Over my bachelor years, whilst having had a fairly acceptable notion of how to treat many a woman, I’ve clearly learned sod-all of how they work between their ears. My latest blunder in this regard is Mrs Theresa May, the recently noosed and hooded Prime Minister on a trapdoor, like the starring role in a Tory party BDSM snuff movie.
Let me be honest – back in July 2016 I was intoxicated by her. A woman PM! One who despised the Old Boy Bullingdon set-up of Number 10 and Cabinet!! A strong woman prepared to ruthlessly cut out from the start all those who stood in her path!!! It was love at first sight, since beside those steely feminist down-to earth qualities she has admirable elegant dress sense (pointed out by the Mail) and a pair of legs that needed no pointing out at all.
Her very terseness with the Press endeared her to me after the chummy garrulousness of Cameron. Holding her Brexit cards close to her chest was canny beyond words. Unsmiling and businesslike, and with a clear-cut headmistress voice that brooked no nonsense. Strong and, of course, stable. And how so so right to hold that snap election and bump up her majority in the face of Labour disintegration! God, I LOVE strong women….
But – oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen! I quickly discovered that behind the taciturn exterior was a taciturner interior. For silence, read no ideas. Terseness meant “Nothing of policy or relevance to say”. Indeed she admitted as much when telling a voter “I shall listen to you”. I’m uncertain if she believed said voter was going to do a George Formby impression, utter an impromptu oration on the subject of Stoicism, or just have a cosy chat with her about quilting. It clearly never crossed her mind that we’d enable her to listen to us only when we had listened to her. “That’s why you’re on the stump, darlin’ – to tell us what you and yer government plan to do”. But this seemed to have eluded her – and the petty bullyboy and his mate laughingly called her advisers, who published a Tory manifesto (approved by her, I suppose) which apparently consisted of eight sides of blank A4.
As a campaign Mrs May ballsed it up completely. I called as loudly as any of The Mob for her head. And I realised that no, sixty post-puberty years have made no difference to my essentially superficial assessment of the opposite sex.
And so I feel rather iffy about what I’m about to say, which is that I admire her. For still being there, as she still is, teetering, bargaining to save her political life and, bless her, charming her party circle to a standing ovation which, given the inbred Tory no-nonsense-get-out-the-knives-sharpish approach to failure, means they must have that insight which I lack. Few would have the chutzpah to stay on after such a ruin. But she did. I’m certain nothing would have persuaded me to have to face the Commons and its jeers following such public humiliation – but she has, with courage and with a revealing line in self-deprecation too. Do I dare tempt fate, given my lack of female understanding, by saying that I think she’s learned big time from the fall from grace; that a Softer Brexit, thank the Lord Harry, will come of this; and that the garbage that stained most of her manifesto will be cast aside and forgotten?
Dare I? Or should I eat a peach instead?