With just hours left of campaigning in the general election, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took to Twitter to show Theresa May one last time. And it was one of his most devastating blows on the PM yet.
May has been absent from public reach and view for much of the general election campaign. Refusing to do interviews; conducting botched attempts at door knocking; sending Amber Rudd to face the music in a TV debate; and only really speaking to crowds of journalists and admirers. So Corbyn felt that Wednesday 7 June was a fitting time to remind her of the only time she would “debate” him:
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 7, 2017
The Facebook Live event in question didn’t go particularly well for May. As The Canary reported, the PM received over 10,000 ‘angry face’ emojis, compared to 4,300 ‘thumbs-up’ and 1,200 ‘loves’. And while some of the questions were run-of-the-mill, the public threw several curveballs in the PM’s direction. Leaving her floundering, and even lying.
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But this was the nearest May has come to a public debate. She refused to do any organised by the media, and more recently became the first serving Prime Minister in comparable history to refuse interviews with both Channel 4 News and BBC Radio 2 during a general election.
They seek her here…
BBC presenter Jeremy Vine has pointed out that May is now the first sitting PM in 40 years to hide from a Radio 2 appearance:
For the record, this is the first election in 40 years where the Prime Minister has not appeared to be interviewed on @BBCRadio2
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) June 7, 2017
— ITV News (@itvnews) June 6, 2017
And the bumbling campaign by May and the Tories has not gone unnoticed by members of the party and the right-wing press.
They seek her there…
Several Conservative Party candidates came out and criticised the PM’s campaign; publicly saying not only had she “fucked it up”, but that people were now “voting for Jeremy Corbyn” instead of May.
One anonymous candidate was “pretty fucked off”:
I’m pretty fucked off… It’s hard to understand how people in London who get paid a lot of money made such a clusterfuck… Colleagues up and down the country are just fucked off. She said she wasn’t going to call a general election, and they’ve totally fucked it up…
And to make matters worse for May, the usually loyal right-wing press stuck the boot in, too.
Corbyn’s move is clever politics. He has little to lose, and by turning up, he’ll be able to accuse May of being both too scared to defend her record and of arrogantly taking the voters for granted.
But it wasn’t just The Spectator that criticised May’s campaign. The Evening Standard, The Financial Times and even The Sun came out and trounced it. Maybe, though, these publications were reflecting public mood. As whenever the PM met ‘real’ people, it never went according to plan.
Should May even be allowed out?
As The Canary reported, May was campaigning in Abingdon when she was asked what she would do to help people with learning and mental health disabilities. But May couldn’t quite get her head around the fact she was also talking about learning disabilities, as the woman had to keep reminding her.
But the real challenge came over cuts to disability benefits. The woman stated:
I haven’t got a carer at the moment. And I’m angry. I’ve got no one to help me write a letter… I’d like someone to help me because I can’t do everything I want to do.
But if we cast our minds back to the start of the general election campaign, we should have known how things would pan out. As even during the first weekend of campaigning, May faced a hostile response from the public:
The choice is clear
If the general election was to be decided on the quality of the parties’ campaigns, then we’d be witnessing a Labour landslide on 9 June. Sadly, it’s not. It’s down to the public to decide. But what we can judge by the parties’ campaigns is what they think of the electorate. And with May either being so socially inept that she can’t engage with real people, or hiding from them altogether, the choice of who we’d like leading the country on the morning of 9 June would seem pretty clear cut.
– Vote on 8 June! And encourage others to do the same.
– 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 from The Canary on the 2017 general election.
– Support The Canary if you value the work we do.
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