit debacle on Remain-sympathising MPs and others in Westminster at a time of febrile emotions and actions in the UK…

Shortly later, the political circus in London took another turn when Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, stormed out of a crisis meeting with Theresa May and the representatives of the main Opposition parties in the House of Commons upon discovering members of a breakaway faction of his party, the Independent Group, in the room. He opted instead for a short phone call with the Tory boss, while his PR spinners issued a statement attacking the government and the splitter MPs for the aborted gathering.

To put a cherry on the toxic British cake, the principal leader of the anti-European movement in Britain, Nigel Farage, has suffered the first (and no doubt, not the last) resignation from his newly launched Brexit Party. Catherine Blaiklock, an ex-member of the ideologically similar UKIP, has quit in a scandal over her dissemination of explicit far-right messages on the internet. Ironically, like her sponsor Farage, she had quit her former party because of its lurch towards fascistic and racist street-politics.

And this is the political milieu the European Union is expected to put its trust in?

16 comments on “Britain’s Theresa May: Isolated, Frustrated, Scornful

  1. gendjinn

    Are the UK being offered a short extension (until May 22nd) to pass the WA or if they pass the WA?

    The way the UK are talking it appears to be the latter. Although the way the EU is talking it appears to be the former.

    There are rumours coming out of the EU that several govts feel the UK needs a taste of a no deal Brexit to bring home the reality of no deal so that they will return and pass the WA. But once the UK is out does the WA become irrelevant and meaningless?

  2. gendjinn

    Err that former/latter should be switched – UK seems to think it can get an extension to pass the WA and EU is clearly saying they need to pass WA to get an extension. Even Merkel is singing off the same hymnal now.

    Bercow has ruled out WA vote so that seems to me make it clear that the UK is crashing out with no deal in 8 days.

  3. EU agree to extension until 22nd of May.

  4. Does she realize that she is this *close* to civil war?

  5. Samuel Barns

    Is Farage a Civic Nationalist or is he just picky with membership until public opinion becomes more hard line?

  6. I see James Naughtie has said that if the ERG were in France they would be the National Front.

    • Naughtie doesn’t know much about the ERG or the National Front or both, then.
      The ERG are extreme supporters of free trade – no protectionism whatsoever. The NF are supporters of a racially defined corporate state.

      • You’re right about the ERG – they are essentially a front for Trumpian US-centered dictatorship of the market.

        As for the NF – corporatism is sometimes the NF’s rhetoric.

        When this type comes to power however – see Orbán – you just get bog-standard neoliberalism with extra racist and nationalist brutality.

      • But some of the ERG crowd definitely shade over into NF-style politics. It’s not just about uber-liberal free trade. Ethno-nationalism and ethno-exceptionalism is at play too.

        • I tend to the view that given the opportunity some on the right, even the supposedly free trade right will let immigration trump their view and go across to far right positions, a fair few UKIP people are making that journey or have made it. Re the NF’s corporatism, isn’t it more a mix of support for welfare and trade restrictions but also a large dose of free market stuff.

    • As would the DUP. That’s what makes me laugh about UK politics. The notion of British exceptionalism. Which means that what the UK press labels as far-right in the Continent is anything but at home. Once they get in the House of Commons or close enough to power.

      • Is that Exceptionalism? Or a case of taking each country’s own labeling of its parties at face value regardless of perception at home.

  7. Caretaker Prime Minister oh how the mighty have fallen

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