A vicar’s daughter exuding sincerity and humility, understandably, the nation trusts Theresa May above all others to steer us through the chaotic divorce from the EU that she warned against, but now believes in whole-heartedly. And we also trust her fully now she has announced she needs even more of that trust so we need to trust her that an early election she’d always warned would be destabilising is actually just what we need. – Right at the same time as these tricky Brexit negotiations – in order to make them less tricky – as she will actually have even more of the nation’s trust. Got it?
So it’s in that spirit of trust, support and unity – as we are definitely NOT the “Saboteurs” the Daily Mail is threatening to punish today – we decided to Hypocrisy-Check the Prime Minister’s call for a snap election in full. This is what Theresa May said and what we found: ( any concerns we may have in italics )
“I have just chaired a meeting of the cabinet, where we agreed that the government should call a general election, to be held on 8 June.
( ? wait – what ? But you specifically ruled out an early election. Several times. From your speech launching your bid to be Prime Minister when you were rather firm about this pledge to as little as a month ago when you instructed your spokesman to insist: “There isn’t going to be one. It isn’t going to happen. There is not going to be a general election” )
“I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election.
( ? this better be good )
“Last summer, after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership,
( ✔ yup)
and since I became prime minister the government has delivered precisely that.
( ? – um… perhaps not if you’re one of the 4 million of us who’s European-born and never needed to apply for citizenship yet now can’t reassure our families we won’t be deported; or one of the 5.5 million businesses in the UK, who according to employers’ group the CBI now face “confusion and uncertainty”; or indeed their employees; or all of us hit by rising inflation. Or Boris Johnson )
“Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger, since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs, and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.
( ? kind of. Yes economic growth has exceeded expectations SO FAR – partly because as you mention they were so low to begin with. The government’s own economic forecasters point out the economic crunch is yet to hit – and hit big in 2018 and 2019. And Consumer confidence is hardly high – the retail sector has just been hit by its biggest slowdown in years, and our pockets have never felt less confident: households’ gap between income and outgoings is the worst in modern record )
“We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result. Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back.
( ? – actually there is an option of turning back, as the actual architect of Article 50, former EU Ambassador Lord Kerr recently told us, and the EU’s official response to your letter triggering Article 50 says )
“And as we look to the future, the Government has the right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe.
( ? really? a leaked memo to the Cabinet Office recently warned there was “no plan” and 30,000 extra civil servants were urgently needed to cope )
“We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart its own way in the world.
( ? sure you do – and do you recall your speech almost exactly a year ago on the UK, EU and our place in the world, in which you explained: “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. The EU trade deals Britain has been driving – with the US, worth £10 billion per year to the UK, with Japan, worth £5 billion a year to the UK, with Canada, worth £1.3 billion a year to the UK – would be in danger of collapse. 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” )
“That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.
( ? “control of our own money”? – We have that already, surely? And re: trade, remember, again, how you yourself painstakingly explained: “we export more to Ireland than we do to China, almost twice as much to Belgium as we do to India, and nearly 3 times as much to Sweden as we do to Brazil. It is not realistic to think we could just replace European trade with these new markets” )
“This is the right approach, and it is in the national interest. ( ? see above ) But the other political parties oppose it.
( ? when exactly did they oppose it? 3/4 of MP’s and 2/3 of Lords voted for Article 50, your bill passed through without amendments )
“At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.
( ? since when was their ever unity in Westminster ? Or within the Tory Party itself or any of the opposition parties? )
“In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill.
( ?♀️ Labour MPs and some Tories had pushed for Parliament to be able to debate the terms of any final agreement, but their suggestion was voted down when Brexit Minister David Jones promised instead there would be a “meaningful vote” on the final agreement, vowing worryingly: “It will be the choice of leaving the EU with a negotiated deal or not” )
“The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union.
( ? hey, remember last month when you said: “Our precious union of nations is the most successful that the world has ever seen… We’ve worked together, we’ve prospered together, we fought wars together. And we have a bright future …. We should be working together, not pulling apart” – only you were trying to persuade the SNP to avoid an Independence Referendum, not describing how they clearly feel about the EU )
“And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way.
( ?♀️ peers accepted the supremacy of the House of Commons and passed the Brexit Bill without any of the amendments or safeguards they wanted. And how would calling an election have any effect on the actions of “unelected members of the House of Lords” anyway? )
“Our opponents believe because the government’s majority is so small, that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong.
( ? a 17 seat working majority currently is hardly small. Really it isn’t. – Unless, that is, the police are investigating many of your MP’s for election fraud in the last election, and those MP’s might have to shamefully resign one by one if they are prosecuted, meaning their seats are up for grabs in by-elections amid massive embarrassment for the Tory Party. But funnily enough, no mention of the Tory party election fraud scandal in this speech. Of course the fact that the CPS have to make their decisions by early June at the latest has nothing to do with the timing of this snap election, I’m sure )
“They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country. Because what they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the government’s negotiating position in Europe.
( ? – you are surely doing quite a good job of that yourself ? How are the opposition weakening anything if they have not even amended your Brexit Bill? )
“If we do not hold a general election now their political game-playing will continue, and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election.
( ?♀️ You CHOSE to trigger Article 50 On March 29. You now have until Friday, 29 March 2019 for the colossal task of negotiating with the 28 member states, ironing out and redrafting all the minutiae of laws, debts, institutions that took decades to argue out and govern our relationship with Europe and how they will be replaced. The next scheduled election was 2020, you’d have had over a year to prepare. How is spending the next few weeks putting us all through a rushed election when you should be focussing on the ticking Brexit clock better in any way? )
“Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.
( ? um, see above – and as you’ve repeatedly pointed out yourself, an early election is a bad idea as it would cause “instability” during this tricky period for our nation )
“So we need a general election and we need one now, because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin. I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion. Since I became prime minister I have said that there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.
( ? according to all recent parliamentary activity and opinion polls you’ve got that support already – also according to these polls you have the highest lead over the Labour Party in years – but I’m sure the prospect of an extra 100 Tory seats in your majority has nothing whatsoever to do with your decision to hold a snap election now )
“And so tomorrow I will move a motion in the House of Commons calling for a general election to be held on 8 June. That motion, as set out by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, will require a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons. So I have a simple challenge to the opposition parties, you have criticised the government’s vision for Brexit, you have challenged our objectives, you have threatened to block the legislation we put before Parliament.
( ? If you truly believed in your “vision for Brexit”, that it won’t be an unmitigated disaster, surely you’d stick to your promises to wait until after the complex Brexit negotiations so we can all vote having seen what state our country is in AFTER “the government’s vision for Brexit”? )
This is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are not opposing the government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.
( ? hangonaminit – how is calling an unprecedented snap election just a few months into your tenure as PM to increase your personal power against all your promises to treat the post seriously and last the full five year term when you should be negotiating the biggest peacetime change to the UK’s fortunes NOT “treating politics as a game” ??? )
“Let us tomorrow vote for an election, let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide. And the decision facing the country will be all about leadership. It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your prime minister, or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats, who want to reopen the divisions of the referendum, and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.
( ? but they’ve always ruled any coalitions out up to now ? It was the Conservative Government you were in that made the last coalition. I seem to recall David Cameron said it was for “strong and stable leadership” )
“Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting the job done. Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union. Every vote for the Conservatives means we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right long-term decisions for a more secure future.
( – ? or as you made clear last year – leaving the EU and single market would jeopardize the security, trade and economy of the UK )
“It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, ( ? like a massive hole in the head ) but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond. So, tomorrow, let the House of Commons vote for an election, let everybody put forward their proposals for Brexit and their programmes for government, and let us remove the risk of uncertainty and instability and continue to give the country the strong and stable leadership it demands.”
( ????♀️??????? )
So there you have it. Totally sincere. No hint of hypocrisy, bare-faced lying or putting personal power over national interest in anything Theresa May said yesterday, before or since.
I sincerely hope that at the end of this totally necessary early election we all start trusting and supporting our PM even more than we trust and support her already and I’m sure we’d all agree that ignoring any Brexit cliff edge for another election campaign right now is totally worth it. ?
PS: If you spot any other hypocrisies, inconsistencies or bare faced lies that may have slipped our or Theresa’s mind, please comment below !