May And Loathsome

There is a lot of nonsense talked about life in 1950s and 1960s West Belfast. Nostalgia gives us a lot of clichés…”close knit communities”, “people who were the salt of the earth”, “give you the shirts off their backs” and “you could leave your front door open at night”.
It is all …half-true.
Occasionally there was a good old fashioned argument in the street. And I still remember the first time I heard the phrase “ya f@@@ing hoor” shouted across the narrow street. I had to ask my parents what the neighbours were talking about. Like most of the neighbours, my parents never took part in any unseemly activity. “They are only letting themselves down …in front of the Protestants…thats how they expect Catholics to act”.
Yet I remember the day that two women in their 30s …next door neighbpurs…fell out…over children.
I didnt notice the exact words used. But I recall my parents closing the front door and saying that “no woman should say that about another woman”.
It was about one woman having children and the other woman being childless. Like I say, I dont recall the exact words but it must have been pretty vicious. Certainly the women in the street turned against the woman who made the remark.
There is a taboo about the subject. Men…we dont ask questions. There are conversations we dont want to hear. At some point in his life every man will get a strange look or a kick in the shin as a gentle or forceful reminder that he has said the wrong thing.

So the fuss over what Angela Leadsom is alleged to have said (in a newspaper interview) about Tory Leadership rival, Theresa May is interesting. Seemingly Ms Leadsom suggested that as a mother of three children, she is better placed to be Prime Minister than Ms May, who has not been blessed with children.
Women are ourtaged. So are Men. Especially Men who back are Tory MPs who support Ms May.
As always, people talk about context.
As a Man, I cannot express an opinion as I have had too many kicks in the shin over the years.
A few points. Ms Leadsom says she was taken out of context. The Times (newspaper) has provided an audio recording. The journalist is a woman (yes its relevant because I dont think a male journo would go down that road or that a woman politician would have found it easy to raise the subject.
Either way, Ms Leadsom’s supporters say too much is being made of this.
And supporters of Ms May suggest that this adds to the charge sheet against Ms Leadsom.

The rise of Leadsom has been extraordinary. I had never really heard of her except in the context of her appointment as a junior Minister for Energy last year. I am not even sure I am spelling her name right.
She became one of the leaders of the LEAVE Campaign. Her emergence as the LEAVE candidate for Leader is due to good performances in the pre-Referenndum debates and the implosion of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove.
But there are more serious questions about Leadsom. There are allegations that she exaggerated her CV. She is a late convert to the LEAVE side. A big fan of Fox Hunting and not a fan of Gay Marriage.
In other words, a pretty average backwoods Tory MP who is already over-promoted. Prime Ministerial material? I dont think so.
Yet Theresa May has questions to answer. Even with a REMAIN victory and David Cameron holding on as Prime Minister, it was always likely that the next Tory Leader would be a showdown between Theresa May and George Osborne.
The LEAVE victory took Cameron and Osborne out of the equation.
And May became the REMAIN candidate…with a wider appeal to LEAVERS because she was largely AWOL during the campaign.

So the actual contest to be decided by 150,000 Tory members is between May (backed by 199 MPs) and Leadsom (88 MPs).Ex-Gove supporters (48 MPs) are more likely to support Leadsome.
With 60% of Tory members being LEAVERS, the temptation is to think that they will vote for Leadsome…but her lack of experience, general flakiness and no secret that Labour members fear May much more….could sway people to May.
The clumsy (at best) or vicious (at worst) comments about childlessness could be a very bad mistake.
May is a capable politician who is a REMAINER.
Leadsom is a pretty average MP who is a LEAVER.
Who is better placed to negotiate BREXIT from Europe?
Tories can be pragmatic. It looks like May.

But the fact is that the entire issue of having or not having children should be irrelevant. Thats what the REMAINERS are saying….now.
Yet two weeks ago REMAINERS were getting hysterical about people like me (one wife, two sons, two Daughters-in-Law and three (so far) grandchildren….that I was a disgrace because I voted LEAVE without thinking about the children.
Hypocrisy from REMAINERS?

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2 Responses to May And Loathsome

  1. Mary Martin says:

    Do you think that Enda Kenny – David Cameron’s opposite number in the south – should resign given his low level of standing in last week’s opinion poll? It seems that FF are likely to win the next election with perhaps the support of some independents.

    Do you know if the SDLP think that things are going well for them in Opposition?

    • I dont think any Leader should resign based on opinion polls. But An Taoiseach will be getting the vibes of discontent from his own Party.
      But thats mostly to do with losing the General Election and having to go into a coalition with the Independents.
      FG will get Kenny.
      The Independents look amatuerish. They might do well in opinion polls but when it comes to the next election, they will slip back.
      Id reckon Fianna Fáil will win the next election. SF will slip back (they have blown it) and Labour will have a revival at the expense of assorted lefties.
      Of course a lot depends on the timing of the Election and the circumstances at the time.

      As for SDLP…..yes they/we are pretty happy. SInn Féin have lost their mojo and are too obviously joined at the hip to DUP who are the lead party in the coalition.
      Apathy, People Before Profit and SDLP are now alternatives.
      With Welfare now in hands of the Tories and more cuts on the way, thanks to Brexit and the Coroporation Tax thing in disarray and Ó Muilleoir being more pompous than usual….SF look worried.

      SDLP had a good Referendum Campaign …have good contacts in Dublin, Europe, Westminster, Washington and there are genuine stars…Eastwood, Hanna, Attwood, McGlone, and the Westminster three MPs. …and some rising stars like Mallon, McCrossan.
      Compare that with Ó Muilleoir and Hazzard and Martina Anderson.
      Downside? Very much so. We went from 16 MLAs to 14 to 12 in three successive elections but a lot depends on groundwork at council level….voter apathy and SDLP finding an “issue”.

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