by Umar Shahid (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 6, Shawwal, 1437)
In selecting Theresa May as the new prime minister, the British establishment has opted for another Margaret Thatcher. Can the consequences be any different for ordinary Brits, especially Muslims?
In Theresa May, Britain has the reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher. Like Thatcher, May is also brusque, extremely antagonistic toward the poor in general and immigrants in particular, as well as anti-Muslim although she resides in a constituency with a heavy Muslim population (Maidenhead and Windsor). And like Thatcher, she is endowed with a formidable set of teeth that can chew through metal cable in the wink of an eye. Compared to a pitbull, few have escaped unscathed coming into contact with her. She takes a bite out of them before letting go.
She became prime minister on July 13 in the wake of David Cameron’s resignation following the Brexit vote of June 23. Like Cameron, May had also wanted to stay in the European Union (EU) but kept a low profile during the campaign. Despite this, she got the prime ministerial post and now occupies 10 Downing Street even though a clear majority of Britons voted to leave the EU. Leaders of the “Leave” camp decided not to seek the party nomination for leadership. The former London mayor Boris Johnson as well as former Justice Secretary Michael Gove both opted out. Nigel Farage, a clownish politician and leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) with a single seat in parliament after years of trying to secure one, also announced his resignation from party leadership saying he had done his job! Johnson was accommodated by May in the new cabinet as Foreign Secretary. The lunatics have taken over the mental hospital.
The path to May’s ascension was cleared when Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the leadership contest. In a newspaper interview about May, Leadsom had claimed the experience of motherhood was an important quality for a prime minister. Since May does not have any children, that disqualified her for the job, according to Leadsom. The comments raised a storm forcing her to pull out.
The British establishment as well as the financiers in the City of London favored May. The Zionists led by Rupert Murdoch also wanted May as leader as did the war party. May’s husband, Philip John May is a major shareholder in the leading American weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The US now has an insider not only in the British boardroom but also in the bedroom. The war party has full control of Britain. Even the pretense of civility is discarded.
After graduating from Oxford, Theresa May had worked for many years in the Bank of England learning the wizardry of financial manipulation. Perhaps it was there that she honed her anti-people skills seeing the poor as a burden on society. The state and its resources are meant to serve the aristocracy.
Commenting on May’s selection to succeed Cameron, Frankie Boyle wrote in the Guardian (July 12), “Andrea Leadsom, a sort of defrosted Theresa May, said that she was withdrawing in the national interest, but the suspicion will remain that she was ordered to stand aside by some blasphemous, tentacled demigod addressing her through a screaming mirror. You would have thought that having two women competing for the job would have gone down well with the Tory cabinet, rekindling fond childhood memories of the trial-by-combat phase of their nanny selections, but May was seen as the safer pair of hooves. She immediately vowed to unite Britain — my guess is against the poor.”
Being the daughter of a Church of England vicar — perhaps a notch higher than being the daughter of a grocer (Thatcher) in class-conscious Britain — may have helped May’s elevation as well. She had already earned her spurs as a tough, ruthless Home Secretary displaying special aversion to immigrants. Even British citizens were not spared her ruthlessness. She barred them from bringing spouses and children into the UK unless they earned in excess of £18,600 ($24,000).
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in a study conducted in cooperation with Middlesex University found that an estimated 15,000 children had been affected by the minimum income requirement since its implementation in 2012 by May as Home Secretary. “Many parents are suffering from anxiety and depression as a result of the separation and the pressure of meeting the financial threshold. This also directly impacts their children,” said the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. Similarly, the Divided Families Campaign accused May of pandering to the rich, making family reunification “a privilege for only the wealthy.” She also has no time for human rights.
But she takes the helm of British affairs at a time when the country faces serious risk of disintegration. The Scotts who voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU have announced that they would revive their campaign to leave Britain to stay in the EU. Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party that had led the move for Scottish independence, said after the Brexit vote that the result had put Scottish interests “at risk” and it would look for ways to protect them.
Aware that Britain could unravel before she even got a handle on the job, Theresa May rushed to Scotland on July 15 to hold talks with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh on the future of the EU and the British union. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. May described it as “positive” saying she wanted the Scots to be “fully engaged” in Brexit talks. Sturgeon also described the discussion as “constructive.” How constructive would become apparent when the details are known but she has said she wants to explore all options — including independence — to maintain Scotland’s relationship with the EU.
There may also be trouble brewing in Northern Ireland as well where the Good Friday agreement under which the Irish were free to move about the soft border with the Irish Republic, would be in jeopardy now. There is speculation that Northern Ireland may opt to join their cousins next door. The vote in Northern Ireland was also overwhelmingly in favor of staying in the EU. This could be realized by joining the Republic of Ireland that is a member of the EU.
The self-proclaimed “Great” Britain is increasingly beginning to look not only as not so great, but decidedly small and largely irrelevant. Britain had always acted as America’s handmaiden in Europe. The Brexit vote has also dealt a blow to American domination of European affairs. For the better part of last century, Britain and France had acted in unison to prevent the rise of Germany as the dominant power in Europe. America was always there to offer a helping hand. Two world wars later and tens of millions killed on both sides, the creation of the European Common Market and enlarging it into the European Union were meant finally to put Germany’s ambitions to rest. All this was working according to script until the Brexit vote. With Britain out of the way, there is nothing stopping Germany from assuming its role as the undisputed leader of Europe.
It is instructive to note that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already announced that Russia should not be isolated (this was the American plan) and that Europe needed to engage Moscow. This would be music to President Vladimir Putin’s ears. He has always wanted to detach Europe from the stifling embrace of America. The Brexit vote has come as a godsend.
One must, however, give credit where it is due. The Brits had always been accused of lacking humor. With May as prime minister, they can finally issue a May Day call as Britannia sinks into the English Channel. History’s perennial troublemakers have finally got a dose of their own medicine.
The world will never be the same again, after Brexit.