Protempore … So I’ve decided to reply to Mrs May


Posted by in March's Magazine

On 24 November, our Prime Minister Theresa May wrote an open letter to the UK public urging us all to support the Brexit deal that she had just made with the other 27 EU Member States. In her letter, May said that she would campaign ‘heart and soul’ to get the deal through Parliament – something which looks very unlikely given the fact that every other party in Parliament, including the blackmailing DUP and significant numbers of Tories, have publicly stated that they will vote the deal down.

May went on to say that the deal would be in the national interest and one that works for the whole country and, cue gag reflex, ‘all of our people’. Given the fact that May has spent the vast majority of her political career operating as one of the most divisive and heartless politicians ever to be elected, this is galling in the extreme.

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So I’ve decided to reply to Mrs May.

Dear Mrs May,

I read your letter with interest and although it wasn’t addressed to me directly, I have assumed that you are seeking my support to salvage your dreadful Brexit deal, which if successful, will save your own neck and quite possibly, the party that you lead. Having given this a great deal of thought, I’m afraid that I can’t bring myself to do anything which would help you to extricate yourself from the hole which you’ve dug for yourself. I would not want you to think this is solely to do with Brexit – my decision is based on concrete evidence that in almost everything you do, you are a despicable affront to decency. And for you to mention the words ‘national interest’ in your saccharine plea for support defies belief. Let’s look at the evidence.

“ As Home Secretary, you were responsible for sending out “Go Home” immigration vans to drive around London “advising” immigrants to “go home or face arrest”

In 2012, the Home Office, under your direction, introduced new immigration rules which required landlords, employers and the NHS amongst others, to demand evidence of legal immigration status. Your intention was to create “a hostile environment” for people who were in the UK illegally. But like so many of your policies, this wasn’t thought through properly and the bureaucratic nightmare which followed meant that some immigrants from the Caribbean, the Windrush generation, were deported, as your officials helpfully pointed out “in error”. 

I’m sure that you also remember Dexter Bristol who came to the UK from Grenada aged eight and who collapsed and died from acute heart failure in the street outside his home. He had been sacked from his cleaning job and then denied benefits because your officials did not believe he was in the country legally. It emerged that, according to medical records submitted to the coroner, the 57-year-old had not accessed health services since August 2016. His uncertain immigration status brought about by your hostile environment had prevented him from going to see his doctor.

In 2013, again when you were Home Secretary, you were responsible for sending out “Go Home” immigration vans to drive around London “advising” immigrants to “go home or face arrest”. For someone like me who is old enough to remember the National Front marching round the country telling people the same thing in the 1970s, this so-called policy was nothing more than blatant racism. You eventually had to admit that the vans were too much of a “blunt instrument”, that the policy had failed and that you would be scrapping it. However, I think that even you would have to admit that it sowed the seeds of the poisonous rhetoric on immigration that UKIP and others in your party peddled throughout the Brexit campaign.

You have also been an unrelenting supporter of the cruel, unnecessary and completely ideological austerity policies imposed by your government. I am sure that you are aware that in November this year, Professor Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, published a report on poverty in the UK. His report found that 14 million people, one-fifth of the population, live in poverty with four million of those actually living below the poverty line. One and a half million people are destitute and unable to afford basic essentials like food. Professor Alston stated:

“British compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous approach apparently designed to instil discipline where it is least useful; to impose a rigid order on the lives of those least capable of coping with today’s world and elevating the goal of enforcing blind compliance over a genuine concern to improve the well-being of those at the lowest levels of British society”.    

Asking for support from all of these people now as you claim to be acting in the ‘national interest’ is an insult of the highest order. From you I would expect nothing less.

Protempore

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