Rethinking Europe

Theresa May and Political Wife-Beating, Brexiteer-Style

The hardcore Brexiteers are so keen on beating up on Theresa May for one primary reason – because she is a woman.

Credit: Number 10 - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • Make no mistake: Theresa May is an extremely stubborn lady. But one thing she is definitely not -- insane.
  • May delivering a successful Brexit is impossible because European integration runs counter to the most (in)famous maxim of British imperial politics – to get something substantive in exchange for nothing.
  • May’s failure to deliver is not that she doesn’t have powerful outside allies. The US and Russia -- under Trump and Putin -- are among the chief advocates of Britain leaving the EU.
  • The proposition that May is incompetent because “she” does not deliver what arch-conservative men want is a form of sexism. It implies that the girl just doesn’t know how to deliver to us men.
  • There are too many monomaniacal men in the ranks of the Tories. They want to make the real world fit their ideological world view, and refuse to deal with reality.

Make no mistake: Theresa May is an extremely stubborn lady. But it is the height of male arrogance for her arch-conservative, pro-hard Brexit detractors in her own Conservative Party to throw the famous definition of insanity at her, according to which the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

No doubt, quite a few people in British politics are currently insane. They just happen to be the very same people who argue that the Prime Minister is insane.

Trump, the Brexiteers and self-revealing self-hatred

These Brexiteers can be best understood the same way one can make perfect sense of Donald Trump’s constant flow of invectives which he hurls at his opposition.

It all makes perfect sense when one considers that whatever ludicrous charge Trump is raising at any given moment in the direction of his political opponents in reality describes what he himself does, is guided by and/or intends to do.

May and Churchill

Theresa May is many things – an illusory ultra-sovereigntist, for her determination to have Britain leave the EU. A turncoat – during the Brexit referendum, she fought in the Remainer camp.

Dogged in the Churchillian sense is more like it. With one crucial difference: Against very long odds, Churchill delivered on his promise to defeat the Nazis and thus free not just Britain from oppression, but the Western half of the European continent.

In contrast, Theresa May’s odds for “delivering a successful Brexit,” as she puts it, are impossible. Why? Because the logic of European integration runs counter to the most (in)famous, long-term maxim of British imperial politics – to get something meaningful and substantive in exchange for nothing.

The United States and Russia: Now Brexit allies!

Interestingly, May’s failure to deliver is not that she doesn’t have powerful outside allies. In fact, Churchill’s key allies – the United States and Russia – currently under the management of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, can be counted among the chief advocates of Britain leaving the EU.

Of course, they do so purely for very selfish and/or pure spoiler reasons. In Trump’s case, it is to negotiate a trade deal with a much-weakened Britain. In Putin’s case, it is part of a campaign to weaken the EU.

The best deal, really – if you want to suffer

Given an impossible hand, Theresa May has doggedly tried to make the best of it, in a manner that has even endeared her to opponents of Brexit, including this author.

She is right in arguing that, if the goal is to deliver any workable form of Brexit, the half-way house construction she and her team have come up with is the “best deal.”

Of course, it is also true that any such deal is a terrible deal for all of Britain, not just for Scotland or Northern Ireland or the country’s young people. The only sensible option is to have another people’s vote, to let Britons, now in the know, decide what they want long-term.

The perverseness of the joyful (political) wife beaters

The one point where the hardcore Brexiteers are correct is in arguing that Mrs. May is not delivering on the goals of the Brexit as they envision not. The reason is simple: Nobody can.

Theirs is a torched earth strategy, rooted in hyper-arrogant, hyper-risky attitudes that last came into play during some of the darker chapters of British imperialism, say, in India.

But their general proposition that May is incompetent because “she” does not deliver what they – the arch-conservative men – want on Brexit is an unvarnished form of sexism. The implicit suggestion is that the girl just doesn’t know how to deliver to us men.

The fact that none of the men so keen on ending her prime ministership have even a prayer of delivering anything better is simply a tell-tale sign that there are still way too many monomaniacal men in the ranks of the Tories in the House of Commons.

They want to make the real world fit their ideological world view, and refuse to deal with reality.

While the hardcore Brexiteers realize deep down that the EU won’t let them get away with the Brexit they want, they can at least get satisfaction by beating up on a woman for non-delivery of promised services every single day. Piñata-style.

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About Stephan Richter

Stephan Richter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Globalist. [Berlin/Germany]

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