And what a week it was!
A week in which Theresa May hung on by a thread! A week in which she hung on by a hair! And a week in which she hung on by whatever’s thinner than that!
But what else happened?
Let’s look back and see:
When Theresa May announced her Brexit strategy, it didn’t prove very popular. This gave her just over ten days to engage in the political fight of her life. May isn’t much of a fighter, though, meaning she spent her time shadowboxing.
May planned on going around the country convincing people to vote for her deal. This seemed paradoxical, as the only people allowed to vote on it were the MPs at Westminster. It didn’t really matter in the end, as May didn’t convince anyone anyway.
Her trip to Scotland was particularly good, as May spent the entire trip in a container with no windows. She did allow some Scottish journalists into the container so she could tell them:
My deal is… you know… it just is.
She then pretended to drink Irn Bru for the cameras. Eagle eyed observers spotted that she’d replaced the Scottish tipple with Bovril, however, as the can steamed and gave her a sticky moustache.
Perhaps the highlight of May’s tour was the bit when she challenged Jeremy Corbyn to a debate. It turned out she’d conspired with the BBC to adopt a format in which host Lynn the vicar asked questions like:
Theresa May, could your Brexit plan be any more perfect?
Jeremy Corbyn, my friend Lynn the psychiatrist told me you have secret fantasies about murdering puppies; have you ever followed through on these sick urges?
Labour refused this, obviously, which meant May had to pull out of her own debate. Although pulling out gave May some bad press, it’s nothing compared to how bad she looks when she actually shows up to things.
Theresa May told us there was no better Brexit deal than hers. But facing a massive defeat, she cancelled the vote so she could go and ask the EU if a better deal was on offer.
Being PM is a terrible job – especially when you’re a woeful politician. That’s during normal circumstances, too. Right now, we have a political situation that demands decisive action, but a PM who can barely decide what she wants for breakfast.
And yet – and fucking yet – she’s still clinging on, even though stepping aside would be so much easier.
Off The Perch visited Downing Street to ask May if she’d resign, but she wouldn’t answer the question. She wouldn’t even let us ask the question. Before we could get the words out, she’d tossed an apple straight into our mouth.
More trouble than it’s worth
By the time we’d prised the apple out, May had leapt out of a window and was doing some parkour shit over the rooftops of London.
“Why don’t you put this much effort into not being terrible?” we screamed after her.
But she carried on. Because for some reason, she thinks these unnecessary acrobatics are more dignified than admitting defeat.
Theresa May – despite all her strength and stability – has become the subject of a confidence vote.
Like, what the what, guys?
You can’t genuinely have lost confidence in Big Thez, can you? Whatever happened to PM means PM?
The ‘achievements’ of Theresa May
You sometimes forget, but May has achieved quite a lot. For example, she:
- Just about beat Jeremy Corbyn in a general election – a man who was beloved by the political establishment and had the cards stacked in his favour.
- Managed to deport quite a lot of the Windrush generation before anyone noticed.
- Ate an entire cone of chips without dislocating her jaw and swallowing them in one go like a snake.
- Understood that ‘Brexit meant Brexit’ – and, indeed, that ‘word’ usually means ‘word’.
- Got snubbed by Trump without totally humiliating herself. Which is to say she let him walk her around like a show pony, but refused to wear a saddle and whinny.
- Became the first PM in history to bin her entire manifesto.
- Became the first PM in history to bin her entire manifesto without the media asking, “hang on a minute – did you just bin your entire manifesto?”
- Gave new meanings to the words ‘strong’ and ‘stable’.
The most amazing thing about this fiasco is that May looks like she still commands some support in her party.
That means Tory MPs are going to enter Parliament today and officially say they have confidence in May right now.
A move which will surely reflect well on them come the next election.
The Tories forced a confidence vote in Theresa May on 12 December. Alarmingly for the PM, over a third of her MPs did not have confidence in her. Alarmingly for the 200 who backed her, they’ve now officially given May their official confidence.
Wrong and unable
Off The Perch caught up with a Tory MP who wished to remain anonymous:
Oh Christ. This really couldn’t be worse. She’s shown herself to be the most incompetent PM since that donkey who briefly took charge in 1847. Now we’ve all come together to say we’re confident in what she’s doing. Tosh!
To be honest, I’m not even confident she’s dressing herself in the morning. I suspect her assistants strap her into a tartan suit, upload the day’s slogans to her mainframe, and then send her out the door.
Still though, it should help May renegotiate her terrible Brexit deal. The EU said it won’t renegotiate, but now they know she only commands the support of two thirds of her minority government, that should change things, right?
The confidence vote has had one visible impact, however. May once more has a spring in her step. The same spring she had when she fucked up Brexit negotiations; the same spring she had when she perpetrated the hostile environment.
So yeah – she won’t be any less terrible – she’ll just be more enthusiastic about how woeful she is.
Against the wishes of those supporting a ‘People’s Vote’, Tony Blair has lent them his support. Because, as is achingly apparent by now, receiving political backing from Blair is like getting a personal hygiene recommendation from Captain Jack Sparrow.
Tony Blair says if Britain said it was prepared to think again about Brexit, Europe should step forward with measures to show they have listened to concerns, including on freedom of movement and immigration #r4today
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) December 14, 2018
Blair we go again
Speaking to anyone who’d listen to him at the bus stop, Blair said:
Some people want to leave the EU so we can be more racist; others want to remain and be less racist. Having applied my genius, centrist brain to the issue, I’ve realised the moderate thing to do is remain in the EU but be more xenophobic.
I’ve been saying for ages that the Labour Party needs to be more racist; it’s very hip right now. The racist mugs were a good start, but we went wrong trying to sell them to people. What we should have done is thrown them at foreigners to put them off coming here.
Tony, or not Tony
Blair continued with a plan to halt migration that might actually work:
I’ve spoken to some EU bigwigs, and although they won’t budge on freedom of movement, they did make a suggestion. They think that if I personally promise to make friends with every migrant who comes to the UK, then no one will come.
I can’t see it myself, which is why I’m going to make myself the face of Remain. People love me, and the more they know that I want to stay in the EU, the harder they’ll back it.
Blair offered us some of the glue he’d been sniffing at this point, but our bus had come, so we bid him adieu.
The EU said it wouldn’t renegotiate Theresa May’s dead Brexit deal. That didn’t stop May from heading to the EU to try – although ‘try’ is a strong word for muttering “Brexit means Brexit” at a room full of confused people.
Off The Perch caught up with Durham University’s professor of analogies to get a colourful explanation of what happened:
May’s Brexit deal was a real Frankenstein’s monster – one made from parts which didn’t even match. That’s why it had three left feet, no brain, and hundreds of balls.
When the people saw this horrific, mindless creation, they did what anyone would – they took their pitchforks out and destroyed it. As they did so, May stood to one side and said, ‘look – it’s my monster or no monsters at all’.
Despite being given the chance to just stop, May had another idea. She gathered together the parts of her Brexit monster and strapped them back into the Monster-Nator-5000. But this time, she made even less effort than before.
The professor finished his analogy by saying:
When the lightning struck, the improperly earthed machine caught fire. As you’d expect, the horror flesh began to char and melt. The people she’d gathered to watch looked on in horror. The PM, meanwhile, said that if we all pitched in, we could shovel what remained into a wheelbarrow and it would be ‘job’s done’.
But what’s ‘the job’, Theresa? What the fuck are you even doing?
When he’d finished, the professor apologised for not being able to think of a sufficiently graphic analogy.
As clever journalists have pointed out, choosing the questions for a second referendum would be difficult.
What should the question be in a second EU referendum?
This sounds like it should be a simple question, but it’s actually not: every option I can think of has some pretty significant problems.
— Jon Stone (@joncstone) December 14, 2018
Everyone knows what questions they’d pick – namely the ones which would tip things in their favour. But what options are actually on the table?
The options as we see them are:
- Leave but with no explanation of how so that everyone can claim to represent the true voice of leaving.
- Remain but be a real dick about it – instructing the PM to sulk and huff at EU summits – just like usual.
- Put a pin in it for 12 months and have another referendum then.
- Finland ribbed.
- Just stop answering the phone when the EU calls.
- British Empire on figurative steroids.
- British Empire on literal steroids.
- Pretend we never voted to leave in the first place and just turn up in Brussels, like nothing happened.
- Start our own EU and call it the ‘Cool Guys European Union Super Club’.
- We remain but all the other countries leave.
- Join the Soviet Union.
- Find a better island and all go and live on that.
- Leave but we rig our politicians up to a bomb that will go off if our quality of life doesn’t maintain a consistent level of alrightness.
- Leave but everyone wears a beret and we pretend that we’re France to annoy the French.
- Remain, no backsies.
- We’ll do whatever you say if you just please stop making us fucking vote for things. Every time we do it only makes things worse!
Regardless of how we vote, we probably will have another referendum. Because, you know what, fuck it – why not? Let’s stop pretending we need a reason and just admit this is who we are now – a nation of vote junkies.
Featured image via Kulhlman/MSC – Wikimedia / EU2017 Estonian Presidency – Wikimedia / David Goehring – Flickr / YouTube / pixabay / World Travel & Tourism Council – Wikimedia / UK Home Office – Wikimedia / pixabay(IMAGES WERE ALTERED)
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