How Theresa May’s been undone by a mess of her own making

As Theresa May’s teary face graces front pages, there’s a lot of people we could shed a tear for and truly she is not one of them.

As she quoted Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of child refugees from the holocaust, we could cry for the child refugees she ensured would remain separated from their families, homeless and at the mercy of traffickers and abusers in Calais.

Or as she mentioned the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower blaze as part of her legacy, why have the Fire Brigade Union reacted so appalled, slamming her for prioritising “corporate and government interests”?

This can’t be said enough:

The unachievable Brexit mess that has been her undoing is a mess of her making.

And it’s a toxic mess she stirred up before she became Prime Minister in 2016, when the impossible task of taking Britain out of the EU in a way that would fulfil the unachievable promises of Brexit claimed its first PM – David Cameron who quit straight after his referendum divided the nation.

You see, as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016, Theresa May spearheaded the Tory scapegoating of immigrants and vowed to create a “hostile environment” that not only caused untold suffering with its institutional racism, but sowed the poison seeds that allowed anti-immigrant feeling into a debate on Britain’s national identity.

As Home Secretary, Theresa May was the Tory mouthpiece that suppressed repeatedly the government’s own findings that immigration fulfilled economic needs for the UK’s ageing demographic, and made reducing immigration to “tens of thousands” a major priority – even though it was way down the list of priorities of people suffering the consequences of Tory austerity in repeated polls.

Theresa May took it upon herself to insist that she would get asylum seeker numbers down by eroding their human rights with horrific legislation that not only failed to get numbers down, but helped create a backlog of asylum seekers  living in limbo unable to work and contribute to British society.

May insisted immigration should be brought down to the “tens of thousands” – a rash promise that civil servants, Home Office staff, economists, experts, all repeatedly warned her was unachievable. – But hey, what do experts know? – They all conclude that immigration won’t reduce to tens of thousands Brexit or no Brexit.

And then when the Tory government inevitably failed each year to reduce immigration to the ridiculous target May had invented – largely because May was at the same time cutting Home Office staff drastically – May and Cameron started blaming the EU and “Freedom Of Movement” for their own failures.

“Freedom Of Movement” means Brits and EU citizens can enjoy the opportunities of working across the EU. It means Europe’s most productive could come to the UK to work, but could not stay here if they didn’t find gainful employment.

– Though of course that depended on Theresa May enforcing that with the Home Office staff she continuously depleted.  

Instead, May repeatedly told the country that immigration was a problem – that even though it was her responsibility as Home Secretary to tackle – was impossible to do anything about while we were part of the EU and enjoyed “Freedom of Movement.”

So after blaming membership of the EU for a problem she and her Tory colleagues had invented, they asked the country whether people wanted to remain part of the EU.

Is it really any surprise 51.5% of people voted to leave?

And is it any surprise that Theresa May is the next PM to quit?

She has been consistently too cowardly to call out the lies and damage Brexit will cause the UK according to her own government’s studies which she attempted to suppress too.

And it’s her stubbornness that made the bad situation she made even worse. A stubbornness to doggedly pursue a deal both Remainers and Brexiteers see as leaving Britain a diminished rule-take not rule-maker.

A stubbornness to not point out the contradiction and ridiculousness of this, and pursue a Brexit she knows will diminish the country she was tasked with protecting.

And she knows full well the damage the Brexit she has championed will cause the country.

This extract from her speech says it all – no not her resignation speech outside Number 10, but one she gave explaining how ruinous Brexit would be to business leaders in the run up to the EU referendum in 2016:

“Given that British exports in goods and services to countries outside the EU are rising, one can hardly argue that the EU prevents this from happening. Leaving the EU, on the other hand, might make it considerably harder. First, we would have to replace 36 existing trade agreements we have with non-EU countries that cover 53 markets…

“And while we could certainly negotiate our own trade agreements, there would be no guarantee that they would be on terms as good as those we enjoy now.”

You can read that full speech here – and it’s quite a corker: If You Read One Speech By Theresa May , Make It This

The cynicism with which Tories have offered the country an undeliverable solution to a non-existent problem is breathtaking, but now they can’t deliver the nonsense they promised, they will be casualties too.

@BenGelblum 

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1 Response

  1. You say “As Home Secretary, Theresa May was the Tory mouthpiece that suppressed repeatedly the government’s own findings that immigration fulfilled economic needs for the UK’s ageing demographic”

    What are these “findings”? The only findings I’m aware of are those of UCL’s Immigration Research Centre, commissioned by the Home Office, and reported in 2013, which showed that far from being beneficial, immigration between 2000 and 2011 was a net cost to the country of £105 Billion (and perhaps as much as £165 Billion). This is the only finding that has been suppressed as far as I know.

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