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Theresa May Uses Advisors Like Human Shields And The Media Takes The Bait Like Seagulls

13/06/2017 16:49
Hannah Mckay / Reuters

So today, Saturday the 10th of June, instead of focusing on Theresa May's ineptitude, discredited standing and untenable status as the leader of our nation, the media are voluntarily making fools of themselves by obsessing over the 'resignations' (sackings) of May's two villainous campaign masterminds, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. These two are being portrayed like those evil Latino assassination twins from Breaking Bad, except in tweed.

Weirdly the Daily Mail described them as her loyal "Praetorian Guard in Downing Street". This is an odd analogy to use, as only a cursory glance at Wikipedia shows the Praetorian Guard were just as likely to assassinate the emperors they swore to protect, as save them. Maybe a more accurate analogy for Timothy and Hill is a shockingly unpleasant scene in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, where a desperate soldier under overwhelming machine gun fire grabs the severed torso of a dead friend and advances under fire using them as a shield. Judging by what I've seen so far I wouldn't rule this out actually happening, judging by Theresa's tenacity for holding on to power like a child that won't share a swing.

I'm guessing that with this advisor story No.10 were hoping that May would be viewed as Caspa the friendly ghost who was bullied by her brash nasty ghost siblings and lead astray from the political path to campaign righteousness. Naturally, with frightening predictability, the Mainstream Media (maaan) have taken the bait like a flock of distracted seagulls chasing a bag of chips chucked to them from a window of No.10.

Seriously, who cares about these advisors being sacked? The only lesson that seems to have been learned from their toxic influence is not just that the policies they proposed were found fundamentally repellent by large swatches of the electorate, but that they had been 'communicated badly'. As I heard one conservative MP comment on the 'Dementia Tax' in the post-election post-mortem, the policy would have been fine if only they had focused on the money that would be left for pensioners after their care, instead of focusing on that tiny awkward detail of their family home being asset stripped. This strikes me as like saying that a manifesto commitment mandating compulsory cavity searches for the entire population would have been popular if only they'd played soothing whale music to voters as they announced it, or described them as 'intimate explorations', or stressed that some people may enjoy them.

So what are these 'resignations' (sackings) supposed to show the public? That Theresa's demonstrating defiant leadership by taking out her own political trash? In which case it's kind of like a teenager throwing a Project X style house party, decimating the family home, and then seeking praise for doing some feather dusting afterwards.

Or, even more outrageously, are we supposed to be feeling a degree of sympathy for her after calling her own election for herself and failing on her own terms? As Paul Mason quipped on Twitter, it stinks of Rasputin's theory:

"...the Tsar's a good person with poor advisers.."

Again, nice try team Theresa. I'm sorry, you are the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Have some honour and take responsibility as they did in nobler ages. You're not a credulous simpleton or naïve child that was groomed by mean bullying advisors who made you run a bad campaign and pursue car crash policies against your own best instincts. If this is the implicit message they hope the distraction tactic serves, then it only provides further evidence that she isn't the strong woman of conviction she spent seven weeks failing to convince us she was. Would a 'bloody difficult woman' be so easily contorted? 'Bloody difficult' Theresa May, who in her first session of parliament as PM tried to demonstrate her ruthless leadership by assertively answering "YES" when asked if she would be willing to kill a 100,000 people in a nuclear strike.

It bears repeating: SHE IS PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM. She employed these advisors. She listened to these people. It was her horrible, vague, uncosted manifesto that she endorsed. If she now disavows it, what does that say about her judgement and leadership qualities that she sold herself on? What does it say about the strength of her political convictions if she has allowed herself to be influenced by people and policies that she didn't really agree with? It either shows she's weak and susceptible to undue influence, or worse still, that she's an unprincipled charlatan that stands for nothing, believes in nothing and will do anything for power. If Corbyn was for the many, then Theresa May is very much for herself.

So why are we focusing on this distraction? To put it simply, journalists treat politics like one of those after Game of Thrones discussion shows. A kind of Politics meets Heat magazine. Politics just becomes entertainment and gossip as journalists smugly boast about their exclusive insider sources us mere mortal aren't privy too. This all sounds very impressive, doesn't it? Except that, blinded by what at times seems like their own sense of self-importance, journalists forget one blindingly obvious truth: politicians are using them to spread helpful narratives. So while the media have chomped away on the advisor resignation bone they've been thrown, our new feminist autocrat is afforded some timely suppressive fire to consolidate her position and plan her next move. In so doing the media have helped partially divert public anger away from Theresa May and to her subordinates she is also accountable for.

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