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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The politics of desparation

Theresa May's election campaign is in big trouble.

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Less than 50 days ago, Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap general election, with still almost three years left remaining in office for this government. She called the election using the justification that she required "a strong mandate" from the British people, to consolidate and strenghten her position at the Brexit negotiations due to begin on June 19th. During her announcement outside 10 Downing Street on the 18th April, the Prime Minister said  "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".
For some weeks, the media had been full of mixed speculation on whether or not there would be a snap general election called, but it came as a suprise to many when the announcement finally came. 
In fact, Theresa May's decision came about more through political opportunism than any thoughts concerning Brexit negotiations, as for some weeks the media had been full of opinion polls suggesting that the conservatives had a massive lead over the Labour party and would win an overall majority in the House of Commons of 200 or more seats. It was a temptation too strong to resist and Theresa May had the vision of exceeding  even the  144 seat majrity of her great idol Magaret Thatcher. The media with few exceptions, and the main television channels all carried the same message, predicting a landslide conservative victory, that the Labour party was disintegrating and that the labour leadership, particularly Jeremy Corbyn, made the party unelectable.The temptation was irresistable and Theresa May decided to go for an early election, making the final decision we are told while walking through the Welsh mountains while on holiday with her husband.
Today, less than 48 hours before the doors open at the polling stations, amid growing calls for her resignation, Theresa May is in trouble over her leadership and judgements. 
Over a seven week period, seven weeks which have seen two terrorist atrocites, one in Manchester and one in London, seven weeks which have been littered with gaffes and confusions from conservative party "heavyweights" such as Brexit Secretary David Davis, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Boris Johnson the cumbersome Foreign Secretary,  Michael Fallon the Defence Secretary and others the conservative party fortunes have declined rapidly.

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The Prime Minister herself has produced a lackluster performance in the election campaign. Evasive, dithering, U Turns on policy only hours after the conservative manifesto was published, avoidance of televised head to head debate and visible irritation when asked questions about policy, U Turns or lack of costings. Adding to the troubles of the Prime Minister and of Conservative Central Office, is the way in which a significant majority of the media have abandoned their unquestioning support for the conservatives and optimism of a landslide victory and are now devoting their front pages and editorials to other matters. Notwithstanding that the events in Manchester and London, have provided the media with human interest material, it is glaringly obvious that the anti Labour party and anti Jeremy Corbyn content has all but disappeared from the majority of newspapers. In fact at least one of the "quality" broadsheets and a number of "popular" papers, have now advised their readers that they endorse the Labour party as the preffered choice for the election. This transformation in the position of the media which would have been unthinkable only a few short weeks ago, has has been brought about by a recognition, since publication of the Labour party manifesto, that Labour is proposing a programme that will transform peoples lives.
Only do the pages of the "usual suspects" the Mail, the Times, the Standard persevere with the tirade against the Labour party and the personal abusive attacks against Jeremy Corbyn. Even the television channels seem to have toned down their hostility towards Labour, with only Sky Television News and a few BBC News presenters remaining as the "attack dogs" of the campaign to pursuade people to vote conservative on June 8th.The  maliciousness of Sky Television News has been evident right from the start of this election campaign and if anything has increased in its hostility over the past two weeks. Witness the fact that a live interview conducted by Sky News with former Senior Investigating Officer Metropolitan Police Peter Kirkham, was never shown again on Sky News, as he stated that the government and Theresa May as Home Office Minister and now Prime Minister,  was lying about the cuts in police numbers and the number of armed offices on the streets.

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for full interview link to:

One common feature, which has been paramount in the media onslaught, is the negative campaign tactic of persuading people, not why they should vote for the Conservatives, but why they should not vote for the Labour party.
Not once have we seen any reference to conservative party proposals that would benefit the people of this country. Indeed, proposals which we have seen have invariably been withdrawn, exposed as being impractical or U Turned within hours of being made public.
Conservative candidates around the country and senior conservative figures such as Katie Perrior, Norman Lamont, Michael Hesseltine and George Osborne have criticised their party organisation with phrases such as "If you were going to write what not to do in a campaign, this would be it" or "she doesn’t know what she’s doing and doesn’t answer questions".
The conservative campaign has been in trouble for some weeks.They have tried and failed to discredit the Labour party manifesto as being uncosted.They have tried and failed to discredit and smear the Labour leadership and to attack Jeremy Corbyn with personal abuse and disrespect.
They have been reliant on the politics of desparation to carry Theresa May back into number 10 and this reliance has backfired on them.Theresa May is in trouble and it may well cost her not only the Premiership, but also the leadership of the Conservative party.