Theresa May’s New Year Message: A Cynical Review

The Prime Minister posted a New Year’s message a few days ago. Unsurprisingly it was ripped to shreds by numerous commentators; journalists to politicians all weighing in on how utterly useless it was. Unfortunately I found myself even agreeing with Tim Farron on how idiotic some of the things are. So here’s my cynical review of the cringeworthy 4 minute video I’ve had the pleasure of viewing several times.

“The New Year is a time to reflect on what has passed and to look ahead to the opportunities to come.  And this year, as I consider all that 2017 has in store, I believe those opportunities are greater than ever. For we have made a momentous decision and set ourselves on a new direction.”

Yeah, yeah whatever. I guess we’re all making cringe New Year’s posts this year eh? Also, did *we* really make this decision, even as a Leaver I can acknowledge it wasn’t a unanimous decision, far from it, and didn’t you vote Remain anyway?

“And if 2016 was the year you voted for that change, this is the year we start to make it happen.”

Please, don’t remind me you are the person in charge of this whole thing, it makes me very nervous.

“I know that the referendum last June was divisive at times. I know, of course, that not everyone shared the same point of view, or voted in the same way. But I know too that, as we face the opportunities ahead of us, our shared interests and ambitions can bring us together. We all want to see a Britain that is stronger than it is today.”

At times?! I know she was almost as weak as Corbyn in her campaigning, but was she asleep? This is actually quite a nice sentiment though, it would be very hard to find someone who genuinely wants to see this country burn – in the West anyway. But still, I think we have a long way until UKIP and Lib Dems hold hands and skip around in a field of daisies declaring their love for each other.

“We all want a country that is fairer so that everyone has the chance to succeed. We all want a nation that is safe and secure for our children and grandchildren.”

May has some pretty good speechwriters, but isn’t this just exactly what she said on the doorstep of Number 10 months ago? She’s Melania-ing herself. I’m not seeing any of this in your policy though, maybe this year?

“These ambitions unite us, so that we are no longer the 52% who voted Leave and the 48% who voted Remain, but one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.”

Believe me, we are still a 52-48 nation, if you’ve ever talked to someone who voted the opposite way to you this is pretty clear. I wonder how long the 48% filters on profile pictures will stick around. People are bitter, obviously, passions ran very high during the referendum and they aren’t dying down. Which, by the way, is a good thing. It is nice to see optimistic talk back on the agenda; the future is bright outside of the EU. The longer we talk about how awful it’s going to be, the more likely it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

“So when I sit around the negotiating table in Europe this year, it will be with that in mind. The knowledge that I am there to get the right deal, not just for those who voted to Leave, but for every single person in this country.”

Breaking news! We have a Brexit plan: the Prime Minister is going to sit around a table and get the best deal! Let’s not be too specific here Theresa you wouldn’t want us to actually know what’s going on would you.

“Of course, the referendum laid bare some further divisions in our country; between those who are prospering, and those who are not. Those who can easily buy their own home, send their children to a great school, find a secure job, and those who cannot.”

Didn’t you love having a vote on who’s allowed to buy a home? X Factor was a bit weird this year.

Seriously though… if it took Brexit for May to understand deep divisions and inequality in this country exist, I worry what it’s going to take her to understand that it was her, Dave, Gordon, Tony and the rest of the lot that created the problems in the first place.

“In short, those for whom our country works well, and those for whom it does not. This is the year we need to pull down these barriers that hold people back, securing a better deal at home for ordinary, working people.”

I’d quite like to know what an ordinary person is, and I’d be quite offended if she called me one.

“The result will be a truly united Britain, in which we are all united in our citizenship of this great nation. United in the opportunities that are open to all our people, and united by the principle that it is only your talent and hard work that should determine your future.”

I get a Dumbledore vibe from her when she talks about talent and hard work, it’s a bit weird. Principle is a good choice of words, in principle she’s a good PM, but both aren’t true in reality. I’m a big believer in meritocracy, it seems she is too. Of course she’s probably just lying. We’ll see how many of the Tory party’s friends are enriched and honoured in the coming years. If she wants to open up doors and break down barriers, I’d suggest starting by gutting the bureaucracy she’s now head of.

“After all, it is through unity that our people have achieved great things. Through our precious union of nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Through our union of people – from sports teams to Armed Forces, businesses to charities, schools to hospitals. And, above all, through our union of communities and families.” 

What kind of weird communist broadcast have I just tuned into? Corbyn’s had a makeover. Of course this is actually a nice message but it means nothing, I’ll wait until she funds the Armed Forces properly, deregulates small business and cuts ridiculous waste in education and health so that people, businesses, communities, and charities can actually succeed and do great things.

“Of course, it isn’t just big, global events that define a year – it is the personal things. 2017 might be the year you start your first job or buy your first home. It might be the year your children start school or go off to university, or that you retire after a lifetime of hard work. These things – life’s milestones – are the things that bind us, whoever we are.”

This is all just meaningless sentiment that is put in to make her look human, it’s unnecessary, stupid, and incredibly patronising.

“As the fantastic MP Jo Cox, who was so tragically taken from us last year, put it, “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.””

A wonderful quote, from an even more wonderful woman. Jo was an incredible person who’s journey into public service was fascinating and genuine. She’s exactly who this country needed. While it seems everyone wants to use her for their own gain, I’m glad she is being recognised.

“We have a golden opportunity to demonstrate that – to bring this country together as never before, so that whoever you are, wherever you live, our politics, economy and society work for you, not just a privileged few.”

More empty rhetoric that I doubt she will even attempt to fulfil. It’s a little confusing that we have to work hard but society’s working for us, pretty sure you need to pick one or the other.

“So as we look ahead to a year of opportunity and unity, let me wish you and your family a peaceful, prosperous and happy New Year.”

You too Theresa, you too. 

(You can watch the video at  – the comments are disabled – funny that, isn’t it?)

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