Theresa May has a new hobby. And who can blame her; maybe her dancing is a good distraction from her terrible politics.
She was a woeful Foreign Secretary. Windrush- need we say more? Austerity. NHS and education cuts. Strong and Stable, whatever that meant; her current government is anything but. And let’s not forget the beautiful friendship she has formed with our friend over the Atlantic Mr. Trump.
May has long been accused of being completely emotionally stunted, even recently nicknamed the Maybot. Take Grenfell, for example; the following day after the horrific event where 72 died and hundreds were left homeless, May failed to offer her condolences in person. She failed to go to the building, hug the survivors, and grieve with them on a humane level. In comparison, Corbyn, for all his faults was at the site the very next day, comforting survivors and angrily demanding justice for the victims.
I’ve been following her Brexit catastrophe from Chile in disbelief. Students and other people ask me ‘what the hell is going on in your country?’ Europeans laugh and roll their eyes. Stupid Brits. My Irish housemate said with a cheerful smile ‘you’ve really fucked it this time, haven’t you?’
And so we come to the dancing. Her recent visit to South Africa to salvage some kind of future trade included such a painful attempt at appearing human that she succumbed to some weird robotic arm movement to endear herself to the people.
What made it worse, the following day she repeated herself! Clearly she did not think we had already suffered enough. And yet again we were forced to watch with some kind of terror-stricken fascination more awkward jerks of her body (I can hardly bring myself to call it dancing). It was like a horror film; you want more than anything to look away, but what you are witnessing is so horrific you are compelled to keep watching, open mouthed and horror struck.
When she came onto the stage at the Tory Party Conference last week to Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’, that was the final straw. Who is her PR advisor? Is Boris secretly paying him/her to sabotage and humiliate May even further? Does she not realise that she is a politician in the 21st Century, and therefore every ridiculous action will be made into a meme? Remember poor Red Ed and the bacon sandwich? A musical masterpiece, now forever tainted by the image of May’s fixed and mechanical smile and dark eyes which said loud and clear: ‘I did not sign up for this bullshit when I got into politics.’ Even Meryl Streep treated Abba with more respect than that.
When she finally, finally stopped throwing her hands into the air after 90 torturous seconds and made a joke about her coughing fit last year and the falling letters, I suddenly felt sorry for her. One thing is clear; she is trying desperately hard to appear human. Trying to laugh at the many PR gaffs she has made this year, which the unforgiving internet has not allowed her to forget. Appearing human, which for some politicians such as Obama, Trudeau (and I hate to say it but also Boris) is as easy as breathing, is something that has eluded May from the beginning. Her weak attempt at poking fun of herself was cringeworthy, and I pitied this painfully awkward, robotic person who has been tasked with the impossible.
But for all her faults, lack of charisma, weak leadership and not to mention terrible dancing, I would take Theresa May over the personable yet dangerously ambitious Boris Johnson any day of the week. May’s Chequers plan may be far from perfect. But Johnson, along with many hardcore Brexiteers who claim that ‘the people did not vote for Chequers’ appear to have forgotten the crucial statistic that 48% of people voted to remain. Let’s say that even 20% of people who voted for Brexit wanted a soft Brexit. That makes a significant proportion of the country who oppose the hard Brexit that extremists such as Johnson, the bumbling idiot Jacob Rees-Mogg and everyone’s favourite Kermit look-a-like Nigel Farage are supporting. Why are they not realizing that? The phrases ‘compromise’ and ‘middle ground’ do not appear to be in their vocabulary.
I myself, like most people my age do not want Brexit. Like most people of my age I think that it is a shameful and embarrassing tragedy being played out on the world stage. A black comedy perhaps, with Johnson taking on the part of the manipulative villain and May the weak- willed sidekick.
But unfortunately, this comedy (or tragedy) will have an ending. Brexit will happen. And if it is a choice between May’s Chequers which proposes keeping Britain closely tied to Brussels with free movement of goods, Johnson’s terrifying vision of an isolationist hard Brexit, or even no deal at all whatever that may entail, I would choose the nation’s new Dancing Queen.
At the moment it looks unlikely that any deal will be agreed before March 2019. France have said today that ‘no deal is better than Chequers’, and indeed, May’s plan was rejected in Salzburg last week by EU representatives. Johnson is even more deluded than first thought if he thinks that they will agree to anything more radical, the likes of which he is proposing.
One thing is clear; Theresa May cannot dance, she cannot jive, and she most certainly is not having the time of her life.