Hands up who knew next to nothing about Theresa May and then the next week she had become our Prime Minister? Yup, me too.
With the international community reeling in the wake of BrexitBorisGoveMayGate, even US media took a moment away from their ‘ISIS – gun laws – Trump – Hilary – America is great’ news cycle to comment on how truly effed up British politics is right now. CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, even Chelsea Handler – they were all at it. I mean admittedly, in four out of those five examples they focused almost solely on the implications for the US, but still. The US telling the UK we’re messed up is like Darth Vader telling Postman Pat to chill his boots.
So the UK gave the FU to the EU. What next?
After the most momentous referendum vote in living memory, wasn’t it fun to watch our dear PM throw in his hat and trot off (hehe) to Notting Hill? Then came the frenetic leadership race, in which all but one of the candidates promptly crashed and burned, leaving May to claim the prize. So on 13 July, less than a month after the EU vote, former Home Secretary Theresa May became our new Prime Minister. For those that are still catching up, here is the lady in a nutshell.
Then came two days of cabinet hiring & firing, which left us feeling pretty exhausted. Nicky Morgan out (yes!), George Osbourne fired (woohoo!), Boris as Foreign Secretary (whaa?), Hunt out (YESSSSS!!!), oh wait, no he’s actually in (AHHHH). It was all too much.
Then came the cross-party support quotes, as the PR machine sped into action. We learned May is ‘determined’, ‘steely’, ‘authoritative’ and ‘competent’. Hmm. All good qualities for a sergeant major, but I was intrigued to find out more about her beliefs. It was much, much worse that I thought. For the love of God Don’t google “Theresa May’s Voting Record”.
Here to solve the “Burning injustice” of social inequality
Our new PM told us she’s here to sort poverty, women’s rights, race discrimination, mental health, help young people get on the property ladder and stop mugging off the everyman (ok I’m paraphrasing here). But all in all – tick, tick, and tick. I even found myself thinking ‘maybe having a lady Prime Minister will be a really awesome thing, and she’ll do lots of good and that!’
She said she was on a mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone.
But then #PMQs happened…
And she told Jeremy Corbyn that austerity wasn’t destroying the very social fabric of our society and forcing an unbelievable number of families into poverty. No no. Austerity to ol’ T-May means ‘living within our means’.
Guess that £205 billion nuclear deterrent is off the table then?
T-May has shown she can talk a good game, but the personal principles and opinions she shared in her first PMQs seem completely juxtaposed to the priorities laid out in her opening statement.
“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” – John Kenneth Galbraith.
So will our new leader listen to the concerns of British people and take Government policy in a new and fairer direction? Or will she continue with the Tory status quo?
I guess the best we can hope for is that she truly has re positioned herself in the middle of the political spectrum and has every intention of uniting communities through fairer policy as she so passionately described.
Only time, as they say, will tell. In the meantime, at least we can look at her pretty shoes…
P.S. Theresa, I’m still in shock. You’re really keeping Jeremy as Health Secretary? REALLY?!!