The era of Theresa May is over: It was much longer than it appeared and the devastating, irreversible harm she did her country during the past nearly three years as national political leader was just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
May’s entire public career bring to mind the title of Czech-born French writer Milan Kundera’s much loved 1984 novel, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”
In truth, May is the opposite of the central characters in Kundera’s novel who find purpose, depth and an inspiring light in life through abandoning the superficial distractions of action, vanity or power in a great urban metropolis.
May in her political career, rather, never deviated from doggedly pursuing precisely those goals, even though she showed no talent, energy, success, moral passion or even pleasure in glumly trudging through whatever public position was required of her at any time. Her own lightness of being does indeed appear to have been unbearable.
Nine years of bungled, passive mediocrity is finally coming to an end. It started with May’s unending depressing trudge as home secretary (Britain’s interior minister) when she relentless cut police numbers and presided over the feminization, bureaucratic paralysis and slashed budgets of the country’s police forces. She thereby unraveled the basic Social Contract that had kept Britain relatively safe, pleasant and civilized for centuries. That has ended. Even without the insane American proliferation of guns, London is now far more unsafe than New York, with even its murder rate exceeding American metropolises.
May resigned in the end because she had failed yet again to convince her own Conservative Party – another victim of her unrelenting ineptitude – to rally behind any coherent or sensible policy to either execute Brexit – the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union – or to act decisively to reverse this uniquely stupid and suicidal policy.
The private, supposedly “real” Theresa May could yet turn out to be witty, scathing, skeptical or charismatic when the inevitable exculpatory memoirs are written by her inner circle. However, this does seem extremely unlikely. Revealingly, she only chose lieutenants as mediocre, crass, dim and inept as she always was herself.
May does however, like the worse Roman emperors deserve to be a subject of endless fascination for historians and students of popular history for centuries and millennia to come. Her fascination will come not from any positive qualities or negative vices but from her astonishing lack of both.
May did not create but inherited the Brexit decision after her predecessor David Cameron recklessly approved the referendum vote on staying in the European Union (EU) or leaving it. But over the past three years she has completely failed to repair any of the damage she inherited. At every stage she made a bad situation worse. She lacked every requisite for any competent national leader. She could not inspire ether love or fear. She could not even generate hatred – at most a weary, universal contempt.
As home secretary and then as prime minster, May at every point did the bidding of Britain’s ever more powerful Security Deep State. She never for a moment questioned the public line demonizing Russia when a former Russian defector was poisoned in Salisbury with a bizarre biological agent.
We now know that on her watch as home secretary and prime minister, Christopher Steele, one of the foremost officials in the SIS Secret Intelligence Service or MI-6 for many years, put together for Fusion GPS, then acting for the Hillary Clinton campaign the notorious Trump Dossier about the future president’s alleged compromising behavior in Russia, which has never received any independent confirmation whatsoever for any of its lurid assertions.