British Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly announced on Monday that she would be seeking a snap general election in June, just half way through her party’s five-year term in government—a move that surprised everyone.
However, in an outburst that seems to have captured the exasperation of a whole nation, Brenda from Bristol’s reaction to the news during a BBC vox pop segment has gone viral.
“Not another one… I can’t stand this,” she told the reporter, a sentiment that thousands apparently share.
The clip, only 14 seconds long, has made Brenda a hero in the eyes of the British public.
I'll vote for Brenda tbh https://t.co/s4XRv3hRGb— Emma Kelly (@TooManyEmmas) April 18, 2017
WE ARE ALL BRENDA https://t.co/sVYna2N1NL— Esther Webber (@estwebber) April 18, 2017
I am Brenda from Bristol rn pic.twitter.com/suuD597Mmm— Abbers (@mikey_abbley) April 18, 2017
Brenda and her followers are not the only ones unimpressed by the announcement.
Six weeks to election. It took me six months to build the BBC's election site in 2015. Copy and paste like fuck, boyos.— Charlie Don't Surf (@sonniesedge) April 18, 2017
To be fair, the British public has had their fair share of divisive political debate in the last year.
In June 2016, the country voted to leave the European Union in a bitterly fought “Brexit” referendum that, in the end, split voters roughly 52 percent to 48 percent. Recently, May triggered Article 50, to initiate that departure from the trade bloc and the negotiation of the U.K.’s new economic relationship with the E.U.
In calling another election, the prime minister is hoping to strengthen her party’s authority in Westminster and its ability to negotiate Brexit without real opposition. At the moment, May’s Conservative Party own only a slim majority within the London’s parliament.
Appearing outside her residence at Downing Street, May explained her belief that a strong government would be needed to lead the U.K. out of the E.U. and that “political game-playing” of the opposition parties would undermine that.
“We need a general election and we need one now,” she said. “Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit, and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country. … At this moment of enormous national significance, there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead, there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not.”
“Our opponents believe because the Government’s majority is so small that our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change. They are wrong,” she continued. “They underestimate our determination to get the job done, and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country.”
The decision shows a sudden turnaround on the prime minister’s previous position, having always opposed calling a general election before 2020. The stakes are high as the current government now gambles all to strengthen its hand, but if Brenda’s meme-worthy reaction and its popularity are to be taken seriously, British patience for political theater is running low.