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Monday, 1 May 2017

Election cast list, No. 2

Strong, definitely. Happy? Hmmm
Theresa May, UK prime minister,  insists  she is strong and stable, the Conservative Party (to which she belongs) is strong and stable, the government she runs is strong and stable, her policies are... well, you get the idea. During one recent speech “strong” appeared 31 times.

In my dictionary “strong” gets 14 different meanings, including “having a pungent or offensive flavour” and “tending towards steady or higher prices”. While “stable” can mean immobile. Just so we all understand our etymologies.

What TM is less strong on is giving straight answers. A BBC interviewer said that nurses in our National Health Service were underpaid and some were having to resort to food banks. To clarify matters TM said, “There are many complex reasons for using food banks.”

An incomplete statement. She might have added, “none of them desirable.”

British government is nominally democratic which means there is a ruling group and an opposition, sometimes called “the loyal opposition”. Perhaps because the rulers are often disloyal (I jest, of course). TM recently whinged that the other lot were seeking to undermine her Brexit policies. Another way of saying that the other lot were meeting their democratic obligation: that is, opposing the government.

TM is right to whinge. In some countries with strong leaders (North Korea comes to mind) governments have been so hampered by their oppositions they’ve been forced to do away with opposition altogether. Makes things far tidier.

TM will not take part in TV debates with other party leaders. It takes a strong prime minister to reject this temptation. One national newspaper which will remain nameless but has rightish tendencies ran the headline “Crush the saboteurs”, their word for opposition. Alas for Theresa May Kim Jong-Un has patented this meaning.


  1. It must be soothing to live in a country where the political discourse is so civil.

  2. MikeM: The threats don't need to be bombastic to be real. Stung by the suggestion that the Brexit foreplay didn't go well, Theresa May (showing how well she's absorbed the principles of good diplomacy) mentioned that one of her Conservative colleagues had described her as "bloody difficult". She added "And the next person to discover this will be Jean-Claude Juncker" (ie, the EU president). Watch TM's mouth - preferably with the sound turned off - as she speaks; it's clearly transplanted from an anaconda.

  3. Somebody mentioned to me seeing an article about how few European leaders have children, wondering if that didn't make a difference. Boomers with no children, deciding the future.