She was going to tough it out at least until another statement in the Commons this afternoon. Colleagues had rallied round to tell that she hadn’t seen the memo about targets, she enjoyed the Prime Minister’s confidence, and it was all the fault of the Rotten Lefties (tm). Off they trotted to appear on yesterday’s politics shows to defend her. But the game was up last week, and now has come the confirmation.
Timed to enable the BBC to shoehorn the news into its 2200 hours bulletin came word of the inevitable: Amber Rudd, latterly a directionless and apparently dishonest Home Secretary, had finally resigned. There was the usual exchange of letters, with Theresa May regretting the departure, as well she might. Because Ms Rudd carried the can for her predecessor’s hostile immigration policy, which led us to this point.
It was Theresa May who sent the “Go Home” vans around areas of London with significant BAME populations. It was Theresa May who removed the protection for the Windrush Generation, which led to so many of them effectively being stripped of their citizenship, rounded up, detained and in some cases deported. It was Theresa May who denied people health care. It was Theresa May who began “deport first, hear appeals later”.
Moreover, it was Theresa May who shamelessly pandered to the right-leaning part of the press, papers like the Sun, Telegraph, Mail and Express, where demonising anyone that could be categorised as “Migrants” has become not just a chorus of hate, but a full-blown crescendo. It was Theresa May who sealed the deal with them in order to secure their backing in the run-up to last year’s General Election and beyond.
It was Theresa May who signed off on the pledge to repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act and shelve Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, to effectively sweep under the carpet decades of unlawful and improper activity by the Fourth Estate. It was Theresa May who ratted on the victims of press malpractice. It was Theresa May who said that blagging and other forms of illegal activity on the press’ behalf were no big deal.
It was Theresa May who disregarded the victims of “Fake Sheikh” Mazher Mahmood, who had a number of compromised Police officers in his pocket. It was Theresa May who waved away the Orgreave campaigners. It was Theresa May who judged that press bullying and harassment was no big deal. It was Theresa May who told her press pals that all their past crimes would be ignored - as long as they backed her. Which they did.
Yes, Amber Rudd went along with the “Hostile Environment” game, presiding over a department that soullessly oversaw British citizens made jobless, homeless and in some cases stateless, and which, it seems, is still doing so, despite the best efforts of Labour MPs and other campaigners. Yes, she was either inept or dishonest. Yes, she was the one in charge when the music stopped. So yes, she had to go.
But the architect of an immigration policy that was so arbitrary that it scooped up many of this country’s own citizens was Theresa May. She is the one who caused the crisis, and she is the one who should now carry the can, not that she will if she can avoid it.
Theresa May has to go. And if the Government falls as a result, then so be it.