Watch #PMQs and you’ll see why #Maydarentdebate in #GE2017

empty chair

At PMQs today, Jeremy Corbyn challenged Theresa May on her refusal to participate in any TV debates:

We welcome the General Election, but this is a Prime Minister who promised there wouldn’t be one. A Prime Minister who cannot be trusted. She says it’s about leadership – yet is refusing to defend her record in television debates and it’s not hard to see why. She says we have a stronger economy and yet she can’t explain why people’s wages are lower today than they were ten years ago, why more households are in debt, 6 million people earning less than the living wage. Child poverty is up, pensioner poverty is up. So – why are so many people getting poorer?

May’s response was as weak as it was predictable:

I would point out to the Right Honourable Gentleman that I have been answering his questions and debating these matters every Wednesday that Parliament has been sitting since I became Prime Minister.

But she hasn’t. There’s a reason it’s called ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ and not ‘Prime Minister’s Answers’ – and Theresa May exemplifies it even more than her predecessor and did so again today. Corbyn made mincemeat of May on the crucial issues of poverty, the NHS, education, broken promises, the Tories borrowing more since 2010 than every Labour government in history and more.

In spite of the media’s attempts to cast it differently, and even in the artificial and rules-bound environment that allows a Prime Minister to be evasive without being called to account properly, Corbyn routinely trounces May every week, forcing her to resort to smears and jibes almost instantly – and today he was statesmanlike, incisive, confident and coherent.

Here’s a short example, in case you missed it:

It was a stark contrast with her bluster and diversion – but of course, if you have a helpful media, that might not filter from PMQs into the awareness of a public that doesn’t watch PMQs and only reads or hears about it.

And that’s why Theresa May is terrified of a live television debate. She knows it will be watched by millions who wouldn’t normally watch PMQs – and without the filter of the media to airbrush out her haplessness and obvious inability to give a straight answer to any important question.

If May faced Corbyn in a live television debate he would take her apart – and millions would see it.

Angus Robertson for the SNP and others also challenged May – and got the same lame response.

The BBC and other channels have a duty to hold the debates anyway – and to ’empty chair’ Mrs May, so the public is aware of her cowardice while the real politicians debate the real issues. If they fail to do so, they will have put beyond doubt the fact of their enslavement to Establishment interests.

Just as May has put beyond doubt her unfitness for the role of Prime Minister and her complete lack of substance and backbone.

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  1. Yes, Jeremy Corbyn does do better than Theresa May at PMQ’s but who is watching?
    This will be a defining election for Jeremy Corbyn, Labour and their policies. If The Tories gain an increased majority, where does the left and The Labour Party go from there?
    Remember, GE15 returned a higher vote share for right leaning parties, the majority of the people who turn up and vote are small c Conservatives.
    We can blame the MSM, the PLP and Blairites all day but if voters either don’t vote or vote for other parties, it just confirms the state of mind some of the country is in.

      1. They are in that frame of mind because they are, as I said above, small c Conservatives.
        Its amazing what being a 40+ home owner with a secure job does to the voting habits of some. When they were younger, and had to try to find good work, housing, schools if they had kids and such like, they may have voted Labour, but when they are threatened with higher taxes (you’ll usually find that they think that higher taxes should start for people earning around £10k more than them and it shouldn’t go to “her down the road with 10 kids and a free car” don’t get them started on immigration) they start to vote Conservative. You can argue about public services and having to pay for them but it falls on deaf ears.
        My points above still stand, where next for Labour, its policies and the left if defeated?
        How do we overturn the majority of the electorate who vote for right wing parties?
        From what I can gather from your blog Steve you are not far from the marginal seat of Chester, Labour could easily lose that due to the demographics of the area. If you know any Labour campaigners in that area ask them how they went on when canvassing Blacon, Upton, Saltney (English bit) and Lache, and the different opinion in each area.

      2. Even 40+ homeowners with a job have kids, pensioners have grandkids etc. People are often prevented from *seeing* Left policies – partly by the media, but with the collusion of a Labour right that has, far too often, sacrificed the good of party and country for short-term self-interest. If there’s any truth in polls and the ‘doorstep’ refrain of the right, the right carries the responsibility for it.

  2. I totally agree on all accounts. Jeremy does trounce Mayhem nearly every week, but the electorate are unaware of this. His ineffective leadership in the EU Referendum was borne out by the result, though, and that seemed to hinder further his standing with the electorate. I fear Labour’s civil war is about to get even more bitter.

    1. His leadership was anything but ineffectual. The media making him responsible for a referendum that he had no part in calling was a massive con trick, but he delivered a better result than anyone in terms of supporters voting remain.

  3. may recognised questions never answered question now raise the pressure by usuing alternative lies etc

  4. For Those of us who believe the LEFT will win with Jeremy and his policies!
    We will get off our arses and vote for all those who find life very difficult! WE care about others, not just ourselves!
    Unlike the RIGHT who look out for no one, but each other and stuff the rest of us!

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