Theresa May’s forced departure from 10 Downing Street saw her shed some tears. Only someone with a heart of stone could not feel at least a little sympathy for the poor woman who was only doing her best, right? I can imagine there will be a long line of people wishing they could help dry her eyes (mate). They include:
- The victims of the Windrush scandal
- 130,000 homeless children
- The victims of crime as police numbers were slashed by her at the home office and in number 10.
- The million people using foodbanks
- The million or so people affected by disability benefit sanctions
- The many thousands affected by the closure of over 1000 Sure Start centres.
- The victims and survivors of Grenfell
- The homeless and rough sleepers, who include in their number ex service personnel
- The millions of people on minimum wage, zero hour contracts
- The steelworkers of Scunthorpe about to lose their jobs because of Brexit
I expect all these people, and many more, to travel to London, each armed with a large box of tissues, to offer their condolences to poor Mrs May who is desperately upset today.
Actually, I don’t have a heart of stone. However, I do regard myself as a citizen of the world. Not Mrs May, who told me “If you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere”. She and her advisors demeaned her office by referring to anyone who disagreed with her as a “saboteur” and “traitor”. Worse than all that, this devout Christian, daughter of a vicar, lied through her teeth almost everytime she spoke and when she wasn’t lying, she was slippery, evasive and tin-eared.
Yet it wasn’t the opposition parties who got rid of her: it was her own colleagues in the parliamentary party. She begged the EU to give her a deal on Brexit, taking into account her red lines on the single market, customs union and free movement and when they gave it to her and MPs, many in her own party, rejected her. They rejected her deal and humiliated her time after time. And now, with Britain in its worst post war crisis, the Tory party has removed her. Party before country, always.
But don’t cry for Mrs May. She will not be queueing at the Jobcentre, or asking the local food bank to give her food to eat through the weekend. She will not be returning to live in the 25th floor of a tower block surrounded by inflammable cladding, or sleeping in a shop doorway in the freezing cold.
Instead of crying at her own fate, think of the people whose lives have been ruined or at best made much worse by a woman who has occupied two of the most important offices of state since 2010.
David Cameron set fire to the country when he called and lost the referendum on EU membership. Mrs May came along with fine words about ending the “burning injustices”, pretending she was “on your side”. Instead, she poured oil on the flames. Her grim legacy is a broken and hopelessly divided and unequal country, sections of which are dabbling with far right politicians in numbers we have not seen in generations.
As someone once said, “Don’t cry over someone who wouldn’t cry over you.”