Despite her long speech today, in which she did mention the word ‘tolerance’ at least once, most of the emphasis was on appeasing those who blame immigrants for everything. In fact, May’s main point revolved around Freedom of Movement effectively being cited as the reason for the referendum ‘s result to Leave the EU.
I agree. It was the main reason, although many I have spoken with on Twitter have assured me otherwise: ‘I own a business’, or ‘I am a economic theorist’ or some other reason. The thing is, either Theresa May doesn’t believe you, or you were accidentally hood-w8nked into believing that for most Leave voters, the referendum in June was really about hatred and selfishness rather than purity of an economic type.
Today, May tried to convince us of many things, some of which she clearly didn’t believe herself (head down, minimal eye contact) but she did not attempt to convince those filled with racism and hatred that they should instead unify towards their cousins. Instead, it is the cousins and those who voted for tolerance who should unify and stop arguing with the elite.
And the reason? Simple: May clearly needs the racist vote. She needs it to provide her party with seats and to provide herself with a mandate to do the things the right-wingers tell her to do. But anyone looking at her during the speech today could tell she was flustered. She was not comfortable (well, who would be), but there were times when she seemed terrified. She also needed a spruce after seemingly coming out of hiding from a nearby bush. Surely someone in the cabinet must have had access to a hairbrush (don’t ask Boris), or perhaps May was just emphasising that if she could manage not having access to things she needed, then so could we little people.
So what made her uncomfortable? I think the racism and the change to UKIP-style rhetoric bothers her. I think this is a chink in her sub-standard Iron Lady outfits, and I think her continuing and undaunting inability to denounce the racism and hatred which has been prevalent since the June referendum will be her downfall.
May has been hiding in that bush for 7 months, and all she has to show for it is a speech full of platitudes to Brexiteers and aneven more crumpled demeanour than she had before.
It’s just a matter of time.