Theresa May announces she is prepared to make way for a new leader, on one condition…
When I woke this morning, I pinched myself. Had I been dreaming, or was it really true that she was going at last? I`m referring of course to the British Prime Minister´s long overdue decision to step aside and make way for a new leader.
As I splashed some water over my face, before stumbling towards the coffee machine, my mind went into a spin contemplating the horrendous Brexit alternatives.
For months we have all being living with tomorrow, 29th March 2019, as the leave date, the day on which the United Kingdom would set itself adrift from Europe. And then suddenly, last week after a European Commission summit, it was announced that there would be a prolongation of this agonising departure process… This has left every single British citizen, and no doubt much of the rest of the world too, in a state of jitters.
It is rumoured that some of my more anxious fellow countrymen have even been stockpiling loo paper, in anticipation of the great day. On this issue too, attitudes are divided. Some say this is a reasonable precautionary measure, others that it demonstrates a form of selfish panic. It depends where you sit, so to speak. I cannot help wondering whether Jeremy Corbyn has discretely popped into his local Sainsbury`s…
The PM has made her departure conditional on the House of Commons finally voting to accept her deal. This has produced a certain amount of tectonic shifting, and even ultras such as His Moggship have said that they are now prepared to vote for the deal.
Although I certainly will not be shedding any tears when Theresa May does eventually go, it should in all fairness be said that neither you nor I would probably have been able to handle the sheer grind she`s lived through for so many months. For some time now, Mrs May has been looking as if she could do with a holiday, but when her opportunity for a break does come… it may simply be impossible to travel with disrupted airlines, border issues, and so on. Nobody knows the answer, and obviously there`s not much point in asking the government, because they haven`t a clue either.
So, what next? Well, Boris was seen smiling contentedly at the end of the 1922 Committee meeting at which the Prime Minister announced her decision. At a stretch Boris could be considered a successful man of letters (although not an eminent one, and certainly not in the Churchill league, a candidate for Nobel Laureate for Literature… I mean `Seventy-two Virgins`, for goodness sake!), but he`s not so far shown much statesmanship, has he? And I cannot help reflecting, that the other toff who got us into all this mess in the first place, with the 2016 Referendum, attended the same private school as Boris. Maybe these people should be kept away from the highest offices of state… If Boris does become the next Prime Minister, we have a right to know whether he intends to bike to Buckingham Palace for his weekly audience with the Queen.
I received an email yesterday informing me that March 31st is World Backup Day. As we head towards Brexit, what should Brits be `backing up`? Tolerance, acceptance of other, civility, realism…? We all have our own list, and there is a lot worth saving!
The author, James Mayor, is the founder of Grape Discoveries, a wine and culture boutique travel company
See the 'Grape Discoveries' website