Shortly after Donald Trump’s win in the US Presidential election last week, Theresa May sent him warm, unreserved congratulations:
“Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead”
Her uncritical welcome drew much criticism, especially in comparison to the more measured response by German Premier Angela Merkel.
But there’s a similarity that’s been nagging at me since she made her statement – another British Establishment welcome for the accession of a leader whom the world feared.
In the 1930s, the then-king of England, Edward VIII, was an avid fan of one Adolf Hitler. Footage exists of Queen Elizabeth II as a child, along with her sister and mother, practising Nazi salutes at the encouragement of her uncle David, as the king was informally known.
‘David’ was a notoriously weak and selfish man, lacking in moral fibre. He considered that the right response to the rise of Hitler’s nazi party was appeasement, even co-operation, and was more than prepared to compromise principle and the good of the country for the sake of his own ends – he infamously suggested, from his exile during WWII, that Hitler should intensify his bombing of British cities in order to force the British government to negotiate peace.
The similarities to Theresa May do not end with her unelected status and her willingness to cast aside principle to welcome the election of a world-threatening, bigoted narcissist to run one of the world’s most powerful countries.
Edward VIII is known to have pined for the days of absolute monarchy and to have believed that those powers should be reinstated in his person, so that he could run the country without reference to the wishes of Parliament.
May, having lost her high court battle, is in the process of appealing to the Supreme Court to try to secure the right to set the country’s ‘Brexit’ terms without the inconvenience of having to obtain Parliament’s approval.
Edward VIII was a weak, self-obsessed leader whose personal ambition, lack of principle and overwhelming sense of entitlement was a national disgrace and whose continuation in office would have threatened disaster for the United Kingdom.
Remind you of anyone?