This Mess Theresa May

In the light of the humiliated Theresa May being forced to ‘tear up her manifesto’, this cartoon a month ago in the Times seems strangely prophetic.

I’m also discovering that my own words exactly a month ago - written in response to an invitation from the Mirror, but, strangely, not published until the eve of Election day - were prophetic too. The day after Theresa May’s announcement (carefully planned) that she would bring back blood sports, I wrote …

"The public backlash that I saw following this announcement convinced me that the country might just be ready to send Theresa May packing the same way they had pushed David Cameron out of the door, in recompense for his very similar vaunting arrogance in the Brexit Referendum. Now that the blinkers are off, we see Theresa May in her full glory – a ruthless insatiably ambitious woman with not a shred of compassion for man or beast.”

And so it proved to be … against all the expectations, because at that point the opinion polls were still giving the Tories a massive 20 point lead, and predicting a ‘landslide’ ! Mrs May eventually secured possibly the hollowest victory of all time, and although she still limps on in number 10, blithely pretending nothing’s changed, her ticket to the same place Cameron was banished to (Planet Ignominy) … is already written.

The latest carefully rehearsed heroic speech from Mrs May goes something like “Well, I got us into this mess, and I am the best person to get us out”. I’m looking for another cartoon, from a couple of weeks ago which also rings those bells … it showed Theresa May driving a bus full of people off the edge of a cliff. All it needs is a new caption:

“I’m the best one to save us … trust me ? !”  Yep, Theresa, sure we trust you.


(Original caption) “Who else wants a shot??” – 18 April 2017 – Theresa May calls a snap election
before the reality or ramifications of Brexit become manifest - by Seb Charrot

Various people have been tweeting their reactions to the astounding poll result, but lots of people have been asking me "What is the result of the election from an animal welfare point of view?” Well, we all know that there will never be real progress towards decent treatment for all creatures while the ‘Old Style Toxic Tories' are still in Government. We would need either a new-style enlightened Conservative regime (which just might happen) or a Labour government, or a House packed with MPs with empathy.

That didn’t quite happen this time. But it’s no longer an impossible dream. We saw a significant change in the way people voted this time, many free at last from the influence of the disgustingly mendacious and poisonous Right Wing Press. And though, as many have commented, both major parties claimed victory, we at Common Decency are convinced that the victory was OURS ! What we have, at least in this interim period, is a House of Commons which is delicately balanced - no one person or party having absolute power. Every decision will have to be honestly debated, and the votes will turn on who has been convinced by logical argument. It will be incredibly difficult for any extreme and damaging bill to get through. In particular, with a Parliament containing over 400 MPs who are against the return of blood sports (rightly, since they now reflect more closely the will of the public) the chances of Theresa May bringing in a bill to smash the Hunting Act must be less than an asteroid hitting the Houses of Parliament. Her promise to do that is effectively torn up along with the rest of the Theresa’s now obsolete manifesto. As regards Badgers, things are moving in the field. We’re all very excited about an experimental project in Devon masterminded by vet Dick Sibley, a man already with a track record of conquering disease in farming. It’s not yet verified science, but it certainly looks as if he has solved the Bovine TB problem in cattle - without killing a single badger or other wild animal. His work was temporarily paused while DEFRA sorted out the legality of his enhanced testing regime, but he certainly has made ONE farmer very happy, enjoying his TB-free status, and convinced that this is the way forward. In Wales, Christianne Glossop (although at present, against the advice of most experts, headed towards doing some small-scale culling), is taking the bold step of applying this technique to a selection of problem farms.

The significance of this is that, from the perspective of those involved with the bovine TB problem, it may not matter which party is in power in the future. If a true solution can be found which doesn't necessitate the death of either cattle or badgers … a solution which actually WORKS … then suddenly we are all friends. And the polarisation of the parties will no longer exist. Jeremy Corbyn has promised to halt the badger cull anyway, and obviously we would welcome that, but, in the long term, a SOLUTION rather than a DECISION is what Britain needs.

So we have gone a long way towards our vision of a Parliament working on Common Decency rather than party lines, and I thank all of you who supported the idea. By the time we get to the next election, we promise to be better prepared, and more noisy in promoting Common Decency. And maybe in the NEXT parliament, some real progress can be made in making Britain a fairer place for all creatures, human and non-human alike.

Oh – by the way, if people show you that mocking face, and ask “So you really expect people to vote according to whether a candidate wants to kill foxes or not ?” Just remind them that fox hunting is a wonderful piece of litmus paper, to indicate whether a person has empathy or not. If the answer is no, there is no chance of getting this person on side in campaigns to give the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged a fair deal. A DECENT MP works on creating a decent life for ALL his constituents, whether or not they have a voice, or a vote.

Onwards !!

Bri

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