In Defence Of Teresa May

This is not to mean that I do not find many of the policies of the present government wrong or that I somehow feel sorry for her. However, I do not think it is useful to hurl a string of personal abuse at her – that she is depraved, evil, stupid, emotionally deprived, bordering on clinical madness, that her hat is weird and her face even weirder (these comments taken from recent comments appearing on my Facebook timeline). This does not mean that I think the occasional bit of irreverence is wrong – particularly to those in authority – but it is unhelpful in political discourse.

First of all a little aside about how I read the news. I do not follow every story in detail but will occasionally delve into a topic a bit more deeply. I have done this recently about the news reports about knife crime – I might write a post about this at some point.

I do not think it is useful to describe people who commit knife crime as depraved, evil, stupid, emotionally deprived, bordering on clinical madness or that their face is weird. It is a serious problem with underlying structural social causes which needs to be addressed. This does not mean that I am making excuses for them or that I somehow feel sorry for them.

Although there are obvious differences between someone who is likely to have had a very disadvantaged childhood, likely to have been in care and excluded from school compared to someone who has had a more privileged upbringing and had the luck to be more ‘successful’ they can both cause problems for the stability and well being for society as a whole.

If we try to build a better society where we have to rely on the intelligence and moral purity of our ‘leaders’ then we are doomed to failure.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Upton Sinclair

It is not necessarily true that people such as Teresa May choose to ignore the plight of others, but rather they do not see it or they blame them for being lazy, stupid, depraved or evil.

I do think there is a problem with the type of people who are lauded in our society – particularly by those people in power and authority who naturally like people similar to themselves – the successful psychopath1. I shall not go into this any further here but will hopefully return to this topic in a later post.

Margaret Thatcher: Over Rated And Over Hated

I know many people are enraged at what she did to the country. However, again I think placing all the blame on one individual misses out on a lot of important factors about what drives the evolution of our economy and society. Her policies were not out of the blue and it is not a coincidence that Ronald Reagan implemented similar changes at the same time.

The drive for privatisation of industry started in Britain under the Callaghan government with the privatisation of BP in 1977. Although this was under pressure from the IMF it is an indication of the significant changes that were being made to the economy and society not just in the UK, not just by the evil Tories but across the world by political parties and institutions of all colours.

Although I do not agree totally with Mark Blyth I think his approach is more useful than just demonising ‘evil Thatcher’:

Tony Blair: War Criminal

Mention the Iraq war and people will immediately mention Tony Blair. While I am of the opinion that there would be some merit to him being charged with war crimes it seems unlikely2.

A more important issue is that in theory we live in a democracy and there was a failure by our representatives in parliament to weigh up and investigate the information that led up to the war in Iraq in 2003. Yet many of those politicians who failed so dismally to uphold international law, not put our armed forces in harms way needlessly and ensure the safety of the people of the United Kingdom are still sitting in parliament and hold positions of power.

The media on the whole also failed to investigate the claims made in the lead up to war and yet those journalists and presenters are still in their jobs and their failure is never mentioned.

The politicians and the media failed us yet again with Libya and Syria.

Jeremy Corbyn

I am not a Jeremy Corbyn supporter partly because I do look for great leaders to save us. In fact even if there is a general election and Corbyn wins, many of his supporters would be disappointed3. This does not mean that I would not prefer a Labour government to a Tory government since I think that their policies are better. However, I do not think voting in a new leadership changes the underlying problems in society.

Corbyn has been the target of many personal attacks in the media – ‘he is an idiot’, ‘he is weak’ or ‘he makes jam’. They are because of the policies that he puts forward.

If you think I have not put any ‘alternative’ forward and that this post is negative then you have missed the point of it – go beyond the name calling and personal attacks and lets look at what are the factors that lay beyond the individuals in the news.


1 Psychopath. Successful Psychopath., HuffPost, 2015 (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/wray-herbert/psychopath-successful-psy_b_6955072.html)

2 R v Jones, House of Lords [2006] UKHL 16 (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldjudgmt/jd060329/jones-1.htm)

3 Although I wrote about the Green Party my comments also apply to Labour Election Debate – Is There A Green Alternative

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