The following is a copy of a letter sent to the Prime Minister this week.
‘Dear Prime Minister,
I hope I find you well, and that you’re not too jet lagged from your trip to the States. I understand that you were disappointed that Parliament would vote on Article 50, at least publicly, but I trust you’ve got a plan to get us out of Europe without making too much of a mess on the way out.
Prime Minister, I’m afraid to admit I didn’t vote for you (although, come to think of it, very few did), nor was I particularly enamoured by your predecessor. I’m not writing to whine and moan about how unfair it is that I don’t agree with many of your policies – that’s not really the point of a democracy, as I am after all, in the minority. Fair enough. However, in the unlikely circumstance that this letter finds its way to your desk, let alone actually opened (in which case I apologise for my dreadful handwriting; I’ve always considered it my biggest failing) I wanted you to know, first and foremost, something very simple:
Although I did not vote for you or for you party (again, sorry), you are still my Prime Minister and you still represent me.
That’s why I was appalled by your refusal to call out blatant fascism when it stared you in the face in that subhuman fake-tan-orange way that only he can pull off. You promised us that you would! You told me that you wouldn’t be afraid to tell him what you thought. And now that you failed to condemn his refugee ban, which though overturned, is just one of the terrifying things he’s done this week, your Minister David Gauke says you’re not a ‘shoot-from-the-hip’ type of politician. So you lied to me, Prime Minister. You promised you would talk straight and stand up for British values and now you’re casting yourself as somebody who has never talked straight in their life. I’m sorry if I come off as rude, but I need to make you understand what you’ve done. The strongest thing you’ve said against this is that you ‘don’t agree’. Seriously? That’s just about the meekest opposition you could put up. You say ‘I don’t agree’ when someone tries to tell you that Red Leicester is the best kind of cheese, not when you’re defending civil rights, for christ’s sake!
Prime Minister, it is my belief that we are now entering a very dark time. The rich get richer and fewer, and the poor get poorer and more numerous. Wild places are being raped on an unprecedented scale and the world grows greyer and less interesting every day. War destroys the Middle East, and the freedoms that better people fought so hard to gain now look to be shattered in the face of inhuman, brutal and utterly, utterly despicable right-wing demagogues and corporate executives who long ago ceased to understand empathy and compassion. You have simply GOT to do better than ‘I don’t agree’. I know you preach unity and progress, but you don’t seem to do much to help. ‘A citizen of the world is a citizen of nowhere’, you told me a few months ago, and it was then that I thought I glimpsed a sign that perhaps you welcome what I dread will come to pass. Perhaps you don’t. But if there is any minuscule amount of human goodness or decency in you, please do something. Please stand up to Trump for a start. Otherwise you will be remembered as a Prime Minister who inherited a crisis and decided to make it worse. You will, in other words, be the ASDA’s Own brand Neville Chamberlain.
Prime Minister, you must call out fascism. I hope someday I can write you a letter of thanks instead of concern. I hope you’ll listen.