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Perhaps May Didn't Get Your Vote, But That's No Reason She Shouldn't Get Your Sympathy

13/06/2017 12:37
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Of all the emotions one human being can feel for another, it's fair to say that a few of the more extreme ones are reserved exclusively for politicians. Hate, anger, disgust, annoyance, disdain contempt, loathing, frustration, distress... Seldom do they include pity, compassion and empathy, although apathy can normally be relied on to figure quite high up the list. Or at least that used to be the case.

Now the same rules simply don't apply, especially among a newly energised and engaged group of voters who are barely old enough to remember a certain Anthony Blair, let alone Anthony Eden.

You have to question what has happened to the state of British society when students would prefer to be waiting in line at a polling station rather than queuing behind a bar at a public house.

But after last week's election, an election there was never any need for, isn't a level of sadness what we should be feeling? Not for those who came a cropper such as Nick Clegg, Angus Robertson and particularly, Alex Salmond. Thanks to their self-aggrandisement, they deserve their failure and humiliation.

Who couldn't help but be filled with happiness at Salmond's downfall? Mind you, from a personal perspective, his loss is still tinged with a terrible sense of regret. If only he'd clung on, the SNP would have won a slightly less embarrassing 36 seats rather than 35 and my bet of them ending up with between 36 and 40 MPs would have seen me £300 better off.

The person we should be feeling genuinely sorry for is none other than our current (at the time of writing, although not necessarily at the time of reading) Prime Minister. Other party leaders and several of her so called colleagues are loudly shouting for her to go. Yes, maybe another role would be more suited to her talents. The Fashion Editor at Saga magazine, for instance.

The harsh reality is that she should never have been given the position to begin with. It's difficult to imagine a poisoned chalice more toxic. Drinking from it was never going to end well for anyone. The tragedy from her perspective is that her rivals didn't also get round to taking a sip. And even now, how she must be hoping that traitor-in-chief, Anna Soubry would have a good old glug and shut the hell up.

At the start, when everything in the garden looked rosy, Jeremy Corbyn was withering on the political vine and the polls were overwhelmingly in her favour, she was undoubtedly seen as a safe pair of hands. Someone who wouldn't drop the ball. As bad luck would have it, she quickly turned into the equivalent of David James and Joe Hart when what was required was another Gordon Banks.

The problem is that while her character was perfectly at home behind the desk at the Home Office, it didn't translate to Number 10. A bureaucrat at heart, she never came across as leader material. The heads of all organisations need someone with a charismatic charm, an easy going and persuasive bonhomie people can identity with and relate to. Unfortunately she just wasn't it.

Few of us want to feel as if we're being lectured at. We had enough of that at school, frequently by teachers with much the same demeanour as Mrs May. Instead, we want to be talked to as if our opinions are somehow valued. Not that they ever are, of course. But that doesn't matter. We're kind of inured to the fact that once a party gets into power, they're going to leave behind a trail of broken promises and hopes that won't be delivered upon. In short, we know we're going to end up disappointed, but at least it will be by people we like, trust and momentarily believe in.

In essence, the Tory grandees sent Theresa May into battle as ill-equipped to fight an election as the soldiers their ancestors once sent over the top to fight in WW1. By the time they realised their mistake, it was too late to retreat.

The Conservative Party is currently between a rock and a hard place. With no heir or heiress apparent on the horizon, they can't risk yet another electoral contest. Even if the public had the appetite for one, they'd in all likelihood lose and be kicked out of office. They therefore have little choice but to stick with what they've got and try to stitch up a deal with an ally no one would normally entertain.

What exactly this does for the country's bargaining chips in Europe is anyone's guess. The whole thing's an unholy mess, leaving a decent, well intentioned lady with a job she possibly no longer deserves and in all probability no longer wants, but is being made to remain in out of some enforced sense of loyalty and duty.

This is why I sympathise with Theresa May's plight and why you should too.

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