At the Conservative Party conference, PM Theresa May made waves when she came on stage to deliver her speech. She did so by ‘dancing’ on the stage to the tune of ABBA’s Dancing Queen.
May’s supporters described the move as self-deprecating humour, and praised it for being bold and funny. Critics, however, are decidedly unimpressed:
— Jason Read (@jasemonkey) October 3, 2018
People are also describing May’s awkward dancing as a PR stunt which distracts from real issues:
The Chancellor’s conference speech:
‘We’re sticking with austerity!’
The PM’s conference speech:
‘We’re ditching austerity. We’re just making a whole bunch of cuts.’
The media: THERESA MAY DID A DANCE!!
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) October 4, 2018
Not least of these issues is Brexit. Especially since no one is particularly clear on what May’s plan is, least of all May herself:
— Kate Dickie (@dickie_kate) October 4, 2018
Even some Tory supporters are unimpressed:
If Rome burnt whilst Nero fiddled, then Brexit is burning whilst May dances. Assuming the Conservative Party intends to survive this leadership, it's time to end it.
— Tim Dawson (@Tim_R_Dawson) October 3, 2018
And while May might think her ‘hostile environment’ policies have been forgotten, the internet never forgets. Especially with the Windrush scandal still fresh in people’s memory:
Watching the news you really gotta hand it to Theresa May. Whether it's dancing into conference or deporting the Windrush generation, she just doesn't give a fuck. Admirable in a weird way
— Dave Mulcahy (@DaveJMulcahy) October 3, 2018
I dunno what it is but even after her wonderfully self-deprecatory dancing today just can't warm to Theresa 'Windrush Scandal' May, can't find it in myself to start liking Theresa 'Hostile Environment Send Out The Immigration Vans And Racist Billboards' May.
— Mister Neil Kulkarni (@KaptainKulk) October 3, 2018
Of course, austerity measures are also contributing to the outrage. In the face of deaths caused by austerity, May’s dance appears downright flippant:
To all the people who have lost their lives or loved ones, been evicted, had benefits slashed or any of the other myriad misfortunes forced upon them by #austerity For @theresa_may to dance out to deliver a speech telling people ‘it’s ok, it’s over’ is repulsive. #ToryConf18
— Mark Bonnar (@mark_bonnar) October 3, 2018
Super-Rich billionaires have been given tax cuts, while the rest of us pick up the bill. Austerity has killed people. Over 14m are now living in poverty. Foodbanks can’t keep up with demands. How can Theresa May stand on the stage and dance when people are dying.
— Nadeem Ahmed (@Muqadaam) October 3, 2018
Imagine eating from food banks, facing eviction, dealing with benefit cuts, untreated mental health issues, deportation etc etc and watching Theresa May dance happily across the stage to the sycophantic gushing of most commentators.
— Susan (@marthasydenham) October 4, 2018
From the reaction to the ‘Maybot’ – as the dance is now being called – it’s clear that May’s dancing skills are the least of her worries. The dance may, in fact, have backfired, because people hate having their intelligence insulted. And it will take more than a public show of awkwardness to distract people who have been suffering nearly a decade of Tory austerity.
– Write to your MP, asking that they support an anti-austerity agenda and demand accountability for Windrush and Grenfell victims.
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