England

Britain Welcomes New Prime Minister Theresa May. Here's Why She's Awful.

Keep calm and accept 24/7 surveillance.

|

Theresa May
Ben Cawthra/Sipa USA/Newscom

If you perhaps wondered what it might be like if California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein ever became president, maybe keep an eye on the United Kingdom.

Today, Theresa May officially became the United Kingdom's prime minister, taking over from David Cameron, who resigned in the wake of the public vote to leave the European Union. May had previously been the secretary of the Home Office, a position in the British Cabinet that oversees internal security, immigration, and matters of internal national security and policing.

In her previous position, May has been a significant supporter of the expansion of internal surveillance authority by the British government, even in the face of outrage when the extent of snooping taking place was exposed by Edward Snowden. When U.K. authorities detained David Miranda, the partner of Snowden leak journalist Glenn Greenwald, at London's Heathrow Airport, May supported the action and told critics to "think about what they're condoning."

In the United States, federal officials tend to push to maintain surveillance authorities as a tool to fight terrorist threats. Of course, Americans have also seen that these tools inevitably end up in local law enforcement agencies' hands (such as in StingRay devices used to track locations) in attempts to secretly engage in surveillance for domestic crimes. Nevertheless, the talking point is always about protecting us from terrorist attacks.

May does not seem terribly interested in making such distinctions. One of her arguments for expanding easy government access to Internet user data was to fight "cyberbulling." She wants to bring internet surveillance to bear to stop people from being mean to each other online.

May pushed for the Investigatory Powers Bill, known as the Snooper's Charter, and shares a very similar attitude as Feinstein on encryption. She wants tech companies to be required to bypass encryption at the demand of the government, even if doing so renders citizens' data more vulnerable to hackers. The Independent notes that one fear in the United Kingdom following their vote to leave the European Union is that the E.U. has mandated data privacy practices, and whether she'd be able to scrap those. It could be another example of how Britain's exit from the European Union could actually lead to more government control and regulation, not less.

And like Feinstein, she's terrible on drugs, too. Arguably she's worse. She's a proponent of the Pyschoactive Substances Act, which creates an environment where any substance that can give people a high is by default banned unless it is specifically exempted. Jacob Sullum wrote about the terrible law here. Wired notes that the Act has been blasted by academics and scientists for being unclear and for possibly hampering research into the effects of drugs.

The mindset behind somebody who can support that act is that of somebody who thinks "rights" are things that the government grants you. You can't keep information private unless the government says you can. You can't consume this chemical unless the government says you can. She's the "Mother, May I?" of prime ministers, the ultimate example of the nanny as authority.

NEXT: Street Musician Has First Amendment Right to Perform, Will Have Legal Bills Paid by City of Providence

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Theresa May is the worst politician in the civilized world. I’m not being hyperbolic there. If she was running against Bernie Sanders here I’d probably have to feel the Bern.

    1. So you’re excluding Continental Europe from Civilization?

    2. At least she didn’t stab Boris Johnson in the back!

      Or didn’t she…..?

    3. Don’t get carried away, Hillary is some good competition. Just throw the two of them in a pit and see which comes out alive.

      1. The winner exits through the thing that looks like a woodchipper.

    4. Bernie Sanders is Saint Bernie compared to that evil fucking witch.

      1. Get rid of the Seaward.

        1. Theresa May will go when she’s good and ready.

    5. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. Go to website and click toTech tab for more work details…Now this Website… http://www.Trends88.com

    6. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. Go to website and click toTech tab for more work details…Now this Website… http://www.Trends88.com

  2. “I want your hard drive.” said Theresa, as she leaned over the front of the desk, exposing her cleavage…

    1. She told me that she wanted my hard drive, too, but that she’s not at all interested in my floppy disk.

      So then, it’s true, I tell ya… Real men have hard drives! Real men do NOT have floppy disks!

  3. Mother May, aye, there’s the rub.

    1. In the UK we don’t say “Would”, we say “May”.

      1. Would is an English word of English origin.

  4. Any word on what millennials think of her?

    1. They’ve all carved pentagrams into their foreheads and donned dark hooded robes.

    2. Millennials are still sobbing about Brexit and watching puppy videos in their safe spaces.

    3. She does look a lot like the president character in one of those dystopian movies my kids are always watching.

    4. im a milennial. i dont like her.

      1. whoa… one thousand years old. the ancient one has awakened!

  5. When U.K. authorities detained David Miranda, the partner of Snowden leak journalist Glenn Greenwald, at London’s Heathrow Airport, May supported the action and told critics to “think about what they’re condoning.”

    You know their arguments that they’re promoting accountability in our government officials carries more weight when you arrest people who should have the protections of freedom of speech/press…

  6. The mindset behind somebody who can support that act is that of somebody who thinks “rights” are things that the government grants you.

    Sorry to be the one to tell you, but this is a horrifyingly common belief.

  7. Awful? She’s the fucking Anti-Christ.

  8. Boris Johnson get shived in the yard?

    1. He knew it was either his signature or his brains on that letter of resignation.

    2. He’s been named foreign secretary FWIW.

  9. It’s ironic that the tabloids that promoted the Brexit referendum day as “Independence Day” turned around and endorsed a statist tool like May.

    Is ironic the right word?

      1. Yeah I really do think

        1. It’s like rain…

    1. Not just right but maybe a little too right.

    2. Independent nation =/= free country.

      1. Look at France, they’ve got, like eight independence days.

      2. Self determination of the state means removing the individual’s own determination.

    3. There is zero irony. They’ve still got a fucking monarch! Of course the British want to be ruled, they seem to just want it to be ‘their’ ruler.

      That contrasts the continental Euros who never had a geographically unified kingdom, they seek being ruled in a large territory by stable monarch, instead of their small, surrounded fiefdoms.

      Didn’t you see Lord of the Rings?

  10. Nobody I know voted for Theresa May.

    1. I have seen Theresa May. I have heard Theresa May, and you sir are no Theresa May.

    2. In fairness, only 35K people in her district voted for her to be an MP and a couple hundred of her fellow MPs voted for her to be leader so unless you live in Maidenhead or know any Conservative MPs you probably wouldn’t…

      1. Wait– They actually have a constituency called Maidenhead? Doesn’t that mean hymen?

  11. Britain Welcomes New Prime Minister Theresa May. Here’s Why She’s Awfully smashing.

    My, my what a fit dish. I’d like to dig into her knickers and give her a right, cheeky snog.

  12. She’s a proponent of the Pyschoactive Substances Act, which creates an environment where any substance that can give people a high is by default banned unless it is specifically exempted.

    As someone who regularly gets high on life, I find this development very troubling.

    1. All exercise banned until they say otherwise.

    2. Revenge of the Blue Meanies!

  13. One of my balls has gone from large cherry tomato to small lime over the last 12 hours.

    1. Half-sack is that you?

      1. That’s One-and-a-half-sack to you!

    2. Go to the ER. Could be hydrocele, could be worse.

  14. So much for that “Britain might actually be better off post-Brixit” sentiment. She is PM right now only because they left the EU. And now Bitish economists are saying Britain is currently heading into a recession due to their exit. In the the long run, who knows. In the short run, it doesn’t look like a smart move.

    1. I think you’ve got that backward. In the short term, who knows. In the long term it was a very smart move.

    2. It’s been two weeks and ponies aren’t shitting rainbows from the sky!

      1. Hell, nearly three centuries since our Brexit we’re looking at electing a mafioso-style felon or the incredible talking ape, so you might have a point.

  15. On the other hand, she just appointed Boris Johnson as the UK’s Foreign Secretary. That’s good news, right?

  16. Haven’t they settled back in the whole twilight of a dead empire thing they had going on?

  17. I just, got. funded $6864 working off my notebook this-month,, and if you think that’s cool, my ex-wife has twin toddlers and made over 7985 bucks her first month. It feels so good making so much money when other people have to work for so much less ?

    ========= http://www.CareerPlus90.com

  18. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/

    13/nottinghamshire-police-count-

    wolf-whistling-hate-crime

    (separated to allow posting)

  19. Theresa May just be the worst PM yet!

    That she should argue for expanding easy government access to Internet user data in order to fight “cyberbulling” is ridiculous. WTF is cyberbullying anyway?

    I got bullied when I was a kid, and my parents told me I had to fight back or I would get in trouble. There was not a single instance where I shoved or punched one of these little fuckers that did not result in an immediate and permanent end to him bullying me any further. It proved that bullies go after soft targets. The last thing they want is someone who fights back.

    But I also learned “sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me.” If someone calls you something nasty, especially online, you can easily ignore/block that person. Do we need a government solution even for this?

    Can you imagine a near-future conversation like this:

    FBI Agent: “Mrs. Jefferson, I’m here about your son George. It seems George posted a comment on Derpbook in which he referred to a classmate as a — and I quote a — ‘four-eyed freak whose mom dresses him funny.’ I’m afraid that’s a clear violation of US Code 12A, Section 35, paragraph A. I’m going to have to confiscate your home computer, your cell phone, and your bank accounts. By the way, I should also inform you that my partner spotted your dog out back a few minutes ago and he was shot dead. Your dog, I mean, not my partner. At least I hope not.”

    Is it seriously coming to this?

  20. Lovely — so Brexit won’t mean much, because Britain will be under the heel of another nanny-state shitlord.

  21. If you perhaps wondered what it might be like if California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein ever became president

    Thanks for the nightmare fuel. When I wake up screaming in terror from mind shredding nightmares tonight it’ll be your fault, Shackford!

  22. She’s wants 1984 to be fact.

  23. Nanny state, eh? That bitch even looks like a nanny. A BRITISH nanny……

    1. You’ll take your medicine without the spoonfull of sugar, and you’ll thank her for it! Or else!

  24. Sorry, but while May and Feinstein may share views on government surveillance, in other areas, they are completely different. I’ll take May over Feinstein any day (if not for any other reason that Feinstein strikes me as suffering from senile dementia).

  25. uh, well those complaints are well and good but,

    what about her f-ing support of Sharia law for Muslim women in the UK?

    It won’t matter if there is more gov’t snooping when the UK is dominated my Muslims will it?

    There won’t be any f-ing freedom to worry about then anyway.

  26. The UK will soon now have had 2 female PMs – Mrs Thatcher, and the new one, Theresa.

    As a Rod Stwart fan, I must point out: Maggie/May.

    {Cue mandolin}

    Kevin R

    1. /S/t/w/r/t/ Stewart.

      It is also odd to type “PMs.” No intention of referring to women’s ….cycles… an’ pain an’ stuff.

      Kevin R

    2. Thatcher in her prime, sure, but this bitch?

  27. Cyberbulling? Watch out, virtual china shop.

  28. I was pulling for Leadsom.

  29. Great! Another prohibitionist mystical bigot in power. Other looters will promptly dub her “right-wing” (like libertarians) so that by lame association and cowardly straddle planks women under 65 cross the street to avoid us. Hepcats by a parallel process will associate us with the Tea and Consta-to-shun war-on-fun parties. Sigh…

  30. my classmate’s aunt makes $80 an hour on the computer . She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her check was $18306 just working on the computer for a few hours.click for this website

    _+_+_+_+__+_+_+_+ http://www.55easyline.com

  31. Showbox Download, Showbox Apk Download, Showbox App Download: Nowadays technology has brought a lot of changes in our lives, especially in education and communication.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.