Daily Archives: October 7, 2016


Theresa May Doesn’t Know Me

They find your patriotism distasteful, your concerns about immigration parochial, your views about crime illiberal, your attachment to your job security inconvenient.

They find the fact that more than seventeen million voters decided to leave the European Union simply bewildering.

Because if you’re well off and comfortable, Britain is a different country and these concerns are not your concerns. It’s easy to dismiss them – easy to say that all you want from government is for it to get out of the way.

Now, I am neither comfortable nor well off, but I’m probably one of the people Theresa May thinks she’s attacking here. So let’s clear a few things up.

I fear the xenophobia and immigrant blaming that passes for patriotism in the Tory party and UKIP. My distaste may well be expressed in ways that could be read as sneering, but that’s because stirring up racism to hide your own failings deserves contempt.

If you want to see sneering at true patriotism, just take a look further down the Prime Minister’s speech.

But we will never again – in any future conflict – let those activist, left-wing human rights lawyers harangue and harass the bravest of the brave – the men and women of Britain’s Armed Forces.

I’d say that holding the country and its representatives to the standards we claim to stand for- standards Tories would probably tell you we invented- is the essence of patriotism. This harassment and haranguing is principled people bravely striving to stop torture and murder being done in our name. And for that, they get sneered at by a certain type of well off and comfortable politician who’s confident that they’ll never be punished for putting troops in situations where they could act like monsters.

Let’s have a grown up conversation about immigration. Let’s talk about how the arrival of new people in certain areas has exacerbated existing problems, shown up weaknesses created by cuts and poor provision of services. Or how some of these newcomers have trouble settling in and some communities are actively hostile toward them. Let’s not have that tired old refrain from politicians and commentators of “We’re not allowed to talk about immigration!” when that’s all they ever do, at length, and particularly when they want to get the subject away from the many ways the Government has failed us.

Unless May’s making a play for the ‘bring back hanging’ brigade, I haven’t a clue what she’s talking about on crime.

I worry about my job security too. But I know I’m in more danger from a Brexit and austerity fuelled depression than from being undercut by an immigrant who’ll take less than the minimum wage I’m currently on.

I’m not bewildered that a small majority of people voted for Brexit. I’m disappointed. And I’m simultaneously angry at, and sorry for, all those people who voted out. They’re not going to get what they voted for, and they shafted the rest of us just so they couldn’t get it.

Again, I’m neither well off nor comfortable. And I live in a very different Britain to the one Theresa May sees and wants to appeal to. I can agree with her on one thing. I want her government to get out of the way. The sooner they’re gone, the better.