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Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

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Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

It was enjoyable to see the humiliation of Osborne and Gove, when they were summarily dismissed from the government, but what followed seemed bizarre. Theresa May’s first cabinet appointments saw the thoroughly undiplomatic Boris Johnson (who doesn’t seem to know the difference between Egypt and Turkey) become foreign secretary, and fellow Leave supporter David Davis, who thinks the border between the north and south of Ireland is ‘internal’, become the secretary of state for Brexit. ‘The three Brexiteers’ were completed with the recall of the disgraced Liam Fox to the post of trade secretary. So has Theresa May lost the plot already, or was she being Machiavellian?

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) was an Italian politician and diplomat who is best known for writing ‘The Prince’. He has occasionally been called the founder of modern political science, but he is infamous for describing immoral behaviour as being normal and effective in politics. As a result, the term ‘Machiavellian’ is often associated with political deceit and deviousness. Some have argued that it’s because of Machiavelli that ‘Old Nick’ became an English expression for the devil.

Machiavelli’s idea was that a prince needs to please both sides, the rich and the poor, even if that means telling them what they want to hear and lying. Theresa May’s speech when she first arrived in Downing Street contained promises to fight injustice and to help those who are “just managing”, comments which most us will take with a pinch of salt when uttered by a Tory. We know from bitter experience that Tories always feed the rich first and foremost and that everyone else ends up with little more than the crumbs.

In the EU referendum campaign, May came out for Remain, although she was invisible most of the time. Several of us remarked on Twitter that she was keeping a low profile so as not to offend anyone on either side, and thereby put herself in a strong position should a vacancy for Tory leader and PM occur. I’m sure Machiavelli would have approved of that tactic. Now, after a campaign of lies, xenophobia and promises that are impossible to square (such as ending free movement of people while still having full access to the single market), the country has narrowly voted for Brexit, Cameron has run away and May is expected to implement the decision.

So those three stooges have been handed the poisoned chalice of unravelling 43 years of British membership of the EU. David Davis is so thick that he told Dermot Murnaghan that Britain will get “a very, very large trade area, much bigger than the European Union, probably ten times the size”. A trade area that large would be twice the size of the global economy! Davis is so out of his depth that he thinks Britain can negotiate trade deals with EU countries separately, when they only negotiate as the EU. So has May set these clowns up to fail? After all, what makes ‘a good prince’ in the eyes of Machiavelli is one who figures out how to not take much blame when things go wrong……

Some of her other appointments can be seen in a similar light. Her opponent and Brexit supporter Andrea Leadsom, who tried to make capital out of May’s inability to have children, has been given the job of environment secretary, despite being a climate change denier, an opponent of wind farms and a supporter of foxhunting. It will be her job to explain to farmers what will happen when they stop receiving EU subsidies. And then we have the Brexit supporter Priti Patel, who in 2013 called for the abolition of the international development department, saying: “It is possible to bring more prosperity to the developing world and enable greater wealth transfers to be made from the UK by fostering greater trade and private sector investment opportunities”. Guess what? May has put her in charge of the very department she wanted to abolish!

Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ is a manual on acquiring and keeping political power. Is May seeing off any potential rivals (some of whom demanded that a Brexit supporter should be PM because of the referendum result) by giving them impossible roles, or ones with which they have no empathy? Only time will tell.

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Phil Hornby on Tue May 02, 2017 7:52 pm

'Mother Theresa' will look a suitably attractive proposition all the time Diane Abbott is making even Nuttall appear credible.

Can it get any worse...?

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Fri May 05, 2017 11:21 pm


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Fri May 05, 2017 11:28 pm

The nation cheers as Theresa May makes a stand against foreigners interfering in UK elections........

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Sun May 07, 2017 3:59 pm

Theresa May’s paranoid speech about EU election fixers wasn’t so strong and stable

Extracts from an article by Mark Steel:-

Maybe she’s right, and the Europeans did have a plan to undermine Britain’s negotiating stance in order to change the result of the election. Some sceptics might suggest this would be difficult, as it was Theresa May who called the election and no one else knew it was going to happen except her, but these days it’s fairly simple to plant an election-calling chip into the brain of a PM. From there the Europeans could be certain that two or three speeches in Europe about how tough negotiations were likely to be would be all that was needed to make everyone vote for Jeremy Corbyn.

It’s not just the speeches she objects to, she also told us we were in danger because “the European press has misrepresented us”. And there’s something else the Tory Party is steadfast about, a press that misrepresents things. As soon as any section of the press misrepresents any of our political figures in any way, the Conservative Party is the first to point out it isn’t true that Jeremy Corbyn will make it illegal to be the Archbishop of Canterbury unless you’re transgender. You can be certain that if any publication tried to misrepresent a party leader by showing them in a peculiar pose as they ate an item of food, Theresa May and the Conservatives would be outraged and insist the whole election was held again to make it fair.

This is also why ‘The Sun’ newspaper was ecstatic about Theresa May’s speech, because if there’s one thing Rupert Murdoch can’t stand, it’s a foreigner who tries to influence the outcome of a British election.


For the rest of the article:-
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Sun May 14, 2017 11:58 am

Why Theresa May should scare you

From an article by Tom King:-

Looked at objectively, Theresa May is very clearly a political leader who, given free rein, would be a dictator. Her history as home secretary is one of increasingly authoritarian rhetoric and policy, summarised by the ‘Go Home’ vans. Since becoming PM, her government has proposed lists of foreign workers, forcing out foreign doctors, and removing troops from international human rights law. They’ve introduced a two-child policy on child tax credits, forcing women to prove they have been raped to receive their rightful benefits. They’re bringing back grammars and introducing army cadet units at state schools. They’re preventing universities from accepting international students. And they’ve utterly failed to protect EU citizens’ rights. May failed to condemn a Tory councillor’s petition which tried to make opposing Brexit 'treason'. She failed to condemn front pages denouncing judges as ‘enemies of the people’ and Remainers as ‘saboteurs’. She’s presided over a government that has stolen UKIP’s clothes.

Her speech announcing the general election implied that other political parties differing from her opinion in any way were deviating from the national interest. She demanded ‘unity in Westminster’ as if Parliament is a rubber stamp, a plaything for her personal vanity projects. She said ‘the country is coming together but Westminster is not’ as though she deserves a standing ovation for her new-found Brexit zealotry. (That’s also palpably untrue. As Yvette Cooper pointed out. Parliament voted overwhelmingly for Article 50 and for the general election. Westminster could not be more united.)

May believes that any opposition in Westminster creates ‘uncertainty and instability’. She’s basically calling the election because there are 9 Lib Dems, 1 Green and 56 SNP MPs who won’t play along. She accused other parties of treating politics ‘as a game’ while knowingly turning politics into a game herself. She is a political strongman in the body of a well-to-do, matronly upper middle class woman. According to May, this election will be about Brexit. But it’s also about ensuring that May and the Tories’ corrupt and disastrous regime is shored up. We are faced with the prospect of a dictatorial PM whose power was acquired on the back of a fascist media. If you aren’t scared, you should be.


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Sun May 14, 2017 9:40 pm

Ivan wrote:Why Theresa May should scare you

From an article by Tom King:-

If you aren’t scared, you should be.

It's no excuse to say you're already fully scared-up by Donald Trump.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Sun May 14, 2017 10:42 pm

She scares the cr*p out of me
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Mon May 15, 2017 7:15 pm


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Courtesy of Private Eye

Post by oftenwrong on Thu May 18, 2017 7:31 pm

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Thu May 18, 2017 9:34 pm

lol! rofl
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If you aren't a cynic now - what do you expect to be after June 8 ?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat May 20, 2017 2:38 pm

"May's manifesto is proof that you make different promises if you know you're going to have to keep them."

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Sat May 20, 2017 5:22 pm

The Guardian editorial policy is fairly right wing at present in my opinion - not going to be interested in reporting anything that supports Labour - we may well lose, but I'm not taking the Guardian's word for it
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat May 20, 2017 5:49 pm

boatlady wrote: .... I'm not taking the Guardian's word for it

Nor should you, or indeed anyone else in the current circumstances.  The right-wing Press has been remarkably successful at indoctrinating the lumpen-proletariat, and as in many other facets of modern life we have to judge for ourselves the integrity of what we are told.  In the Trump era we have grown used to the concept of "fake news" but that has in fact been around for Centuries.  It is, as always, incumbent upon us to evaluate the torrent of "information" for ourselves.

I read a lot of rubbish in the papers, and hear a lot of slanted "reports" from broadcasters and bloggers, which I recognise for what it is.  In the same way I can recognise the integrity of a lone voice telling us what we know to be as close to the truth as we're likely to get.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Sat May 20, 2017 10:35 pm


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Theresa May ditches manifesto plan with 'dementia tax' U-turn

Post by oftenwrong on Mon May 22, 2017 7:28 pm

Presumably as a result of the howls of rage from fellow Tories, which is why Ms May wants a "landslide result" on June 8th. so that she can ignore the rest of her party, and indeed the Nation, henceforth.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed May 24, 2017 9:42 am

“God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
by William Cowper. Hymnal 1982


The disgraceful bombing of the Manchester Arena concert could provide the Maybot with her own "Falklands moment."
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Wed May 24, 2017 11:05 am

Or the terror attack could have the opposite effect, as one did in Madrid in 2004:-
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As home secretary and now as PM, Theresa May has been instrumental in cutting the police force by 19,000 since 2010. How she or Amber Rudd can claim to be looking after our security beggars belief.

Still, putting troops on the streets will give them some experience. They may be needed to deal with the civil disorder which, regrettably, could follow the catastrophic effects of Brexit, continuing austerity and ever-increasing inequality. Assuming that is, there isn't a 'Madrid effect' to change the outcome of this election.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Wed May 24, 2017 12:13 pm

Ivan, you give me a little hope
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Thu May 25, 2017 11:07 pm


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by sickchip on Fri May 26, 2017 9:53 am

The Tories just tell whatever lies they want.

I'm surprised, and disappointed, that no commentator's have wrote about what the Tories are really up to - with their policies.....'dementia tax', etc.

They have already kicked and bled dry those at the bottom of the ladder.....forcing people to depend on food banks, sanctioning benefits, etc; and now they are looking to those a little further up the ladder and going after them......looking to drive down their living standards and expectations. The aim is to gradually adjust / manipulate the public mindset so that we eventually accept a lower quality of life, lower incomes etc. We are being geared up to compete with other low wage economies around the world.

May herself is barely containing the fascist dictator that sleeps in her very soul. She has deployed the army over the awful Manchester bombing. Isn't she just setting a precedent? Do you think she would hesitate to deploy the army if her government were faced with angry protests and marches?
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by sickchip on Fri May 26, 2017 10:02 am

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I imagine the Tories have deliberately let good community policing disappear.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri May 26, 2017 10:44 am

We don't like it, do we, when a Tory government don't trouble to conceal their REAL intention?

There's nowt funnier than folk who prefer the pill disguised with a sugar-coating.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Fri May 26, 2017 11:09 pm

The ‘dementia tax’ was an addition to the Tory manifesto which was apparently thought up by Theresa May. If she gets the opportunity to implement it, it will result in a great expansion of equity release plans. In the UK, that business is currently dominated by Legal and General, which has a 29% market share. A major shareholder of Legal and General is Capital Group, of which a key UK executive is Philip May.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by sickchip on Sat May 27, 2017 10:59 am

Ivan,

Good post! I suppose if they want to get rich(er) stealing other people's money doing it by stealth, and under cover of the law, is the best way to do it.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Mon May 29, 2017 11:43 pm

Machiavelli had a better script than the one Theresa was reading from during her grilling from Paxman this evening.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Tue May 30, 2017 2:14 pm


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:06 pm


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:15 pm

I don't expect to die comfortably in my bed if the Tories get back in
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:25 pm


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:41 am

The mask (never a really good fit) has been allowed to slip, to reveal a face familiar from history; the one worn by Chile's General Pinochet, Argentine's Galtieri, and Generalisimo Franco while creating Los Desaparecidos, The Disappeared Ones.

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In the aftermath of Terrorist attacks on a civilian population it's not difficult to understand the emotions which engender a desire to capture the perpetrators and boil them slowly in oil. As a deterrent however such eye-for-an-eye measures have the opposite effect.
"I’ll rip up human rights laws that impede new terror legislation" will resonate during a general election but where does it end? Can euthanasia of the unproductive be far behind? Can "The People" any longer be trusted with universal franchise. For how much longer can The Will of Parliament be challenged by unelected judges in a Court of Appeal. Why shouldn't the Police be authorised to arrest anyone they don't like the look of?

Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls - it tolls for thee. (John Donne)

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:13 pm

Emily Thornberry writes:-

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:04 am

Emily Thornberry and Barry Gardiner have both emerged as real stars during this campaign - fair-minded, articulate, good humoured - all the mature traits you want in a politician in government
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:25 pm

It's already clear that there needs to be a wholesale redistribution of jobs in the Labour Party soon after the election - whatever the outcome.  Alongside the "real stars" there are people actively working against the Leadership.

(Look for this posting under another heading) pirate
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:14 pm

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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by sickchip on Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:41 am

The fact that May and her odious Tories are willing to accept the support of the anti-abortion, anti-gay DUP shows just how desperate, regressive, and self-serving they are. How can modern Britain choose to be dictated to by antiquated f--kers like the DUP? They are unfit for our parliament. The Tories colluding with them demonstrates exactly what the Tories are.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:30 pm

I don't think any contracts have yet been signed - maybe the lovely Mrs May will realise that her position is untenable and do the decent thing - the DUP isn't going down well with any part of the English or Scottish electorate as far as I can see
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:41 pm


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:09 pm

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The answer to the title question now must be that if Niccoló Machiavelli were alive he would be suing the Maybot for "passing off".
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by Ivan on Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:30 am


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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by sickchip on Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:16 am

The Tories have survived on a diet of hyper bullshit, a propaganda campaign modelled on Nazi propaganda, and outright lies. They've been sussed. Has Britain ever been plunged into such chaos and uncertainty? Theresa and her fellow Tory fu**kers are lunatics in charge of a sinking ship.
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

Post by boatlady on Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:15 am

I believe and hope that Mr Corbyn may have a plan
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Re: Is Theresa May the new Machiavelli?

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