Daniel Hannan is surprisingly surprised:
A couple of days before the vote, in a slightly whimsical spirit, I wrote the following: “I have a horrible vision of the Prime Minister responding to the defeat by making one of those statements at her lectern. ‘I have listened. I have heard what people want. And what people are asking for, up and down the country, is for Parliament to pass my Withdrawal Agreement…’”
I intended it as parody, but it is almost exactly what has happened. Responding to an off-the-scale defeat, the PM lumberingly announced that the vote was a mandate “to get on with Brexit.” She is putting together an accord with Labour, and plans to push it past exhausted MPs while she still can.
Of course this is how she reacted. This is how she has reacted all along. I’ve been saying this for what seems like an eternity, but even bright people like Hannan don’t seem to understand her game.
She isn’t so dumb that she really believes all this, though – it’s an act. She’s playing dumb because that leaves us guessing. She’ll keep doing it for as long as she gets away with it.
In fact, this sort of doubling down is what all leftists, statists and wet Tories always do. They never reverse course. The failure of one of their policies always means they want more of it. This has been their modus operandi since time immemorial. The economy is not doing well? Quick comrades, let’s hammer the kulaks even more. The welfare state is not preventing poverty? We must have more welfare. A rise in children being brought up without a father? We need to raise and extend the single mother benefit.
They never back down. They never acknowledge mistakes, unless they can be spun in a way to enable a variation on the plan. The ship must always sail on, and any sight of trouble ahead means the ship must increase speed. That is why Theresa May was always going to spin the failure of the locals as a sign that things must be done her way. I’m surprised that Hannan didn’t realise this. If even he doesn’t, no wonder most of the other Tories are clueless about what May is up to.