RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Which bit of ‘May is hopeless’ did I get wrong?
RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Which bit of ‘Theresa May is hopeless’ did I get wrong?
What would you like me to say? What else is there to say about Theresa May that I haven’t said in spades over the past three years?
Six months ago, I almost threw in the towel. I was forced to admit that the invective mine was exhausted, the bile well had run dry.
Nothing I could write was ever going to shift her. Nor should it. I’m an old-fashioned Fleet Street song-and-dance man, not a politician.
Predictions of Theresa May’s departure are about as reliable as most of those football transfer stories that turn up in the sports pages. Eventually, one of them will prove to be right. But until then, the Prime Minister is still standing
Of course, she wasn’t going to listen to me. But that’s not the point. She doesn’t listen to anyone, except for her husband and perhaps a small group of advisers.
Even then, I’m not so sure. If they have summoned up the courage to tell her the game is up, she hasn’t taken any notice so far. Can anyone, in all sincerity, believe a single thing she says any more?
In the words of the late, great bluesman B.B. King: ‘Nobody loves me but my mother. And she could be jivin’, too.’
As the Cabinet learned to their cost yet again this week, she simply can’t be trusted. They thought they’d reached an agreement which would allow her to put her dismal, defeatist ‘deal’ to yet another vote.
It’s entirely possible, of course, that by the time you read this, Theresa May (pictured above voting in yesterday’s European elections) will be gone. It is also possible that Hell might freeze over, bringing a battalion of flying pigs crashing to earth
But when she got on her hind legs later in the day, they could only watch in horror as she sold them out to Labour, capitulating to demands to let MPs decide on a second referendum.
Not that it did her any good. Labour threw her calculated act of appeasement back in her face, even though it would have given them pretty much everything they wanted. Yet when some Cabinet members tried to see her to protest, she flatly refused to talk to them.
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith summed it up perfectly: ‘The sofa is up against the door. She’s not leaving.’ That, presumably, is the same sofa she spent six months hiding behind during the EU referendum campaign.
So, yes, May might say she’s going to stand down, once a timetable has been agreed with the backbench 1922 Committee. The latest speculation has her announcing her resignation today. Believe that when you see it.
Predictions of her departure are about as reliable as most of those football transfer stories that turn up in the sports pages. Eventually, one of them will prove to be right. But until then, the Prime Minister is still standing.
She’s like the only surviving building at Hiroshima, after everything else had been destroyed by an atomic bomb.
Last night she was said to be consulting her husband about the timing of her resignation. But don’t bank on Philip May pouring her a large Glennhoddle, putting his arm around her shoulder and whispering softly in her shell-like: ‘Time to go, old girl. You’ve had a decent innings.’
No chance. Even if her middle stump had been knocked out of the ground, she would refuse to leave the crease.
She doesn’t listen to anyone, except for her husband and perhaps a small group of advisers. Even then, I’m not so sure. If they have summoned up the courage to tell her the game is up, she hasn’t taken any notice so far. A stock image of the House of Commons is pictured above [File photo]
Philip May gave the game away during a meeting to discuss whether to risk a snap election in 2017. He told those present that they didn’t appreciate how long it had taken the couple to get into No 10 and they weren’t about to give it all up in a hurry.
When that election went pear-shaped, and cost the Tories their majority, Mother Theresa refused to accept any responsibility — despite having made the campaign all about her. Instead, she sacrificed her two closest advisers.
Then again, loyalty has never been her strong point.
Just ask Damian Green, who was always described as one of her oldest friends. She’d known him since university. But rather than stand by him when he was accused, at the height of the #MeToo madness, of ‘inappropriately’ brushing a young woman’s knee in the dim and distant, she simply threw him to the wolves.
Never has any Prime Minister lost so many ministers — either because she sacked them, or they resigned because they simply couldn’t put up with her betrayals any more.
The latest to walk the plank, after this week’s fiasco, was the Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom. Shame on the rest of them for not following suit.
If they had done the decent thing, maybe — just maybe — May would have been gone by now. Then again, I wouldn’t put money on it.
Over the past few days, she hasn’t given the impression of going anywhere in a hurry. She’s even appointed a replacement for Leadsom — someone I’ve never heard of, called Mel Stride. I thought Mel Stride was Gazza’s agent. Or was that Mel Brooks?
Actually, I’m not even sure whether Mel is a man or a woman, like those two Spice Girls. Meet Mel S. Frankly, I can’t be bothered to find out, since he/she won’t be there long.
On Wednesday, Mother Theresa toddled off to the Palace for her weekly audience with the Queen, as if she didn’t have a care in the world. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that little chinwag.
The only surprise is May didn’t insist Her Maj went to Downing Street for an audience with her. That’s if she wasn’t barricaded behind the sofa at the time.
May behaves not like a Prime Minister, more like an absolute monarch, believing she can govern by regal writ.
How else to explain her bovine insistence that the only realistic Brexit is her Brexit? I don’t remember that being on the ballot paper in the referendum, do you?
What else should we expect?
She never wanted to leave the EU and, as her dumped adviser Nick Timothy relates, has only ever seen Brexit as a damage limitation exercise, not a golden opportunity.
Three years ago, almost to the day and in the run-up to the referendum, I found myself sharing a bottle of Chateau Thames Embankment with a senior party official in her Maidenhead constituency. They’d just had a meeting to discuss Brexit.
Of the 200 people in the room, only one spoke up for Remain. No prizes for guessing who. May is sometimes compared to Gordon Brown, another socially dyslexic PM reluctant to admit that his time was up.
But in Gordon’s defence, despite his awkwardness in public, in private he could be warm, generous and chatty — unlike May, who has all the personality of an I-Speak-Your-Weight machine.
Not that I’ve ever broken bread with her, but those who have say that even over an informal lunch it’s impossible to get a smile out of her. Or any kind of recognisably human reaction, come to that, let alone a juicy indiscretion.
You can’t say I didn’t warn you. The day after Call Me Dave called it quits, I wrote that May shouldn’t be allowed within a million miles of Downing Street.
On Wednesday, Mother Theresa toddled off to the Palace for her weekly audience with the Queen, as if she didn’t have a care in the world. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at that little chinwag
Regular readers will know I have been consistently critical of her, ever since she saddled the Tories with the crass tagline ‘The Nasty Party’.
She was a fourth-rate Home Secretary, responsible for everything from the Windrush scandal to the explosion in knife crime, and will be remembered as the worst Prime Minister in living memory — even though the sooner her disastrous term in office is forgotten the better.
It’s entirely possible, of course, that by the time you read this, she will be gone. It is also possible that Hell might freeze over, bringing a battalion of flying pigs crashing to earth.
Even so, I wouldn’t change a word of what I have just written. Nor do I retract a syllable of the harsh criticism I have heaped upon her over the years. It was all richly deserved.
She should have resigned ages ago, after the 2017 election. Having failed to do that, she should have gone following her disgraceful attempts to bully the Cabinet into swallowing her risible ‘deal’ at Chequers last summer.
There isn’t space here to revisit everything I’ve said about her. So I’ll simply leave you with the conclusion of a column I wrote a couple of months ago . . .
‘Her legacy is to have presided over three wasted years of vacillation, obfuscation, cowardice, downright sabotage and the destruction of a once-proud democracy, where MPs used to feel honour-bound to represent the will of the people who paid their wages.
‘Theresa May, to her eternal disgrace, has turned Britain, one of the world’s greatest economies and military powers, into an international laughing stock.
‘She has broken Brexit, and now Brexit has broken her.’ What else is there to say?
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