An audience member unravelled the entire Conservative election campaign in ten seconds, on BBC Question Time. His intervention suggests the British public sees right through the sloganeering:
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— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) April 27, 2017
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The audience member said he’d bet his wife £10 that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green would say “coalition of chaos” and “strong and stable government” during his first contribution. It might be the easiest £10 he’s ever earned.
‘Repetitive cliché virus’
The Conservative campaign so far indicates that his wife was up against terrible odds. During an interview with Radio Derby, Theresa May epitomised this. Host Chris Doidge asked the Prime Minister if she knew what a ‘mugwump’ was. Boris Johnson had used the word to personally attack Jeremy Corbyn earlier that day. Then, like a robot, May responded:
What I recognise is that what we need in this country is strong and stable leadership.
The collective face-palm was tangible. Journalists from The Sun and The Guardian alike expressed utter disbelief. The mindless catchphrase only highlights the Prime Minister’s inability to defend her party’s record:
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) April 26, 2017
Wait a minute…
Hold on. Given the Conservative government’s unflinching support for Donald Trump, people may wonder which party represents the true ‘coalition of chaos’. Earlier this month, Trump unilaterally launched airstrikes at Syria. Without congressional approval. Despite zero reliable proof. UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said: “we have not yet any official or reliable confirmation” of who carried out the chemical attack. An unpredictable President launching airstrikes, with neither evidence nor basic democratic oversight, was no issue for our Prime Minister. May’s government backed the US President all the way. On the other hand, Corbyn called for an independent investigation before missiles were launched.
The ‘Trump did it, so we support it’ Conservative line becomes more apparent the closer you look. Demonstrably, the Conservative government’s overall position on Syria changes according to what Trump happens to think on any given day. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has U-turned four times in less than a year on whether the government supports regime change in the region. Johnson’s stance flip-flops according to Trump’s policy.
Our Question Time audience member nailed it. The Conservatives want to reduce the election to playground sloganeering in order to distract from their appalling record. But a little consideration shows even their own slogans don’t make sense. Trump ignored basic constitutional democracy and bombed a sovereign nation like a military dictator. The Conservatives’ support for him was as mindless as their catchphrases. The real coalition of chaos is the Muslim-scapegoating, nuke-wielding, climate change-denying double act of Theresa May and Donald Trump.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5 minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
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