Remembered as a catch-phrase of Britain’s greatest post-war Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – TINA seems to have been adopted by the far less impressive Mrs May.
Richard North on EU Referendum, in between gloomy analyses of the likely outcome of Brexit as a result of the astonishingly negligent handling of the issue by the government, has a piece discussing the nerve agent poisoning attack in Salisbury. Gratifyingly he agrees with the conclusions of this blog regarding the infelicitousness of Mrs May’s response, and points out further,
Yet, for Mrs May, there was “no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter, and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey”. This, she said, “represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”.
What in fact, her statement represented was either a failure of imagination or a determination to close down her options before even starting to evaluate them. And, as an intellectual exercise, if you play this game, it is inevitable that you end up with “no alternative conclusion”.
We remember that Mrs May’s first action on assuming the premiership, was to rule out any sort of Brexit in which Britain sought membership of the EEA, at least as a transitional arangement. Such a policy would have completely avoided all the problems she is trying and failing to get to grips with now, most notably the Irish question.
In both cases she has closed down her options before taking the time to evaluate them properly.
So it is, that we have a PM who takes important decisions impulsively rather as if she was out shopping for one of her trademark pairs of leopardskin shoes.
With both Brexit and Russia there were alternatives, which she ignored, at OUR peril.
Untangling the consequences of these decisions is going to take decades.