by Rab Bruce’s Spider

Theresa May is a remarkable politician. Yesterday, on the day that the Power-Sharing Agreement in Northern Ireland was collapsing, it was quite remarkable that she chose to ignore the Province and visit Scotland instead. There, she gave a speech in which she mentioned Unity several times but, remarkably, failed to mention Northern Ireland’s lack of unity at all. The citizens of Northern Ireland and Scotland are perhaps justified in wondering why she made this remarkable decision. It couldn’t have anything to do with the relative wealth of the two constituent parts of the UK and which one she is more desperate to hold onto, could it?

As for the rest of her speech, this was also remarkable. Standing in front of a sign proclaiming a Plan for Britain, she conspicuously failed to articulate any actual policies which might help deliver her vision of a United UK. Instead, all we got was a lot of spin and empty rhetoric which was applauded by her audience of civil servants because, allegedly, they had been ordered to applaud her. She then walked off without answering any questions. Not that there were any journalists there to ask questions, since they were kept outside.

As for the little she did say, there were a few remarkable comments.

According to May, the UK is a force for good, working for everyone. It is probably fair to say that there are a great many residents (or former residents) of places like Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya who might disagree with her assessment.

She also told us that the UK is a kind and caring country which never turns its back on people in need. This is another remarkable claim which would probably be disputed by a wide range of people, including refugees from the countries listed above, as well as by anyone who has been sanctioned for being a few seconds late for an interview at their Job Centre.

Then, as if rounding off a series of remarkable statements, she informed us that the UK is an unstoppable force. That’s quite belligerent language, since it implies that anyone trying to stop us will be overpowered, but let’s be generous and point out that she was, in fact, referring to a leading scientific research project being undertaken at the University of Glasgow, seeking to combat the Zika virus. To be fair, it would be wonderful if the UK proved unstoppable in that sort of research. What was remarkable about her comment, though, was that she, or whoever does her research for her, failed to mention that the research is largely funded, not by the UK Government, but by the EU. As an example of how a post-Brexit UK can be a force for good, it was a remarkably bad choice.

And, at the end of it all, what did we learn? Well, we now know Brexit means Brexit, it will be a Red, White and Blue Brexit, that Now Is Not The Time, and that the UK is an Unstoppable Force which will be more united after Brexit. If anyone can decipher that and put into the context of some actual policies, that would be an even more remarkable accomplishment than May’s ability to speak for ten minutes without saying anything of any value.