I try to imagine what it must be like being Theresa May, and then realise that she never tries to imagine what it’s like being any other human being.
Some people have always been dead to shame. Sometimes it’s hilarious. Take James Boswell, for example. Boswell, however, did have guilt, bucketloads of guilt, and did concede that shame might be a useful thing to have since shame has the capacity to control behaviour before the event rather than just help you hate yourself after you’ve been a complete arse. Theresa May is dead to shame and it’s not hilarious.
Theresa May could probably still try to save the union. The time left for her to do so is most conveniently measured in hours but she could still try. Nicola Sturgeon isn’t asking for Scotland to to be excluded from Brexit, even though most Scots voted to reject Brext. All she’s asking for, is for Scotland to be excluding from the most ruthless and destructive version of Brexit possible, a Brexit that nobody in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England specifically voted for. But May would rather the Union fell apart than do that.
Whether the Union should survive is another question. There’s probably a pretty deafening global consensus that it shouldn’t. But Theresa May is the leader of a party that has one policy union. As I never tire of telling people (actually I do tire of telling people), the Conservative and Union Party doesn’t stand for anything else, in essence, since “conservative” is a completely relative term. To be conservative merely means to be cautious about proceeding any given direction. Unionist does mean something though. In essence, May and Cameron had one job. And they’ve done everything they can to do the very opposite of that job.
When the second Indyref campaign is fought, May will have nothing to offer but fear, no “union” other than a union of grim economic necessity. Indeed, once the economic cost of Brexit starts to bite, it will be argued that the post Brexit slump (that Scots voted to try to prevent) forces an impoverished and “out of options” Scotland to cling to a union with the very nation that impoverished them. That’s the abusive marital model that will be proposed.
Theresa May could, if she had any commitment to the one job she’s absolutely meant to do, pick up the phone and start demonstrating some empathy. You can’t claim to love “Britain” and despise Scotland, unless you think you can also say “I have a great marriage, I just hate my wife”. If you want to save “Britain”, then you need to have real dialogue.
But it isn’t in her. She can’t do it. We are told that she prays regularly and that her Christian faith supports her in her decision making Hers must therefore be a Christianity without empathy, and the message of Jesus is that loving concern for your fellow human beings is the worst of sins. You may lie as often as you like. You may betray the very things you keep telling people you believe in, but never ever ever attempt to walk a millimeter in anybody else’s shoes.