Friday, 24 May 2019

Another one bites the dust

May came to power as the least worst option. The one least tainted by the referendum. She came to the job with the utmost sincerity in wishing to deliver Brexit. She faced down the Lords and rammed through the necessary legislation and got the ball rolling.

Sadly though, she never understood what she was dealing with and chose her advisors poorly. She struggled to comprehend the sequencing or the structure of the talks and repeatedly failed to read the landscape. She sought to skirt around the process with ill thought out alternatives, facing repeated rebuffs from Brussels.

By the time she got to grips with the realities of our predicament, the EU was calling all of the shots. It was then for May to reconcile the demands of Brexiteers with the stark and uncomfortable truths of leaving the EU.

Eventually she came to understand that this was not a negotiation, rather she was confronted with an array of difficult choices with outcomes that would satisfy nobody. She came to terms with it and made her best guess. The party, though, still harboured a number of delusions, believing the EU could or ever would bend to the high fantasy ambitions of the Tory right.

Though she made many avoidable errors, many of them were dictated by the wider political landscape where she could have made no other choice thus further limiting subsequent choices.

She carried out her duty with stamina and determination but in the end could not bring the deal across the line. This is ultimately the fault of parliament which has been vocal about what it doesn't want but less forthcoming in what it does want. She was herding cats the whole time with impossible demands placed upon her. There is no way her premiership would not end in failure.

Though many of her errors were of her own making I have no time for the cruel and spiteful things said of her by Brexiteers. Nobody has been more determined to deliver Brexit. Her deal, though unliked, is simply what a technical treaty looks like in dealing with 45 years of legacy membership issues. It was never going to be pretty and the balance of power was always going to favour the regional trade superpower.

Leavers accepted this when they voted to leave. Scapegoating May because they don't like the taste of the soup they ordered is a little rich. This is a PM who worked to the best of her limited abilities in totally unfavourable circumstances at a time when parliament and politics as a whole has never been more atomised.

Though I am saddened by her departure, not least because the alternatives are worse, it is right that she leaves now. She has run out of road and now we must follow another path whatever that may be. They say, unfairly in my view, that she will go down as the worst prime minister ever. All I can say is you ain't seen nothing yet.

Say what you will about Theresa May but she did at least attempt to balance the equation. Likely her successor will be a bombastic fantasist with a slender grasp of reality and zero command of the issues. With bluster and beligerence we will see our relations with the EU slide into oblivion. History will then look more kindly on Theresa May. We needed a dull technocrat like her to get this part over with. We just needed one who was better at it. So with that, though she was ultimately a failure, I thank the lady for her dedicated public service. She deserves our respect.

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