If Theresa May was the strong leader she claims to be, she would have held up her hands and took at least some responsibility for the recent failure of intelligence regarding the Manchester and London Bridge terrorists. Instead she had the audacity to stand in front of the press and declare “enough is enough,” despite accusing the very people who acted so bravely of “crying wolf” and “scaremongering” just two years ago when warned that police cuts could risk national security.
But whether she held herself [partly] accountable or not, at the very least, she should have pledged to reverse the ruthless budget cuts that left 20,000 police officers out of work. Instead she chose to discredit all criticism, claim the police are “well funded” and create a new soundbite to add to her ever expanding playlist, “It’s not just about resource, it’s about the powers people have.”
And for those who dismiss the numbers, lest not forget the sale of arms to Saudi-Arabia, a major funding source for jihadists. According to Home Secretary Amber Rudd “it’s good for industry,” as she so valiantly declared in the BBC’s election debate… as if a valid reason to compromise safety and security.
“The UK hasn’t done enough to tackle terrorism.” Says May, the women whose job it was to tackle terrorism for six years as the Home Secretary. If she had stood up and said “I haven’t done enough to tackle terrorism,” maybe she would have lost some support, but at least it would have been a respectable response.
If the terrible events of this week have proven anything, it’s that Theresa May has a callus regard for the safety of British citizens. She wants to be the Iron Lady, Thatcher mark II, but if we are to judge her on her record — which we all should — it’s clear that all she has is an iron heart.
We Must Not Fight Faith, We Must Fight Hate
Over the last few months there has been calls for internment, the arming of all police, and now, regulation of the Internet. What happened to British values? We are a civilized society; it’s not the 1940s. We don’t live in an Orwell-esque totalitarian state. We don’t lock people up because of their beliefs, nor do we arrest them for committing “thought-crimes.”
In the BBC Question Time special it was truly shocking to see Jeremy Corbyn attacked for emphasising how catastrophic nuclear war would be for both the country and planet. In my opinion, any leader of a country that would answer “Yes” to pushing the red button without question — even if the country was under threat — is not strong enough to lead.
It’s not weak to wish for a peace or step up and make a case for pacifism. It’s not weak to open a dialogue with people you don’t agree with and attempt to find diplomatic solutions to issues of national security. It is weak, however, to flex your muscles and say “look how big my missiles are.” It is weak to threaten EU leaders with compromised crime and security intelligence, and gamble with people’s lives, just to prove a point.
And for those reading this who criticise the minority of MPs who voted against the renewal of Trident, just remember, a stockpile of nuclear weapons and dropping bombs on the Middle East may sound like a deterrent, but it’s not going to stop a radicalised, British-born idiot from getting in a van and running people over. A properly manned police force might, however…
We Have a Chance to Do Something Differently
We finally have somebody running for Prime Minister who has a firm moral compass. The Labour manifesto may seem like a pipe dream; it may seem bold, but at least it offers hope. And I’d rather be radical and hopeful than cynical and pessimistic. As a country, we can do better.