After having to deal with another calamitous mistake by Nicola Murray ‘the thick of it,’ Malcolm Tucker tells her ‘You’re a fucking omnishambles, that’s what you are. You’re like that coffee machine, you know: from bean to cup, you fuck up.’ After the complete mess that Theresa May has made of the 2017 election there are probably many Tories who share the same view of their hapless Prime Minister.
When Theresa May declared an election it was according to her to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations and to give her the mandate to ensure it was carried through. It was also a chance to increase the Conservative majority and to take advantage of what they perceived was a Labour party in turmoil.
However rather than leading to a landslide it was to be a disastrous campaign that far from being a ‘strong and stable government,’ led to a hung parliament and to a weak and unstable minority government. Rather than Jeremy Corbyn looking out of his depth it is Theresa May drowning in a pool of her own incompetence.
The Labour party ran a first class campaign and although they didn’t win enough seats to form a government they did enough to make a lot of ground from the last election. It would have been one almighty swing to Labour if they had romped home but it is progress especially as the Conservatives now rely on the DUP to form a government.
Although there was still a lot of media bias against Corbyn he was still shown to be able to connect with the public. To paraphrase the West wing it was best to let ‘Jeremy to be Jeremy.’ He connected with the electorate, was pleasant, personable, and was seen to be comfortable answering questions from the media and the public.
This was in complete contrast Theresa May who looked shifty, uncomfortable, and only seemed to speak in soundbites. Everything was stage-managed from the public events that she attended to the questions being vetted. At one news conference a journalist in Cornwall was shown the door for daring to ask a third question.
Theresa May has consistently performed poorly at PMQ’s but she was to take this to a new level. Meeting the electorate seemed to be an inconvenience and there seemed to be an arrogance that the public would accept anything. The so-called ‘dementia tax,’ policy backfired spectacularly when the Conservative manifesto made plans to make people pay more of their own social care. The policy caused anger because payments after death could eat into the inheritance of offspring whose parents were unlucky enough to suffer from a condition – like dementia – in which reliance on social care is inevitable.
It lead to a u-turn by Theresa May who scaled back proposals but considering that she was meant to be a decisive leader who wouldn’t stand any nonsense in brexit talks, made May look as though she would buckle under the slightest pressure.
The campaign by May led to personal insults against Corbyn and negativity throughout. It seemed that so long as May got in her buzz words of ‘strong and stable government,’ that people would believe that she was the only one that could deliver this. However it just seemed stale and clichéd as Theresa May stood there nervously. When forced to take questions May would take a sip of water to quench the nerves of being out of her comfort zone. Again a trait that hardly inspires confidence.
In many respects Theresa May is one of those company middle-managers who are promoted way above their ability. As a result they cause mayhem and damage before being quietly moved on.
By now it seemed to be as though the Conservatives were seeing Theresa May as a liability due to her consistent poor performances in public. The decision to duck the leadership debate was poor judgement. After all if you couldn’t comfortably argue your case and take questions how could you be deemed fit to negotiate in Brexit talks? Inadvertently May raised Amber Rudd’s chances of taking her job by allowing her to take her place and performing well.
Of course the election was more than Brexit it was about the cuts in social service, education, the NHS and how austerity is affecting the ordinary person. Labour’s manifesto seemed to an attractive and fair solution to bring about a fairer society.
As election day drew near it was the hope that people would allow the sound bites and uncertainty thrown about Corbyn to stick with May. Indeed many thought the Conservatives would still win comfortably despite the poor performances of May. They were to be shocked when the final poll at 10pm on the 8th June 2017 rightly declared it be a hung parliament.
Labour may not have won enough to govern but they had made progress whereas Theresa May had spectacularly shot herself in the foot. She had called an election believing it to be a formality and a chance to increase the Conservative majority in parliament. Instead they lost seats and rather than bringing ‘strong and stable,’ May now presides over a minority government with less MPs. Now they have to rely on the DUP which will bring about other issues. Furthermore due to the lack of a majority May will have to deal with factions within her own party. Rather than talking about moving forward it is now about uncertainty and when another election will be called.
Even as the ceiling has come crashing down and with bits of plaster in her hair, May still acted as though she had won a massive majority. Despite the clichéd key words that had fallen as flat as a fart at a funeral, May still couldn’t help herself declaring the coalition with the DUP as bringing a ‘government of certainty.’ It was as though May was hoping to hoodwink the public that everything was fine rather than being an almighty mess through her own making.
This didn’t go down with the party faithful especially the candidates who had lost seats. To not even acknowledge that this was a massive set back was another poor error of judgement. However Theresa May calamitous flounders around like Nicola Murray that it can’t be long before she declares a policy for ‘every day bat people.’
Prior to this election many felt that it would be the end of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party. Many were probably already writing his obituary. Instead it is a dazed, incompetent, and weak Theresa May who staggers on after losing all credibility.
After this poor performance and weak leadership it surely can’t be long before Theresa May steps aside. Whether she makes that decision or is forced out will be played out in the coming months. There really is no way that May can continue as Prime Minister. She looks weak and above all has been shown to be incompetent that another election probably seems certain by the end of the year.