Dear President Trump,
It is being reported in the UK media that you have grown tired of Prime Minister Theresa May’s “school mistress” tone.
Join the club, Mister President. You only have to put up with her briefly, at events like today’s G7 in Quebec. In Britain we have to endure her pretty much 24/7 and she’s a national embarrassment. The last thing we’d want you to think is that she is in any way emblematic of English womanhood; or indeed of British conservatism.
Theresa May is what we call over here a frost. It’s not about you: she’s like this with everyone. Anyone who has had dealings with her will tell you the same. She’s prim, distant, cool, earnest, faintly disapproving. And don’t be misled by the slinky fashion she sometimes affects – the leather trousers, the flashes of (admittedly very well-turned) leg, the designer leopard print shoes: it’s an aberration, not a reflection of some inner funster just waiting to burst out. No one has ever accused Theresa May of being fun. Because she isn’t.
You might have hoped that a woman of May’s generation – she’s 61 – would at least have been spared that affliction so rife among the younger generations: political correctness. But no, as you’ve noticed, she has bought into that too. Unlike Margaret Thatcher, who was proud to say she was not a feminist, May can rarely resist the chance to show how woke she is. She is the most left-wing Tory prime minister in 40 years.
So you’ll understand why so many of us over here are eager to get shot of her. The left hates her for tribal reasons – because she comes wearing a label marked “Conservative”. The right hates her because she is not a real Conservative.
But the people who hate her most of all are those on the coalition of left and right – representing the majority of people in Britain – who voted for Brexit.
Theresa May did not vote for Brexit. She voted Remain. And it shows.
One of the few things she has said that anyone can remember is: “Brexit means Brexit.”
When she said this on becoming Prime Minister in 2016, many of us breathed a sigh of relief. Even those of us who had predicted that a cocker spaniel would make a better hash of being Prime Minister than this dreary former Home Secretary with a long track record of stubborn mediocrity.
We thought: “Well if she sticks to just the one job, even Theresa can’t blow that one. Surely?”
But we were wrong.
Next year – on March 29, 2019 to be precise – when Britain formally quits the EU, it now looks more likely than not that it will do so on terms dictated entirely by the enemy: by the Remainers in Theresa May’s Remainer-dominated Cabinet; by the Remainer-infested civil service; by the European Union’s negotiators; by the Remainer media; by exactly the kind of people whose arrogance and remoteness the 17.4 million people who voted Brexit were voting against when they voted to leave the EU.
It’s as if, Mister President, you’d gone into your negotiations with Kim Jong-Un and come away agreeing to an escalation of his nuclear programme, the annexation of South Korea by North Korea, and the stationing of thousands of North Korean nuclear missiles in a circle round the American seaboard all pointing at the major cities.
As Boris Johnson – about the only vocal Brexiteer left in the Cabinet – rightly pointed out, you Mister President would have made a far, far better negotiator than Theresa May. Then again, almost anyone would have made a better negotiator than Theresa May.
Still, it’s not all bad news. Theresa May is not going to last. She can’t last. You cannot defy the express wishes of over 50 per cent of your population and not expect to be brutally defenestrated.
There’s no way whoever replaces her is going to be as bad as Theresa May.
With any luck, it will be someone intelligent and actually conservative like Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, Priti Patel or – the dream candidate – Jacob Rees-Mogg who is so very much on the Trump train it would be the best Special Relationship since Thatcher/Reagan. (Politically that is. We’re not talking that grisly Brokeback Mountain stuff that Obama and Cameron half flirted with when they shared hotdogs at a college basketball game).
It won’t be Jeremy Corbyn. Ever.
And in the unlikely event it is, you know what to do.
What are Red Buttons for if you don’t get to press them now and again?
Your admiring English friend,