The net result is that May thinks she has torn up the basis on which almost all our international relations are defined; has threatened to change the entire cost structure of our economy; has utterly changed our rights to travel and reside elsewhere; has threatened the residence of three million people living peaceably in this country and that of maybe two million more living in the EU; has threatened economic warfare; and has done all this without three things.
The first is a mandate: the referendum clearly did not sanction these actions as they were not referred to.
Err, the referendum very definitely discussed whether or not we should leave the EU. And freedom of movement was most certainly mentioned, as was membership or not of the single market and so on.
The second is authority: she is herself unelected.
Going back, umm, which PMs got into office in roughly the manner that May did? You know, leave aside that we don’t actually elect them directly wanyway, let’s at least say people who weren’t running their respective party at the time of the previous election?
I’ve got May, Brown, Major, Callaghan, Hume, Macmillan, Eden and Churchill in 1940. Which is a majority of PMs since then, no, we can only add Cameron, Blair, Thatcher, Heath, Wilson and Attlee.
So, it would appear that a British PM becoming so by not leading a party triumphantly at a General Election (what I take the Spud to mean by “elected”) in in fact the modal manner of becoming PM.
And before that Chamberlain, Baldwin (first time), MacDonald (first time), Bonar Law, Lloyd George, Asquith, Balfour……and before that we get to PMs in the Lords n’stuff.
So, even in the sense that Ritchie means PMs aren’t elected.
That political in his title is looking a bit odd, no?
The third is any apparent idea as to the consequences, none of which she appears to have reasonably anticipated, let alone explained or costed.
But aren’t we supposed to be ruled by Curajus politicians who just tell us all what to do?
What has happened then? It would quite reasonably seem that a government without a mandate has taken power without the necessary authority to do so and is using that power to ensure that the politics, economy and constitution of the state are to be irrevocably (it hopes) changed. I can’t quite call that a coup, but it is about as close to one as it gets. If that gives rise to a backlash in the future when the consequences become even more apparent I really would not be surprised. Treating much of the country with the contempt that so much of her language revealed yesterday is not a basis for political stability.
And that worries me almost as much as the near coup itself.
Hmm. Maybe that international lithium shortage has found a victim?