Category Archives: May, Theresa

The pitiful centre-Right’s posture of surrender

Spineless, rude and grossly inept: James Brokenshire, described as the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government

By such cowards are we governed

Two days, writes Dalrymple,

after cables by the ambassador to Washington were published in the Press, in which he characterised the Trump administration as inept, divided, and chaotic, a Left-wing weekly, the New Statesman, belatedly published an apology to Sir Roger Scruton for the wilfully misleading — indeed, defamatory — version of an interview Scruton gave to its deputy editor, George Eaton. As a result of this truncated and mendacious version, Scruton was fired from his honorary appointment as chairman of a commission to try — not before time — to improve the æsthetic standards of modern British housing.

The minister who dismissed him was the one who had appointed him shortly before, a man called James Brokenshire.

Spinelessness, ineptitude, division and chaos of the British government

What unites these two episodes, Dalrymple points out, is

the ineptitude, division, and chaos not of the Trump administration but of the British, which is incomparably greater. To these qualities may be added spinelessness; indeed, spinelessness is at the root of the problem. It is hard to do the right thing, or even to do anything properly, when at heart you believe in nothing.

Mendacious: George Eaton, described as the deputy editor of what was once a journal of some quality, the New Statesman

Few people were better qualified for the job than Scruton, Dalrymple notes, and

to many Britons his appointment came as a surprise because he was so well-qualified for it, such being the contempt in which the politico-administrative class is held.

Rude, incompetent and pusillanimous

Scruton’s sacking

did not really come as a surprise, either. Brokenshire, who had so fulsomely praised Scruton on his appointment (which, incidentally, dismayed all the right people), went into retreat, like a routed army, the moment the distorted interview appeared in public. He dismissed Scruton not only without informing him, which was rude, but without informing himself, which was incompetent and cowardly.

Did Brokenshire immediately apologise and reverse his decision once the true extent of the distortion of what Scruton had said was revealed incontrovertibly by Douglas Murray of the Spectator?

Of course not, because that would have meant admitting that he was wrong — grossly so. Being a minister in Theresa May’s government means never having to say you’re sorry. The thought of resigning because he had behaved so badly probably never entered his head.

Theresa May: being a minister in her government means never having to say you’re sorry

However, very slowly, says Dalrymple,

by degrees, as if under torture or cross-examination by a brilliant attorney,

Brokenshire was forced to travel in the direction of an apology, and eventually he said sorry,

though he still states only that it is a possibility, not a certainty, that Scruton will be reinstated.

At every stage in the lamentable story, Brokenshire

has acted as if all that counted was his own short-term political advantage.

Fear of the Left-leaning Lumpenintelligentsia

What was Brokenshire afraid of that led to his decision to dismiss Scruton? The answer, says Dalrymple, is

the Left-leaning Lumpenintelligentsia that is so quick to take to social media. Because, like May, Brokenshire appears to believe in nothing, he is not able to face down opponents with arguments, instead falling back into an immediate posture of surrender.

The likes of Brokenshire, says Dalrymple,

are the people who govern us, whether we deserve them or not.

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.

However,

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.

May

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.

Britain

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. 

May did not emerge from a social vacuum

Dalrymple 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.

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.

Britain

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

May’s victory

Dalrymple points out that Theresa May’s crushing defeats in the House of Commons were

a great victory for her, provided that you make a simple assumption: that she and her colleagues never wanted Britain to leave the EU in the first place.

He notes that a majority of the British legislature

is, and always was, opposed to Brexit.

He reminds us that those legislators who agitated most vociferously for Brexit

declined, when the time came, to carry out the policy, leaving it to a woman, already well known for her political maladroitness.

May’s appearance of negotiating with the EU, he writes, was

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

May was made for the modern world

Colourless, humourless, talentless

Theresa May has probably never made a correct decision, but what is the purpose of a political career? If, writes Dalrymple,

it is to reach the top of the greasy pole, even for the briefest of periods, then Mrs May’s career has been a brilliant success, her incompetence as judged by every other criterion notwithstanding.

May

was made for the modern world: colourless, humourless, talentless. One could have predicted that she would go far.

Among the reasons, says Dalrymple,

that the world seems nowadays so full of mediocre people who achieve power at all levels without display of apparent ability (other than apparatchik careerist ruthlessness) is that we insist upon disinterested selection by supposed merit rather than by nepotism or personal connection, which is a far superior method of selecting outstanding or even merely competent people.

Britain will not lift a finger to defend any freedom

London is willing to surrender to violence even before it is offered

England has refused the request of Asia Bibi for asylum. Dalrymple writes:

If ever there were a person who needed and deserved asylum, it was she. Having spent eight years in prison under sentence of death for supposed blasphemy, her sentence was overturned by that country’s highest court; but howling mobs of nasty bearded fools have demanded that she be hanged nonetheless because she is a Christian who refuses to convert. The threats of the bearded fools are obviously to be taken seriously: they do not recognise any legal authority but their own.

Mob rule

Dalrymple notes that the reason given for London’s pusillanimous refusal is that

granting asylum to her might have offended the sensibilities of the Muslims in Britain and caused unrest among them.

This

is an implicit insult to those Muslims.

Theresa May: policy dictated to by howling mobs of nasty bearded fools

If unrest were to occur,

it should have been faced down.

The heartless whore that is the British State

There is, Dalrymple points out, an important principle at stake,

which is why the British government has failed the test with such spectacular cowardice. Its conduct in this matter has been far worse than was Chamberlain’s at Munich. Chamberlain was a decent man who was trying to avert a war, whose horrors he understood, for which his country was unprepared; the current British government has proved decisively once again that it will not lift a finger to defend any freedom and is willing to surrender to violence even before it is offered.

The decision, says Dalrymple,

fills me with disgust and a feeling of impotent rage.

Nullity made flesh

The British government’s instinct for making the wrong decision is, writes Dalrymple,

almost infallible.

For the moment, the prime minister is a mediocrity by the name of Theresa May, whom Dalrymple describes as

nullity made flesh.

Brexit bungled. Corbyn coming!

New red dawn

Britain braced for full socialisation

Thanks to the Brexit imbroglio, writes Dalrymple, England

could soon be Venezuela without the oil or the warm weather. The stunning incompetence of the last two Tory prime ministers, David Cameron and Theresa May, might result in a Labour government, one led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has long admired Hugo Chávez for having reminded him—though not the people of Venezuela—what governments can do for the poor and the achievement of social justice.