NOT since Neville Chamberlain has a Prime Minister self-disgraced the way Theresa May has. I admit I have flip-flopped on the Maybot. You want to think the best of her, you want her to catch a break, you don’t want to believe you are being led by an absolute nincompoop at this critical time, but it needs to be said. May is the worst Prime Minister since Chamberlain.
Whatever side of the debate you are on (Leave or Remain) the problem now is that we do not have a leader with any leadership skills. Let me explain.
The Art of War lists the five virtues of a commander. They are wisdom, sincerity, courage, discipline and benevolence. Our problem is that May has none of them.
Wisdom means the leader must know his enemy; he must know their strengths and weaknesses. The problem is, it is not clear May knows much about those handling the negotiations for the EU. This makes Britain weak.
A leader must also have courage. This means steadfastness, and having the moral courage to take an unpopular but correct course of action. May has not once chosen the unpopular but correct course of action, namely saying we will go out without a deal unless the EU makes a better offer. This is why we are now begging the EU for an extension.
Benevolence means serving the greater good. I used to think this is one thing May had; some kind of vocation to serve. Perhaps she really does think she is serving the greater good by staying on as PM. Now, I am not too sure.
May seems hungry for the perks of office no matter what the cost and has no real vision of where she wants to take the country. Deep down she doesn’t believe that Brexit will serve the greater good so we cannot expect her to see this through.
A leader must be personally disciplined and show no sign of weakness. Again although May probably is personally disciplined, she has repeatedly shown weakness.
Finally, is the virtue of sincerity. May has no sincerity because she has no credibility. She is not taken seriously because no one believes what she says. It is the same for the parents who repeatedly make empty threats to their children, or a CEO who lets workers slack off without consequences. No one believes the threats; the word of the leader means nothing and therefore they have no authority.
Let’s not forget May once said there will be no general election. Then she called one. She said Brexit means Brexit, when she does not intend on delivering a Brexit on WTO terms. She said that no deal is better than a bad deal, and then expects MPs to vote through a bad deal.
Theresa May said time and again that Britain will leave the EU on the 29th of March with or without a deal. Now we know she didn’t mean that either; she will go to the EU and beg for an extension.
The sum of all this means the EU will, to use the technical phrase, take the Mickey. People take the Mickey out of those they do not take seriously. The EU do not take May seriously – now they can name their price. The EU know May is not willing to follow through on the promise that Britain would leave the EU on the 29thof March so they have everything to play for. They can metaphorically rape and pillage their way through every English town and village.
Yes, May had problems at home; the Remainers being the obvious one. In which case she should have killed them off months ago by starting preparation for no deal. May says ‘there will be no second referendum’ but why should the Leavers think she will hold to this promise? She hasn’t held to any of her previous promises so they are perfectly right (tactically if nor morally) to fight on.
So there we are. Not since Neville Chamberlain went licking the boots of Hitler have we seen anything like this. It’s embarrassing and it’s serious. But it goes on and on and on.