Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Better the devil you know?

It's a sad indictment on the current state of affairs when a self-avowed leftie like me feels a palpable sense of relief at the news that Theresa May will shortly be installed as the country's unelected Tory prime minister.

All of May's rivals for the party leadership dropped like flies - the most recent being Andrea Leadsom, who had been subjected to a barrage of criticism and abuse and clearly couldn't stomach the fight. The prospect of the nation being led by the woman described as "Brexit's Bisto mum" (by Marina Hyde) and "created by Nazi scientists as a response to Dame Vera Lynn" (by Frankie Boyle) doesn't bear thinking about.

Nevertheless, it's worth contemplating what May might mean when she talks about creating a "better Britain". After all, as playwright David Hare pointed out earlier this year, in her role as home secretary the "British values" she endorsed are certainly not the sort of values that many of us would be happy to share. Not for nothing did Boyle, reporting on last autumn's Tory conference, quip that she "exudes all the compassion of stage 4 bone cancer".

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