Presiding over the worst deal in history, we now have the worst Prime Minister in my lifetime. That is saying something - I have lived long enough to witness the oleaginous Edward Heath and the demon eyes of Tony Blair. Rarely, however, have I witnessed consistent and repeated lying with conviction.
Having with alacrity fooled us all that “Brexit means Brexit”, Theresa May has been proven to be a masterful con artist, seemingly utterly impervious to what is plain to everyone else (at least outside Parliament) that her actions are completely out of sync with her rhetoric.
Theresa May appears to be a stooge of an establishment plot to reverse Brexit. A willing vehicle (probably a BMW) for EU capture and re-entry. After all the proposal put forward by the prime minister keeps us so locked into the EU and so close that re-entry would be easy. The deal is so punishing to the UK that people will be glad to re-enter. It is Michel Barnier’s wet dream.
Negotiated by an inveterate Remain civil service, overseen by a Remain PM, supported by a Remain corporate Britain led by the EU-loving and Brussels-funded CBI, itself populated by multinationals, the most vocal of which are German and French owned or run. All of this in cahoots with a German-dominated EU determined to keep Britain under its heel. A concert party of the Europhile establishment, a potpourri of vested interests in opposition to the national interest.
It feels rather like it must have done on 8 May 1940 with the appeaser Chamberlaine and Halifax still hanging out for a capitulation in all but name, while the country felt desperate for a real leader.
What has puzzled me however, is how Mrs May can face the cameras and say she is right and acting in the national interest. Unlike Philip Hammond (and his processor George Osborne) she doesn’t strike me as someone angling for lucrative non-exec positions on the boards of the corporates that our Chancellors now appear to serve. Mrs May has a moral compass, she is an advertised church-goer. She is perhaps patrician but unlike Michael Heseltine, who believes democracy is something to be manipulated by the aristos and nothing more, Mrs May purports to be acting for the good of the country.
I have been trying to figure out what makes the Maybot tick and I think my son has solved it. He suggested that it all stems from a combination of May’s moral compass and the fact that she is stubborn beyond belief. Because she ponders and studies her subject, like a head girl wishing to please the teacher with her end of term essay, which once completed is proudly set in stone. Mrs May has a messianic belief in her own cause. She believes that what she believes is akin to an act of faith. A crown of thorns.
The last holder of the executive prerogative to have this view and to oppose the will of the people was King Charles I. The last PM to sell our Britain against the will of the people was Neville Chamberlain. One lost his head, the other forever his reputation. Theresa May would do well to ponder on this.
John Longworth is an entrepreneur, chairman of Leave Means Leave and is on the Advisory Board of a Economists for Free Trade and the IEA. He was formerly Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce