Theresa May is still doing her best to harm Britain

The PM's poisonous and expensive legacy agenda is storing up problems for the future

17 July 2019 - Britain’s worst post-war premiership is now drawing to its welcome close, as Theresa May enters her final days in Downing Street. After three years of posturing, pusillanimity and paralysis at the top, few will miss her. 

But May appears determined to secure a favourable verdict despite her dismal record in office. 

Since she tearfully announced her resignation, she has embarked on a frenzy of expensive, headline-grabbing initiatives in a desperate bid to salvage a positive legacy from the wreckage she created. 

Effectively, she is trying to bribe and bureaucratise her way to historical rehabilitation. 

Only today she trumpeted the introduction of new Domestic Abuse legislation, which she claimed would give back victims their “self-esteem, their freedom and their right to feel safe in their own homes.” 

That is all very laudable, though this promise would be more convincing if her Government had not presided over appalling increases in overall violence.

As it is, the measures in the Bill smack of organisational tinkering and virtue-signalling gesture politics by the state to give the illusion of action.

Theresa May’s other legacy proposals are just as flawed.

She wanted a vast £27 billion to be spent on education over the next three years, until she was wisely stopped by the Chancellor Philip Hammond.

But even he could not prevent her reckless pledge that Britain will set a legally binding target to cut carbon emissions to “net zero” by 2050, a step that could cost the economy in excess of £1 trillion.

More immediately, May announced a package of measures to fuel “the next great revolution in mental health.”

These include training for all new teachers, extra cash to promote “local suicide prevention plans” and new professional standards for social workers.

May’s whole approach is a pointless exercise in vanity. 

She seems to think that she can rebuild her name with a sudden splurge in expenditure and the expansion of officialdom. 

Typical is her scheme, launched last week, to set up a new quango, the Office for Tackling Injustices (OfTI), which could have come straight from Labour’s playbook as a quango that will just become another box-ticking, edit-issuing, statistic-peddling extension of the huge grievance industry.

But an enriching legacy is constructed by statesmanship over the long haul, not by subsidies over the short-term. Through her selfish, irresponsible conduct, she just reiterates how hopelessly ill-suited she is for the job of Prime Minister.

She encouraged the modern cults of identity politics and spurious victimhood. 

The closer she has moved towards the exit, the more frantic she has become in her posing as a self-appointed champion of social justice. For example - 'I will always be your ally,' she tweeted to lesbian, gay and transgender activists during London Pride.

As Home Secretary, she failed to tackle soaring immigration, undermined the use of stop-and-search, and drastically cut police numbers. 

As Prime Minister, she threw away the Tories’ hard-earned majority through her botched 2017 General Election, when she both refused to engage with the public and alienated supporters with her ill-prepared social care plans. 

The great irony is that May inherited a powerful legacy in 2016. She had a strong position in the Commons, and, through Brexit, the chance to implement a popular policy and to make Britain great again. But she has squandered her opportunities. 

The legacy she bequeaths to her successor is a bleak one.

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