In Defence of Theresa May

Theresa May perhaps isn’t the most popular Prime Minister in living memory, but for all you who perhaps don’t prefer controversial politicians – she is a much better, moderate Prime Minister than most of her Tory political opponents would be.

If she were to be ousted by her own MPs, who would be likely to replace her?

The current No.1 contender is Jacob Rees-Mogg, an aristocrat who openly opposes abortions (including cases of rape). He also openly opposes same-sex marriage. He even called the rise of food bank usage as “rather uplifting” – though it was in the spirit of charity, his defence higher usage of food banks due to austerity might counter his christian beliefs, pushing aside the controversy of those comments. Theresa May may have opposed same-sex marriage and gay adoption before, but later publicly changed her mind on those issues, including on an episode of Question Time (20th May 2010). She never openly stated opposing abortions and her comments on food banks haven’t been as controversial as Rees-Mogg. If you could only vote for Theresa May or Jacob Rees-Mogg, would you really go for the latter?

The other contender is Boris Johnson, the man who despite has had many gaffes, remains popular. All we’ll say about him is, would you rather someone with a dull image represent you – or a man perceived to be a clown? In defence of Boris, he does come across as socially progressive and has received harsh treatment from his party such as for his private love affairs, or the fact he voted against the war in Libya despite his unfortunate words about clearing up the dead bodies, but many people would have a problem with Boris representing the United Kingdom on the world stage – most people don’t seem to mind Theresa May, even if she always seems alone when she goes to drinks or diners with European dignitaries.

Even the past contenders during the last leadership race didn’t seem a better option. If Corbyn was going to take the nation back to the 70s, Andrea Leadsom would have taken the nation back to the 80s with her rather right-wing Thatcherite image. Michael Gove became more unpopular than Boris by backstabbing him (he was already very unpopular as the former Education Minister). The other potential contender, Stephen Crabb, messed it up with his uncomfortable former association with a Christian group that opposed LGBT rights – though to be fair to him he did make it very clear that he doesn’t….”believe that being gay is a sin. I don’t believe it’s something to be cured. I’ve never said anything like that…” and claimed accusations to the contrary were “a complete falsehood spread by political opponents”; he didn’t come across as a man prepared for office. Theresa May did still seem the more sensible option. With Liam Fox, he has always seemed very, very right-wing, and he isn’t that popular within his own party, and it was his second attempt. He also had uncomfortable views on abortions – Fox is critical of abortion and has called for “huge restriction, if not abolition” on the UK’s “pro-abortion laws” – though these were views from 2001. Once again, Theresa May seemed the more moderate, sensible candidate, most certainly less controversial, less right-wing.

To be clear, we aren’t defending Theresa May’s record as Prime Minister, we’re not defending austerity or her approach on Brexit negotiations – we’re simply reminding you, the general public – be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

by Berk Bektas

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