‘Weak and wobbly’ Theresa May’s General Election campaign has, so far, been a bizarre damp squib in which she has gone to extreme lengths to avoid anything but the most stage-managed interactions. She has visited empty factories, visited others where the workers were not allowed to talk to the media and addressed ‘crowds’ (being very generous) of party faithful bussed in from outside the area while locals were kept away.
She has even booked venues as a ‘child’s birthday party’ to prevent locals knowing she was coming.
The contrast with man-of-the-people Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour leader’s storming start to his campaign – which has seen the Tories’ polling lead plummet in just a few days – could not be greater.
It seems, however, that the widespread derision her campaign ‘tactic’ has met with has had no impact on the Prime Minister’s determination to keep, well, running away.
This morning, Theresa May was in Cornwall for another tightly-controlled, invitation-only event. A couple of local reporters from Cornwall Live tried to see what was going on. They weren’t allowed in – and this video shows what appears to be some heavy revving by the PM’s driver to ensure they kept their distance as she left. As you can hear near the end of the video, the few watching locals sound none too impressed:
Cornwall Live‘s deputy head of content was impressed – but only with the weirdness of the event:
Never known a visit like this. Our reporters banned from watching PM walk around a factory by @Conservatives PR team https://t.co/6dbZzNeRKP pic.twitter.com/or8NacPLdX
— Steve Smith (@StevePacket) May 2, 2017
Even those reporters who were allowed in were strictly controlled – limited to just two questions and not allowed to accompany May on her tour:
Prime Minister Theresa May visits Helston – but we're not allowed to see what she does https://t.co/Wdad7j4Ew8
— Emma Ferguson (@PacketEmma) May 2, 2017
As the Packet‘s article shows, reporters spent most of the visit locked in a room and banned from filming.
Now here’s the thing: Corwall is ‘home territory’ for Theresa May. All its six MPs are currently Conservatives – yet she’s still terrified of any real interactions. If she needs to be that strictly quarantined in a Tory ‘heartland’, it suggests things are very bad indeed.
What are May’s team so desperate to hide? Is it more than simply that – as has become perfectly evident over the last couple of weeks – May’s weak and wobbly reality makes a mockery of the Tories’ dreary campaign slogan?
Remarkably, in spite of all this fear-driven nonsense, Tory campaign strategists think May is their strongest ‘brand’ – because her event banners etc have featured May’s name and either no mention of the Conservative Party or just a tiny logo.
Whatever it is they’re hiding, it’s plainer every day that her campaign team think ‘May meets the public’ would be a disaster.
And if she’s their strongest card, the rest must be dire indeed.
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