As Theresa May Becomes Prime Minister, A Look Back at Her Authoritarianism, Islamophobia and Harshness on Immigration

14.7.16

Theresa May, Britain's new Prime Minister, making her first speech as PM. I slightly edited the banner behind her.First off, it says little for democracy that, after the biggest constitutional crisis in most of our lifetimes (the result of the EU referendum, which may take years to resolve), the Conservative Party has responded by having just 199 MPs anoint a new leader to run the country after David Cameron, aging 20 years overnight, bumbled off into the sunset of a poisoned legacy.

Cameron, it is assumed, will forever be known as the worst Prime Minister since Neville Chamberlain (or Anthony Eden), a so-called leader who, because he was too cowardly to face down critics who were even more right-wing than him — in his own party, and in UKIP — called a referendum that he was then too arrogant to believe he could lose. I was fearful at the time Cameron announced the referendum, in January 2013, that it could all go horribly wrong, and on the morning of June 24 my fears were confirmed as 17 million voters — a weird mix of political vandals, racists, xenophobes, left-wing idealists and the ill-informed — voted for us to leave the EU.

Cameron left his mess for others to clear up, and within days most of those who had run with his idiocy and had campaigned to get us out of Europe fell too. Nigel Farage announced that he was standing down as UKIP leader, hopefully doing us all a favour by, as a result, diminishing UKIP’s weird reptilian personality cult.

Boris Johnson was next, the Tories’ main cheerleader for Brexit, who was shunned in his leadership hopes by his own party. Astonishingly, he seemed to have crossed a line, being too obviously self-serving and untrustworthy in a field where those two attributes are generally found to be perfectly acceptable. What tainted him forever, I believe, was the revelation that he didn’t actually believe Britain should leave the EU, and only campaigned for it to position himself for a leadership gambit further down the line.

Johnson’s deputy, the peculiar Michael Gove, who had ended up stabbing him in the back after the referendum, was the next casualty, booted out of the leadership contest, and then the brief Brexit challenger to the Tory throne, Andrea Leadsom, was pressurised to withdraw, leaving Theresa May, the home secretary, as the unchallenged new leader, anointed by just 199 people, the 199 Tory MPs who had backed her leadership bid.

Theresa May makes cooing one nation unity noises, and appears to be a decent enough person in that English, Christian-from-the-shires Tory manner that, unfortunately, is generally rather dull and intolerant in reality. As Home Secretary, for an astonishing six years in a job that turns everyone who touches it into an authoritarian nightmare, she was indeed an authoritarian nightmare, and worryingly Islamophobic.

On counter-terrorism, Theresa May became obsessive about sending the cleric Abu Qatada back to Jordan, even though doing so was a breach of the UK’s obligations, under the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on Torture, not to send any foreign national back to a country where they faced the risk of torture. I wrote about the case in April 2012, in an article entitled, If Abu Qatada is Guilty of Crimes, Why Not Prosecute Him in the UK?, and again in September 2014, in Abu Qatada’s Release in Jordan Discredits Tory Hysteria About the Need to Dismiss Human Rights Law.

Theresa May was also horribly enthusiastic about extraditing five men to the US on terrorism charges, including Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, who were both accused of running a website that promoted violent jihad, and who were both, eventually, released back to the UK. She ended up bragging inappropriately about the men’s extradition at the Conservative Party Conference in October 2012, and also made a point of stopping the extradition of Gary McKinnon, a white man with Asperger’s, while celebrating the extradition of Talha Ahsan, a Muslim with Asperger’s. In an article for Al-Jazeera in July 2014, I noted:

In July 2004 and December 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service declared that there was “insufficient evidence” to charge Ahmad with any criminal offence under UK law, as did Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, in September 2006, and yet neither the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, nor the current Tory-led coalition government, took any interest. Instead, Theresa May, the current home secretary, drew understandable accusations of racism when, having gloated about the successful extradition of Ahmad, Ahsan and three other men in the opening words of her speech at the Conservative Party Conference in October 2012, she then refused to extradite Gary McKinnon, a hacker who also has Asperger’s Syndrome, the week after.

Perhaps most alarmingly, Theresa May also became obsessed with extra-judicially stripping foreign-born British citizens accused of involvement with terrorism of their citizenship, even if it leaves them stateless, as I discussed in March 2014, when I also posted a transcript of a parliamentary debate about the proposals. I followed up in May 2014 with another article, MPs Support Alarming Citizenship-Stripping Measures Introduced by Theresa May, and I still find the main charges against Theresa May, which I wrote about in my March 2014 article, profoundly shocking:

The Bureau [of Investigative Journalism] has established that 41 individuals have been stripped of their British nationality since 2002, and that 37 of these cases have taken place under Theresa May, since the Tory-led coalition government was formed in May 2010, with 27 of these cases being on the grounds that their presence in the UK is “not conducive to the public good.” In December, the Bureau confirmed that, in 2013, Theresa May “removed the citizenship of 20 individuals — more than in every other year of the Coalition government put together.” As the Bureau suggested in February 2013, it appears that, in two cases, the stripping of UK citizenship led to the men in question subsequently being killed by US drone attacks.

Last May, when the Tories managed to win a General Election outright — revealing only how broken our first-past-the-post voting system truly is — I was furious about her enthusiasm for Britain renouncing its human right obligations, which I wrote about in an article entitled, What Does It Say About the Tories That They Want to Scrap Human Rights Legislation? May has recently signalled that she will no longer be seeking to withdraw from our human right obligations, which would require us to withdraw from the Council of Europe, not the EU, but I can see no reason why she should be trusted.

Theresa May also has a harsh track record on accepting refugees. Last September, after the photo of three-year old Ayman Kurdi, drowned on a beach, went viral and generated huge sympathy for the plight of refugees, I noted her hardline approach:

I was already appalled by my government’s disdain for the huge number of refugees leaving Africa and the Middle East — many from countries we have helped to destabilise (Syria and Libya, for example). In May, for example, as the death toll in the Mediterranean reached 1,800 this year, Theresa May, the home secretary, was refusing calls for an EU quota for refugees, and disagreeing with a suggestion by the EU’s High Representative, Federica Mogherini, that “no migrants” intercepted at sea should be “sent back against their will.” The BBC reported that she said, “Such an approach would only act as an increased pull factor across the Mediterranean and encourage more people to put their lives at risk.”

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “many of the people coming across the central Mediterranean were not refugees, but economic migrants from places such as Nigeria, Eritrea and Somalia” — an appalling and unfair generalisation, when Eritrea currently has the worst human rights record in the world, and Somalia is a country ravaged by war.

May is also to blame for other horrible draconian gestures — the “go home” vans that she sent around the streets of London, and, with much more impact, her refusal to grant visas to the foreign spouses of UK nationals if the latter do not earn £18,600 a year, which, it should be noted, is more than the national median income for the UK, and roughly the same as the median income in London. I have friends who have been affected by this, and am shocked and appalled that this arbitrary decision that love can only cross national boundaries with a price tag has been allowed to stand, tearing apart tens of thousands of blameless families and causing untold damage to the children affected.

Theresa May also has a track record of being obsessed with snooping and surveillance, and, after the EU referendum, failed to reassure EU nationals living in the UK that they would be able to stay in the country. She soon changed her tune, but I imagine that shameful refusal to support foreign-born workers will continue to haunt those who are persistently feeling alienated since the result was announced.

In a second article to follow soon I’ll examine Theresa May’s new cabinet, which, astonishingly, included the return of Boris Johnson — as foreign secretary! — just 13 days after he ruled himself out of the Tory leadership election. For now, however, I hope this brief re-cap of Theresa May’s history as home secretary will provide something of an antidote to those regarding her as safe pair of hands and allowing misty notions of unity to overshadow the truth of her six years as a dangerous and divisive authoritarian.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

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63 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article, providing a round-up of new Prime Minister Theresa May’s authoritarian and Islamophobic history as home secretary – her pursuit of Abu Qatada, which saw her calling for the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, her insistence on extraditing Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan to the US (but not Gary McKinnon), her enthusiasm for stripping foreign-born British nationals of their citizenship (in two cases, so they could then be killed by US drones), her obsession with snooping and surveillance, and her decision to split up families in which one partner is a foreign national, and the UK partner earns less than £18,600 a year. I believe she is a dangerous person to have leading our country.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Sven Wraight wrote:

    Indeed! A dangerous racist!

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Sven. Yes, I can’t see any other conclusion from a close study of her role as home secretary over the last six years. Very worrying.

  4. David says...

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, David. This is an interesting article by Martin Kettle in the Guardian – ‘A safe pair of hands? Theresa May has taken a massive gamble’: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/14/theresa-may-gamble-boris-johnson-leave-eu-brexit
    I hope to write about the cabinet appointments tomorrow.

  6. Anna says...

    Thanks Andy, I was looking forward – so to speak – to an analysis from you of May’s government.
    Thought Clinton was the summum of smugness, but seeing May’s outright glee which she did not manage to hide during her maiden speech as PM, I realized that she’s just as bad and in addition so ‘charming’ & eloquent that she’s much more dangerous. Labeling Cameron’s reign as socially just (!) and then promising anything in her soothing manner could have fooled me – and no doubt will have fooled scores – had I not known her dreadful record on Muslims, immigration, curtailing civil rights, surveillance, etc.
    Hope you’ll shed some light on the ladies she appointed in crucial fields as education and health.
    As for appointing Jolly Johnson Foreign Minister, that is so weird that one wonders what her motives are. Punishment by world-wide humilation for having played the exit game?
    By collaterally humiliating the whole country? She cannot seriously expect that he of all people will be able to restore Britain’s standing in the world while surely that would be the primary short-term task of any foreign minister?
    Thanks in advance for making some sense out of all this for us!

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Great to hear from you, Anna, and thanks for the kind words, and your perceptive analysis of Theresa May’s maiden speech, designed to send a convincing message of unity even though she is a thoroughly divisive character. She will certainly have fooled many, especially, I suspect, because we are facing a very uncertain future right now in the UK, and people will be quietly desperate to have a strong leader on whom they believe they can rely. Plus we know what the Brits can be like when it comes to strong Tory leaders, don’t we?
    I’ll be having a detailed look at her cabinet appointments soon. I can say, for now, though, that Amber Rudd is a very troubling appointment as home secretary, as she is a council member of the disgusting Islamophobic think-tank, the Henry Jackson Society, who I have crossed swords with (verbally) in the past. Check out: https://ducksoap.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/henry-jackson-society/
    and http://5pillarsuk.com/2016/07/14/new-home-secretary-sits-on-political-council-of-islamophobic-think-tank/
    As for Boris, I confess I’m still trying to work that one out! Answers soon, I hope.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    After my friend Neil McKenna shared this, I wrote:

    Thanks for sharing, Neil. It was weird how she almost had me thinking that perhaps she would be an improvement on Cameron, and that perhaps it was only the demands of being home secretary that had made her so vile until I realised that I was being hypnotised, and no, her authoritarianism and her prejudices are such that she is almost certain to be extremely divisive and dangerous. Such liars, these politicians. I’m sure many, many people were instantly fooled.

  9. damo says...

    She,s just a devil woman ….with with evil on her mind ….beware the devil woman ,she,s gonna get you from behind…..cliff, lol. Dosent matter what torie is prime minister the poor,disabled,unemployed,vulnerable ….will be made to suffer ….there’s a massive hb benefit cut comeing again in sept potentialy leaving thousands homeless ….i bet dracula wont stop that in its fairer society …..oh well at least kwasy osbornes gone

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Neil McKenna wrote:

    Hmm. I guess some take their politicians on face value, like they confuse soap actors with the role ….

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    I think people want strong leadership, Neil, especially in times of crisis – like this self-inflicted one, instigated by the Tories. And who’s here to get us out of it? Oh, another Tory, and some of the Tories who also contributed to the disaster we’re facing, but not all of them. But so long as she’s a strong pair of hands …

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Gillian Sathanandan wrote:

    She and her whole government are way to the right of Cameron.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, how disgusting is it, Gillian, that the Tories are 100% responsible for creating the mess we’re in, via Cameron, Johnson and Gove, in particular, and yet we have now had a quiet coup behind the scenes, and, magically, we now have a much more right-wing Tory government, including just one of the Brexit leaders (the clown Boris, an unexplained survivor) but lots of other dangerous right-wingers. I very much hope that the non-Tory public (63.1% of those eligible to vote) are not fooled by this dangerous rightward drift.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Gillian Sathanandan wrote:

    I have never been quite so depressed at the state of our politics.

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    I know what you mean, Gillian. We are in a disturbingly surreal place, where nothing really makes sense any more and all the old certainties have gone, while we are being told that this is a brave new world, and we are part of an exciting project to make a brighter, better Britain. And all the while, of course, the Labour Party is out the back, repeatedly kicking their democratically elected leader and failing to mount any sort of challenge to the Tories, almost like they’d been paid to do so.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    In response to 9, above:

    Yes, it ought to be a relief that Osborne’s gone, Damo, but then we only get rid of one clown or misfit to get another, it seems. I can’t see Hammond and May (ha, the Top Gear analogy, without old Horse Face Clarkson) actually stopping Osborne’s obsessive austerity programme, but I’ll have to keep an open mind about that for now. It might be that they work out that only increased spending can stop our economy from collapsing entirely, and it might actually be some sort of improvement, but so much is up in the air right now – our negotiations for leaving the EU, and what that entails being the constant elephant in the room.
    Nerve-wracking times to be living in …

  17. Andy Worthington says...

  18. Paul says...

    This might be of interest, though not available yet. About a possible Progressive Alliance.

    The Alternative: Towards a New Progressive Politics
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alternative-Towards-New-Progressive-Politics/dp/1785900498/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468589653&sr=1-2

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Paul. I’d love to see all the parties – apart from the Tories and UKIP and those dreadful right-wingers in N.I. – get together on the basis of kicking the Tories out, standing only one candidate everywhere they could win, and taking back control in a grand coalition. But first the Labour Party needs to sort itself out, and that’s not looking so good right now, of course.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    When my friend Michael Bentley shared this on Facebook, he wrote:

    Theresa May’s record: her becoming Prime Minister is very bad news. An article by my friend Andy Worthington.

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks for sharing, Michael. The worrying truth behind the image she’s trying to present of herself as a believer in unity and caring for everyone.

  22. Paul says...

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Paul. A very interesting collection of links. Time to get the word out indeed!

  24. damo says...

    Went on the protest outside …the dumb blondes house…..unfortunately a couple of cockney wideboy bankers turned up ….just abuseing everyone ….being vile arrogant shits they then tried to be physical …..a bad move on there part…..there were some big boneheads on the protest who…..battered the bankers…lol,lol ……good……thease two city fuckwits got a good hideing …good they deserved it…..thease two and there torie enablers have tormented and tourtured the most poor and vulnerable people in this country …this government have let the bankers get away with it….

  25. damo says...

    The thing that was so TELLING andy is the police had to protect thease two shits….they were STILL mouthing off ….what….they would have both been strung up …litteraly hanged…and bumbholes house would have been burned to the ground…..people are sick of it andy ….breaking point is comeing

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    That all sounds quite tense, Damo. I see the Daily Mail reported it – under the headline, ‘Gang of 100 protesters march on Johnson’s house, chant slogans and assault police officers’: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3693938/Boris-s-hi-viz-line-Gang-100-protesters-march-Johnson-s-house-chant-slogans-assault-police-officers.html
    I think you’re right to identify people as being close to breaking point. The Tories have replaced one failed government wth another, unelected one, Boris the clown is back, and yet we’re still suffering the effects of six years of austerity. Unless that changes, I think a lot of people are going to be very upset – and if this Brexit nonsense really does hit our economy as hard as we expect than the hard times are only going to get harder, with no immediate end in sight. It’s time for a real change, that’s for sure.

  27. damo says...

    All i can say is please theresa may…do not trigger article 50 this country and the poor havent got another recession in them

  28. damo says...

    God the repulsive daily mail lol that paper its reporters and the murdoch thing can just drop dead …..shouting slogans…assualting the police andy most of those people on the class war protests are people pushed to the very margins of society ,people with litteraly nothing and by and large they were fairly peacefull it was the young dim city boys who were violent they assulted people abused people knocking down a rather frail looking middle aged woman and then wading into the speaker fists flying thats when the crowd turned hostile and gave them a battering ….thease spivs were peotected and escourted away by the police ….laughing, smirking even though theyd been given a battering …..no charges …we only have to look at america with all that chaos to see were this is headed ……thease city boys showed the hatred and contempt that this capitalist system and this government have for people and thats why the people who are pushed down at the bottom of societys pile are starting to feel like they have nothing more to loose……how sad is that

  29. damo says...

    Those city spivs just like this government have become drunk with power ….high on arrogance and deluded self belief a destructive rampage accross society litterally screwing up peoples lives ….woe betide those spivs if the urban youth had been involved they would have not made it outta there and boris,s house and all the other multimillion pound houses would have been razed…an ugly scene all round if thease so called leaders dont back off this is what will happen

  30. damo says...

    Boris Johnson is like a floater in the toilet…..no matter how mamy times you flush ….he keeps popping back up

  31. Andy Worthington says...

    There are definitely hints of a similar feeling to the 80s, Damo, and I can’t blame anyone for feeling abandoned and without hope.
    The mainstream culture has been getting horribly aggressive and arrogant for many years now, as you have regularly reported here, and it has amazed me that the different sections of British society are so separated that they have been getting away with it. You can go pretty much anywhere in London and see gentrification at work, although right next to the hipsters’ places people are living in real poverty, but are not responding. I know all manner of experts are slightly flummoxed by it – I tend to think that smart phone technology is a massive pacifier, and that as long as people can afford phones there won’t be civil insurrection, but it may also be that the culture in general is less violently dysfunctional – although I’m not sure that can survive grinding poverty.
    I met someone yesterday from south Manchester, who had a good take on the Brexit vote. He saw it pretty purely as a protest vote from people who have been never seen any sort of recovery over the course of decades of economic decline, regardless of who has been in power. The great irony, of course, is that the EU is not to blame, but the governments themselves, but what will people do when their Leave vote leads only to even worse conditions than before the vote?

  32. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, that sounds about right, Damo. In discussions with people, no one can seem to quite work out why he’s back. Did Theresa May make a mistake, as his appointment has only made us a laughing stock internationally? Was it because he led the Brexit campaign, and so she needs someone to keep Leave voters happy? Is she hoping he’ll fail?
    So many questions, and no compelling answer that I’ve heard.

  33. damo says...

    The smart phone is the great distracter people have become passive ,distracted,hypnotised allowing themselves…..as long as the have there godforsaken…smartphones…to be crushed trodden down swept away like garbage i dont understand it…….theresa may today said she would…..press the button….good god…..the lunatics have taken over the world not just the asylum.

  34. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, I’m convinced it is the pacifier, Damo – not just stopping people from getting bored, but also alienating them from the unexpected.
    As for Trident, I despair. When Jeremy Corbyn was running for the leadership of the Labour Party, the media and politicians had that whole thing going on about how he wasn’t trustworthy because he wouldn’t press the nuclear button. I want a leader who won’t press the nuclear button, I want a Labour Party that stands for peace, and I want all the MPs who voted for Trident renewal not to have their warmongering intent – and their cavalier attitude to the nation’s finances – ever be forgotten. They are all a disgrace.

  35. damo says...

    Like some kind of mind control nothing eles matters as long as you have your phone…..wow we have a leader that would press the button not only killing on a mass scale ie hundreds of thousands triggering retaliations that would kill millions even billions but …..kill this ……increasingly fragil elderly planet….of which there is only one……..everything would die……i see yet again the snakes in the labour party are turning on jeremy i dont understand what is wronge with people …..surely….a leader who would ban all wepons of mass destruction is a good thing andy lets spell it out here …….the world and humanity is in a f..king mess the last thing we need is more nukes

  36. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, I absolutely agree, Damo. And yet the Labour MPs were queuing up to vote – 140 of them. The 47 who voted against are the only ones worth reelecting. The contrast with the SNP couldn’t be starker, with 52 SNP MPs voting against.
    Details here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/jul/19/trident-how-your-mp-voted

  37. damo says...

    I hope your watching ch4 news the american press have just destroyed boris tore him to shreds

  38. Andy Worthington says...

    I was out this evening, Damo. I was invited by a friend to speak to some US students about my work on Guantanamo and the We Stand With Shaker campaign, so I didn’t get in until about ten, but yes, I caught Boris being demolished. What an excruciating embarrassment he is.

  39. damo says...

    Boris is just a stupid areshole the americans called him out he tried to nonscence his way out but they were haveing none of it lol i dont know about you but im sick of the lot of them thease political aresholes ….constantly inficting themselves and their policys on everyone like some kind of cult

  40. Andy Worthington says...

    I wish more people felt that the Tories were not legitimate, Damo. After six years of the horrors of Cameron and Osborne, we’re now supposed to have seamlessly moved into a new era with Theresa May, but she has no legitimacy beyond the narrow confines of the Tory MPs who voted for her. And to see Boris, the so-called victor in the EU referendum, who immediately realised the enormity of what he’d done and scuttled off, brought back by May as foreign secretary is like a slap in the face with a wet fish every time he appears. How is this farce supposed to be credible?

  41. damo says...

    The rest of the world views the tories and the polititions of this country as some kind of riddiculass unfunny joke watching the ch4 news last night the did a slow motion close up of the american foreign secretary he was cringing with embarrisment everytime boris even spoke …people dont trust or believe in boris anymore the buffoon ….act…..spouting gibberish and nonescence dosent cut it he was called ….an outright blatent liar …..in front of the worlds media……..its like some kind of panto a joke ….unfortunately which is on us…….

  42. Andy Worthington says...

    It’s quite shameful, isn’t it, Damo? I saw John Kerry’s face last night, although I missed out on the explanation of exactly what he was grimacing about, but it’s blindingly obvious that Boris, the embarrassment who led us to a Brexit victory he didn’t even want, is now a huge embarrassment as foreign secretary. What is Theresa May playing at? Is she trying to make us the laughing stock of the world? Is she really not in control? I very much hope so. Her cabinet is stuffed full of nasty people.

  43. damo says...

    Oh my god,im home,i was back all the time…..you maniacs, you did it, you realy finnaly did it……god damm you god damm you all to hell……………..last scene, planet of the apes 1968…..theresa may has said she would launch a nuclear strike killing over 100,000 men women children, all liveing things……what maniacs….they will kill us all.

  44. Andy Worthington says...

    I can’t understand why we’re supposed to think these people are worth admiring for their “strength” and their “integrity”, Damo. May and her nuclear weapons, MPs and the Trident renewal proposals. We are a washed-up backwater on the edge of Europe. Why would we need a nuclear deterrent?
    There’s obviously an angle here that involves us being part of the nuclear club, but I’d rather see us walk away from it all. Enough with the warmongering.

  45. damo says...

    The uk is an ass that thinks its an arab stalion …..indeed enough of the war mongering

  46. damo says...

    The thing thats so twisted ,jeremy corbyn was the only mp who stood up against trident who was sane ….the rest …. Screaming,shrieking,gurning,grimmaceing,eye rolling,head bobbing …..litterally foaming at the mouth …….in rapture…….at the thought of wepons of mass destruction……and thease…..things….are supposed to be our leaders…..god help us

  47. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, we have profound delusions of grandeur, Damo, and, apparently, profoundly homicidal tendencies. We shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. As the abused, so often, in turn become abusers themselves, so this entire country, with its savage, global bloodthirstiness, is marinaded in violence in chains of abuse from the elite to the most downtrodden. I suspect you and I have always preferred the enlightened, but you have to fight to be allowed to be enlightened in the country, as the Trident vote shows, and as we will discover under the authoritarian Theresa May.

  48. damo says...

    Parliment and the media seem hell bent on trying to destroy jeremy corbyn …..andy have you ever witnessed anything like this ….discracefull display by……twisted….people there scared shitless of corbyn ….what has happened to this country …its a pile of shit

  49. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, that about says it all, Damo. Reality is unravelling. One month on from the referendum, and we’re all supposed to have moved on, accepting an unelected PM and regarding the socialist leader of the opposition as the gravest threat to our freedom. It really is like the world turned upside down.

  50. damo says...

    Were liveing in googoo gaagaa land ,thease people are mad we are now starting to see the prosperity of this country plummet ….brexit will affect the worlds economy. And there not gonna be best pleased…..we under the rule of thease ….crazys….are on our way to becomeing the north korea of europe

  51. Andy Worthington says...

    The truth is very difficult to read right now, Damo. It feels like we may have reached the very top of the highest point on the rollercoaster before the referendum, and now we’re falling, but after initial interest no one wants to discuss how quickly we’re falling, because no one can bear thinking about any one topic for longer than a couple of days at the most.
    I’m now starting to see more mention of “moving on,” in general, so we’ll all need to be very alert, because, of course, nothing has been decided yet about how exactly we leave the EU and to what extent, and this, in turn, is because, as we need to remember, THERE WASN’T A PLAN! Yes, the Leave campaigners didn’t even have a back of a fag packet plan.
    Interesting commentary is also becoming scarce, but I thought this was promising in the Observer – Brexit: EU considers migration ‘emergency brake’ for UK for up to seven years: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/24/brexit-deal-free-movement-exemption-seven-years

  52. damo says...

    Moveing on were,we have nowere to move onto you know wot if i was the european union id tell this country to f..k off and kick it away sumo it out of the eu …its crazed cameron and co caused this mess …no they want to hold back from leaveing this crazed referendum should never have happened in the first place ….the tories are like the philip green of politics….shysters and conmen and wots so sad is people cannot see the abyss thats opening up there STILL Screaming its the immagrants there takeing our benefits .

  53. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, we are now definitively in the post-reality phase of our decline, Damo. The Tories are 16 points ahead of Labour, because of the Labour coup and the Theresa May bounce – lifelong Labour voters apparently saying how they find her a safe pair of hands etc. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3708400/Patriotism-isn-t-Jeremy-Corbyn-s-makeup-leadership-rival-Owen-Smith-claims-Labour-s-civil-war-heads-COURT.html
    And while we’re crying out for some depth, our culture – or what passes for it – continues to be vacuous and self-absorbed to an unparalleled degree. I can only wonder if these people can survive if life throws anything difficult at them, as we seem to be close to the endgame. I was flicking through the channels after watching C4 News tonight, and everything was unremittingly banal as usual – Coach Trip: Road to Ibiza, for example. How is it that we’re still alive? https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/jul/26/coach-trip-road-to-ibiza-review-wish-you-werent-here

  54. damo says...

    There seems to be a nihilism, a creeping darkness sweeping the world it feels like were entering an era of horror ….jesus andy i wish we had something wonderfull to talk about….world peace declared ,enviromental damage reversed ….imagine…….but the world seems to be burning up right now every one i know seems to want to run and hide, culture seems to be dying…..what can we do ????

  55. damo says...

    Thease shows feature the usual boreing narcacists i couldnt think of watching anything more boreing

  56. Andy Worthington says...

    We need to find new ways to get together, Damo – those of us who are conscious. We’re all too atomised. But we need to do something, and to find ways to celebrate what we should be celebrating about life and love and creativity, because you’re right that there’s a nihilism advancing – to my mind in the relentless self-absorption and infantilisation of modern life.
    I think you’re right about culture – there’s a permanent tsunami of the inane, even in what purports to be intellectual circles.

  57. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, there is nothing more boring, Damo. I can’t watch for more than a few seconds …
    Lives of such all-compassing pointlessness. I don’t mean to be harsh, but the all-encompassing irrelevance of these kinds of reality TV cannon fodder is staggering.

  58. damo says...

    A reality show about a reality show about a reality show about a reality show…..lol again its the great distracting ,the great dumbing down ….you know wot i saw yesturday ….adults fully grown adults rushing around the streets smart phones in hand looking for pokemon monsters on there phones ….this was about 11 at night ….this is the great distraction at work while the world burns ….you can run around looking for imaginary monsters….domt worry there allready here

  59. damo says...

    Lol the people on those reality shows are the emptyest people ….the first big brother in 2000 was interesting ….its been utterly dull ever scince ….dull narccasistic vain pin headed empty…..desperate….people with nothing in there lives exept a desperation to be…..hot….sexy….and become rich and famouse …the reality is there exploited edited to be shown at there worst ,they usualy end up being used and abused and becomeing a grotesque laughing stock ….which is wot the public wont ,theres a spitfullness and meanspiritedness to the british we love to see people fail…..and how sad is that…..but thats the reality of reality shows

  60. Andy Worthington says...

    The Pokemon thing is insane, isn’t it, Damo? One of many possible signifiers that we’re in the end days, along with the ever more debased reality TV world and the celebrity culture led by Kim Kardashian. I’m joking about the end days, but I wonder if I am really. Can these orange-skinned airheads survive real life if their artificial world comes tumbling down?
    It now seems such a long time ago since the first reality show, Big Brother, which was interesting, as you note, but once it had been done for the very first time the surprise was over, and every tired repeat of that first year could only be an empty performance. I couldn’t even bear to watch it for a minute now, but I’m pretty sure that it has become a parade of grotesque, inadequate wannabes – reflecting the wider world, in which a culture of self-obsession has led to the endless individual celebration of stunning mediocrity, and the media goes along with it.

  61. damo says...

    The end days lets hope not but things are real f..ked up right now maddness watching a documentary on the protests of the 60s and 70s they were time that were filled with greatness and horror……those people then seem light years ahead of people now yet they had none of our technoligy

  62. Andy Worthington says...

    I was flicking through channels the other night, Damo, and I caught a glimpse of this programme about rich people on Instagram, and it was this ridiculous Californian with orange skin and a little dog, and just for a moment, as happens often nowadays, I thought of the fall of Rome, and wondered how quickly these people would fall to a “barbarian” invasion. It feels as though the total dominance of consumerism – aided by technology – is hollowing us out, making us two-dimensional people with no real strength or presence.

  63. YES! Judges Tell Lawless Tory Government That UK Cannot Leave EU Without Parliamentary Approval | SRI LANKA says...

    […] Theresa May, whose dangerous authoritarianism and racism I have written about previously — see As Theresa May Becomes Prime Minister, A Look Back at Her Authoritarianism,  Islamophobia and Harshness on Immigration I could go on, but I think I’ve established well […]

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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