It was likely never the intentions of Mr Cameron and Mrs May to cut funding to the welfare state, blame its inevitable collapse on ‘hordes’ of migrants so as to tease us with promises of a referendum in return for another four years of austerity and a blanket ban on Poles just to leave the EU and legitimise selling the NHS.
But it’s turned out that way.
If this was their intention, it was a drawn out and risky game plan of extraordinary intricacy that they have pulled off to perfection and you can only really admire their tenacity.
More likely for May, it is a happy coincidence, a silver lining that frames the dreary, overcast comedy of errors that our government has stumbled through over the last three years; the day to day at Number 10 can’t have been anything short of a crossover between The Thick of It and Fawlty Towers – David Cameron swinging at Boris Johnson with a copy of The Sun, marching frantically up and down as a cowering Michael Gove suggested the country might be an awful lot more racist than they had initially anticipated and we would be leaving the EU after all.
Mrs May, Boris, Gove and the rest of the our dear leaders won’t be bothering to look back now, what’s done is done and it’s certainly no skin off their nose. It is time to make the most of the lemons they pelted at one another and perhaps make a tidy profit from them too. Brexit offers a blank slate, an opportunity to do away with the dreadful bureaucracy and cumbersome legislation that has stood in their way and in the way of their good friends for so long; environmental standards and protections, the sodding Human Rights Act and those workers’ rights that are so regularly unsheathed whenever the train drivers or our young doctors are afraid for their livelihoods or our safety. No, perhaps this Brexit business won’t be such a bad thing after all.
Now is the time to start anew, for Britain to look towards our old-friends (a cute euphemism for states formerly known as ‘Colonies’ – see: Partitioning of India, Kenya Emergency, Slavery) to play with now. And who better than the biggest, strongest and wealthiest of the lot. We can stand in Trump’s shadow and engage in all sorts of unscrupulous, nefarious deeds and still look positively humane. We are to expect a number of hiccups along the way, our intelligence services might dabble with the limits of international law if dealing with intelligence procured through torture, but these are all details that can be ironed out at The Hague, or perhaps in an independent enquiry come the year 2035.
Theresa May has said that opposites attract and so one can only assume she is entering these negotiations with the assumption that Trump is a benevolent, conscientious, open, wholesome human with his countries best interests at heart. No, Theresa May and Donald Trump are about as different as Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, with whom for the sake of this likeness, they conveniently share much else; unwitting, dangerous, and with a lucrative, albeit fleeting goal in mind. Trump has already announced his indecency and his abominable behaviour, in cosying up to this abhorrence May has proven that she is as spineless, as self-indulgent and of as little moral integrity as we always suspected.
Today they will sit down for a few hours and share empty platitudes that neither one really quite understands, the meeting you can safely assume will roll out like a poorly written piece of off-off-Broadway absurdism as they speak simultaneously about similar things without saying anything at all, as is their wheelhouse, before they return to their respective lairs speaking of old friendships, ‘special relationships’ and great expectations for the future. Trump may get to strike a bargain deal for his adoring crowd and May might finally get rid of the National Health Service that she and her kin have consciously neglected for so long, that has hung on like your feisty great aunt who you know will never wake up, nor slip away and leave you to enjoy your Sunday’s as you once had. Both can be attributed to the exceptional staff in our hospitals and care homes.
When asked by the press what we got in return for our revered public health service, our food standards and our national dignity, I have little doubt that Mrs May will stand with her lips pursed and curled, her eyes gleaming, her hands clasped together like a rotting oyster. Pried open beside a slobbering Boris Johnson, she will reveal to the nation three magic beans to rapturous applause and the great acclaim of a country that doesn’t know which way is up, where it is going or where it has come from. In her willingness to trade our countries values for a deal with the devil she turns her back on all those that Trump endangers; Black, Latino and LGBT communities, women, refugees, the working poor and all that rely on political sense and stability to make ends meet in the coming years and decades.
On this, Holocaust Memorial Day, in an act of shameless hypocrisy your elected Prime Minister lays a hollow wreath in memory of a once abandoned people before she goes begging to a man who intends to shut his doors to the worlds neediest, a man that seeks to invoke policies that will abandon tens of millions more.
Have a great weekend.