Theresa May's Well-Deserved Defeat, and the UK's Uncertain Future
For Irish-Americans, this is yet another Death of Little Nell moment. Theresa May's foolish gambit in calling a snap election in order to facilitate Britain's withdrawal from the EU has set in motion a chain of events that could well lead to the dissolution of the "United Kingdom" and the devolution of the Celtic countries -- Scotland, all of Ireland, and perhaps Wales and Cornwall as well -- from the British crown.
The prime minister's decision to try to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party of "Northern Ireland" and the Tories' unexpected boost from the Scottish National Party (which saved them from utter defeat) will ultimately spell doom for the Great Britain the world has known since the Republic of Ireland declared its independence from the Crown in 1916 and won it by force of arms in 1921.
At City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels) has some observations on the disaster:
Theresa May has proved an apt pupil of the David Cameron school of political incompetence. Lacking principle, she is not even good at being unprincipled: a Machiavellian, it turns out, minus the cunning.
It did not help that she had the charisma of a carrot and the sparkle of a spade. As she presented herself to the public, no one would have wanted her as a dinner guest, except under the deepest social obligation. Technically, she won the election, in the sense that she received more votes than anyone else, but few voted for her with enthusiasm rather than from fear of the alternative. Her disastrous campaign included repeated genuflections in the direction of social democracy. Even after her defeat, moral if not quite literal, she burbled about a society in which no one was left behind—never mind that it would entail a society in which no one would be out in front, that is to say, a society resting in the stagnant pool of its own mediocrity.
Unfortunately, egalitarianism is a little like Islam in that, just as a moderate Muslim can always be outflanked by someone more Islamic than he, so an egalitarian can usually be outflanked by someone more egalitarian than he: and in the contest between the Conservatives and the Labour Party, no one will ever believe that the Conservatives are more devoted to equality of outcome than the Labour Party. May therefore chose her battleground with a perfect eye for defeat.
And defeat she got. Yet another childless leader of an increasingly barren European country, May -- whose prime ministership was an accident of Cameron's defeat in the Brexit referendum (she's the Gerald Ford of England) -- is scrambling to save her current mailing address at 10 Downing Street by allying with the Democratic Unionist Party in Belfast.
The Democratic Unionist Party have agreed in principle a "confidence and supply" deal to support a Conservative government, it has been announced. Theresa May was left eight seats short of an overall majority in the general election, while the DUP won 10 seats.
Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson went to Belfast on Saturday for talks with the Northern Irish party. Downing Street said the details of the outline deal would be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Monday. Any agreement would come into force when Parliament returns next week.
A "confidence and supply" deal is not a full coalition, but an agreement which sees the smaller party support the larger one in key votes such as the budget. A No 10 spokesman said: "We welcome this commitment, which can provide the stability and certainty the whole country requires as we embark on Brexit and beyond."
May must now turn to a handful of Unionists in England's last major colony to save her bacon; meanwhile the Scots viewed the election as setting up yet another bite at the independence apple. So "beyond" seems a bit optimistic:
There was no mention of what concessions the DUP may have asked for, amid growing concern about the influence of a party opposed to abortion and gay marriage, and which has proved hugely controversial in the past over the homophobic and sectarian views of some of its representatives.
May earlier on Saturday lost her two closest aides as she struggled to reassert her leadership after a crushing election setback.
The Conservative leader has been warned that her days are numbered after calling Thursday's vote three years early, only to lose her majority in parliament. Senior party figures have cautioned against any immediate leadership challenge, saying it would cause only further disruption as Britain prepares to start Brexit negotiations as early as June 19.
But media reports suggest they had demanded the departure of May's joint chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, as the price for allowing the 60-year-old vicar's daughter to stay in office.
May put on a brave face after Thursday's vote, expressing sorrow for the MPs who lost their seats but refusing to acknowledge how her election gamble backfired. "From hubris to humiliation," said the left-leaning Guardian. "May stares into the abyss," wrote The Times, while the Conservative-supporting Sun tabloid said succinctly: "She's had her chips."
As Great Britain dies, mostly thanks to the deliberate suicide of the Labour Party, it's the Tories who are going to suffer. What England needed in the weak Cameron's wake was a decisive leader who would reverse the effects (insofar as possible) of Labour's gambit to boost its electorate via immigration, and to start a serious crackdown on the hordes of foreign Muslims who are already fundamentally changing the nature of the British state. Unable to stand up to bogus charges of "racism," the Tories capitulated in principle, and got two attacks in London and the massacre in Manchester in return.
No wonder they lost. Spinelessness is not an attractive character trait in anyone, much less a putative leader. What Mrs. May just discovered -- and what we all should learn -- is that the days of managing cultural decline via the administrative and the police state are over. At this point, it's either fight back, defend your patrimony, or die.
Americans made that choice in November, and yet the pushback from the Deep State and the Democrats remains ferocious. Absent the return of St. George, it's hard to see how the UK comes out of this alive.