Our unelected leader

We are about to see a new resident in Number Ten Downing Street. Tomorrow, David Cameron goes to pastures new, (and no doubt very prosperous pastures too) leaving his post, and handing over the most important job in the UK to Theresa May, the current Home Secretary. She will become the second woman to hold this office in the UK, the first being the reviled Margaret Thatcher. Let’s hope that she is not planning on becoming a ‘Thatcher 2: The Sequel.’

After a brief but acrimonious leadership election, it was always her that was the favourite to win. Despite some slurs about her not relating to families because she has no children, she kept her nerve, and was an easy winner. Her political pedigree is second to none, and she has held many important cabinet posts since she was first elected as a member of parliament, in 1997. She is known for her tough stance on some issues, and for a liberal opinion on others, including support of same-sex marriage. Naturally, I hold no brief for this woman. She is a Conservative, and I dislike them all, by default. They are friends of business, big money interests, and the preservation of the status quo. They have little interest in ordinary working-class people, and tend to revel in the age of Empire, surrounded by fluttering Union flags. Despite her own position of wishing to Remain in the EU, she now represents a party that voted overwhelmingly to Leave.

Of course, the voters of this country had no choice about who would become their next Prime Minister. Like many before her, she was foisted upon us, by an electoral system that has gone unchanged for decades. In the UK, we vote for a local member of parliament, not for a leader; a person to take charge of the country, and to be its political figurehead. In the last century, half of those who became the Prime Minister did so by being elected leader of their party after the death or resignation of their predecessor, and not as the result of a general election. So, nothing unusual about Mrs May, and her rise to power. As all this is going on, the so-called Opposition, the Labour Party, is also torn apart by a challenge to its current leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Like Theresa May, Corbyn was the choice of the party members all over the country. And like her, he was not the natural choice of his fellow members of parliament.

Whatever the outcome, it is certain that the opposition parties will remain weak and divided. They have little to offer in the way of solid policies to counter the current Conservative regime, and remain locked in a cycle of remonstrations and regrets about the possibility of departure from the EU, as the whole party campaigned for a Remain vote. As long as they fail to show solidarity, to get behind the elected leader they already have, they are unlikely to unsettle someone as steely and determined as our new Prime Minister.

Theresa May was born in 1956, making her four years younger than me. I would say that she has a lot still left in her, at the age of 60. I have a bad feeling that we are going to have to get used to seeing her around for a very long time.

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8 comments

  1. lividemerald2013

    When it comes to commenting on British politics, I might as well be living on Mars. Of course, I’ve kept track of it all in a cursory way, but I cannot claim to know the background of all the parties involved. I had a “gut feeling” about Theresa May the first time I saw her name on a short list of candidates, but it wasn’t based on anything solid. It’s been a strange year in politics. Here in the US, we have a woman who was investigated by the FBI for being “extremely careless” with top secret government information, and lying about it to Congress and the American people, and we have a businessman who shoots off his mouth and is not well informed on many issues. I would vote for roadkill over Hillary Clinton, though, so by process of elimination… It was Bernie Sanders who flew the red flag here in the States, but now he’s flown the white flag, surrendering to the Clinton Machine (and betraying those who felt the “Bern”). Who knows what will happen in November. Like I said before, it’s just a crazy time in politics.

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    • beetleypete

      Thanks, David. I would not vote for either woman, though I would take May over the deceitful Clinton any day.
      Strange that Americans think of Sanders as some sort of Socialist. We find that very amusing here. I don’t know what shade Bernie’s flag might have been, but it would certainly not have looked very red, to a European.
      He has done what they all do, eventually. Perhaps it is what he was really there for, in the first place?
      Just a thought.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. fragglerocking

    She was the best of a bad bunch. The alternatives were too horrific for words.
    Perhaps the referendum is going to have the effect of a major restructioning of our political parties, and that isn;t a bad thing. From the collapse of lib dems last election, and the collapse of labour now, maybe something better will come out of all that. Maybe not too, but my don’t we live in interesting times!?

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    • beetleypete

      Whatever the outcome, people are energised by the voting process, and more interested in making their vote count. Let’s hope that it shakes up politics, and restores some get up and go in the electorate.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddy Winko

    She has that Thatcher look about her for sure, I fear you may have seen the future. Shame about the Labour rout, personally I hope that Corbyn can get elected a second time just to shut the rest of them up, because as you say an effective opposition is needed or we are heading for another long stint under the conservatives.

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    • beetleypete

      Cheers, Eddy. Not that long ago, May was quite a fashion follower. She used to look quite sexy, hard to believe now. I think the grey hair and saggy-faced look has all been contrived to make her look more serious and statesman-like. As for Labour, I would love to see the membership re-elect Jeremy, and give two fingers to the awful Angela Eagle. I can’t stand that woman!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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