So there we have it, six years of David Cameron, now Theresa May. Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying yourself? Perhaps in the months and years to come, we will look back and view David Cameron’s time as Prime Minister as a golden era in comparison to the nightmare that Theresa May has brought upon us.
Yesterday was an iconic day. Cameron falling on his sword – as he said he would were things to go awry with the EU Referendum – was wonderful to watch, but I never thought I would be disappointed on the day that he resigned.
It was honourable, one could say. Cowardly is what I’d call it.
A man once seen as the future of the Conservative Party and British politics, has taken us back decades culturally and socially. This was all done to appease the dinosaurs and leeches lurking on his party back bench. His party’s attacks on the poor, disabled, the NHS, social services and all the staff within those industries have condemned future generations to misery, hardship and pain.
He spoke of a ‘Big Society’ yet, we find ourselves in a big mess. All one has to do to gauge the scale of this man’s failure is glimpse at the number of people in the UK using food banks before, and after his time in office. (And before you say it, yes, there was a financial downturn. However it is the responsibility of those in government to ensure their citizens can feed their children.)
Rather than a full-scale rant on the monumental failures of David Cameron as Prime Minister, perhaps we should glance forward – albeit reluctantly.
Theresa May is by no means ill-equipped to carry out the role of Prime Minister. In fact, I will be the first to admit that in a straight up choice between her and the glaikit-looking George Osbourne, then it would absolutely be her.
What Theresa May represents however, is what scares me. Her time in the Home Office has shown us that she is utterly ruthless, her stance on the restriction of landlord fees puts thousands of young students in precarious financial positions, her action towards thousands of foreign students – who it is claimed were wrongfully deported – was criminal, and, in regard to her views on taxation…well, it is frightfully clear where she stands on the spectrum.
May voted in favour of the monstrosity that was the bedroom tax. She voted against the ‘Mansion Tax’, bankers’ bonuses and did not feel that taxing those who earn over £150,000 p/y was warranted. Furthermore, she voted in favour of the 2010 Coalition Government policy of reintroducing university tuition fees.
Some in society, and the media, are portraying this as a positive step for women. A second female Prime Minister, that’s fantastic, it truly is. However Theresa May does not represent everyday, working women, she is not a feminist, she knows very little of the struggles of single mothers, she knows absolutely nothing of the misery that mother’s in Syria, or Iraq have come here to escape for the sake of their children.
Theresa May represents the old Tory Party, the ‘Nasty Party’. The Party synonymous with Thatcher, with very little heart, compassion or regard for those in the lowest echelons of British society, and from around the world. Her speech on immigration a mere eight months ago bordered on maniacal and was lambasted by charities and human rights groups.
Those surrounding her also bear all the hallmarks of the old, nasty Tory Party.
Boris Johnson, a buffoon of the highest order that has caused more controversy and diplomatic issues that one would care to think about, is nothing more than a xenophobic, privileged Eton boy with a chip on his shoulder and an insatiable need to control. To appoint him as Foreign Secretary is baffling. He is clearly an intelligent man, no denying this. However he is viewed by many as a fool, and he will likely be treated as one on the global diplomatic stage.
In fact, when a US State Department spokesperson heard the news, he laughed. Unbelievable.
Link to the video can be found here.
His predecessor, Phillip Hammond taking on the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer is arguably one of the more reasonable appointments. Hammond had served as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury during the Tories’ time on the opposition benches. It might be worth noting, however, that he helped develop the Conservative Party’s austerity policies during that time.
He has also served as the Transport Secretary and the Defence Secretary. His CV does make for impressive reading, but given his pro-austerity stance, it is likely that the May Government will follow the same route as the farce we’ve endured for the past six years.
Jeremy Hunt retaining his place as Health Secretary is equally as baffling as the Boris fiasco. His time as the Health Secretary under Cameron and his treatment of Junior Doctors shows a complete dissociation with the realities of millions of workers across the United Kingdom. Several more years of Jeremy Hunt will probably look the same as what we’ve experienced these last two years.
Theresa May will likely push Hunt to end the long-running dispute with junior doctors however, as it is clear that in the coming months, the Tories will be fighting on all fronts.
Finally, more disgusting than the prospect of the UK returning to Thatcherite-era, Tory politics, has been the process itself, and the media coverage of this madness.
Yesterday, the media coverage of the events was nauseating. Sky and BBC News political correspondents creaming over Cameron, as if he is some modern-day Churchill or a Prime Minister held in such high regard by the masses.
He is not, he never has been, and history will view him as the Prime Minister who; Began the systematic dismantling of our NHS, Drowned students in debt, Condemned thousands of people at home and abroad to misery, Nearly lost the Union and took us out of the European Union to quell the voices of decent in his antiquated party.
I commend the SNP MP’s who refused to stand and applaud this man, and condemn the Labour Party representatives who chose to do so.
Secondly, and most disturbing in all of this, has been the distinct lack of a General Election. We are now governed by a group of individuals who were not elected to govern. One could argue that by electing these people as MP’s in 2015, we have given them a mandate to rule – we have not.
David Cameron was elected Prime Minister in 2015 and subsequently, he arranged his cabinet in a way he saw fit. Theresa May has essentially been given the keys to the house, without paying the asking price, she is a squatter in Downing Street, and in the same manner that the Tories have hounded people from their homes, the electorate should be doing the same to her and her ilk.
When Gordon Brown was appointed Prime Minister in the wake of Tony Blair’s resignation, the Labour Party was met with indignation from all areas of the political spectrum. The Tory opposition cried that the move was undemocratic, some media outlets followed suit, and carnage followed in the wake.
Perhaps, there is hope however. Perhaps the Labour Party can drag itself out of the gutter and offer a serious challenge to Theresa May in the years leading to the 2020 General Election? It is my own belief that the only way to do so, will be to offer the people of the UK a genuine left-wing voice to counter the rise of the right. Whether that is Jeremy Corbyn, we will see. One thing is clear though – We need a strong opposition or else nothing good will come of this.