All posts tagged: Theresa May

NO LEAVE to REMAIN

by W Stephen Gilbert Last Christmas, as you do, we received the usual batch of greetings cards from people we’re only in touch with at that time of year. Almost without exception, these cards included a message to the effect: “isn’t it terrible about Trump and Brexit?” As we are perceived as (ex-)metropolitan, enlightened, middle class professionals, we obviously must subscribe to all the views prescribed for that demographic. My partner can speak for himself. But I voted to leave. This is an outrage that many of my friends cannot understand and find difficult to forgive. They tolerate my intolerance of that ugly, specious, coined term that Theresa May likes to use twice in one mantra. But by my vote they think I’ve taken leave of my senses or become a class traitor or revealed myself as a closet fascist. Bracketing Trump and the 2016 referendum result is thought a legitimate summary of a year that was in many ways the most ghastly anyone can recall. It’s almost as though the leave campaign was implicated …

Brexit Never Just Meant Brexit

by Dan Mallon “Brexit means Brexit” is one of the many cryptic slogans that constantly emanated from Theresa May’s shambolic – soon to be defunct – Tory Government. What it means is anybody’s guess. Many have speculated it is Theresa May opting for a hard Brexit over a soft Brexit, however these are not tangible constructs, they are mental constructs. The idea of a hard/soft Brexit are nothing more than negotiating positions and seeing as no one has sat around a table yet, nobody can say for sure what the consistency of Brexit will be once it’s finally baked. Considering the European Union (EU) wants to make an example of Britain so as to dissuade other countries from following suit means heading into a negotiation taking a soft approach, will only end in tears. The idea that EU super-state ideologues like Guy Verhofstadt, will simply roll over and allow Britain have an amicable divorce from their pet project, is naivety to the extreme. One thing is for certain though: May’s Tories sure as hell don’t …

General Election 2017 – the Tories “won” but spectacularly lost

Despite the two-year long rabid anti-Corbyn propaganda from the Murdoch tabloids, traditional Tory press and establishment at large. Despite the  shamefully lukewarm  and last minute semi-endorsement from the Guardian.  Despite the opinion polls that apparently predicted an increased Conservative majority and a collapse of the Labour voteTheresa May and her colleagues achieved the near impossible and contrived to be so incompetent, blundering, arrogant, vitriolic, greedy and estranged from reality they ended up with a tottering minority government, no mandate and – as a bonus –  a complete moral victory for Corbyn and his team and a rout for the Blairite wing of the Labour party.

Sticking Your Neck-and-Neck Out

by W Stephen Gilbert Now we dare to hope. If the rain isn’t too relentless on Thursday…If the Momentum activists do their stuff and all those who’ve volunteered to phone voters with the free-to-use app do so…If whatever low stunts have been pulled by The Sun, the Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph on Thursday morning can be laughed off…If nobody has a seriously damaging last-minute gaffe…And if the ever-unreliable opinion polls are a day or two behind the trend… Who imagined that this was possible seven weeks ago? Well, I did. Jeremy Corbyn’s galvanising candour and cool have worked miracles before. We saw it last year and the year before. Alone among Tories, Ken Clarke warned of its power two years ago. But a sense of righteous entitlement has misled smarter people than Theresa May. She never credited the possibility of failure. If he becomes Prime Minister on Friday or after a week or two of haggling or after a second election in the autumn, it will be Corbyn’s triumph way beyond …

Terror in Britain: What did the Prime Minister Know?

by John Pilger The unsayable in Britain’s general election campaign is this. The causes of the Manchester atrocity, in which 22 mostly young people were murdered by a jihadist, are being suppressed to protect the secrets of British foreign policy. Critical questions – such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist “assets” in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst – remain unanswered, deflected by the promise of an internal “review”. The alleged suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was part of an extremist group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, that thrived in Manchester and was cultivated and used by MI5 for more than 20 years. The LIFG is proscribed by Britain as a terrorist organisation which seeks a “hardline Islamic state” in Libya and “is part of the wider global Islamist extremist movement, as inspired by al-Qaida”. The “smoking gun” is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in “battle”: first to remove …

VIDEO: The Naylor Report – Tories Plan to Sell the NHS

YouTuber Chris Holden’s video on the Naylor Report and Theresa May’s plans for the NHS has gone viral in the last week. Deservedly so, he’s done the hard yards – reading an interminably dull report – so we don’t have to. His summary is concise, revealing, and very worrying. “In an interview with Andrew Neil, Theresa May slipped out a single line about the NHS; she’s made the 2017 election all about her, strength and stability and Brexit. In half an hour, this was all she had to say about her plans on the NHS – “we support the Naylor Report”. It sounded so tediously dull, it couldn’t possibly be of any interest.” Featured image from Evolvepolitics.com, who have an excellent write-up on the Naylor Report here.

MSM trying damage control as May is mocked all over social media

by Catte Last night’s televised “Battle for No. 10” proved a cataclysmic disaster for the Tories. Before the debate even ended #TheresaMayGIFS was a trending hashtag on Twitter, representing her perceived failure in animated form. But this hasn’t stopped the establishment trying to rewrite history to turn defeat into victory In last night’s TV “battle” aired on Sky News and Channel 4 (it wasn’t a debate since there was no direct interaction between the two party leaders), Corbyn was competent. Not brilliant, but competent, but he effortlessly outshone May, because apparently bare competence is a thing she can only dream of. Even after the Tories sent pre-scripted talking points to all their members with instructions to Tweet them during the debate, and even after the famous Tory Jeremy Paxman made an exhibition of his bias by hectoring and screaming at Corbyn while allowing May to ramble and stumble uninterrupted for as long as she chose, the end result was a car crash, and #TheresaMayGIFS is currently a trending Twitter hashtag celebrating her grandiose and absolute …

JFK at 100: The War on Our Heroes Part 1

If the bullets hadn’t flown, John Fitzgerald Kennedy might have been one hundred years old today. Granted, it’s not likely, put definitely possible. If the parade route hadn’t been changed, and the roof taken off the limousine, and the secret service ordered to stand down, the world would likely be a very different place. If the man had safely negotiated the last 54 years, and was still breathing today, what would he make of this mess?

“Is free-speech really worth all this hassle?” – Gaby Hinsliff

by Kit I’ve never written a response to a Gaby Hinsliff column before. I’ve never felt the need. In much the same way that I’ve never written an online review of sliced bread or an essay about cardboard. It’s…there, I suppose, and it does a job, but it’s hardly worth getting excited about. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi The Manchester bombing was “let happen” by MI5 because of the Conservative party’s disastrous dip in the polls. That was the theory tweeted by Rufus Hound, a comedian. As theories go, and it is still just a theory at this early stage, it’s not at all outlandish. History is full of precedents of power structures making people believe they are under threat in order to secure their position. As Hound succinctly put it, #Reichstagfire. The bombing, whether real or staged or allowed to happen or planned by MI5, will allow May to talk about strength and stability some more, allow the Tory’s to attack …

ISIS Terrorist Attack in Manchester? 17 Days Before Crucial UK Elections

At the end of a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester, an enormous ‘controlled’ explosion killed at least 22 people and injured 59, as reported by British media. Many of them are children and adolescents, as most of the concert-goers were young people. The singer is unharmed. The concert hall accommodates 21,000 people. After the blast, panic broke loose, resulting in a mass stampede. It is not clear whether people were also killed in the stampede.

British elections are planned for 8 June 2017.

Who goes home?

by W Stephen Gilbert It’s true that opinion poll failings – and poll successes in anticipating election results more or less accurately have been thin on the ground – are apt to underestimate votes for right wing candidates (Tories, Trump) rather than any other kind. Nevertheless, the Tory landslide projected at the outset of this election period would be a surprising outcome, given the tendency for campaigns to assist the opposition parties by allowing them far more coverage than they usually enjoy. In the case of the 2017 election, the Tory pitch has been so dire that if a substantial narrowing of the gap did not materialise, one would be entitled to suspect foul play. It’s a measure of the job that the media have done on Jeremy Corbyn, obediently reproducing the lines fed out by Tory propaganda chief Lynton Crosby, that the BBC go on finding vox pops to declare that Corbyn is “an idiot” and indeed that “I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him”. Even Corbyn’s most convinced opponents …

The OffG view on the UK General Election

A while back we said we’d watch and wait for developments in the UK General Election. So far nothing is happening that could not be expected. The Tory press are almost uniformly bent on destroying Corbyn’s credibility. The notional “left” press are being a little less committed, leaving open the small possibility of support for a Labour win if the circumstances permit. The Labour Party itself is riven, with many of its MPs seeming to prefer to lose the election than suffer Corbyn as PM.

Article 50 triggers strong reactions on both sides…but what will change?

There is a wonderful episode of South Park from 2008, based around the first election of Barack Obama. As the results are announced the democrats and republicans break out into hysteria and collapse into depression respectively. The Democrats eventually turn the event into an all-night, no-holds-barred street party, certain the world will be fixed by morning and nothing will ever be the same. The republicans crouch in fear all night, deep in their basements or holed-up in bomb-shelters and out-buildings, positive that society will start to crumble and they’ll be living in a Mad Max style free-for-all before the sun rises.

Game of Knowns

by W Stephen Gilbert How about a game of let’s pretend. Say that Owen Smith gets to make the Leader’s Speech at the Conference on the 28th. I know, but just say. What nobody but me says aloud (but everyone thinks) will start to be said out loud: “Owen Smith is unelectable”. If Smith thinks he can lead Labour to victory in the 2020 general election, he is, to use the word he threw at Jeremy Corbyn, “delusional”. Smith doesn’t have the repertoire to enthuse the electorate. He’s erratic, earnest, voluble without saying anything arresting, malleable and lightweight. Theresa May would eat him for breakfast. And here’s something else that nobody mentions but everybody knows: he’s Welsh. The fact is that, to make a sweeping generalisation, the English hate The Welsh. In just the same way, equally crudely but with a germ of truth, the Scots hate the English. (The Welsh appear not to hate anybody, though they’re understandably suspicious of the English). But I suspect that it would be very hard for a Welsh …