Monday, 22 May 2017

Strong and Stable Leadership? No, A Weak Kneed Coalition of Chaos!

So, we were expected to believe that Theresa May represented strong and stable leadership.  Please.  Anyone who has seen her pathetic performances at Prime Minister's Questions, when she engaged in bad amateur dramatics and what appeared to a gurning competition, as she tried to channel Maggie Thatcher, whilst failing to answer any questions posed to her, and being unable to respond in any way that was not already covered in the scripts that had been written for her beforehand, knew that such an epithet was never going to fly.  It was a battle plan that was going to collapse on first contact with the enemy.

This is the same Theresa May whose nickname amongst the Tories was submarine, not because she is a turd lurking just beneath the water, but because for most of her time as a Cabinet Minister, even during the EU Referendum, she was nowhere to be seen.  This strong and stable leader was not even prepared to stand up in public and engage in a TV leaders debate with Jeremy Corbyn and other party leaders, yet we are expected to believe she was going to be up to the job of negotiating with the EU 27, let alone at the encouragement of the Daily Mail and the rabid right-wing extremists that have captured the Tory Party from amongst the previous ranks of UKIP and the BNP, to go to war with Europe over Gibraltar!  Please give us a break, you must be having a larf incha?

And now, we have with the first puff of wind in the adverse public reaction to her scandalous Manifesto commitment to attack elderly people through the withdrawal of the Pension Triple Lock, the removal of the Winter Fuel Allowance and the introduction of the Dementia Tax predictable response of our supposedly strong and stable leader.  Instead of standing up straight and strong, she teeters and totters on her renowned expensive high heel shoes, and then collapses in a heap.  This time she did not even have the hand of her friend Donald Trump to hold her up.  Never mind from her bedraggled and spreadeagled, prostrate position on the ground she looks up, and now channelling The Donald tells us that her fall is all the fault of fake news!

Last week Health Minister Jeremy Hunt assured us that the idea of a cap on care costs for the elderly was out of the question, dead and buried, not only were they declaring it so, but they were declaring it so in their Manifesto ahead of the election.  The Tory newspapers came out to hail the bravery of the decision of Theresa May's Team in scrapping any possibility of a cap on care costs.  Then at the weekend Bojo was sent out on to the Sunday morning politics show to emphasise just what a strong and stable leader May was by scrapping any possibility of their being a cap on care costs for the elderly.  He was followed by Damien Green who when asked if there was any chance that the Tories would reconsider the idea of their proposals for the dementia Tax, and for imposing any kind of cap on those costs answered abruptly, and with unusual clarity and candour "No, absolutely not."

Within 24 hours, the policy was scrapped.  Or was it?  Our strong and stable leader May, came out of hiding to try to face down the press and media with the kind of bare faced dissembling that only Tories have perfected.  Nothing has changed, our strong and stable leader insisted against all the evidence to the contrary and the obvious derision of even the overwhelmingly Tory media and press assembled!  It had always been their intention to publish a Green Paper, after the election for discussion about what the actual details of the policy on care costs would be.  That despite all of those Tory spokesmen only the day before telling everyone loud and clear that the policy was decided and set out in the Manifesto, and that there would be no cap on costs!

One can only wonder whether her father the vicar was turning in his grave at his daughter telling such obvious porkies.  Even the veteran psephologist David Butler, the cousin of Tory Chancellor R.A. Butler, came out to say that he had never seen in all of his 92 years, such a dramatic, sudden and sizeable U-Turn.  In fact, the tories have managed to conjure up the worst of all worlds.  First they come out with a policy that quite obviously had been dreamed up overnight, and emerged from Theresa May's inner circle.  The policy as everyone recognised was a direct attack on the tories core voters amongst the elderly property owners.  Yet, they did not seem to realise just how damaging it was likely to be, or more likely, they are just so arrogant, and removed from reality that they did not care.

Then having built their entire campaign on effectively no policies, and intending to run a campaign solely on the question of Brexit, and May's supposed strong and stable leadership, they have undermined that one pillar of their election campaign by folding at the first adversity, thereby showing that far from being strong and stable May is weak and unstable.  But, then they went from bad to worse, because having so obviously folded they denied having done so, in the most unbelievable and dissembling manner possible.  But, ever worse than that having folded and claimed they have not, they have still not said exactly what the cap on carre costs would be!

And again demonstrating their arrogance they refuse to say what any such cap would be, just as they have refused to say what the limit might be for their imposition of means testing of the Winter Fuel Allowance.  As things stand, elderly people could find themselves worrying about whether they or their children will be able to meet hundreds of thousands of pounds of care costs, whilst in the meantime they struggle through Britain's cold and inclement Winters afraid even to heat their homes. This is what seven years of Tory-Liberal government has brought us to as they have wrecked the economy, and destroyed public services with their insane and economically illiterate policies of austerity.

And what does may offer us?  Another decade of even more Tory austerity, and an austerity that is likely to get much worse as a result of the Hard Brexit May is planning, as they wrench Britain out of Europe in the next six months.  As the statement of David Davis made clear at the weekend the Tories have no intention of negotiating in good faith with the EU.  The Tory government is really just a coalition of chaos with the ultra right-wing nationalists of UKIP, and their outliers from the BNP, who have no concern for the British people or the British economy, and are only concerned with pushing through their own xenophobic policies aimed at immigrants.

And the reality is now becoming apparent.  The Tories have asked the question who would you prefer leading Britain in the negotiations with the EU, May or Corbyn?  Well let's think about that question.  In Theresa May we have someone who has spent most of her political life with her head firmly kept below the parapet - hence the submarine nickname.  In Jeremy Corbyn, we have someone who through thick and thin, and against all adversity of whatever the media and the right-wing of the Labour Party threw at him, stuck to his principles, and eventually won through gaining a huge majority in being elected Leader of the Labour Party.  In Theresa May, we have a posh vicar's daughter who has gone through life having things handed to her on a plate.  Unlike Jeremy Corbyn, who had to earn the massive vote of support for him as Labour Leader, May even had the Tory Leadership handed to her on a plate without even a vote!

In Theresa May we have a posh Tory who has never had to fight for anything, never had to negotiate anything.  In Jeremy Corbyn we have someone who before becoming an MP, was a trades union organiser and negotiator for the low paid public sector manual workers in NUPE.  In Theresa May we have someone who represents a Tory Party that wants to go back to its days of privilege for those who still think we are living in the days of Upstairs Downstairs or Downton Abbey.  They accuse Labour of wanting to go back to the 1970's (an era which was very good for many of us), but Theresa May's Team want to take us back to the 1870's!  They want to go back to the Victorian Days of Fox Hunting, of Tom Brown's School Days, and Grammar Schools.  They are not just conservative, they are thoroughly reactionary.  No wonder they use the language of the authoritarian strongmen, of strong and stable leadership, of blood and iron nationalism, because that is what they intend to impose on the people of Britain, to keep them subdued as the reality of Tory austerity, and Tory Hard Brexit is imposed on them.

By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn has already opened channels of dialogue with socialist parties across Europe.  Far better, if Britain is to leave Europe to do so under the guidance of someone who actually does want to negotiate that on the best terms, rather than the Tories who still think that these are the days of Empire when British gunships could impose the will of the British ruling class on Johnny foreigner.

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