Diane Abbott’s poor interview? Tories are CUTTING police – and #KimJongMay’s still hiding

Diane Abbott gave a poor interview to LBC radio this morning on Labour’s police numbers pledge. We all have our off days and Ms Abbott appears to have lost her train of thought after being rudely interrupted by a host with more than a bit of form in that area. These things happen.

Meanwhile, in actual news, Tory Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to rule out further cuts in police numbers – which the Tories have already reduced by more than 20,000 since 2010, resulting in the reversal of long-term downward trends in crime figures:

rudd independent.png

In fact, the Tories have already flagged cuts in police funding equivalent to a further reduction in police numbers of over 13,000 – and may, as Rudd refused to rule out, cut further.

But of course, Ms Abbott’s poor interview is the news today and not the Tories’ plans to make us all far less safe. That’s how it’s done – the sleight of hand that says ‘don’t look here, look there’.

Lab safe streets.png
Labour’s ‘Safer Streets’ election pledge

The right-wing glee over Diane Abbott’s stumble this morning is based on their desire to claim that Labour’s election promise is ‘uncosted’ – along with ‘magic money tree’ and ‘unsustainable’, it’s their favourite mantra. It’s also equally wrong and idiotic.

Labour’s pledge to add 10,000 community police officers (CPOs) is fully costed – and the money has not been ‘spent twice’ or whatever nonsense right-wing pundits are coming out with today. Here’s how it will be paid for:

Savings over 5 years by reversing Capital Gains Tax cuts: £2.75bn
Cost of 10,000 extra CPOs: £300m/year or, over 5 years, £1.5bn

Left over for other spending commitments: £1.25bn

It’s not rocket science – and the pundits, politicians and interviewers claiming Labour’s promises are uncosted are more than capable of doing the arithmetic. It just wouldn’t suit their preferred narrative to do so.

Diane Abbott had a bad day today – but she’s not Labour’s leader. The person who is Labour’s leader, one Jeremy Corbyn, is having a towering campaign. Here’s what he had to say about Labour’s police pledge:

Cutting police numbers especially when there is more crime to deal with is unacceptable. That’s why Labour will put 10,000 new police officers on our streets.

The safety of our communities is vital to us all. Community policing means uniformed officers being visible, local and accessible. They engage with the public, have a detailed local knowledge and build a network of relationships

That’s why Labour will reduce crime by putting more police in the community to make sure policing works for the many not the few.

By contrast, today Theresa May locked journalists in a small room to avoid scutiny during her ‘appearances’ and her whole campaign has consisted of either hiding or brief appearances in settings so stage-managed that she’s now being called Kim Jong May by social media wits.

Diane Abbott may have lost her notes or whatever and made a hash of an interview – but at least she was at an interview and actually answering questions.

Labour’s actual leader, meanwhile, is drawing huge crowds and receiving a spontaneous welcome more typical for a rock star – even when the crowds are head teachers.

There are some in the media who would like you to think about nothing else but Diane Abbott today – if only because it distracts from Theresa May’s car-crash of a campaign and the Tories completed and planned police cuts.

But the real question is, do you want to feel safer on the streets or less safe? If it’s safer, vote Labour.

It’s that simple.

The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you found this information helpful and can afford to, please do click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your support so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.


  1. Whilst the press and the tories will make a meal of this car crash of an interview on both TV and Radio. we all know the realities of the Tory cuts labour has to present the case better. There can be no excuse for Diane as she is a long serving MP who is bright enough to do the job. How she can not be prepared is unforgivable. Her advisers need to be sorted out and quick. We can’t defend the indefensible. Anybody can make a mistake or misquote the wrong figures but I am afraid Diane was lost and sunk today, Piers Morgan shredded her on GMB. Labour are gaining ground but a performance like this has caused serious damage.

    1. Apparently she’d handled the topic perfectly well in 6 other interviews, so maybe it was just fatigue. Do think we have far better people for handling interviews, however.

  2. She was given a few chances to correct the figures. Also, the press release didn’t have any figures, which suggests that she didn’t read that. But she is the shadow home secretary, so she should have written it … Anyway, more seriously, the 300 million is incompetent. Where is the training cost of 10,000 recruits, the NI contribution, the pension fund contribution, the equipment cost, the uniform cost, the laundry cost, the repair cost? We are talking now about a billion. Why Labour didn’t consult any expert or even a policeman or policewoman on what is needed, rather than guessing that it would be successful with the public (and then letting the shadow home secretary loose)?

    1. Hang on, it’s 300 million a YEAR over 5 years, so the total cost was put out at £1.5 billion, and 10,000 is the total recruitment, also spread over 5 years.

      By my calculations, that equates to £150,000 per new police officer, which should cover every thing you mention.

      So if she’d already handled 6 interviews before Ferrari, maybe the problem is a better division of these things, or not doing interviews in the bloody street like that-was there actually a case for her refusing to do it because she was effectively being door-stepped?

  3. The simple point is this. That clanger has been seized upon by the opposition and the press. More importantly it shows that labour is not organised. no senior shadow person should be allowed near the media without a costed briefing sheet and fact sheet. a must for all seniors. We can’t afford gaffs like that at this point.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: