May’s self-awareness fail takes some believing even for her


Theresa May has attacked Tony Blair for undermining her by his latest comments about another referendum. But the way she has framed her attack takes some believing even for the most seasoned, cynical observers.

The first part of May’s comment, for a change, is accurate enough:

But the old saying about pointing one finger meaning three are pointing back at you couldn’t be more apt.

Over the last few weeks, May has been “subverting the political process” for her own political interest constantly:

  • hiding from a vote on the release of legal advice on her Brexit deal because she didn’t want to be seen to lose it
  • refusing to honour the result of the vote and only releasing the information when forced to by an unprecedented contempt of Parliament finding
  • being exposed using public money to undermine the official opposition
  • conducting a general election campaign by stealth, to avoid media impartiality rules that would give Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a fairer presentation
  • spending public money to promote the deal to try to salvage her political career
  • telling the nation until the last second that a Commons vote on her deal would go ahead – and then pulling it at the last moment, again because she was going to lose it
  • avoiding a no-confidence vote by her own MPs by promising changes to her deal she knew she couldn’t get – and sweetening the deal by promising to step down before the next general election
  • refusing to condemn threats to starve Ireland into submission, to avoid offending her own party hardliners
  • attempting to persuade the country that non-binding ‘assurances’ about her Brexit deal change the legal facts
  • continuing to repeat platitudes and slogans she knows have ‘no element of truth‘, misleading the country

and more.

May also said that,

For Tony Blair to go to Brussels and seek to undermine our negotiations by advocating for a second referendum is an insult to the office he once held and the people he once served.

Of course, many people think that the fact that Tony Blair isn’t yet on trial in the Hague is the real insult to office and people, but she misses the point that Blair’s main purpose in touting another referendum is to try to undermine Labour in the eyes of leave voters, Her own risible efforts to ‘negotiate’ need little undermining.

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  1. Blair has only one thing in mind: to get rid of Corbyn.

    He only wants his MP friends to force Corbyn to table a motion of No Confidence, and lose.

    But in typical Blair fashion, he keeps that hidden.

  2. Blair has been a catastrophe for Labour from start to finish. As the article argues, a second EU referendum would indeed be a disaster for Labour in betraying the Leave voters in Labour-held seats and those seats Labour must win in order to have a majority government.

    Our enemies in The Guardian and The Independent are desperately trying to hide up the fact that the push for another referendum is OVERWHELMINGLY a BLAIRITE effort since the Blairites do not want a Corbyn government.

    Those capitalist newspapers therefore focus on a few Fake Lefts on the neoliberal wing of Momentum who seem not to have noticed that the EU Member States are rapidly going fascist in response to years of harsh neoliberalism under the single market. But the MPs who trooped in for tea and cake with the Tory Whips and David Lidington to plot the second referendum were 100% BLAIRITE MPs.

    1. “the push for another referendum is OVERWHELMINGLY a BLAIRITE efforts.”

      Oh dear. The right may indeed want it. A stopped clock is correct a couple of times a day (unlike Brexiteers who live outside reality). But so do large swathes of the Party membership right across the board. It was, in fact, a minority choice of voters even two years ago.

      By all means have a different view, or argue against the practicalities – but do stop yelling fantasy into a sparsely populated echo chamber of nodding dogs.

      Like it or not, the large majority of Labour voters and members are opposed the concept of Brexit, and see it, without any illusions about the EU, for what it is – an initiative from the extreme right, progressed by the Tory Party and the bum-fodder propaganda press, in order to create a situation that should be anathema to anyone who is on the left.

      The ‘fake left’ are the ones down the rabbit hole with the Mad Hatter at the Tory tea party.

      1. RH you may be right and you may not be, but it’s irrelevant, since the referendum has been and gone. Something like half the seats Labour needs to hold, and other ones it needs to gain, voted to leave. Presumably you think the voters in those constituences are all on the extreme right or, alternatively, are too stupid to know how to vote for something?

      2. “the referendum has been and gone”

        *A* referendum has ‘been and gone’ – just like the 1975 one.

        But the result of this one was massively equivocal, with only 37% of the electorate subscribing to the Brexit view – not a sufficient majority for even the local knitting circle to change its constitution.

        In addition, of course, were the other factors surrounding the vote – the electorate was deliberately narrowed and weighted to the old gits like me who are dying off and won’t be around to see the consequences; the issues were poorly understood (to put it mildly); preparations were at zero; the vote was influenced by dodgy dealing and, undoubtedly, by the weight of the plutocrat’s propaganda press and Johnson-type lying blather.

        In summary – the vote was a massive nonsense in terms of determining a serious constitutional change – an electoral fraud, and the ground is changing.

        I don’t happen to think that a new referendum is a great idea. But it is probably the only way out of this morass. It’s not the fake whining ‘Leavers’ who would be ‘betrayed’ by more democracy – it’s the majority of the electorate who *have* been betrayed by the lack of representation by a major party and, frankly, an appallingly inept parliament.

        Issues are clearer now – as are the choices, and Labour has to make its own choice – chase after imagined UKIP voters or lose a large chunk of its *actual* current support.

        The electoral equation in terms of a possible general election isn’t a done deal by a long chalk, and the fence sitting is certainly not a convincing or comfortable posture.

    2. Danny “betraying Leave voters” why? They can still vote Leave if they wish. The difference will be that in a second vote, people will have more information upon which to base their choice.

  3. Blair was found guilty of gross misconduct by the Chilcot Report. I’ve never understood why he wasn’t imprisoned for life.

  4. The RW of the LP is pushing for a second referendum. Under no circumstances should we allow them to retain the initiative. We should therefore make our own proposals for a second vote otherwise when the Tories come down in favour we will be left behind and certainly lose support.

  5. Danny, I don’t think the article argued that a second referendum would be a disaster but I’m not going to put words in Skwawkbox’s mouth.

    Jack T, I agree – we shouldn’t be influenced by anything our RW or the other Tories propose or don’t propose – reacting to them only gives them oxygen.

  6. The other big tragedy is that May isn’t on trial at the Hague for Human rights abuses. If any leader in a slightly less developed country behaved as she has & murdered so many of their own citizens the UN would be wanting to send peacekeepers in & arrest the leadership.

    She’s driven 100,000s to suicide so many they’ve had to stop recording the numbers, taken transport away from 50,000+ disabled people, found people fit for work who subsequently died, hounded those seriously ill in hospital for appointments sent assessors to hospitals, used racist acts like the go home vans & of course the Windrush generation.

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