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Theresa May is definitely a robot

Christopher Sturtivant takes a look at Theresa May's image in his first politics column for Impact

Only two days after the Conservative’s Annual Party conference, the new Blade Runner film (set in a dystopia populated by human-like robots) was released. Shockingly appropriate, it seems, as our country’s most prominent robot attempted to punch the right keys with the general public in a well written, empty speech.

Theresa May’s address to the rest of her party covered a Wide Range Of Points. She apologised for the massive misfire of her mechanical snap election campaign; promised to deal with the ‘burning injustices’ various parts of society face; and failed to mention anything coherent on Brexit. It was… bearable to listen to. Whoever’s ghost-writing these speeches really has been paying attention: young people don’t want to hear about ‘strong and stable’, we want promises of a better society, which works for everyone.

May made those promises, and as attractive as some of these seemed (vows echoing Corbyn’s recent ones to improve social housing and lower housing costs, as well as timid plans to review student fees), they feel hollow. The whole sense of May as an automaton, trying to laugh at the right moment, is unavoidable.

“[May] is not only repulsive, but exasperating”

 

 

 

She certainly doesn’t seem to hide how token much of her politics is.

For instance, during her speech it was noticed she was wearing a Frida Kahlo bracelet. As in, Kahlo, the zealous communist and artist. Interesting that the leader of the political right would consciously (image in politics being so calculated) wear an artist with audacious ties to communism- especially when only months ago she sat on a sofa in £995 red leather trousers. This contradiction of visuals – of surface and substance – reflects all too much May’s politics. And it’s why she is not only repulsive, but exasperating.  How can any benefit of the doubt be given to attempts at kinder politics, when May reeks of performance?

Take her focus on fighting these ‘burning injustices’: great tag line, but did I blink and miss all the times May voted against basic equalities for LGBTQ people (something in the same speech she humorously credits David Cameron with) or her numerous controversial cases of rejected LGBTQ asylum seekers? Did our student fees not increase under May? And do her various appalling comments on immigration really require reference?

“May’s flimsy attempts at catching the social conscience of our generation are tacky”

 

 

 

It’s frustrating.

Sure, people’s politics can improve over time. They are extensions in many ways of our society. Democracy is often just an ugly mirror.

Yet that’s my greatest issue with May; she is a mirror of incoherent parts, one uncertain of what she should reflect as she spews shiny speeches, with little legitimate proof for her reflections. I’m pleased, for example, she’s doing an audit on mental health. However, her manifesto pledges of more provision for mental health weren’t followed up. She’s also previously voted in favour of tuition fee increases – which have only intensified concerns about mental health on campuses, as they increase financial pressure on students. Nothing adds up.

Ultimately, while Mr. Corbyn (who for the most part is arguably more sincere) doesn’t have perfect policies, May’s flimsy attempts at catching the social conscience of our generation are tacky. Like her trousers. Like her bracelet. Like her empty promises.

Christopher Sturtivant

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Image courtesy of EU2017EE Estonian Presidency on Flickr. License here.

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