It is fortunate for Theresa May and her motley team of alleged Ministers that none of them is managing a professional football team. Because if they were, the crowd would long ago have forgotten the entreaties of the popular press, looked at the shambolic performance, and the chant would have gone up. The Tories do indeed not know what they are doing - and Ms May is as culpable as the rest of the shower.
Yesterday’s events showed that, whatever the Tories and their press cheerleaders want us to think, they have no clear line, no united front, no plan for Brexit, no negotiating strategy, no idea whatsoever. So it was on the attitude to migrants. As Sunny Singh observed, “Banking, higher ed, tech, creatives, manufacturing. I see @conservatives have gone from being pro-business to setting fire to the economy”.
John Harris was watching the same channel: “part of me thought the Tories might try a vaguely nuanced response to Brexit. But no: we really are going the full 'Fuck off foreigners' here”. But then along came Dan, Dan The Oratory Man to say that talk of immigration was the other lot’s fault. Yes, he really meant that.
Having previously told “If you're told that ‘Brexit was all about immigration,’ you can be almost certain that you're talking to a Remain voter”, Hannan now claimed “The ministers calling for fewer EU doctors, students and so on were all Remain voters. They, too, may be misreading the mood”. Hannan stood on the Vote Leave platform. The group who published that leaflet saying Turkey was joining the EU and there were 76 million Scary Muslims (tm) living there. And Syria and Iraq were next door.
So it wasn’t about immigration? Perhaps Hannan would like to explain that to Tom Jamieson, who concluded “Brexit clearly great news for innovative jam makers, blue passport devotees & anyone who starts conversations with ‘'I'm not a racist but..’”. Or Lewis Baston, who looked at Liam Fox using EU citizens as bargaining chips: “Do I really need to comment on how offensive and even in its own terms stupid this is?”
The whiff of bigotry was clearly picked up by the Murdoch doggies at the Sun, who clearly approved of “British businesses could be 'named and shamed' into hiring more UK staff”. But the press support was nowhere to be seen when ITV political editor Robert Peston mused “@theresa_may ‘vote on 23rd June was not just about EU’. Was that true for you? Hmmm”. Afraid it was just about EU, Prime Minister. And that’s the problem.
Ms May has now suggested we will remain inside the Single Market, reversing the clear impression given on Sunday. And BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg has concluded “Truth is, cabinet simply doesn't yet have an agreed position on what our relationship ought to look like … 3 different ministers have said privately this week that we might stay in the single market after Brexit, whatever has been said”.
They don’t know what they’re doing. No wonder their team is such a total shambles.