Tory party leader (and un-elected prime minister) Theresa May attained her position without a challenge from her fellow Tories. Her rise to the top was relatively easy and happened despite May having very limited intelligence and despite her ineptitude as Home Secretary. May’s vacuous, evasive and childish behavior in the House of Commons, in speeches and in media interviews is not just a public persona, it is all she has in any political scenario. There is an absence of depth to her intellect, she has no concept of wit and has no inclination to attempt to understand any issue. But, for a conservative politician in a decaying capitalist environment, these deficiencies are not a hindrance but an advantage.
The role of a Tory cabinet is public relations for an increasingly exploitative and greedy capitalist machine. Policies introduced by the Tories to feed this machine have devastating consequences. The immoral agenda is vicious and inhumane. The public face of this agenda, the PR for mass heartless criminality, requires very different skills to those used to present intelligent useful government. The skills that Theresa May and her most visible colleagues must possess include
- Relentless and repeated lies
- Relentless evasion and obfuscation when asked to elucidate policy and its consequences
- Constant mocking of any considered argument against Tory policies
- Ludicrous distractions
The skills listed above are in opposition to nurtured intelligence. To lie, evade and distract constantly without ever wavering, whilst knowing that everything you say is contradicted by what you are actually doing, is wholly unnatural. Any whiff of intelligence fights against such behavior. The skills above are robotic skills.
Thus, the skills needed by May and her Tory colleagues require them to be ignorant and stupid. The necessary ignorance and stupidity is, for May, a key component in her rise to the top of the Tory party and is an assistance to her when she interacts with the media and with other politicians. MPs in the House of Commons and journalists know that questioning her is like talking to simply programmed AI. No question is answered, no point is explained, there is no reflection or consideration and criticism is met with laughter and derision. To behave so robotically all the time requires a disconnect from general human intelligence; stupidity is essential.
April Fools: Stupidity Triumphs
The start of April this year was a busy period for the Tory government.
- Further life-threatening benefit cuts began on April 1st, targetted at people with disabilities
- The cluelessness of the government’s lack of thought and logic regarding the UK’s departure from the EU was quickly exposed and ridiculed
- Theresa May visited the brutal dictatorship of Saudi Arabia to enable further arms sales and military assistance for the carpet-bombing of Yemeni civilians
- Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox happily described “shared values” he has with mass murderer Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte.
For politicians with any intelligence, knowledge or familiarity with reason, it would be difficult and clumsy to explain the sense of a plan in any of the above acts. What is needed in this scenario are politicians unencumbered by human intellect’s characteristics of thought, didactics and empathy. The Tory cabinet is full of such fools.
Thus, Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green stated glibly that benefit cuts, that will make essential medications unaffordable and cause more homelessness, are an incentive for people with disabilities to find work. As reason, facts and humanity screamed at him, his stupidity kept him cosy.
Politicians at the EU and a variety of economists and business leaders point to clear and massive problems with the UK’s departure from the EU but Theresa May, David Davis and Boris Johnson are immune to technical details. For them, leaving the EU is an opportunity to launch an assault on human rights, particularly workers’ rights, and to enhance the possibilities for exploitation. Negotiations with the EU will lack any cohesive thought or understanding; the stupidity of the Tory government allows it to eschew worry and to plough on senselessly to attain the single goal of enabling greater exploitation post EU-membership.
The Saudi air force is targetting civilians, schools, hospitals and the entire social structure in Yemen. Mass starvation, aided by a military blockade of Yemeni ports preventing food supplies (and medical supplies), is an intended consequence of Saudi Arabia’s actions. The UK’s participation in this state terrorism includes arms sales, military expertise and assistance with the ports blockade. May’s visit to Saudi Arabia is designed as PR for the Saudi government alongside her acting as a salesperson for arms manufacturers. The fact that the UK government’s assistance to Saudi Arabia sits outside of any alleged commitment to human rights is not a fact that May can comprehend. Blissful ignorance of consequences and of logic help her to justify her support.
Duterte instructed the police and military in the Philippines to slaughter anyone suspected of being involved in crime. There is no legal, moral, ethical or logical justification for his order. But, the Philippines is, strategically, of military importance for many other governments. Liam Fox is the latest in a long line government ministers from various countries to visit or host Duterte. Most such ministers offered some woolly criticisms of his murderous campaign in between trying to be his best friend, but Fox, unfettered by intellectual circumspection, dived straight in with a “shared values” comment. The intrinsic shamelessness of stupidity allowed Fox to one-up other governments’ ministers’ obsequiousness toward Duterte.
Distractions are an important tool for a government that engages in indefensible actions. Stupidity assists the Tories to create useful distractions by removing any thoughtful analysis. There is never a moment wasted worrying that a choice of distraction is too absurd. So, during the week when benefits are being slashed, EU strategy is flailing and Tory ministers are visiting state terrorists, the media were handed stories about non-Easter Easter eggs from Cadbury’s, ex-Prime Minister Michael Howard declaring war on Spain and something about May not wearing a headscarf while in Saudi Arabia. The Easter egg story was not only a lie but also created by a rival chocolate egg manufacturer, Howard’s nostalgia for the Falklands war was a performance piece wherein he played all the main characters in Dr. Strangelove and May’s self-depiction as a feminist rebel was as authentic as Gordon Ramsey’s new face. A lack of intelligence produced such gormless distractions but they served their purpose aided by compliant media.
The image of May laughing in the House of Commons as Jeremy Corbyn described the consequences of destructive Tory policy on people’s lives is a demonstration of her stupidity as much as it is of her immorality. Those who benefit from Tory policy need their gimps to be thick. Narrowness of mind is essential.