Please note , the following words are taken from a post by this constituent. I have not included their name in order to protect their anonymity.

 

Right …. Quick summary of my 15 minutes with the PM last Friday. (though long post warning)

First impressions – she’s very cold and for someone who relies on votes to keep her job – could do with going to charm school.

I opened with my concerns of racism at the top of Government – she refuted this robustly – however I made reference to her own “British jobs for British workers” and “British Doctors would be better for the NHS” and of course the Home Secretary’s “foreigner list”. She went on about wanting to make sure UK companies were investing in UK workers etc etc. I did say if I advertised for a “British employee”, I would be very rightly on the sharp end of the Equality Act – she had to agree with that.

I presented her with a copy of the ballot paper and asked where on there did it say that we were voting to reduce the number of EU citizens in the UK? She said “well it doesn’t but the Government has reports that the level of immigration is a concern – I asked for reference which she couldn’t provide.

I then produced an infograph illustrating that EU workers add more to the economy than they cost – she didn’t appear impressed. She then started getting very emphatic that “the British people had voted for Brexit and the Government was committed to making it happen”. At this point she got a bit cross and started pointing in my face – I asked her to please not point in my face as I considered it rude! She replied that “People point at me all the time – “indeed” I said “it’s rude so please refrain!”.

I then presented the “pie chart” showing voting numbers and pointed out that only 37% of the electorate voted for Brexit which was not the “British people” – she didn’t really answer that one. I also said that the “British people” phrase from herself and her colleagues got me shouting at the tele and I would much prefer to hear 37% of the electorate. She asked me if I accepted the result – certainly not!

We then spoke about my own issue – in addition to my day job as an HR Manager with a large social care organisation, my husband and I own a small bistro – with an EU citizen chef. She would not guarantee EU citizens’ right to remain post Brexit. I outlined my wine supplier had increased prices (few British options for wine) food supplies have increased – I buy local where we can but we are always shopping to a price. Fuel costs have also risen due to the plunging pound. She started on about exports to which I replied I was not in a position to export my steak & frites that my diners order! I asked what assurances she could give me – “we will ensure a strong economy” was all she could do.

There was more “we’re going to get the best deal”. I told her that was a “hope not an action”. I gave the analogy that the Brexit “best deal” rhetoric would be like me saying I want the “best holiday” without knowing where I was going, how much it would cost, how I would get there, where I’d stay, what currency do I need, what shots I might need etc etc. All very meaningless without substance. She said the Government would not give details of their negotiation. I said that Donald Tusk had said on Thursday that there is either “Hard Brexit or no Brexit” and I was inclined to agree – she said “I am sure I have more experience in negotiating in Europe than you do!”. I said arrogance was not helpful.

I then showed her a screen shot of Boris Johnson’s speech the day after the 23rd (the part where he says we can still live, work, study etc in the EU) and asked could she clarify her Foreign Secretary’s comments as clearly this was not going to be true. She blustered and said “he wasn’t the Foreign Secretary then” (not sure what difference that makes…..)

By this point I knew we probably would never be friends so I asked her that given Maidenhead had voted overwhelmingly Remain would she vote against Brexit should she lose the Supreme Court case? She then said she was a representative not a “delegate” and was not obliged to be the voice of her constituents…………….. I said I thought the people of Maidenhead may find this interesting in the next election. She said anyone who didn’t understand this, doesn’t understand the role of an MP. I said I thought there would many who didn’t understand this.

Time was up – I finished by telling there was a huge groundswell of opposition to Brexit planning tactical voting and protest.

I don’t think she’s listening – she’s arrogant and extremely defensive. She also looked very very tired. In my years of people watching as an HR Manager – I would say she is very much out of her depth.

I will certainly post the “representative” not a “delegate” comments onto a Maidenhead Facebook page of over 8000 people – they should know their local member feels no obligation to take their views to Parliament. Maidenhead is overwhelmingly Tory but she also stood on an anti Heathrow platform and with Brexit added in – she may be challenged for her seat. (The LibDems do reasonably well on the local Council).

I don’t think I’m on her Christmas card list!

I would recommend that as many of us as possible request an appointment at Constituent Surgeries. The “representative not delegate” could be a good argument to Remain MPs in Leave areas. (obligation to put country first)

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