Since the appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister, many Liberals have made bold claims about her policies and circumstances — most of which can merely be described as selective populism
Following her appointment, a Twitter account on my timeline tweeted that she was: ‘against gay rights, violates human rights and did not deserve to become PM because she was not democratically voted in’. If we take a closer look at these claims however, we may come to conclude that almost none of them are true
‘She doesn’t deserve to be PM, the nation did not vote for her’.
When you vote in a general election, you don’t vote for a person. The ballot paper does not say, ‘Put an X in the box for David Cameron’, you vote for the party. Political change within a party is completely natural, and if that means a leadership shift which is backed by almost all of its MPs, then that change must be accepted by the people.
If May was ignored back in 2007 when she called for an election after the resignation of Tony Blair, she reserves the right to claim premiership without one now.
‘She’s against gay rights’.
Her relationship with gay rights has been a turbulent one, but that goes for many progressive politicians (queue Democratic relay runners Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton).
In 2002, May voted against gay adoption and the promotion of ‘homosexuality’ by local councils. By 2010 however, she admitted in an interview with BBC Question Time that her opinions on these matters had changed with time, and that should another vote arise her decision would be entirely different. May also backed civil partnerships from the late 90s, and by 2012 can be seen recording a video of support for the Out4Marriage campaign, becoming one of the first high-profile Tory MPs to back gay marriage.
So before you accept the Liberals’ scaremongering, painting her as a backward homophobe, checking the details will reveal quite a different portrait of the former Home Secretary.
‘She violates human rights’.
Much of this claim presumably stems from the deportation of Abu Qatada. This is something May fought tooth and nail for as Home Secretary, despite being told that the deportation of the radical cleric back to Jordan would risk his wellbeing through possible use of torture, and could even endanger his life.
Qatada had been an open supporter of al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. He even gave sermons about the acceptability of killing non-Muslims in the name of Islam. Perhaps then, Ms May should be forgiven for not considering Qatada’s best interests while committing herself fully to protecting the interests and safety of this country.
Britain’s far left are, somewhat understandably given the humiliating scope of their current prospects, trying to paint a disagreeable picture of Theresa May as a backward Tory stepping into a Thatcher-shaped shadow. But the reality speaks differently. She is a progressive member of her party who delivered an impressive Miliband-esque speech upon accepting the premiership, and she should be given time to do her job before we lay on the vitriol.