Tomorrow Britain will have a new Prime Minister, Theresa May, who has been the Home Secretary since 2010. May will become the second female PM, after Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. For those who don’t know much about Theresa May, here are my worries about her becoming our new Prime Minister.
Yesterday The Independent (one of the most reliable and politically unbiased newspapers) summarised my argument with the phrase “Theresa May is about to become Prime Minister after a career of opposing legislation that guarantees equality and human rights.” In this article I will be exploring Theresa May’s abysmal voting record.
Theresa May has spoken in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act and leaving the European Convention of Human Rights. These are the sources of our basic human rights (the right to life, the right of free speech etc.) Although she did support replacing these with a new ‘Bill of Rights,’ it is impossible to know what this new bill would include, and which rights would be guaranteed and which would not.
Probably Theresa May’s most notorious policy is supporting the ‘Snooper’s Charter’ which would give the police the power to search anyone’s internet history without asking for their permission. In a bid to tackle terrorism, supporters of the snooper’s charter claim that “if you’ve done nothing wrong then you shouldn’t be scared.” Meanwhile, critics claim that the Snooper’s Charter is a breach of personal liberties. The law hasn’t been passed yet, but it’s extremely likely to happen under May’s government.
Theresa May has never supported equality. She has consistenly voted in favour of slashing benefits for the poorest earners in society, whilst voting against measures to tackle tax avoidance. She also voted in favour of invading Iraq, launching further air strikes on Syria, and legalising fox hunting. She voted against banning smoking in a car whilst children are present. May also (extremely controversially) said that sex offenders should he allowed to adopt and that we can never have a fully integrated society where there is immigration.
Just because Theresa May is a woman doesn’t mean she supports women’s rights. Theresa May voted against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which would give lesbian couples the ability to receive fertility treatment and she also voted against gay adoption rights and repealing Section 28 which bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools.
How Theresa May became Prime Minister is extremely undemocratic. Even if she was chosen by the 150,000 Tory members, that would be undemocratic, but May only became PM because the other candidates dropped out of the race. In the end, our next Prime Minister was chosen by 199 Tory MPs which accounts for 0.000004% of the entire population. How can we call ourselves a democratic nation when our Prime minister was chosen in this way? May should call a general election because she has no mandate from the British people. But she won’t, because she’s in power now and doesn’t want anyone to take that away from her. She believes that her own personal position is far more important than democracy.
Although we can’t be 100% sure what the UK will look like under Theresa May, I am certain there will be further growths in inequality and fewer rights for workers. Young people will have their futures in doubt and there will be a continuation of austerity politics. Like Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May will continue to divide the UK and I believe she will be a terrible role model for young women. Theresa May will be just as bad (if not, worse) than David Cameron.