Who are the darling buddies of May?

13 June 2019

CHRIS PROCTOR reflects on the woeful premiership of Theresa May and wonders where it places her in the pantheon of the all-time worst Prime Ministers of Britain. There are, as he wryly notes, rather a lot of contenders for the title...

In years to come, when drivers have a SPAD [Signal Passed at Danger], miss a station or run a train into the buffers, someone will say, 'Well, well, you've made a right Theresa of that!'


Our former Prime Minister has earned her place in history. In the past we've had leaders who have been incompetent (Alec Douglas-Home). We've had PMs who have been arrogant (Ted Heath). We've had premiers who have been failures (Anthony Eden). But never before in the history of this scepter'd isle have we seen all these traits embodied in a single person. So congratulations, Mrs M! You have earned the right to be formally recognised as a disaster of monumental scale.


Yes, I admit there are other candidates for the accolade of 'Most Awful PM', but I am unflinching in my support for Mrs May. Praise where it's due. Few people before her showed such a capacity for being so impressively and regularly wrong.


Freshly elected as Tory Party leader, she declared, 'As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold, new, positive role for ourselves in the world'. That didn't entirely turn out as predicted. But it was more accurate than her perception in January 2017 that, 'After all the division and discord, the country is coming together.'


Theresa May epitomised the 'never say die, even when you're dead' spirit. Early in December 2017 she announced, 'We will leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The rest of the country fell about cackling. The odds were the same as ASLEF giving Chris Grayling honorary life membership.


Faced with the fact that it wasn't going to happen, did Mrs May waver? Not a bit of it! She got more precise: 'We will be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11pm.' Not 10 pm or 11:55.


Oh, no, 11pm on the dot!




Read the rest of this article, and more, in the July 2019 ASLEF Journal, available soon.



Image via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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