It’s been nearly a month since we watched May’s opening statement on the steps of number 10, when that little voice inside our heads saying ‘They’re all the same, don’t believe a word of it’ was momentarily silenced, and we held our collective breath to hear her out.
And we liked what we heard: with a strong focus on social inequality, our new PM spoke passionately about alleviating poverty, championing women’s rights, tackling race discrimination and addressing mental health. She said she wanted to ‘make Britain a country that works for everyone’.
*raises one cynical eyebrow*
Since then, much of her first month in office has been spent dealing with the fallout from Brexit; jetting off to Berlin to shoot the icy breeze with Angela Merkel, holding press conferences with the Slovakian and Polish prime ministers over immigration, and batting off requests from the EUtocracy to trigger article 50 (they’ll be pleased about today’s announcement).
Meanwhile, back home, we were all so busy adjusting to both our new PM and the reality that yes, we really have just voted to leave the European Union, that the news agenda swiftly moved on, following May’s every diplomatic move in Europe, without so much as a glance behind.
But then I started wondering about our new Prime Minister’s political record. What does she stand for? What has she voted for?
Imagine my surprise when this lot came up after an innocent Google search…
How Theresa May has voted
On social issues
- Voted against making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste
- Voted in favour of REPEALING the Human Rights Act 1998
On Foreign Policy & Defence
- Consistently voted for the Iraq war
- Voted for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
- Always voted for use of UK military forces in combat ops overseas
On Taxation & Employment
- Voted against a bankers’ bonus tax (I KNOW right?)
- Voted for more restrictive regulation of trade union activity
On Business and the Economy
- Wasn’t sure about introducing measures to reduce tax avoidance (wtf?!)
- Voted against allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their life
- Consistently voted for raising the tuition fee cap to £9,000/year
On the Environment
- Generally voted against measures to prevent climate change
- Consistently voted for selling England’s state owned forests
- Voted against greater regulation of fracking
Oh and she also voted against slowing the rise in rail fares. And against a more proportional electoral system. Grrrrrr.
Aside from a few drops in the ocean (T-May voted for greater autonomy of schools, against university tuition fees in principle, and for a wholly elected House of Lords), I, and most of Britain (whatever that means these days) should find ourselves pretty horrified by the voting record of our new PM.
So what can we make of her grand opening statement vs. this voting history shambles?
Well, that perhaps that little voice in our heads was right all along.
I’m really hoping you prove it wrong Theresa.
Voting record source: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10426/theresa_may/maidenhead/votes