May’s Doubletalk

Too much has been said and written already on Brexit but FWIW I want to add a brief comment on Theresa May’s deceitful and duplicitous use of language. If it’s true – as the PM is the first to stress – that “we need to heal the deep divisions in our society,” then how can she also claim that the narrow majority in favour of leaving the EU (17 million versus 16 million) somehow represents “the will of the British people”. Likewise, “the country voted to leave”. It didn’t. The country (which country? Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted to remain) didn’t vote for anything. What happened was that a small majority of voters – largely working-class voters from the north of England – voted to leave, partly as a result of the lies fed to them about the guaranteed economic benefits of Brexit and partly because no one knew exactly what they were voting for anyway. This being the case, May’s use of phrases like “the will of the people” and “the clear mandate given us by the electorate” should be seen for what they are: hollow rhetoric, worthless cliches and shameless verbal posturing. Because if it’s true that “the British people” voted for Brexit, does it not therefore follow as the clear corollary of those words that the 16 million who voted Remain do not form part of the British people? You can’t have it both ways.

Following her disastrous tenure as Home Secretary and even more disastrous record at Number Ten, May will be remembered as one of the most inept and incompetent PMs in this country’s long history. She’s incapable of seeing anyone’s point of view other than her own, understands things (or rather fails to understand them) in simple black and white terms, and, like Thatcher before her, is devoid of empathy and fellow feeling. She’s an autocrat disguised as a democrat. For my own part, I mute the TV these days as soon as she appears on the screen, so offensive do I find her image and words. She reminds me of the guest at a dinner party who hangs around till way past midnight, monopolizing the conversation and refusing to leave till everyone else has gone. Someone call her a taxi, please.

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