Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
16 October 2018

9 reasons why The Sun’s comparison of Theresa May to Boudicca is… unfortunate

She led Britain to a catastrophic defeat by Europeans, destroying large parts of it in the process.

By Media Mole

Theresa May’s former adviser and the world’s most amplified election loser Nick Timothy has urged the Prime Minister to follow Celtic queen Boudicca’s example, in his column for The Sun. Photoshopping the PM onto a statue of apparently the only woman in power men can think of (died c.AD 60), The Sun headlines the piece: “It’s your Boudicca moment, Theresa”.

Quoting a friend who said the PM needs “to discover her inner Boudicca”, Timothy writes that “the ancient British queen rose up against the Roman Empire, winning battles, slaughtering enemies and forcing the Romans to contemplate leaving Britain all together”.

Note the word “contemplate”. While Timothy acknowledges that Boudicca was “eventually defeated”, he writes this off as an irrelevant aside – “whatever the details, my friend was right”.

Perhaps he was, Nick, perhaps he was:

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

1 Boudicca was catastrophically defeated

In a devastating battle succumbing to Roman rule in Britain, Boudicca’s army was comprehensively defeated, with 80,000 killed, according to Roman historian Tacitus.

2 She destroyed London

In the build-up to the battle, Londinium was burnt to the ground and all remaining inhabitants were killed.

3 She destroyed Essex

Well, the town of Colchester – then the capital of Roman Britain.

4 She destroyed the commuter belt

Her warriors destroyed St Albans, of Hertfordshire – then known as Verulamium.

5 She was complacent about winning

So sure were the Britons that they’d win, their families – including women and children – were stationed in a crescent of wagons around the battle field to witness the expected overwhelming victory. They were massacred.

6 Her army was ill-equipped

Despite heavily outnumbering the Romans, Boudicca’s rebels weren’t equipped properly to do battle.

7 She took her own life

Boudicca poisoned herself after the defeat, according to Tacitus.

8 Europe ran Britain for 400 years afterwards

Boudicca’s defeat led to Roman rule for almost four centuries.

9 Actually this is a very good analogy for Brexit

Underprepared, complacent, over-confident, and entirely self-destructive? Well done, Nick Timothy.

Topics in this article :