The Machiavellian genius of Theresa May

Dalrymple explains that he made a mistake in his assessment of Theresa May. He writes:

Like almost everyone else, I regarded her as a pygmy in courage and a giant in incompetence.


it is time for a re-assessment.

After the European Union granted a further delay to Britain’s departure, Donald Tusk said that it was his secret dream to prevent Britain from leaving. It is, says Dalrymple,

pleasing to know that Mr Tusk’s secret dreams so entirely coincide with those of the British political class, including those of Mrs May. At last we have a basis for full and final agreement.

Dalrymple notes that

like the great majority of the British political class, Mrs May was always in favour of remaining in the Union. This class was so confident of its ability to persuade the population that it was right that it agreed with practically no demur to a referendum which would pronounce the winner as the side which obtained 50% plus one of the votes cast. Thus the matter of British membership, it thought, would be settled once and for all.

The problem for the political class was now

to find a method of overriding the result of the referendum without doing so in too blatant a fashion. And here, in Mrs May, it found a perfect leader.


could not just put forward her conviction that Britain should remain in the Union and say outright that she had no intention of carrying out the will of the majority. At that stage, such a disavowal of the result would have been politically impossible and might even have caused unrest.

Instead, she went through

a brilliantly elaborate charade of negotiating withdrawal, in such a way that the result would not be accepted by Parliament. Her agreement would be withdrawal without withdrawal, the worst of all possible outcomes, all complication and difficulty, and no benefit.

She knew that the EU,

having drafted this agreement unacceptable to Parliament, would not renegotiate it. Why should it, since it knew that Parliament had no intention of demanding a real and total withdrawal, since it did not want to withdraw? She also knew that Parliament would never agree to a withdrawal without an agreement with the Union, as Parliament has repeatedly made clear.

Thus, says Dalrymple, May has

brilliantly manœuvred the country into the following dilemma: it has a choice between her agreement and total withdrawal, neither of which is acceptable or ever likely to be accepted.

The only way to cut the Gordian knot

is to withdraw the application to leave; and the whole process has been so long-drawn-out, and so boring, that such a result would be welcome not only to the vast majority of those who voted to remain (though a few have been sufficiently appalled by the European leadership to have changed their mind), but to quite a number who voted to leave who imagined, as Mrs May once so cunningly put it (meaning quite the opposite), ‘Brexit means Brexit’ but who have discovered what perhaps they should have known all along, that when the people don’t like the government it is the people who have to change. The light of Brexit is not worth the candle of the deliberately-induced agonising uncertainties.


has thus fully joined the modern European tradition: the holding of a seeming consultation with the people only to ignore the results if the people get the answer wrong.

The appearances of democracy are preserved, but not the substance. May, says Dalrymple,

has proved brilliantly adept at preserving the appearance while eviscerating the substance. 

Racist agitprop: over-representation of black actors in the theatre

Militant ruthless mediocrity is one of the prevailing cultural currents of our time

Dalrymple writes that black actors

are included in casts out of all proportion to their number in the population, and unlike such disproportion in football teams, it is not the consequence of superior talent or ability. It is obviously, but unmentionably, the consequence of policy.

He goes on:

When John of Gaunt is black and Bolingbroke is white, the audience is being bullied into pretending that it notices nothing odd when father and son are enfolded in each other’s arms. The audience is forced both to see and to deny what it has seen, being subjected to the kind of mental discomfort that was produced by propaganda in totalitarian countries, which was so powerful a method of cowing populations.

An entirely black cast of Richard II

would not be in the slightest disturbing, or even a production in which Richard II alone were played by a black actor. I once saw (about a quarter of a century ago) an excellent Macbeth in which Macbeth was black, in this case a very fine actor of superb diction. Any initial surprise was soon overcome and disbelief easily suspended.


it is harder to suspend disbelief when Bagot and Aumerle, John of Gaunt and Lord Willoughby are played by black actors, moreover without great distinction.

One is, Dalrymple notes,

in the presence of agitprop of a racist variety. The British stage is riven with racism, if by racism we mean the tendency to believe that race is and ought to be an important determinant of policy, for example in the allocation of jobs. And it is obvious that, lying not very deeply under the positive discrimination exercised in the casting of plays in British productions, is an attitude of condescension at best and contempt at worst.

You would never guess from the British theatre that

the largest ethnic minority by far in the country is of Indian subcontinental origin: it will be a very long time before you see a Bangladeshi Juliet or a Sikh Angelo. It might be argued that those of Indian origin are not interested in appearing on the British stage, but if so (according to a certain way of thinking) this would only be an argument for even more positive discrimination in their favour. More probably, it is felt that people of Indian origin can look after themselves: they need no helping hand up.

It is here, says Dalrymple, that we see

the implicit condescension or contempt in the positive discrimination in favour of black actors (of course, there can be no positive discrimination without negative discrimination). They are believed to be people who could not survive by their own unaided efforts—unaided, that is, by the intellectual keepers of our conscience. They are like household dogs that could not survive in the wild.

The mental contortions

that are required of us to be considered, and to consider ourselves, decent respectable citizens would be enough to baffle Houdini. Some demographic disproportions must never be alluded to or even noticed, others must be referred to ad nauseam, and the decent person must know by instinct which is which. Some disparities must be constantly measured, others persistently ignored. And you must never let your guard down in discriminating which discriminations are discriminatory. After all, received wisdom can change as quickly as the enemy during the hate sessions in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

If you sling enough mud, some of it sticks

Dalrymple writes of Sir Roger Scruton’s appointment to an architecture commission that it was

a wound to the predominant faction of the British intelligentsia, one that could be healed only by his dismissal. The hideousness of most of what has been built in Britain over the last few decades (so apparent that only an intellectual could miss it) was no excuse for having allowed Scruton to sully the corridors of power even for a few months. In the great work of ridding the body politic of the stone in its shoe, any slur would do, any libel or slander that came to mind was acceptable.

A man at the Leftist New Statesman periodical called Eaton

counted on the pusillanimity of the British government.


had himself pictured swigging Champagne directly from the bottle immediately after the government dismissed Scruton.

In the published version of the interview, Eaton

gives an impression of Scruton as an anti-Semite, hater of Muslims, and despiser of Chinese. These accusations are false and defamatory, as any reader of Scruton would know — he often quotes Islamic writings knowledgeably and with respect, while maintaining that Islamophobia is an invented category to shield the religion from rational criticism.


if you sling enough mud, some of it sticks, and enough mud stuck for the British government to lose whatever little nerve it ever had and to sack him.

Dalrymple’s view is that there is a reason Scruton was hated in his role, other than the fact that the existence of the commission, by its very name (‘Building Beautiful Architecture’) brings attention to the ugliness of what progressive social-engineering architects have wrought. Namely, Scruton was

unpaid. This set a bad precedent, for those who truly have the good of the country at heart, such as progressive social engineers, should surely be well rewarded. Scruton was letting the side down by working for nothing, and had to be punished.

May is our misfortune

Dalrymple points out that the grotesquely incompetent non-entity that is the current British prime minister

did not emerge from a social vacuum.

He notes that this mediocrity — this nullity — is

typical of the class that has gradually attained power in Britain, from the lowest levels of the administration to the highest.

Theresa May, says Dalrymple, is

  • unoriginal
  • vacillating
  • humourless
  • prey to the latest bad ideas
  • intellectually mediocre
  • believing in nothing very much
  • mistaking obstinacy for strength
  • timid but avid for power (avidity for power is not leadership)

Dalrymple observes that

thousands of minor Mays populate our institutions, as thousands of minor Blairs did before them.

Guide to the Brexit shambles

The House of Commons, writes Dalrymple, has

deprived Theresa May of leverage with which to renegotiate, because it voted that it would not accept leaving the European Union without a deal.

This, he says,

deprived the EU of any reason to renegotiate anything: it was a pre-emptive surrender to the demands of Brussels that makes Neville Chamberlain look like a hard-bitten poker champion.

Dalrymple explains that May,

who will not take no for an answer, wants to try a fourth time to get her deal through Parliament. This is unprecedented: no unchanged bill is supposed to be presented to Parliament more than twice. May therefore much prefers to violate the constitution than to lose.

Dalrymple explains that four options remain:

  1. Parliament could accept May’s deal. If it does, it discredits itself by its abject surrender and futile previous resistance to what it claimed was a bad deal. If it was a bad deal before, it is a bad deal now.
  2. Britain could leave without a deal. This would cause disruption, but only for a relatively short period.
  3. Britain could hold another referendum. It is by no means certain what the result would be. If the result were the same, it would be back to square one. If the result were different, it would reinforce what is a European tradition: referenda as confirmatory plebiscites of what the political class wants, exactly as Napoleon III used them.
  4. The Government and Parliament could unilaterally revoke Article 50, which, incidentally, was framed by a British diplomat with the express purpose of making it difficult for any country to leave the EU. This would annul the result of the referendum. It would also have long-term and intangible damaging effects on Britain as a parliamentary democracy.

Britain’s noxious Leftist opposition party

Dalrymple points out that Britain’s opposition Labour party is as divided as are the Conservatives. The Labour leader

was, until recently, ardent for leaving the European Union, which he believed to be a capitalists’ club. He changed his mind for reasons that he has so far not condescended to disclose.

Irrespective of what its MPs actually believe about Brexit, Labour’s main concern, Dalrymple explains,

is to force an election that it believes it can win, a victory that would soon make Brexit seem like a minor episode on the road to ruin.

The majority of Labour MPs

want first to bring about the downfall of a Conservative government and second to prevent Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement—what might be called the leaving-the-Union-without-leaving option. But they want the first more than they wanted the second, so under no circumstances can they accede to anything that Theresa May negotiates.

Britain’s putrid political class

Dalrymple points out that Brexit required leadership, but

there was none to be had from the political class.

From the very first, the political class

overwhelmingly opposed Brexit. For some, the eventual prospect of a tax-free, expense-jewelled job in Brussels was deeply alluring.

But the political class

found itself in a dilemma, since it could not openly deny the majority’s expressed wish. Many MPs sat for constituencies in which a solid majority had voted for Brexit.

The Brexit imbroglio, Dalrymple says,

has the merit of revealing to the British public the extent of its political class’s incompetence.


if it is accepted that people get the leadership that they deserve, thoughts unflattering to self-esteem ought to occur to the British population.

A Lenin minus the intelligence

Dalrymple writes that an evening with Angela Merkel, Theresa May or Emmanuel Macron

would be as entertaining as dentistry without anæsthetic,


it would be like an evening with Oscar Wilde by comparison with an evening with Jeremy Corbyn.

Dalrymple notes that political correctness has

so eviscerated the exercise of wit that dreariness is no obstacle to political advancement and may be of advantage to it. The dreary are inheriting the Earth.


has even managed to make his private life, which has been far from straightforward, uninteresting. He could make murder dull; his voice is flat and his diction poor, he possesses no eloquence, he dresses badly, he has no wit or even humour, he cannot think on his feet. He has negative charisma.

Dalrymple discerns that Corbyn’s alleged concern for others

has a strongly, even chillingly, abstract or ideological flavour; he is the Mrs Jellyby de nos jours, but with the granite hardness of the ideologue added to Mrs Jellyby’s insouciance and incompetence.

For Corbyn,

goodness consists solely of sticking rigidly to some abstract principle or other, no matter the cost to others. It is enough to send shivers down your spine.


probity, cruelty or stupidity might appeal to monomaniacs, but it presages terrible suffering for millions if ever he were to achieve power: for no merely empirical evidence, no quantity of suffering, would ever be able to persuade him that a policy was wrong or misguided if it were in accord with his abstract principle.

This explains

his continued loyalty to the memory of Hugo Chávez and to his successor. What happens to Venezuelans in practice is of no interest to him whatsoever, any more than the fate of Mrs Jellyby’s children was of interest to her. For Corbyn, the purity of his ideals is all-in-all and their consequences of no consequence.


formed his opinions early and has never allowed any personal experience or historical reading to affect them.


reads not at all: in this respect, he is a Trump of the Left. He has remained what he was from an early age, a late 1960s and 70s student radical of the third rank.

His outlook on life

is narrow, joyless and dreary. He is the kind of man who looks at beauty and sees injustice. He has no interests other than politics: not in art, literature, science, music, the theatre, cinema—not even in food or drink. For him, indeed, food is but fuel: the fuel necessary to keep him going while he endlessly attends Cuban, Venezuelan, or Palestinian solidarity meetings.


  • hates his country and has never been heard to utter a complimentary word about it
  • despises any tradition that has not emanated from the working class, preferably in the days of its destitution
  • wants to dissolve the armed forces
  • believes that man is born rich but everywhere is poor, so that it is poverty and not wealth that needs the greater explanation. He has been heard to say that it is welfare that makes a country prosperous, without any concomitant recognition that wealth has to be created
  • wants unlimited immigration with the automatic right of immigrants to unlimited welfare whatever the numbers involved, as restitution for the past wrongs of colonialism

An anti-Semite, he

  • consorts with Holocaust deniers
  • is fond of Hamas and Hezbollah
  • is a member of a private anti-Semitic Facebook page
  • tolerates the grossest anti-Semitic insults of Jewish members of the Labour party
  • is obsessed with the Palestinian question which far exceeds his interest in any other foreign policy matter
  • has failed to recognise a mural painted in the East End of London (in a borough more than a third of whose population is Moslem) as anti-Semitic though it could have come straight out of the pages of the Stürmer

The only group he has ever implied are alien to Britain are ‘British Zionists’, whom he has accused of lacking an English sense of irony,

though they had probably, as he put it, lived in the country all their lives. He has never said that the Moslem bombers of the Manchester Arena lacked an English sense of irony. His own sense of irony is not very marked: he is about as funny as Walter Ulbricht.

Dalrymple points out that there are two good reasons why Corbyn should be anti-Semitic.

  1. There are 10 times as many Moslems in Britain as Jews. The latter are electorally important in one or two constituencies; by contrast, Moslems, who are highly concentrated in certain areas, are important in 30 constituencies, and their vote could easily swing an election.
  2. It accords with his conception of the world. He believes that capitalist society is not merely imperfect, in need of reform, but so unjust that it needs abolition and replacement. It is an unjust social order, in which the privileged rule unjustly and hoard wealth which rightfully belongs to others. They must be expropriated. It took one generation, two at most, for Jews to go from poverty to prosperity—the same is true of the Sikhs. For Corbyn, this is not proof of the openness of British society, but of conspiracy and illicit influence, for only conspiracy can explain success in the fundamentally unjust, closed society of his Weltanschauung. His is the kind of mind to take the reasoning of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion seriously. For him, differences of outcome among groups, whether advantageous or disadvantageous, can arise only from injustice, which it has been his duty since the age of 17 to right.

Why has so dismal a man become popular? The main reason, Dalrymple explains, is that

he promises six impossible things before breakfast to people who think they will not have to pay for them, and such people can always be found because discontent springs eternal.

Corbyn, says Dalrymple,

is a fine example of that peculiar modern type, the man who is bad, uninteresting and important, for whom lack of scruple is probity. Mass emigration, as well as immigration, is but an election result away.

The philosopher-kings of the EU don’t want any damned-fool population getting in the way

Dalrymple notes that those British legislators who agitated most vociferously for Brexit declined, when the time came, to carry out the policy. They left it to a woman, already well known for her political maladroitness.

Dalrymple early grasped that May’s appearance of negotiating with the EU was

shadow play. She never intended to produce the complete break that just over half the electorate—but not the political class—wanted.

The impasse, he says

will probably lead to Britain never leaving the union.

Most legislators are opposed to Britain leaving the EU without a deal,

and the Union, knowing this, has no reason to negotiate further.

Dalrymple writes that the European approach to democracy is as follows:

If the voters get the answer wrong, either ignore the verdict or make them vote again until they get the answer right.

Whether the British population will take it lying down

remains to be seen, but after three years of deliberately created political chaos, it is likely that Britons will simply shrug and get on with their lives.

It should have been obvious from the first that

the EU would never want an agreement that was anything other than disadvantageous to Britain—for if Britain did not suffer markedly by departure, it would be a disaster for the Union, already not exactly at the height of its own popularity. If nothing else, the Union has successfully united the vested interests of the European political class.

Dalrymple declares:

The philosopher-kings of the EU do not want any damned-fool population getting in the way of the implementation of their wisdom. The founders of the ‘European project’ over 60 years ago wanted to eliminate messy politics through neat, clean administration.


has been humiliated by the episode, but history has no end, and Yugoslavian-style wars of secession may yet occur.  

Brussels triumphant

The EU has successfully united the vested interests of the European political class

Dalrymple notes that the European Union’s approach to democracy is:

If the voters get the answer wrong, either ignore the verdict or make them vote again until they get the answer right.

Whether the British population will take it lying down

remains to be seen, but after three years of deliberately created political chaos, it is likely that Britons will shrug and get on with their lives.

Dalrymple writes:

It should have been obvious from the first that the EU would never want an agreement that was anything other than disadvantageous to Britain—for if Britain did not suffer markedly by departure, it would be a disaster for the Union, already not exactly at the height of its popularity.

Britain has been humiliated by the episode, but, says Dalrymple,

history has no end, and Yugoslavian-style wars of secession may yet occur.