A fantasy speech on the doorstep of Number Ten

By D. J. Webb

I, Theresa May, have made clear that, as your prime minister, I will implement the referendum result to withdraw from the European Union. Although I favoured remaining, I recognize that this is a popular demand that has commanded widespread support in the country for decades. The key point is that I believe in democracy, and I believe we can make Brexit work.

I disassociate myself from the previous administration’s Project Fear. Any minister joining my government joins on the understanding that there will be no more talking down of sterling or of investment in Britain. Economic confidence can be undermined by government rhetoric, which becomes self-fulfilling if investment is deterred in response to political noise.

Any government holding a referendum has a duty to plan for two results. The order to the Civil Service not to plan for Brexit was, in my view, misconduct in a public office, which is a criminal offence. I do not propose to bring charges against David Cameron or George Osborne, but neither of these men will play any role in my government. The failure to plan for Brexit and the shocking instruction to the Civil Service to become thoroughly politicized in favour of the Remain campaign are serious issues. I make clear to the public and to the Civil Service that the neutral Civil Service we once had must be restored. I demand that, and will ensure it happens.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has seriously jeopardized his position in talking down the British economy. I find this too unacceptable: this also amounts to misconduct in a public office. I have discussed this with the Queen, and will recommend that he be sacked by Order in Council at the next meeting of the Privy Council. This is essential in order to restore our once-pristine neutral Civil Service. Civil servants must work for us, and not the other way round.

Jeremy Heywood, the Cabinet secretary, presided over the unlawful politicization of the Civil Service in the cause of Brexit. This is also misconduct in a public office. He does not command my confidence. The Queen has appointed me Minister for the Civil Service. I intend to serve as the minister and ensure the Cabinet secretary does not encroach upon the ministerial office. I am in charge of the Civil Service, not Jeremy Heywood. I will recommend at the next Privy Council that Heywood be sacked by Royal decree, losing his knighthood and other awards along the way. Heywood will clear his desk today and go on gardening leave until the Privy Council convenes.

I will not hold a debate on politicization of the Civil Service with senior civil servants. They must be neutral. It is not a choice, but a requirement of the job. Mr Carney and Mr Heywood, don’t let the door hit your bottoms on the way out. Clear your desks and sling your hooks.

Our ancient constitution is being restored: this is my core policy and I will see it through.

I woke up, bleary-eyed, to find Mrs May spouting her confidence in Carney and Heywood, and I recalled my fantasy speech was but a dream.



  • If Mrs May ever delivered a speech like that, I would be looking out my window for squadrons of flying Lincolnshire Curley Coats.

  • I don’t want a speech outside No 10. I want a PM who only deliver speeches to Parliament.

    • Yes, there’s a good argument for that.

    • Yes, quite.

  • I’ve just watched a Conservative Prime Minister talk about ‘social justice’. I used to mouth platitudes like that when I was 16/17. Are these people grown-ups?

    I’m a great believer in ‘everything in its place’. Can’t the Tories just be Tories? Everything was much simpler when they were. Ironically, I think it was Thatcher who started all this nonsense.

    • Indeed. This is why I am backing Corbyn for Labour leader. Labour under Eagle and the Conservatives under May would be business as usual as far as the parties’ ideological alignments go.

      The Prime Minister’s speech was easily the least conservative of any Conservative administration ever. I can’t think of one more on the Left than the pre-Kinnock Labour leaders.

  • The social justice comments by May are foolish and so is the desire to appoint people purely owing to the presence of ovaries. But she seems to accept Brexit (although we await any details on whether it will be a Norway-lite fudge). I think the appointment of Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox is a good start. Johnson is a multiculturalist, and I don’t trust him. But the Brexiteers are in the Cabinet in key posts – and it is much better than if, as rumoured, she had appointed George Osborne Foreign Secretary. David Davis is more my cup of tea. Liam Fox – possibly too much of a neo-con. Like most neo-cons he can be good on individual issues, although dreadful on some of the most important ones.

    • Not foolish in the political sense, though. ‘Social justice’ is a slogan to her rather than an ideological commitment. Whether she believes in it privately and is some kind of Marxoid Fifth Columnist is another matter – this is possible – but her motivations are political. The Tory sharks smell blood in the water. They know that Labour is weak and maybe on its last legs now.

      Labour are finished in Scotland, they are being squeezed in Wales, and are vulnerable to UKIP in their north of England strongholds. Labour are also skating on thin ice in the more marginal constituencies in the Midlands and south of England, where fickle, middle-class voters might switch to a female Tory premier who is reasonably on-message. I think she is aiming at the latter group.

      We must always bear in mind that this woman is no fool. She knows what she is doing. She is politically-astute, and unlike most politicians, she is administratively competent.

  • “So I awoke, and behold it was a dream.” (John Bunyan).

    This is no dream. But Mr Webb has put forward a really good idea here. Suppose you unexpectedly became prime minister. What would your first speech be?

    • “When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?” (William Morris).

      In my first speech as Prime Minister, I would talk about creating the England wanted by John Ball, an England of equality and freedom, in which each person has a place and is valued. There would be no ‘gentlemen’ or aristocracy. This would be a country for workers and farmers. Socialism for ordinary people for a change, rather than the usual dispensation of socialism for the rich.

  • Enoch's Eyebrow

    Our ancient constitution is being restored: this is my core policy and I will see it through.

    The reign of Edward I would be a good place to find ideas.

    Prime Minister-in-waiting Theresa May commits to remembering the Irish Famine

    Theresa May dines with Archbishop of Canterbury on eve of becoming Prime Minister

  • But… who will be Peadofinder General?

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