, 16 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
“Impassive Aggressive”.

If that’s a thing, I think it is a fitting description of Theresa May.

Some thoughts on why, for all the spectacle of being a lone figure battling on all sides, May does not deserve a nation’s sympathy. /1
All throughout this process, and Brexit is very a much a process (to which I will return), there have been a series of choices. At each turn, May has made very poor choices.

It is those choices which have led us to the precipice on which we sit as a nation today. /2
Of those choices, to my mind, it is the failure of transparency which has had the most serious ramifications.

Indeed, it can’t even be described as a failure of transparency.

It was a conscious choice in May’s part to keep reality cloaked in darkness during her premiership. /3
She has brought to her governance of the country her method of governance of the Home Office.

Inscrutable, surrounded by a tight circle of advisers, determined to appeal everything no matter how wrong she is in law and fact (ask immigration lawyers about that). /4
May is the architect of the Hostile Environment, which would never have been uncovered if it were not for reporters like @ameliagentleman.

May has managed to bring And foster that Hostile Environment to the whole country, with her management, control and direction of Brexit.

She started it with citizens of nowhere & underlined it with queue-jumpers.

In an era of “enemies of the people” & “traitors” & “betrayals”, she wasn’t a strong leader who clamped down on the braying, but instead fostered a narrative that Brexit would be betrayed.

May’s betrayal narrative was behind the general election.

It was behind the bitterness of what should have been legal, technical debates about the Withdrawal Bill.

And it was in every mouthful of that authoritarian “will of the people”. /7
May isn’t a unifier. She has sought aggressively to block, ignore and chastise almost half the country’s vote in the referendum by refusing to acknowledge it.

She has blocked proper debate by resorting to embarrassing cliches which now finally knock her down. /8
There was another way to try Brexit.

It requires transparency from beginning to end.

That meant levelling with the people about the trade-offs involved.

Publishing, not blocking, impact assessments.

Publishing honest economic assessments, not last minute spinning.
It meant consultation.

With devolved governments, cross-party, with business, with lawyers and judges, with the arts and sciences, with academia.

With the @The3Million @BritishInEurope and all those dramatically affected by the choices.

She chose to ignore them.

It meant recognising & acknowledging that Brexit was a monumental process.

One in which the clock shouldn’t be set off until the outcome of that process was settled at least from the domestic side.

May treated Brexit as a parade instead of a process.
So May settled on the parade of Brexit instead of the process.

She blocked transparent discussion of that process with talk of red, white and blue Brexit, Brexit festivals, blue passports, dramatic signings of the Withdrawal Act.

She wasted time waving flags. /11
She used pitiful propaganda to paper the cracks, crevices and ravines of Brexit.

And now those are all there in front of her, and us.

She can’t pretend not to see them any more.

And still she tries. Apparently blind to what everyone else can see.
So she delays a vote before Parliament.

She stands there obstinately refusing to budge.

Still citing the will of the people.

Still angry with EU politicians for pointing out the blinding obvious.

Still placating her extremists with what she knows is nonsense.
She does it knowing she is running down the clock, pushing us closer to a distastrous No Deal which she spent 2 years pretending was a real option.

She does this to satisfy a lunatic ideological fringe in her party instead of firmly placing the national interest first.

May’s long list of pretences has wasted time, further divided the country & now threatens to push us over the cliff edge.

She has done it by covering her eyes, blocking her ears & speaking things unworthy of a democratic Prime Minister.

Impassive aggressive?
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