TODAY, within the covers of the Daily Mail, Richard Littlejohn sums up what the nation is thinking – what the Mail used to do and what should long have been the paper’s editorial line on Theresa May and her disastrous approach to Brexit.
His column is dedicated to a lacerating statement of the mistakes and monstrous misjudgments she has made, including that about herself – her hubris.
‘If Theresa May had possessed a shred of decency,’ he begins, ‘she should have resigned long ago.’ Exactly what we have been saying at TCW for some two years now.
‘Her authority was shot to pieces after her disastrous, self-inflicted general election humiliation, which cost the Tories their majority and ensured that the enemies of Brexit would prevail.’
As we have pointed out many times, Theresa the Terminator has refused to resign on every occasion that would have driven any other politician to make the sacrifice (take the only honourable course).
Littlejohn goes on: ‘She had a second chance to do the decent thing last July when it became apparent that her dismal, defeatist Chequers withdrawal agreement was a shoddy betrayal of her oft-parroted mantra “Brexit means Brexit”.’ What she did instead was to threaten ‘to confiscate the ministerial cars of Cabinet dissenters and make them walk home.
‘This wasn’t the action of a strong, confident Prime Minister. It was a petty, vindictive attempt at intimidation, worthy of Richmal Crompton’s spoilt brat, Violet Elizabeth Bott, from the Just William books . . . This was the real Mrs May: aloof, stubborn, convinced of her own self-righteousness, and contemptuous of others who begged to differ’. To which list he suggests adding utter ruthlessness: ‘to lose one prominent Brexiteer may be considered unfortunate, to lose three in quick succession looked like deliberate policy’.
Along with this devastating excoriation of her character he notes, inter alia:
Her reputation for ignoring her colleagues, for treating them with lofty disdain;
Her preferring, both at the Home Office and No 10, to defer to her civil servants rather than engage with fellow MPs;
Her general lack of competence, serially over-promoted and with an unwarranted sense of entitlement;
As to her reputation as a conciliator, a safe pair of hands, he has one word: Laughable.
The woman who labelled her own party the ‘nasty party’ – as Littlejohn reminds readers, ‘a toxic tag it took years to shed’ – who was responsible for the Windrush crisis, for scrapping the police’s stop-and-search policy, for sending lorries into areas of high immigration bearing giant advertising hoardings advising foreigners living here illegally to go home.
Her prejudicial attitude to immigration, he says, helps explain her approach to Brexit and her fatal misunderstanding of the motives of the millions of her fellow citizens who voted Leave.
‘She seems to have bought into the narrative of fellow Remainers, who hold, insultingly, that Brexit voters are thick racists who hate foreigners. How little she understands the people she aspired to lead. Immigration was certainly a factor, but overwhelmingly people wanted to be free of the shackles of a corrupt foreign bureaucracy, to stop paying Danegeld to Brussels, and to restore the sovereignty and independence of our proud nation.’
Littejohn moots that it was this total lack of comprehension which informed her inept, Quisling-style approach to the withdrawal negotiations and allowed Jean-Claude Drunker and co to run rings round her.
This is one copy of the Daily Mail you should buy. Richard Littlejohn speaks for 17.4million very angry people today. For this he deserves a high place on our roll of honour.
I leave you with his conclusion on her legacy:
‘[She has] presided over three wasted years of vacillation, obfuscation, cowardice, downright sabotage and the destruction of a once-proud democracy, where MPs used to feel honour-bound to represent the will of the people who paid their wages.
‘Even if many others share the blame for the dispiriting, depressing, debauched state of British politics, she was the Prime Minister and she must carry the can.
‘Theresa May, to her eternal disgrace, has turned Britain, one of the world’s greatest economies and military powers, into an international laughing stock.
‘She has broken Brexit. And now Brexit has broken her.’
We can only hope it has. Whatever the status of the Withdrawal Agreement, she is not fit to lead the country and must be made to go now.