With Theresa “Goody Two Shoes” May, What You See on TV Won’t be What You Get

“I probably was Goody Two Shoes at school”.

— Theresa May

“He [Corbyn] talks about austerity, I call it living within our means. He talks about austerity, but actually it’s about not saddling our children and grandchildren with significant debt to come. It’s about ensuring we have an economy that works for everyone”.

— Theresa May, Prime Minister’s Questions, July 20th, 2016

I’m a Brit, but thanks to Tony Blair (when he was prime minister) I lost my right to vote in UK elections in 2002 because I’ve lived abroad for more than 15 years.  Blair, ever the slick opportunist, saw that the majority of the 3 million Brits living abroad for a long time are older people who vote Conservative, and decided it would be a damn good thing for the Labour party if he turned off the tap on this source of votes for the Tories.

Theresa May promised to repeal this 15-year rule in October last year, but went back on this promise a few days ago, so I won’t be voting in June’s general election.

As we shall see below, the list of Goody Two Shoes’ broken promises and U-turns is long.

Theresa May has a very comfortable lead in the opinion polls for the upcoming general election when pitted against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party.

The Conservatives currently lead Labour by an average of 17 points.

This is due to a combination of factors, including the unrelenting attempts by its Blairite faction to undermine the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the concerted attempt by the UK’s powerful Zionist lobby to depict him as an anti-semite because he is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the depletion of Labour’s traditional working class base in favour of the far-right UKIP, and perhaps most significantly, the overwhelmingly rightwing bias of the UK’s media.

A study by the London School of Economics shows that only 11% of newspaper articles about Corbyn represent accurately even one of his policies. In the rightwing Daily Mail/Daily Fail (long owned by the Nazi-supporting Rothermere family) and Daily Express/Daily Depress (owned by the former head of a soft porn empire Richard “Dirty Des” Desmond) that figure is 0%.

May, who proudly proclaims she is a practising Christian and the daughter of an Anglican vicar, purports to head a “government that is working for everyone and for every part of the country”, but her voting record in parliament indicates the opposite.

Judging by her record, May is a ruthless opportunist, interested only in power– her voting Remain in the Brexit referendum, but turning her party into UKIP lite for this election, being a case in point.  Here are some of her broken or unfulfilled promises:

After pledging several times there would be no snap election, she suddenly called for one in early June.  To some extent her hand here may have been forced.

The Tories were fined £70,000 last month by the Electoral Commission for failing to declare more than £275,000 in election-spending in the 2015 election.  A dozen police forces have passed files relating to these expenses to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The CPS had intended to decide by the end of May if there were to be prosecutions for these violations, but an election in 2017 would probably take the wind out of attempts to prosecute 20 Tory MPs (or thereabouts) for their fraudulent activity in the 2015 election– “that’s history now”, many are likely to say.

If May called an early election for this reason, it would only demonstrate the flexibility of her principles.

May’s most recent budget dissolved into chaos when an increase in national insurance for the self-employed broke a 2015 election manifesto pledge.  The ensuing public outcry panicked May and her colleagues into a U-turn, and the proposed increase was rescinded.

Since 2010 the Tories have promised to increase spending on the National Health Service every year, and that funding for schools would increase per student.  In its report card after the most recent budget, The Independent said:

The public sector has been another loser. The NHS, which was in the black in 2010, faced a £1.85 billion deficit in 2016, the largest deficit in its history. As a result, waiting times are up, and the NHS is facing, what the British Red Cross have described as a ‘humanitarian crisis.’ Conditions in the NHS have led to an exodus of doctors. A third of Accident and Emergency doctors left the UK to work abroad between 2010 and 2015. There is a similar pattern in education, where 10,000 teachers left the profession in Cameron’s first term. In both sectors, real terms cuts in spending has increased workloads to a point where many professionals are no longer willing to continue.

Running down public services has hit some groups much harder than others. Austerity has hit women’s incomes twice as hard as men’s. Cuts to lone parent benefits since 2010, for example, have fallen disproportionality on women, for the simple reason that women make up 90 per cent of lone parents. At the same time, as women tend to be low earners they have benefited far less from tax cuts than men.

Despite moving her party to the right so it can campaign as UKIP lite, May’s record on immigration when she was home secretary prior to becoming prime minister would certainly not please UKIP voters.  May vowed to cut net immigration down to the “tens of thousands”, only to have it increase to a record high of 330,000.

As home secretary, May introduced laws forcing internet service providers to help the UK’s spy agencies hack into computers.

May’s parliamentary voting record belies her claim that she is a “liberal Conservative”.  In any event, this supposed Tory “liberal wing” is now literally a one-man band consisting of the veteran Europhile politician Ken Clarke (who, unlike May, opposed the Iraq war).

May voted for the notorious “bedroom tax”, which reduced housing benefit for social-housing tenants deemed to have unoccupied bedrooms.

She voted against raising welfare benefits so they remained in line with inflation.

She voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work because of illness or disability.

She voted for making local councils reduce the amount spent on helping those in financial need pay their council taxes.

She voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits.

She voted against smoking bans and the hunting ban.

She voted for increasing the rate of the highly regressive Value Added Tax (VAT)

She voted against increasing the tax rate applied to income over £150,000.

She voted against a banker’s bonus tax.

While she voted for the bedroom tax to be imposed on people in social housing, May voted against the mansion tax, i.e. the annual tax on the value of expensive homes.

She voted for more restrictions on trade union activity.

May voted against restricting the provision of services to private patients by the NHS.

She voted for raising England’s undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 per year.

She has always voted for academy (i.e. private) schools.

While all the above has been transpiring, a massive upwards transfer of wealth from lower-tiered income earners to the top has been occurring.  According to the Social Market Foundation, in the UK:

… the average wealth of the best-off one-fifth of families rose by 64 per cent between 2005 and 2012-13.

However, the SMF found the poorest 20 per cent are less financially secure than they were in 2005, with their net wealth falling by 57 per cent and levels of debt and use of overdrafts increasing. Homeowners have raced ahead of people in rented accommodation….

The Equality Trust, citing 2014 data from the Office for National Statistics, said the majority of the UK population (66%) hold no positive financial assets at all, while the remaining 34% hold £9trillion in such assets.

People with no financial assets are necessarily dependent on the NHS for healthcare.  The Independent has just reported that May, who is desperate for trade deals to replace those made under the auspices of the EU, which will of course no longer exist after Brexit, is willing, as part of a deal with Trump, to sell-off the NHS to those most villainous of business enterprises, the American “healthcare” corporations.

Judging by the pleasure on her face when the golfer-in-chief grabbed her hand during their recent meeting, Goody Two Shoes is likely to adhere to any agreement she makes with him.

Going solely by the immense distance between what she professes in public and how she votes, Theresa May is an absolutely bare-faced phony.  Her voting record, displayed above, confirms her fundamental and vital support for Tory austerity policy.

Austerity, by causing the humanitarian crisis referred to by the Red Cross, has damaged and destroyed millions of lives in the UK.

This is class war by another name.

As someone flaunting her Christian faith, Goody Two Shoes will no doubt be familiar with this verse from the Sermon on the Mount:

“By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).


Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.