After a humiliating climbdown over what even The Daily Mail called the ‘Dementia Tax’, the sitting Prime Minister had a strange meltdown live on multiple broadcasters.
Theresa May will still take away elderly people’s assets to fund their social care. But on 22 May, she announced that there will be a cap on the value of assets taken. Journalists say such a U-turn is unprecedented during a general election campaign.
The episode began with May excessively shaking her head while a journalist asked a question:
May is absolutely shook, terrible body language. More blunders will be coming – only down from here for Tories. pic.twitter.com/hNlh7UUkhq
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) May 22, 2017
Then, it culminated with her shouting down another:
— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) May 22, 2017
The Conservative leader appears to have messed this up royally. An often tame mainstream media laid into the sitting Prime Minister for the climbdown. A Sky News reporter dubbed her policies a “manifesto of chaos”. Also using May’s sloganeering against her, Channel 4‘s Michael Crick labelled the Prime Minister “weak and wobbly”. In a similar vein, an ITV News journalist said May had “buckled” in a “cynical attempt to stop voters leaving [her] in droves”. Even the BBC‘s Laura Kuenssberg accused her of “panic”.
— Jeremy Corbyn for PM (@JeremyCorbyn4PM) May 22, 2017
A strange meltdown, after a Donald Trump-style speech
The sitting Prime Minister was in Wrexham to launch the Welsh Tory manifesto. In her speech, May tried to reduce the near-universal disapproval of her Dementia Tax to “fake claims” by Jeremy Corbyn. She accused the Labour leader of:
manipulating the fears of old and vulnerable people
But it appears the Conservative leader was the one peddling ‘fake claims’, during the very same speech. With Trump-style ‘alternative facts’, May claimed Corbyn is planning to raise basic income tax from “20-25%”. Even though the costed Labour manifesto has explicitly ruled out tax rises for 95% of the British electorate.
The Conservatives are beginning to look incredibly desperate. May continues to attack an imaginary Labour Party because she has no arguments against the real one. Either that or she malfunctions, like in Wrexham on 22 May. That’s why May won’t face Corbyn in a TV debate, preferring to hide from accountability. For comparison, even leaders in the recent Iranian election had a TV debate.
The tide is turning against the Conservatives. But only the real conversations of ordinary Britons can continue that momentum until 8 June.
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– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
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