The fate which befell the writing on the wall behind Theresa May as she made her speech yesterday contained a message. (He that hath ears to hear, let him hear). One of the letters fell off the wall. “It was the “F” that was off.
It is a measure of the intellectual feebleness and moral frailty of the Tory hierarchy that they could allow May – a woman of stupendous incompetence and sublime ineptness – to ascend to a position of high office. She should never have got further than the back corridor where she might have performed the useful function of keeping the party’s electoral roll up to date. That task might – just – have been within her abilities. I certainly wouldn’t trust her to make the tea.
During her campaign for the leadership, Mrs May asked us to “Judge me on my record.” Happily, there is a lot of record on which to judge her, as she was the longest-serving home secretary since 1945. Her tenure was a conspicuous catalogue of errors and incompetence. Remember 2014 and the chaos caused by the delay in the issue of passports? May claimed this was owing to “a surge in applications,” but it turned out she had been warned the year before that her policy of closing overseas processing offices had resulted in a backlog of 360,000 applications and weeks of delay.
She complained that the Human Rights Act permitted suspected terrorists to continue living in this country under the clause that speaks of their right “to a family life.” She cited the case of one such suspect who was not deported “because he had a pet cat.” Then – trademark May – after so complaining, she did nothing to get the Act amended. As home secretary, she was in charge of the police. She cut their numbers and their budget during a long period in which the terrorist threat was at its highest. She sat back and did nothing for years while in Rotherham, Leicester, Bradford, Rochdale and a dozen other towns and cities the police failed to stop the wholesale rape and sexual abuse of under-age white girls by Muslims. She was slow and indecisive in her pathetic attempt to intervene in the infiltration of schools in Birmingham by Islamic extremists. She described sharia courts as “beneficial” and allowed them to operate in parallel with British law – and this in spite of the fact that such courts are complicit in the mistreatment of Muslim women by their menfolk.
The list of her sins, negligences and ignorances, her half-baked and deranged actions and inactions, is almost endless. But the worst of her many failures was her record on immigration. As home secretary, she was charged to put into practice Cameron’s declared aim of reducing the number of immigrants from over half a million every year to “the tens of thousands.” In fact, during her tenure net immigration increased from a million to three million. But here is the truly laughable bit – were it not so catastrophic for our country: May claimed she was powerless to reduce immigration “because of Shengen, the EU’s open borders rule.” And then she voted for Remain! How’s that for joined-up thinking?
She began her term her term as prime minister by announcing economic and social policies that you might think belonged exclusively to Jeremy Corbyn. She wants to curb executive pay. Apart from the fact that this could be achieved only by the adoption of the most draconian and demagogic policies, it would also drive the best talent into the arms of our competitors. Her plans to ensure more women are appointed to company boards is yet another example of her liking for social engineering, while her other ambitions for tighter regulation of the City and a more socialistic approach to industrial relations will lead, give it time, to the sort of sclerosis which paralyses the economy in France. The sole criteria for the selection and appointment to senior jobs in commerce and industry should be competence, and when competence is jeopardised the results are always inefficiency and mediocrity. Besides, decisions about whom to appoint to senior management are the prerogative of the companies concerned and are no business of the government – especially a Conservative government. May is leading the party so far to the left that I’m tempted to say Britain is unique among the nations: not only do we have a socialist opposition, we have a socialist government as well.
Like all weak leaders, she has appointed wets and yes-men. After the Referendum vote, what Britain needed most was the announcement of vigorous Tory economic policies. Taxes should have been cut drastically and a bonfire made of the sheaves of regulations which strangle the life out of the City. Instead, May appointed a chancellor of the exchequer who gave us an autumn statement so anodyne it put me to sleep. Talking of sleep, the new home secretary, Amber Rudd, is clearly not up to the job and, like May herself when she occupied that office, she refuses to tackle the problem that threatens to sink our country altogether: mass immigration, now at a record level.
Her rhetorical insistence that “Brexit means Brexit” is a lie and a sham. A lie because she is a declared Remainer. A sham because her negotiations with the EU amount to capitulation. She has accepted “a period of transition” which guarantees we shall have no momentum out for four years – and probably forever. This is exactly what May wants. She has promised to go on paying exorbitant sums to the EU for the foreseeable future.
The woman is a disastrous shambles.
Even in today’s etiolated Tory party, surely there are enough “suits” who will fall in behind the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, stroll across to Number Ten and tell her it’s time to go?
If she lingers, the future for the country is Corbyn, the renowned fan of Chavez and Maduro and the Venezuela where people are scavenging in dustbins for food and stealing zoo animals to provide their next meal.
May has sat here too long for any good she might have done. She should go. And for all our sakes, she should go quickly.