Theresa May has closed the annual congress of her party in Birmingham with a message in perfect Dadaist style, saying that the Tories are the party of workers.
Two things hide behind so much creativity: The offboard dumping of the Cameron & Osborne inheritance, privileged boys who played at being liberals and had taken too many steps in crushing the weak; and the void left by the annihilated moderate Labour, causing conservatives to salivate.
So leave out all the comparisons with Thatcher: May is compassionate, she has in her heart the petty bourgeoisie who reads the Mail and the Express, but deep down, she does not like the prevalence of the insular narrowness that led to Brexit. Instead, she likes Keynes. She has joined the now deafening chorus of this West that runs in the same spot, those who want the economy to go back to what it was, and complain about the distortions of the Financial Far West. It felt as if Ed Miliband were talking.
As a leader, May was the safest choice for the Tories, especially after the stabbing in the back festival with which the party inaugurated the post-Cameron/post-Brexit era. Her performance at the Ministry of the Interior has been praised; her media modesty has been singled out as a model.
What is certain is that until now, she has not been able to create a roadmap to face the painful farewell, apart from delivering to the Brexit crowd, apparently hungry for self-determination and sovereignty (but actually frightened and made wicked by the Other embodied by migrants) a date for the countdown of the infamous Article 50, which in two years (the end of March 2017) should kick the country permanently out of the European Union.
“It is time to remember that the government can do good and be a force for change. The Tories are at the center, we are the party of the working class,” May said.
But it doesn’t matter.
After all, nobody has a clue how to proceed, and that includes the unlikely trio she designated to manage this transition of unimaginable complexity and duration: two ultra right-wing party members (David Davis and Liam Fox) plus the ineffable Boris Johnson. For the latter — who, despite having recalled to order his naughty hair, wore a serious face and put an end to the clownish photographs in a daunting effort to earn respectability — it is reasonable to expect nothing else than the entertainment policy he is a master of.
For this, after having essentially sidestepped the question, she repeated now for the millionth time “Brexit is Brexit is Brexit.” She even said that the negotiations will not be made public (to prevent providing to the opposition any levers that may adversely affect the national interest). May has launched at a gallop in the vast prairies of the center, totems and taboos of each majority and opposition in this liberal-democratic night where all cows are now, if not black, at least alike.
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