Category: theresa may

“Humiliation is Victory” – Orwell would be proud


“May’s Finest Hour” blares the front page of the Express, while the S*n and Daily Mail also carried similarly delusional interpretations of Theresa May’s humiliation at Salzberg.

From the moment her Chequers Plan was released it was always going to come to this.
Theresa May was warned time and again that her effort to threaten the EU into letting her cherry-pick the benefits of EU membership without shouldering any of the responsibilities was doomed to failure.

But she carried on regardless, in the desperate hope that her endlessly repeated threat to launch a mutually destructive “no deal” flounce if she isn’t given her way would frighten the EU negotiators into caving in to her demands.

Then the Tories made yet another one of the glating strategic errors that have plagued the party ever since David Cameron’s time as PM. They decided to defy the mainstream EU consensus by aligning themselves with all of the extreme-right, neo-Nazi, and Europhobic parties in the European Parliament to oppose a move to censure the vile anti-Semitic, judiciary-rigging, free speech repressing Hungarian government of Viktor Orbán.

This Tory tactic was intended to divide the EU27 by getting the hard-right Hungarian and Polish governments onside, but it backfired spectacularly as this disgustingly cynical move pissed off the EU negotiators to such an extent that they finally put their foot down at Salzberg.

Having her desperately unrealistic wish list publicly rejected was clearly a humiliation for Theresa May and a humiliation for Britain, yet the right-wing propaganda rags are celebrating this shameful farce as some kind of wonderful victory.

This reality-reversal is so transparent that comparisons with Orwell are inevitable. So let’s just get it out of the way. “Humiliation is Victory” easily fits in alongside the 1984 slogans “War is Peace”, “Freedom is Slavery” and “Ignorance is Strength”.

How on earth did we get to this point?

  • How did we allow Theresa May to trigger Article 50 without even having drawn up a proper negotiating tactic first? 
  • How did we allow Theresa May to inhibit the chance of ever getting a workable Brexit by scribbling “red lines” all over the place? 
  • How did we allow Theresa May and the Tories to sideline the House of Commons, UK businesses, trade unions, civic society, opposition parties, devolved parliaments, charities … to run the whole Brexit show themselves? 
  • How did we allow Theresa May and the Tories to present the shockingly unrealistic Chequers Plan as some kind of negotiating triumph, rather than an absolute shambles that doesn’t even satisfy the Tory party that developed it, let alone the rest of the UK, or the EU negotiators who quite understandably shot it down in Salzberg after the Tories defied the mainstream European consensus to side with Viktor Orbán.

The answer to all of this is obvious. It’s the toxifying influence of the right-wing propaganda rags. They promoted Brexit when they knew the Brexiteers had no plan for how to achieve it.

They celebrated Theresa May’s ridiculous red lines, her toddler-tantrum negotiating tactics, and her decision to trigger Article 50 with no negotiating plan.

They attacked the judges as “enemies of Britain” when they overruled Theresa May’s efforts to sideline parliament and tried to orchestrate an ideological witch hunt of academics who dare to question or critique the Brexit process.

They triggered cascades of Brexiteer death threats every time they called the remain-oriented Tories “mutineers” and “traitors”. They did nothing to hold Theresa May and the Brexiteers to account over their ridiculous time-wasting tactics. And now they’re presenting Theresa May’s inevitable humiliation as some kind of epic triumph!

And if they’re prepared to reverse reality in order to re-write Theresa May’s humiliation into a wonderful victory, don’t doubt that there’s no lengths these propagandists won’t go to in order to con people into continuing to support Tory misrule, even when it’s ludicrously obvious that they’re lying through their teeth.

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politicalsci 2018-09-22 11:42:47

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Theresa May and the Tories are the ones with the serious anti-Semitism problem


One of the first world leaders Theresa May met after she was appointed Prime Minister was the fanatically right-wing Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Since then the Tory party have continued to cosy up to Orbán and his anti-Semitic, xenophobic, judiciary-rigging, free speech-attacking regime.

After Orbán retained power in the 2018 Hungarian elections which featured a massive anti-Semitic poster campaign the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Tweeted gushing praise for Orbán and his party.

And in September 2018 Tory MEPs in the European Parliament sided with all the exreme-right nasties in Europe (Front National, Golden Dawn, PiS, PVV, AfD, Swedish Democrats, True Finns, FPÖ, Lega Nord, and Britain’s own UKIP) in order to defend Orbán’s government against a motion of censure that was overwhelmingly supported by the European centre (from conservatives, through liberals to the socialists and greens).

The Tories were the only (supposedly) mainstream government in Europe to ally themselves with Orbán and the extreme-right.

Here’s one of Orbán’s most notorious quotes about Jews: “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open, but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world”.

Isn’t it extraordinary that the mainstream media spent the entire summer digging around in Jeremy Corbyn’s past to cherry-pick absurd out-of-context quotes, fixate over images of him laying a wreath (at a graveyard where none of the Munich terrorists were even buried), and even smear a Jewish Holocaust survivor as an anti-Semite to paint Corbyn as an anti-Semite … but when yet more evidence of the Tories’ active collusion with a horrifically right-wing government led by an unmistakably anti-Semetic tyrant comes to light, suddenly the mainstream media anti-Semitism guns have fallen silent?

Orbán’s extremism isn’t just limited to anti-Semitism either. He’s continually attacked Muslims as “invaders”, he’s been rigging the Hungarian judiciary by stacking it with pro-government figures, he’s clamped down on free speech and attacked the free press. His supporters have even drawn up a blacklist of charity workers, campaigners, journalists, academics and other public figures considered “enemies of the state”.

It’s quite incredible that Theresa May and the Tories have openly colluded with this vile regime right in front of our eyes, for years, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be held to account for it by Britain’s docile, compliant, and ridiculously right-leaning press.

Even now, when the Tories’ scandalous support for this vile regime is incontestably recorded in the voting record of the European Parliament, there’s nowhere near as much condemnation and noise from the people who were howling at Corbyn, and making hyperbolic accusations that Labour are an “existential threat” to Jewish people just a few weeks previously.

Instead of vehemently condemning this outrageous Tory collusion with one of the most notorious anti-Semites in Europe, the Jewish Board of Deputies expressed only “disappointment”!

Others to have whipped up the anti-Semitism furore to attack Jeremy Corbyn and undermine the momentum towards genuine democratic socialism haven’t even said a word.

The day after this Tory collusion with Orbán, Jonathan Sachs stood up in the House of Lords to talk about anti-Semitism and didn’t even mention it!

BBC heavyweight Andrew Neil, who has repeatedly pushed the anti-Semitism attacks against Corbyn remained silent, which is hardly surprising given his personal involvement with the Hungarian government.

All of this raises the question of how stupid and gullible they think we are. 

They seem to imagine that they can manipulate us into believing that the lifelong anti-racist campaigner Jeremy Corbyn is the Jew-hater, whilst they actively turn a blind eye to Theresa May and her party repeatedly sucking up to the most notorious anti-Semite in Europe!

In reality this is such a spectacular display of over-reach that swathes of the mainstream media are permanently wrecking their own reputations. 


Repeatedly trying convince people that black is white is bad enough, but then after posing as valiant anti-Semitism campaigners for the entire summer of 2018, their deafening silence on the Tory collusion with Orbán clearly exposes their political partisanship and their utter hypocrisy.

If you decide to present yourself as a valiant anti-Semitism campaigner all summer, then you’d better not turn a blind eye to it in the autumn when your political allies are up to their necks in it, otherwise you’ve just burned your journalistic reputation to the ground.

Anti-Semitism is a vile form of racist bigotry that needs to be confronted wherever it’s found.

It’s not a convenient issue to be weaponised and used as political ammunition, only to be immediately forgotten about when your political allies decide to defy the European political consensus and actively support the most notorious anti-Semite in Europe.

This political weaponisation of anti-Semitism is particularly disgusting because it cheapens the fight against anti-Semitism by making the issue seem like partisan political point scoring, rather than a serious problem that need to be confronted wherever it arises.

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Why did the Tories align themselves with all the extreme-right nasties in the European Parliament?

Days after the Tories aligned themselves with all the extreme-right nasties in the European Parliament to vote against censure of Viktor Orbán’s anti-Semitic, judiciary-rigging, free press-attacking, human rights-demolishing government in Hungary, Theresa May and the Tories are still refusing to provide a convincing explanation for their actions.

The political parties the Tory MEPs aligned themselves with include:

Fidesz – Orbán’s ruling party in Hungary.
PiS – The extreme-right government in Poland that is launching similar attacks on the judiciary and the free press to Orbán.
Golden Dawn – The Greek neo-Nazis
Front National – The French extreme-right led by Marine Le Pen.
FPÖ – The Austrian extreme-right party founded by the Nazi Anton Reinthaller.
AfD – The German extreme-right anti-immigrant party.

True Finns – An anti-immigrant nationalist party in Finland.
Sweden Democrats – The Swedish extreme-right party with fascist and white supremacist origins.
Lega Nord – The Italian extreme-right who are in coalition government with the populist anti-vaxxer Five Star movement.
PVV – Geert Wilders’ extreme right party in the Netherlands.


Fortunately the Tories decision to back Orbán’s fanatically right-wing government failed as the motion of censure was passed by 448 – 197, just passing the 2/3 majority needed.

The Tory party were the only ruling conservative party in Europe to back Orbán, with the rest of the European conservatives joining the socialists, liberals and greens to condemn his undermining of the independence of the judiciary, his attacks on free speech and the freedom of the press, his vendetta against Hungarian civic society, his anti-Semitic smear campaigns, his anti-Muslim bigotry, and his discriminatory ethno-nationalist policies.

When the scandal initially broke Theresa May tried to wash her hands of it by claiming that she had no knowledge of how her own MEPs had voted!

This excuse is an extraordinary admission that Theresa May imagines that using her own incompetence and poor leadership as an excuse is an adequate reason for supposedly not knowing what her own MEPs are up to!

The next excuse the Tories tried was that the vote was just a technical matter rather than an endorsement of Orbán’s extreme-right government, with Downing Street instructing all the Tory MEPs who sided with the extreme-right nasties to back Orbán’s government to issue a tweet claiming that their vote to back Orbán’s government wasn’t an endorsement of Orbán’s government!

This narrative is ridiculous enough in its own right, but it’s truly absurd when it’s viewed in the context of the Tory Foreign Secretary’s gushing praise for Orbán and his extreme-right party earlier this year after they used a massive anti-Semitic poster campaign to win the Hungarian election.

There’s a lot of speculation going around that the Tories deliberately aligned themselves with the European extreme-right in this way as a cynical Brexit manoeuvre to undermine the EU position in the negotiations by eliciting support from the mainly Euro-sceptic extreme-right.

If that’s the case then it certainly puts their Brexiteering into perspective. They’re so keen to launch a hard-right economy-tanking, environment-wrecking, workers’ rights-abolishing, food standards-trashing Brexit that they’ll gladly align themselves with the European extreme-right fringe to achieve it.

But don’t expect Theresa May to be pressed very hard on this outrageous scandal because backing her into a corner over her party’s demonstrable support for one of the most dangerous anti-Semitic bigots in Europe runs entirely counter to the prevailing mainstream media objective of steadfastly defending the neoliberal orthodoxy by vilifying Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party’s return to democratic socialism under his leadership.

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Right-wingers will always hate the NHS because it’s an unmistakable example of socialism in action

It doesn’t matter how many positive platitudes about health workers and the universal health care system they spout, right-wing politicians actually hate the NHS with a burning ideological passion, because they hate socialism, and the NHS is one of the world’s finest examples of socialism in action.

Any right-wing politician in the UK with even a few brain cells to rub together knows that the NHS principle of health care that is free at the point of need is still overwhelmingly popular with the British public

This means that they have to lie about their ideological fantasy of carving the NHS into pieces to give away to their corporate mates, and scrapping the socialist principle of universal health care.
 

They know they have to lie because the vast majority of British people would reject them if they dared to tell the truth about what they’d like to do with the NHS.

In fact, the NHS is so popular it’s even supported by the majority of Tory voters (how Tory voters who love the NHS reconcile this with their choice to vote for an anti-socialist party that vandalises the NHS every time they get into power is one of the crucial political questions of British politics).

This pragmatic need to cover up their hatred of the NHS means that it’s rare that right-wing politicians tell the truth about the NHS, but occasionally they do.

One right-wing politician who let his true feelings about the NHS seep out is the Tory MP Jeremy Hunt who co-authored a book calling for the NHS to be scrapped and replaced with a private insurance based system.

It just goes to show how much contempt David Cameron had for the NHS that he put Jeremy Hunt in charge of it, and it goes to show that Theresa May is equally contemptuous toward the NHS that she decided to keep him on as health secretary when she had the chance to get rid of him. 

That’s two Tory Prime Ministers in a row who saw a man who wanted to scrap the NHS as the ideal person to run the NHS!

Another Tory right-winger who outlined his contempt for the idea of universal health care is the Tory propagandist Henry Hill, who went as far as publishing his blueprint for wrecking the NHS in a blog post.

The former UKIP leader Paul Nuttall is another right-winger who has spoken openly about his NHS views. Before he became UKIP leader Nuttall wrote blog posts and made speeches expressing his hatred for the NHS and its staff, celebrating the ideological vandalism the Tories have been doing to the NHS since 2012, and making up outright lies about NHS staffing levels and the efficiency of NHS services.

Yet another right-wing politician who accidentally let the truth out about the Tory policy towards the NHS is the chairman of Conservative Health Paul Charlson who claimed that charging for NHS services is “a good idea in principle… [BUT] It would be political suicide for a party to introduce this. They could only really do it if there was a feeling in the country that health services were falling apart”.

The Tory strategy is that the NHS has to be under-funded and mismanaged to the point of destruction in order that they can try to get away with scrapping the free at the point of need principle and bringing in charging for services, which would allow the wealthy to queue jump.

Whatever Tory and UKIP politicians say about how much they love and respect the NHS, it’s vital to remember that they’re just lying through their teeth because they know that’s what the vast majority of the British public want to hear.

In reality right-wingers hate the NHS with a burning ideological passion and can’t wait for the day that they get to scrap the unmistakably socialist principle of prioritising health care by need rather than the ability to pay.

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Who is the most incompetent Tory government minister?

The modern Conservative Party is a microcosm of all that’s gone so wrong in modern Britain. The vast majority of the top positions have been gobbled up by wealthy, over-entitled elitists with establishment connections, and there’s practically no social mobility within the party to provide competition to replace people who are manifestly incompetent, so there’s basically no getting rid of the people who created the appalling situation we’re in.

Background


David Cameron bears a lot of responsibility for the state of things given his extraordinarily lax attitude towards the incompetence of his ministers:

  • Theresa May cocked up one piece of legislation after another, introduced the horrific “hostile environment” policies that created the Windrush scandal, and failed her (ridiculous and arbitrary) promise to cut net migration to below 100,000 so badly that net migration reached an all time high. 

Since Theresa May took over the lax Tory attitude towards incompetence is even worse, especially since May threw away her majority in 2017 and left herself relying on the sectarian DUP bigots to cling to power. Even if she had the will to discipline errant and incompetent MPs, she’s definitely not got the authority.

Take Boris Johnson’s continual array of gaffes and errors as Foreign Secretary that even led to a jailed British citizen in Iran having their sentence increased. Take Gavin Williamson’s utterly pathetic “Russia should go away and shut up” comment that made Britain look a laughing stock for having such a jumped up little squit as their Defence Secretary. And take the way the DWP minister Esther McVey has been allowed to totally get away with barefaced lying to the House of Commons with no punishment.


The contenders

Karen Bradley

Karen Bradley was appointed Northern Ireland Secretary in January 2018. She was always an odd choice for the job given the difficulties involved: Brexit and the Irish border question, the absolute deadlock in the Northern Irish devolved parliament, the massive increase in sectarianism, and the very real risk to the peace process caused by the DUP propping up the UK government while the territory is effectively under indefinite “home rule”.

Given the seriousness of the circumstances one would have expected an experienced heavy-hitter to take on the role, but instead Theresa May passed it off to the shockingly lightweight but pliable and subservient Karen Bradley.

In September 2018 Bradley made the shocking admission that she didn’t even know that Northern Irish politics is divided on sectarian lines. That’s the kind of absolute basic that anyone who pays the remotest attention to Northern Irish news understands, not the kind of thing the actual government minister for Northern Ireland was completely ignorant of.

Chris Grayling

When Theresa May became Prime Minister her decision to appoint Chris Grayling as her Transport Minister was a signal of the absolute contempt she has towards public transport users, because his woeful track record in other departments has earned him the nickname “failing Grayling”.

As minister for Employment in Cameron’s government he introduced unlawful tribunal fees to deter workers from seeking recompense when sacked by bad bosses. The messes he made in the Ministry of Justice were even worse, with his spectacularly botched privatisation of the Probation Service still creating headaches for his successors to this day.

At Transport “failing Grayling” has truly excelled himself, presiding over two simultaneous farces with Southern Rail and Northern Rail services in chaos, meanwhile he ended up having to return the flagship East Coast Mainline to public ownership for a third time as yet another private operator ran away rather than face making losses on the contract they signed.

When it comes to the ever increasing threat of a chaotic “no deal” Tory Brexit Britain faces huge challenges when it comes to issues like aviation, shipping, licencing issues for hauliers, and the infrastructure for customs checks at UK borders. You really couldn’t think of a worse person to deal with all these complexities than a serial failure like Chris Grayling.

Liam Fox

Shortly after Theresa May appointed the disgraced Liam Fox as her International Trade minister he bragged that securing a trade deal with the EU would be “the easiest in human history”.

Fast forward two years and Fox is claiming that there’s now a 60-40 chance of the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal at all, and attempting to cast blame onto the EU negotiating team for his shocking complacency, and his abject failure to get to grips with his brief.

Theresa May

Theresa May’s 2017 vanity election will surely go down in history as an examplar of political hubris. She had the comfort of a reasonable majority until 2020, but she somehow decided to gamble it in the hope of achieving a landslide election victory and a super-majority so that she could take conduct Brexit as an unstoppable hard-right autocrat.

Amazingly Theresa May learned nothing from David Cameron’s spectacularly misjudged Brexit gamble that was only intended to win a few votes off UKIP at the 2015 General Election, not throw the entire nation into years of turmoil

Having learned nothing about the inherent risks of political gambling from the demise of her predecessor she threw away her parliamentary majority with another ridiculously ill-judged gamble of her own.

But aside from her ridiculous vanity election there’s another telling issue. There’s the fact that she was personally responsible for appointing all three of the other candidates for the most incompetent Tory minister.

Conclusion


There are strong cases to be made for all four of the candidates for most incompetent Tory minister, but since one of them is directly responsible for the appointment of the other three, so she’s surely got to be the leading candidate.

Anyhow, feel free to vote in my Twitter poll on which one of them is the worst of all.

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How is Theresa May still in power after deporting UK citizens to their deaths?


In 2014 Theresa May introduced new “hostile environment” anti-immigrant legislation in order to win plaudits from the Daily Mail and the other hard-right propaganda rags. During the debate she explained her policy of scrapping the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in order to replace it with a “deport first, hear appeals later” strategy.

As a result of these policies dozens of UK citizens were deported from the UK, and at least three of the victims of Theresa May’s racist anti-immigrant policy have died overseas.

Just try to imagine what it must have felt like for these poor people to be lying on their deathbeds on the other side of the world to immediate family members, knowing that the injustice they suffered will never be reversed, that they’ll never see the country that they called home again.

So given that Theresa May is personally responsible for a policy that resulted in UK citizens being deported to their deaths, how on earth is she still in her job?

The answer is twofold, with both the Westminster political establishment and the mainstream media to blame.

The first thing to note is that aside from a few newspaper articles on the Windrush deaths, there was hardly any mainstream media coverage at all (a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the relentless barrage of anti-Corbyn smears).

Of the newspaper articles about these tragic deaths, some of the articles didn’t even bother to mention that Theresa May was the Home Secretary who introduced these horrific rules!

Just try to imagine what the mainstream media reaction would have been had Jeremy Corbyn been personally responsible for a policy that caused at least three UK citizens to be deported to their deaths. Do you honestly think they’d be using pictures of the boat rather than pictures of his face as the main image? Do you honestly think they’d omit to mention his name at all in the entire article?

So Theresa May’s Windrush deaths have been covered up underneath an avalanche of anti-Corbyn smears, and what mainstream media coverege has been produced has deliberately downplayed and minimalised Theresa May’s culpability.

The reason of course is that the majority of mainstream media hacks are busy fighting a last ditch defence of the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy that’s served them so well (hefty salary, nice house, expensive car, generous pension pot, social status, establishment contacts …) at the expense of millions of the rest of us (austerity dogma, wage repression, in-work poverty, local service cuts, NHS crisis, social care meltdown, rising violent crime …).

These people see Jeremy Corbyn’s democratic socialist policies as a threat to their privileged positions in society, so they’re fighting tooth and nail to preserve the way things are, which means criticism of Theresa May over the fact she deported British citizens to their deaths would be absolutely counter-productive to this primary agenda.

Then there’s the fact that the mainstream media and the massive majority of the Westminster establishment class actually went along with Theresa May’s vile anti-immigrant legislation in 2014.

Despite hearing her explain her policy of scrapping the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and widespread behind the scenes concerns that her policy was ‘reminiscent of Nazism’, not a single Tory MP voted against it. Almost all of the Liberal-Democrat MPs voted in favour of it, and all of the so-called Labour ‘centrists’ abstained out of fear that they would be labelled ‘soft on immigration’ if they voted against it.

Just 18 MPs opposed it at the time. The one Green MP, all three of the Plaid Cymru MPs, five of the six SNP representatives at the time, a few Lib-Dem rebels (all gone from parliament now) and a handful of genuinely left-wing Labour rebels.

This Westminster establishment complicity with Theresa May’s xenophobic anti-immigrant legislation has created the situation where few politicians can actually stand up and condemn it, without risking the awkward question of why they wilfully enabled it at the time.

The same goes for mainstream media hacks. Hardly any of them spoke out against Theresa May at the time. Hardly any of them challenged their colleagues for publishing xenophobic hate-mongering articles at the time. And hardly any of them spoke out against the Labour so-called ‘centrists’ sitting on their hands rather than opposing Theresa May’s blatantly xenophobic extremism because they were so afraid of being labelled ‘soft on immigration’ by the right-wing propaganda rags.

So in order to attack Theresa May for introducing the xenophobic legislation that resulted in these appalling deaths, Westminster politicians and mainstream media hacks would have to come to terms with the fact they were utterly complicit in allowing it to happen, and acknowledge the fact that once again Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and a rag tag bunch of other parliamentary dissenters were the only people on the side of basic human decency back in 2014.

In order to hold Theresa May to account and demand her resignation over this unbelievably shocking scandal, Westminster politicans and mainstream media hacks would first have to admit that almost all of them were on the wrong side of the debate back in 2014, and that Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of it, which is something that’s never going to happen in the current political climate.

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There are more important things to criticise Theresa May over than her cringeworthy dance moves

Theresa May’s dance moves are not great. She was filmed dancing at a school in South Africa and people are taking the piss.

Sure, she’s a public figure and ridicule should be expected in a country where people have the free speech to criticise their political leaders, but surely there are more important things to criticise her about?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Theresa May has demonstrated time and again that she’s a hopelessly weak leader without the authority to sack her ministers, even for the most blatant abuses of their office. When Priti Patel was caught working as an operative of a foreign state embedded within the UK government, she was allowed to resign and keep her job as a Tory MP. When Boris Johnson made one idiotic remark after another and even broke collective responsibility by publishing his own personal Brexit manifesto – he wasn’t sacked. This hopelessly weak leadership means the liar Esther McVey and the serially incompetent Chris Grayling still sit in her cabinet!

Basically, in light of all of this, if you’re taking the piss out of Theresa May’s lame dance moves, you’re actually giving her an easy ride, because ridiculing her cringeworthy dancing is basically the equivalent of Rupert Murdoch’s bacon sandwich attack on Ed Miliband.

By focusing attention on some trivial issue like her crappy dance moves, people are actually distracting attention away from her malice, her incompetence, and all the vile policies she’s promoted, and even laying the foundations for right-wingers to paint this absolute monster as the poor innocent victim of cruel attacks from “nasty lefties”!

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