Theresa May deployed two methods of distraction at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet speech in London: a flash of prime ministerial shoulder flesh in a racy, lacy ensemble, and Russia. She warned that Western democracy could soon crumble due to some tweets and Photoshop.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May did offer reassurance to everyone in Britain: “I have a very simple message for Russia, we know what you are doing and you will not succeed.”
You could hear the sigh of relief. With May showing she doesn’t have a clue what she herself is doing, Britain can at least take solace in the fact she knows what someone else is up to.
May’s speech writers must be thanking their lucky stars for Russia. They needed an easy target that didn’t involve mentioning any of the following during this keynote speech:
• Brexit is heading for the cliff edge. The government has realized that no matter how much rhetorical twaddle it fires at the Eurocrats, they’re not budging in negotiations.
• No Tory intern appears to have entered Parliament for a couple of decades without being groped.
• May’s own ministers now apparently don’t have enough respect for her leadership to even regard it as an inconvenience.
• Since it became clear she is one disaster away from losing her job, there have been at least four.
May told the audience, the absolute definition of establishment, that Russia “is seeking to weaponise information deploying its state run media organisations to plant fake stories and photo shopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions.”
To paraphrase, Britain’s centuries old institutions are at risk because someone in Russia is accused of tweeting and messing around with pictures. Turns out that nuclear deterrent was a waste of cash after all. GCHQ should just hire a group of teenage girls to send some nasty trolling tweets back. This would be over in minutes!
It’s just a little insulting for the institution she was addressing, which has been around since 1189.
May said Russia had been “meddling in elections.” That must have been the booze talking, because the following morning her spokesman confirmed she hadn’t actually seen evidence of that.
The real fake news was more evident in May’s ability to just say things which ignore the reality of Brexit altogether.
Still on the threat of Russia, she said Moscow underestimated “the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us.”
Does she read the newspapers? If Russia has done half the things it is accused of, it can be more readily accused of overestimating those commitments. Britain is in the process of painfully ripping itself, so far unlubricated, out of the EU alliance, and risks potential oblivion doing it. It is certainly committed, though it’s not entirely obvious as to what.
Some lines of the speech need no commentary, just a little rearranging, to have you scratching your head.
“Some states are actively destabilising the world order to their own ends.”
Guess who she’s talking about there. But then, mere minutes later, a staggering admission:
“The UK is not and will not be afraid to deploy its hard power where necessary. Indeed this is happening around the world as I speak from our world leading covert agencies to over a thousand troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, to our Royal Air Force operating in the skies over Syria and Iraq, and our Royal Navy patrolling the waters of the Gulf.”
Thank God for those powers of stability that have allowed the Afghans and Iraqis (and Libyans) to live in peace and harmony. Hopefully, none of them have Twitter.