Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Mrs May’s Machiavellian Moves (11) – choices

19 November 2018


I’m impressed by Mrs May’s Machiavellian Moves. She knows she has a job that nobody wants – yet. This will change almost immediately after the “ratification of the withdrawal agreement by the UK Parliament and the European Parliament” (BBC). Then several people will be desperate to reap the fruits of her labour.

Mrs May has offered UK Parliament a simple choice: “The choice is clear. We can choose to leave with no deal, we can risk no Brexit at all, or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated.” (NYT). Essentially, this means “my deal, no deal or no Brexit” (Qz).

Many articles claim that her position has become even more fragile. I disagree. Her position has – most likely – strengthened as she was able to reach a deal with the EU despite Conservative and DUP efforts to make her fail. Several English newspapers, which are usually against her, have already expressed admiration for Mrs May’s perseverance (eg, Daily Mailthe Sun).

I think, feel and believe that recent Conservative Brexiteer efforts to topple Mrs May’s leadership are doomed to fail. The reason is simple: there is no majority support whatsoever for a “no deal” or “no Brexit” in UK Parliament. Only Mrs May’s Brexit deal has a majority chance.

Labour’s position on Brexit is far from clear. On the one side, Labour refuses to support Mrs May’s Brexit deal because Labour could make a better Brexit deal. On the other side, it keeps open the option to “stop Brexit“. In the words of Mrs May, “Labour is playing politics [while she] delivers“.

Indeed it seems that Mr Corbyn is only interested in toppling Mrs May and in new general elections, while having no (clear) Brexit strategy for Labour and/or himself. 

Although I’m not a supporter of any Labour party, the UK might benefit from a Labour government. A reason for my view is the November 2018 report of the United Nations on poverty in Britain (eg, Guardian). UK poverty was already painfully clear during my 1998 UK road trip.

Furthermore, the Conservative party’s Brexit plans have ignored the interests of international businesses in the UK, which the Conservative party is supposed to represent. Labour’s “Inclusive Ownership Fund” might even cause less harm to businesses than Brexit will.

I admire Theresa May for making the (very) best out of a (very) bad situation. Her Rowan Atkinson-like clumsiness (eg, Mr Bean, Johnny English) was/is probably one of her key strengths, apart from her perseverance. Consequently, most people have underestimated her. Unfortunately, it may make decades before her achievements will be understood and appreciated. 

Safe From Harm (1991) by Massive Attack

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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