Theresa May

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Theresa May, newly arrived by umbrella, in 2015.
A guide to

U.K. Politics

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God Save the Queen?
We're sorry, are you looking for the adult film star?[1]
Brexit means Brexit.*
—*Terms and conditions apply[2]

Theresa May (b. 1956) a.k.a. "The Vicar's daughter", "The Submarine", and "The Maybot", is the current Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Conservative Party. She's nicknamed "Submarine May" because as soon as things get tough she dives below the surface.[3]

May is a Protestant Christian within the Church of England, and the daughter of a vicar.[4] The good news is that, like Dave, May lacks the predisposition toward evangelicalism.[5] Still, her record paints the picture of a self-righteous, moralising nanny who is living in the past, completely out of touch with the majority on both sides of the spectrum (basically anyone who isn't a pensioner who thinks we're living in the last days of Rome). Most Britons agreed she is still preferable to the nutty, Leave-backing pretenders like Michael "How Real Men clap" Gove[6] and Andrea "My Ovaries Work" Leadsom.[7] It's a fairly depressing state of affairs, but true.

Between her and Cameron, the costs to the party have been staggering. They threw away their majority, their jobs, and £100b of the public purse.[8]

Contents

[edit] Home Secretary

[Britain's Prime Minister is] not going to be Theresa May, there is no chance.
—Mystic MenschWikipedia's W.svg strikes again![9]


She is bewilderingly lacking in any achievements from her time as a Member of Parliament, beyond deflecting blame (i.e. the Cameron Model of premiership).[10] May served six years as Home Secretary, in charge of law and order, borders, immigration, drug policy etc. She is already unpopular among those who work in the NHS, the police, Border Force or the fire service. May helped destroy those services more than any other Home Secretary in history.[11][12][13] She also holds the judiciary in total contempt.[14][15][16][17].

[edit] Prime Minister

Whenever Gordon Brown chooses to call a general election, we will be ready for him. He has no democratic mandate.
—Theresa May, who later pledged to have no GE until 2020[18]

She was the last Tory standing after the post-Brexit circular firing squad. May had a high level of support amongst the public for her "strength", which turned out to be stubbornness detrimental to the country's well being.[19] She is also the UK's second female Prime Minister, the first having been Margaret Thatcher. Just give her time, and she'll make Thatcher look like a Communist.[20]

However, if Scotland decides to leave the UK and rejoin the EU, she could well be the final British Prime Minister, which is not something you want on your CV.

[edit] Policies

[edit] Brexit

People talk about the sort of Brexit that there is going to be – is it hard or soft, is it grey or white. Actually we want a red, white and blue Brexit...
—May[21]
Never thought I would live to see a British Prime Minister spouting such utter twaddle
—Robert Harris[22]

To give May the benefit of the doubt, she's in a rather large and complicated mess that's not of her own making,[23] and saying something like "Brexit means Brexit", while not exactly informative, is her trying to buy time so Parliament can wrap their heads around the situation and start figuring a way out.[note 1] Hard to argue with success:[24] She managed to nick a few votes from Labor and break UKIP,[25][26] taking advantage of a lack of real opposition.

  • It's almost as if she's worked out that there's a huge block of Brexiteers in the north who will vote Tory.
    Actually, May is not a new convert.[27] As home secretary, she'd been doing similar stuff to non-EU migrants since 2010.[28] Nobody cared back then.
  • The British public were sold a vision of a negotiated or "soft" Brexit wherein the UK retain access to free trade and the single market. Now the comedy begins: Theresa sees her plan for a soft Brexit isn't working out and is going to trigger Article 50 without delay, thus giving up her bargaining position and access to the single market. It's a self-inflicted wound for London, who will lose prominence as a global financial center.[29]
  • Brexit was supposed to be about taking sovereignty from the EU and giving it back to Parliament, but all May ever seems to do is undermine Parliament in favour of... not sure what.[30]
  • Now she's promising to break up the banks,[31] jail the tax dodgers,[32] spend like there's no tomorrow,[33] isolate the UK on a lonely island,[34][35] risk destabilizing the entire union, and still get everything she wants from Europe, regardless of practicality, because that's what friends do(?).[36][37]
    Not even Corbyn wanted to go as far as May proposes, and he was castigated for being a Trot. This 180° turn from laissez-faire (under Dave) to a moralist, protectionist, command economy (under May) is making the Tories delirious.[38][39] Somebody should write a book about this.
  • In a speech, May proposed forcing British businesses to reveal and register their foreign workers. The idea, echoed by Amber Rudd, is that it "prevents migrants from taking jobs British people can do."[40] You know what they say: converts are the most zealous.[41] Immediate backlash from businesses seems to have no real effect on policy, however.[42]
  • Throughout her political career,[43] May been extremely keen on getting out of the ECJWikipedia's W.svg/ECHR.Wikipedia's W.svg May will now opt out of EU human rights laws, which coincidentally exempts British troops from having to obey human rights laws, and thus, would be legally immune from prosecution should they commit war crimes. She also wants to make it easier for journalists, reporters, and critics in general to be "investigated" for reporting on war crimes violations/allegations.[44][45] This is part of a broader policy to suspend the Human Rights Act.[46]
  • Most Tories start from a hard-arsed position to negotiate down to something reasonable. May does not exaggerate. When she suggested turning heavily-pregnant women away from hospitals if they could not produce a UK passport on the spot, she considered it not only a reasoned position, but "uncontroversial".[47]

[edit] Just About Managing

Cameron got a good three years out of "Compassionate Conservatism." May's JAMs[48] read like a joke, she's brought nothing but pain to people who (shamefully) need benefits to live despite working 40+ hours a week.[49][50] Iain Duncan Smith is a die-hard Thatcherite, this is a return to the glory days for him. And yet he's out there protesting May's benefit cuts.[51]

[edit] Trade

This isn’t a country, it’s an American aircraft carrier.
Gore Vidal in 2009

May and her party are making large-scale transfers of public funds to favoured companies via "investment".[52]

She could have been leader of the EU. By 2050, the United Kingdom will be more populated than Germany, and EU council votes are based on population. What is she to the US? A partner in crime.[53][54] Meanwhile, Trump can't even get her name right.[55][56]

The funniest part is that he's giving priority to Germany, of Tax their cars, I'm not shaking your hand and You owe us 400 billion dollars for NATO here is the invoice fame. "Front of the queue", indeed.[57][58]

[edit] Social issues and equality

Theresa May's views on gay marriage are something of a mixed bag: under the leadership of IDS,Wikipedia's W.svg May voted against repealing Section 28 in 1998 and voted against adoption rights for same-sex couples, in accordance with the party whip,Wikipedia's W.svg when others such as Boris Johnson (whose own record on LGBT rights isn't exactly 100% clean[59]) and George Osborne rebelled as a matter of conscience (Yes, he does have one!).[60] In her time at the Home Office, policies have been put in place which forced LGBT asylum seekers to prove their sexuality, some allegedly through intimate photos and videos of same-sex sexual activity. One individual was even told that she couldn't have been a lesbian, simply because she had children, saying that "You can't be a heterosexual one day and a lesbian the next day. Just as you can't change your race."[61]

Still, compared to her competitors, May was by no means the worst candidate with regards to LGBT equality. Under Michael Howard,Wikipedia's W.svg May abstained from voting on the Gender Recognition ActWikipedia's W.svg (allowing transgender individuals to legally change their gender) but later supported same-sex marriage alongside then-leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron:[60]

"I want us to be a country where it doesn't matter where you were born, who your parents are, where you went to school, what your accent sounds like, what God you worship, whether you are a man or a woman, gay or straight, black or white. All that should matter is the talent you have and how hard you're prepared to work."[62]

Shortly after her appointment, she borrowed a page from Dubya's playbook: reading aloud from the Quran, a gesture of solidarity with Britain's Muslims and a warning shot at the far-right. Fair play to her, she has always courted the Muslim vote.[63] At least May can differentiate between honest citizens and Islamic extremists, which pleases the left a good deal, though the right is worried that she'll start banning criticism of Islam next.[64] Case in point, back in her Home Sec days, she was instrumental in banning Aerosmith frontman Steve Tyler Pamela Geller from the UK, calling it "a measure against unfettered free speech."[65]

[edit] Drugs

See the main article on this topic: War on Drugs

As home secretary, she refuse to budge on any sort of discussion on drugs beyond the old prohibition line.[66] Her psychoactive substances bill attracted widespread criticism for its lack of grounding in reality: She banned literally everything that is psychoactive, which means you could theoretically be arrested for having virtually any substance in existence.[67]

[edit] Censorship

In 2015, she banned an American rap artist, Tyler the Creator, from the UK on the ground that his songs "seek to provoke others to terrorist acts".[68]

0 dead from Pornhub, but porn is a public health concern.[69] That was in 2014; two years later, her government is rolling out a plan to police people's kinks. They're using BBFC guidelines, so if it can't be shown in a movie, then they won't allow it.[70] The wording of the legislation ("non-conventional" sexual viewing) is similar to Russia's "anti-gay" lawWikipedia's W.svg banning "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations". For a PM who has yet to apologise for Clause 28, this is a worrying precedent.

May is also threatening action against those who advance unpopular ideas or sympathize with terrorists, even if they don't themselves advocate violence or illegal action.[71]

[edit] Internet encryption

As Home Secretary, she was in favour of increased surveillance especially of online activities.[72] May's first steps as premier have been to go after internet users, particularly journalists. It's all under the guise of national security.[73][74][75] Bonus: They won't be able to take it to the European court.

She wants to put the internet under the control of regulation of the government - her government, which would have the power to block all porn sites and ultimately every non-Murdoch news site that criticizes the ruling class.[76]

[edit] Climate change

Fracking ban: okay to overturn. Brexit: nope, we have to listen to the will of the people.[77]

Cameron's Conservatives were environmentally-conscious. May clearly doesn't care at all.[78] She has merged the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) into a new department called, well, "Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy". Which is an obvious conflict of interest and will likely reduce government action on climate change.[79]

[edit] Hearing voices

May claimed in an interview with The Sunday Times that God has been guiding her through Brexit. That's the one thing which prevented her own cabinet from tearing her open to check that she wasn't a droid.

However, the fact that Theresa has campaigned both for and against the EU suggests that, at some point, she may have been talking to Satan.[80][81]

[edit] "Coalition of Chaos"

When has a snap election ever worked out well for the people who called it? The Tories are governing with a very slim majority, forcing them to cut a deal with the DUP to maintain a grip on Northern Ireland. No doubt the papers will dedicate just as much time highlighting this as they did Corbyn's ties to the IRA.[82][83][84]

It won't be Theresa at the helm, but Brexit will still proceed. But will it be a "hard" Brexit now? Likely not.

[edit] Videos

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Notes

  1. To quote Power Monkeys, biglabooba means biglabooba. If you make up words then you can have them mean whatever you want.

[edit] References

  1. Moran, Lee, "It’s Theresa with an 'h'", HuffPo (07/12/2016 06:12 am ET).
  2. "Theresa May refuses to commit to Brexit pledges on immigration and NHS", The Guardian 9.4.16.
  3. "David Cameron 'let down' by Theresa May, says former PM aide", BBC 9.25.16.
  4. "Vicar's daughter" Theresa May launches bid for leadership, Premier Christian Media Trust, 30 June 2016
  5. Theresa May – what lies beyond the public image?, Elizabeth Day, The Guardian, 27 July 2014
  6. It's the best his manufacturers can do to pass him off as human
  7. Elgot, Jessica, "Andrea Leadsom apologises to Theresa May for motherhood remarks", Guardian (10 July 2016, 6:59pm EDT).
  8. Williams-Grut, Oscar, "Brexit could cost Britain €100 billion up front", Business Insider (3 May 2017, 2:48pm).
  9. Louise Mensch (30 June 2016). "Tweet Number 748638550351028224". Twitter. "It's not going to be Theresa May, there is no chance." 
  10. Barrett, Daniel, "Theresa May: Home Office could have covered up paedophile claims", Telegraph (11/11/14 at 6:39PM GMT).
  11. Hughes, Laura, "Theresa May feared she had created police commissioner 'monster'", Telegraph (2/5/16 at 1:54PM GMT).
  12. Riley-Smith, Ben, "Britain has control of borders, Theresa May insists despite 3m migrants to arrive by 2030",Telegraph (4/24/16 at 11:05am).
  13. "Theresa May announces major fire service shake up", Telegraph via Associated Press (12/19/15 at 2:39AM GMT).
  14. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9345345/Theresa-May-accused-of-unacceptable-and-regrettable-behaviour-by-judge.html
  15. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-supreme-court-judment-theresa-may-live-pmqs-a7420826.html
  16. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15160326
  17. https://www.ft.com/content/c1fc44c4-8985-11e6-8cb7-e7ada1d123b1
  18. "Theresa May MP: Back to business - and with the bit between our teeth", Aug. 2007.
  19. Timothy Ross and Svenja O'Donnell, "Iron Grip of Theresa May Said to Cut Her Off From Key Colleagues", Bloomberg (12/23/16 at 3:41 AM PST).
  20. Thatcher, "Speech opening Single Market Campaign", 4.18.88.
  21. "Theresa May: We want a red, white and blue Brexit", BBC 12.6.16.
  22. Harris, Robert. "Never thought I would live to see a British Prime Minister spouting such utter twaddle". Twitter. https://twitter.com/Robert___Harris/status/782548119749791744. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  23. Hughes, Laura, "Theresa May is running a 'government with no policies', claims Ken Clarke", Telegraph (9/29/16, 7:47am).
  24. Sparrow, Andrew, "Brexit statement: David Davis rejects calls for MPs to vote on negotiating terms - Politics live", Guardian (10/10/16 at 12:37 EDT). But hey, at least the Tories got a 17 point lead out of it, right?/s
  25. Watts, Joe, "Nigel Farage and Ukip donor Arron Banks accuse Theresa May of stealing their party's policies", Independent (10/6/16 at 10:30 BST).
  26. Griffin, Andrew, "Local election results: Ukip loses almost every seat it had in night that could spell disaster for the party", Independent 5 May 2017.
  27. May's speech to the 2016 Conservative Party Conference, via Independent 10.6.15.
  28. Bennett, Asa, "Theresa May's devotion to David Cameron's net migration target is a high-risk gamble", Telegraph 10.4.16.
  29. Barbaglia, Pamela, "HSBC, UBS to shift 1,000 jobs each from UK in Brexit blow to London", via Reuters 1.18.17.
  30. Swinford, Steven, "Theresa May will trigger Brexit negotiations without Commons vote", Telegraph (8/7/16 at 8:13am). Ah, such sweet sovereignty.
  31. Ross, Timothy, "Banks to Miss Out on Special Favors in May’s Brexit Plans", Bloomberg (Updated 10/4/16 at 4:39 AM PDT ).
  32. "May flexes her muscles over tax avoidance", FT 8.17.16.
  33. Parker, George, "UK ready to borrow to fund infrastructure spending", FT 10.6.16.
  34. Ross, Tim, "Theresa May plans new immigration crackdown on student visas", Telegraph (7/24/16 at 10:34am).
  35. Jenkins, Patrick, "City elite call for open attitude to skilled immigration", FT 10.4.16.
  36. Matthew Weaver and Anushka Asthana, "May: UK will remain at centre of EU decision-making until Brexit", Guardian (10/21/16 at 3:41am EDT).
  37. "Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May", BBC 1.17.17.
  38. "Who said it, Theresa May or Ed Miliband?", Guardian.
  39. Booker, Christopher, "What Theresa May did and very carefully did not say about Brexit", Telegraph (10/8/16 at 3:47pm). Denial is not a river in Egypt.
  40. "Foreigners in London ‘Horrified’ by May’s Immigration Vision" – via www.bloomberg.com.
  41. Stone, Jon, "Theresa May’s plan to get firms to list foreign workers goes too far, Ukip MEP says", Independent 10.8.16. UK politics have officially become a Monty Python sketch.
  42. Ruddick, Graham; Mason, Rowena (5 October 2016). "Amber Rudd faces backlash from businesses over foreign workers" – via The Guardian.
  43. Travis, Alan, "Theresa May criticises human rights convention after Abu Qatada affair", Guardian (8 July 2013, 12.47 EDT).
  44. Glaze, Ben (4 October 2016). "PM to opt out of human rights laws to protect British troops from lawsuits".
  45. "Theresa May's flagship human rights policy 'designed to allow soldiers to murder civilians with impunity'". 5 October 2016.
  46. "The Tories are using the army to take a shot at human rights". 4 October 2016 – via The Guardian.
  47. "Theresa May wants to force women to show their passports before giving birth". 12 October 2016.
  48. Colson, Thomas, "Theresa May's Autumn Statement is set to target 'Jams' — the people 'just about managing' to get by", Business Insider (11/16/16 at 5:12 AM ).
  49. Sims, Alexandria, "Families set to lose £100 a week under 'chilling' new benefit cap", Independent (11/7/16 a 1:03 am BST).
  50. Scott, Patrick, "UK food bank usage rises again with benefit delays the most common reason", Telegraph' 11/8/16 at 7:00 AM).
  51. "Iain Duncan Smith urges PM to reverse Universal Credit cuts", BBC 10.28.16.
  52. Merrick, Rob, "Theresa May refuses to rule out private US firms taking over NHS services", Independent (1/25/17 at 13:30 BST). Where's Paxman asking the same question 100 times when you need him?
  53. How many more times? Rupert Murdoch has NO influence on British politics! (The 600 Series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy...)
  54. Johnston, Ian, "Theresa May accused of being ‘Donald Trump’s mole’ in Europe after UK tries to water down EU climate change policy", Independent 29 May 2017.
  55. Sjolin, Sara, "White House got Theresa May’s name wrong no fewer than three times - Peculiar kickoff to latest chapter in ‘special relationship’", MarketWatch (1/27/17 at10:30 a.m. ET).
  56. Baker-Jordan, Skylar, "It's time to face our insignificance", Independent (1/28/17 at 2:50 PM BST).
  57. Piper, Elizabeth, "Britain at front of queue after Trump beats 'loathsome' Obama - Farage", Reuters (10 November 2016, 2:54pm GMT).
  58. Dean, James, "Trump puts EU ahead of Britain in trade queue", The Times (22 April 2017, 12:01am). "On the eleventh refusal, Trump finally got the message, ‘Oh, we’ll do a deal with Europe then.’" The Art of the Deal™!!!!111!
  59. "“Homophobic racist” looks hopeful as new London mayor". Retrieved on 11 July 2016.
  60. 60.0 60.1 "From gay rights opponent to ‘unsung hero’ of equal marriage: Theresa May’s surprising evolution on LGBT rights". Retrieved on 11 July 2016.
  61. "Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children". 3 March 2015. Retrieved on 11 July 2016.
  62. "May: Britain should be a country that works for everyone". ITV News.
  63. "Theresa May’s speech on terrorism and extremism – full text and audio", Spectator (9/30/14 at 12:24 PM).
  64. Spencer, Robert (31 October 2014). "New UK law would ban critics of Sharia from broadcasting, protesting or even posting messages on Facebook". Jihad WatchWikipedia's W.svg. Archived via archive.isWikipedia's W.svg.
  65. "US bloggers banned from entering UK", BBC 26 June 2013.
  66. Sparrow, Andrew, "Norman Baker reveals drugs proposals Theresa May stripped from report", Guardian (12/26/14 at 17.01 EST).
  67. Scott, Matthew, "Theresa May Wants to Ban Pleasure", Telegraph (6/2/15 at 10:46AM BST).
  68. O'Hara, Mary Emily, "U.K. bans Tyler the Creator because of lyrics he wrote 6 years ago", Daily Dot (Last updated 2015-12-11 04:35 a.m.). Hippin' and the hoppin' and the bippin' and the boppin'
  69. Graham, Georgia, "Theresa May: Violent pornography prevents young people from understanding a healthy relationship", Telegraph (11/25/14 at 6:27PM GMT).
  70. Price, Rob, "The UK is banning 'non-conventional' porn and it could censor huge swathes of the web", Business Insider (23 November 2016, 6:39 AM).
  71. Theresa May doesn’t get it — banning ideas we don't like is to suggest that we are frightened of them, Mike Harris, The Independent, 1 October 2014
  72. Investigatory Powers Bill: May defends surveillance powers, BBC, 15 March 2016
  73. Burgess, Matt, "What is the IP Act and how will it affect you?", Wired 10 January 2016.
  74. Sulleyman, Aatif, "UK Government is Secretly Planning to Break Encryption and Spy on People's Phones, Reveals Leaked Document", Independent 5 May 2017.
  75. Ponsford, Dominic, "Journalists confused after being told by Tory MPs that 'snooper's charter' will 'bolster protections' for sources", Press Gazette 8 April 2016.
  76. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/theresa-may-internet-conservatives-government-a7744176.html
  77. Gosden, Emily, "Fracking go-ahead: Government approves Cuadrilla plans, overruling Lancashire council", Telegraph (10/6/16 at 8:22pm). Good luck, Little Englanders.
  78. Davies Bowen, Zachary, "Leaked docs show UK lobbying to weaken EU climate targets despite Brexit", Greenpeace (28 May 28 2017, 4:30 pm).
  79. No Department for Energy and Climate Change for you
  80. Clark, Thomas G (28 November 2016). "What kind of monstrous God has Theresa May been talking to? ". Another Angry Voice.
  81. O'Brien, James (28 November 2016). "James O'Brien's Pin-Sharp Point On Religion In Politics". LBC Radio.
  82. McBride, Sam, "No DUP apology for Ulster Resistance, despite gun-running leading to murders", Belfast News Letter (13 June 2016, 10:45am).
  83. "Dee Stitt: Arlene Foster won't back calls for UDA leader to stand down", BBC 17 November 2016.
  84. Morris, Allison, "Arlene Foster criticised after meeting UDA leader days after loyalist murder ", The Irish Times (1 June 2017, 1:00am).
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