If I had one British pound for each time I was convinced of Prime Minister Theresa May’s end, I could purchase premium tickets to an Evening with Bill and Hillary Clinton. That abject cultural wreck dutifully has been cancelled. Though, the evening with Bill and Hillary stutters on.
Theresa May will go down as the most consequential prime minister in recent British history. For all the wrong reasons.
Yet, at the time of writing, May remains in office, not in power, as the once-ruthless Conservative party sharpens its pencils to the pitter-patter drip-feed of no-confidence letters. The slow death of Theresa May drips and drips and drips.
She is the Tinder date that just won’t leave. It was nice. Thanks for the Rioja. But I have work now. Please hail an Uber. I’ll pay.
May didn’t take the brutal hint. Instead, just hours later, she told the nation she would resist any vote of confidence: “Am I going to see this through? Yes.”
This is despite arch-Euroskeptic Jacob Rees-Mogg, head of the influential European Research Group, handing in his own letter of no-confidence, and imploring his 80-plus lawmakers to do the same. So far, 20 Conservatives have publicly demanded she go.
Math doesn’t lie. May already relies on the minor Democratic Unionist Party to prop up her minority government. Without the ERG, her Brexit deal won’t get through parliament. May will be fortunate to get through the weekend.
Mogg’s letter to Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee—a political murder squad—could force a leadership challenge, if the required 15 percent of the Parliamentary party—48 letters from lawmakers—hits the mat. A political death panel could convene next week.
Not only is she now opposed by most of her own party, but twice as many British people oppose her deal than support it. The Uber is beeping outside. Theresa just wants to chat. Theresa isn’t leaving.
And neither are we. May’s draft agreement with the European Union reattaches the fetters, but this time they’re encased in skin-saving sheepskin.
On the face of it, the deal is not bad. We’d spend two years in a transition period working out how to fashion a proper trade deal without installing a hard border between departing Northern Ireland and remaining Ireland. After that, we’d leave.
Perhaps we should have seen this coming. After all, the Chequers deal I blasted as “BRINO” just a few months ago, was noisome. If the appetizer stinks, the main course will evacuate your bowels.
It is not what the largest number of voters—many first-timers—in our history, voted for. The winning Vote Leave campaign implored us to “Take Back Control” of our borders, our laws, and our money. May’s draft keeps us tied to EU regulations, but without a say. Oh, and we will pay £39 billion (around $50 billion) for the privilege.
But a quick glance at the draft agreement glares the reality of this 29-month hey rube. After all, May lost the most winnable of general elections—and her low-carb majority—after asking the country to bolster her numbers ahead of withdrawal talks with the EU.
She should have been chopped that June morning, in 2017, when it became clear her 20-point lead had fizzled into a dead-heat with the prankish freshman Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and rendered her majority null.
Sadly, she learned nothing from that farce. May’s tendency to keep all but a chosen few in the dark unstitched her disastrous general election campaign. And her Brexit talks. Indeed, her former Brexit secretary didn’t see the most consequential document of our nation’s history until it was warmed from the printers.
Of course, such national trauma faintly humanizes the blood of the likes of Tony Blair. The shameless bawd and manqué war criminal busies his egregious self by offering us lucky souls a “solution” stewed in his unbending narcissism.
The man-stroke-messiah, arsonist of the Middle East, architect of the financial crash, is here to save the day. His day, of course.
And Blair could get his way. Psychopaths often do. Support for his obsession—a second referendum—is apparently rising as British people consider May’s farcical deal, and conclude staying in would be preferable. Heavens, given the options, it just might be.
Blair has a lurid history on his flank, too. After all, the Irish dared vote against the EU’s constitutional power grab—the Lisbon Treaty—back in 2008. They were made to vote again—correctly this time. And they did.
That little hiccup echoed the French, and the Dutch, both of which in 2005 rejected similar advances. It didn’t matter. The EU swatted away both muted squalls.
And they’ll bat away our own. Unless those 48 letters (with another 12 in the mix), now said to have hit the 1922 Committee’s doormat, force a vote and May’s resignation. The Brexiteers are taking back control.
What happens now? Boris Johnson is unusually quiet. Sometimes, one can say more with silence than with words.
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