In yesterday’s PMQs session – the last one before the General Election – Theresa May and a succession of Tory MPs repeated one phrase, with very slight variations, ad nauseam:
strong and stable government
strength and stability
Given Theresa May’s stammering and twitchy performance – which seems to have worsened since she called the election – the Tories succeeded only in making themselves look silly, but presumably they were hoping to give the media no other soundbite to work with.
You couldn’t have a clear case of calling black white and up down, however.
Have you ever met one of those people that can’t stop telling you how good, or rich, or important they are – and you just know they’re over-compensating for a complete lack of whatever it is they want you to believe about them?
That’s Theresa May and the Tories at the moment. They’re all over the place, having called an election from a combination of fear of losing 30 MPs to prosecution for alleged election expense fraud and fear of the disaster a 2020 election would have been for them when the shambles of their Brexit negotiations would be in full swing.
They have much of the mainstream media (MSM) – but at the moment it would be no exaggeration to say that the MSM are shoring them up, for example Laura Kuenssberg’s transparent attempt to portray May’s fear of public interaction as a strategy while Corbyn‘s campaign got off to a storming start:
And of course, the media are, for the most part, attempting to pour water on everything about Corbyn and his campaign.
But that only highlights the real strength that was on show in the Commons Chamber yesterday.
Since he became Labour leader in 2015 – in fact even before then – Corbyn has been vilified, pilloried, mocked, insulted, scorned, denigrated, scoffed at and rebelled against.
And withstood it all.
Where May is thin-skinned and resorts to abuse the instant she’s floundering in PMQs – or even with Conservative voters who ruffle her – Corbyn has never once thrown an insult – even at a PM so clearly not up to the job.
Likewise, where May appears to have a terror of meeting – well, people – in anything but the most tightly stage-managed settings, Corbyn thrives on it. He has genuine confidence and just gets on with it.
And people love him for it:
That’s the thing about real strength and stability. It doesn’t need to tell you how strong and stable it is. It especially doesn’t need to tell you 28 times. You don’t hear mountains telling you how rock-like they are. They just stand.
And Corbyn is still standing – and the Tories are eddying round him like dust motes.
Real strength doesn’t talk about its strength. Real stability doesn’t need a soundbite. They just are.
And Corbyn just is.
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