When Theresa May called the election, to silence her party’s Eurosceptics, her lead was unassailable. The thrust of her campaign was to choose between Jeremy Corbyn and herself. Corbyn was written off as the jester. Nonetheless, Corbyn is eroding May’s lead. So, the ‘nasty party’ are again trying to undermine Corbyn with a spate of personal attacks. However, politics should be about policy and not personality. We deserve better than lies and the Tory muck slinging. It is an insult to the electorate, it brings politics into disrepute, and it raises questions of trust.
Simultaneously, Corbyn is labelled a pacifist. So, either Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser, or he is a pacifist. He cannot be both.
However, Tories including Viscount Whitelaw and apparently Douglas Hurd did meet with the IRA. At the time it was against Tory government policy. Nevertheless good government understands that dialogue is vital to initiating peace. So, attempts at peace talks should never be weaponised.
That, however, is somewhat different from Margaret Thatcher promising Afghan Rebels £2m additional foreign aid. The same Afghan Rebels we fight today. Similarly, the Tories call Saudi Arabia our friend and sell them arms. They also call America our friend. Yet, there is a most extraordinary connection between Saudi Arabia, 9/11 and ISIS.
Those are the crucial points that the Tories and the right-wing media omit. In doing so, they distort the truth. So that raises a question of trust.
I have to trust that a leader will fight for what they believe. Frankly, May seems flexible on issues.
May, cut the police service but the Tories insist they are the party of law & order. She agreed to accept 3,000 migrant children and reneged after 350 arrived. We were told 11 times there would be no snap election. And May follows the will of the people, except when the will of the people involves a TV debate.
I would also suggest that May is a bully. What else does one call a leader who presides over a campaign of character assassination and lies? Hers are the politics of poison and not policy.
U-turns aside, the Tories are expecting the majority of our votes in exchange for their lack of accountability. They have presented a manifesto that does not contain any figures; no detail on the Brexit negotiation plan, unlike the EU; and say ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ without defining a good deal. We are being asked to buy a ‘cat in the sack’.
There are two things memorable about their manifesto. The pledge to freeze energy costs, a Labour plan they heavily criticised, and the U-turn on social care. Austerity will continue while corporate welfare, grants and tax relief to multinationals, increases.
Jeremy Corbyn says ‘We should judge our economy, not by the presence of billionaires but by the absence of poverty.’ And people are listening. The Tories are now taking the jester seriously. They have waged war on Corbyn. He has waged war on Tory policy.
I expect the Tories to win; I fear a landslide. So we must remember when we vote politics is not about personality but policy.
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