For all the Tories’ supposed polling lead, it’s hard to avoid the impression of a sense of panic in Theresa May’s campaign – and it is Theresa May’s, since her handlers appear somehow to think she’s less toxic than the Conservative party brand.
The leak of Labour’s draft manifesto backfired spectacularly on May and her right-wing media, giving its bold and coherent vision hugely more airtime and attention than it would otherwise have received.
Corbyn’s and Labour’s storming start to the General Election campaign, closing polling gaps and the mass welcome Labour’s policies have received seem to have the Tories in a spin, in spite of the best efforts of the Establishment media to portray the campaigns of the two main parties in a similar light. It’s hard to look at stage-managed nonsense with bored audiences like this:
and Corbyn’s appearances, like this one in York:
and claim equivalence, after all.
So, in an apparent panic, Theresa May has today announced a series of meaningless measures – or, as the Establishment is portraying it, trying to seize Labour’s voters, park her tanks on Labour’s lawn and other such tired tropes.
May has announced that the Tories will:
1. entitle workers who have a family member fall sick to a year’s unpaid leave
2. close tax loopholes exploited by companies employing casual workers
and – pay particular attention to this one:
3. ‘crack down’ on corporate governance by making companies put workers on boards
If there was a manual for ‘How to shoot yourself in the foot as a Tory’, you’d think May had been reading it. The SKWAWKBOX has long experience of watching and exposing Tory nonsense and even we’re struggling to believe this is the best May could come up with for her supposed ‘voter-grab’.
Let’s look at those in a bit more detail:
During the 2012 petrol crisis, Tory minister Francis Maude advised the people of the UK to solve the problem by buying extra fuel and storing it in their garages. That looked like high-water mark that was unlikely ever to be beaten for Tories inadvertently showing how out of touch they are with the reality of daily life for the majority of people in this country. Even the Daily Telegraph raised questions about what it said of the government’s incompetence.
But today’s announcement leave’s Francis Maude’s incompetence eating May’s dust as she tears past dragging a huge neon sign that screams “I’m out of touch!!!”
The fact that May thinks any but a tiny minority of rich people could afford to take a year’s unpaid leave shows how utterly remote she is from the lives of the 99%, let alone from the huge numbers of people living hand to mouth, some of whom are terrified to take a day off sick, let alone a year unpaid.
Closing tax loopholes – we’ve heard it all before
May shows herself not only remote but also delusional if she thinks a Tory promise to close any tax loopholes exploited by her corporate backers is going to fool anyone. We’ve heard it all before.
Her predecessor David Cameron and his Chancellor Osborne made the right noises about cracking down on tax avoiders, but as soon as they were confronted by an opportunity to actually do it, they did the exact opposite:
May might try to claim she’s different, but we’re now in the middle of a General Election campaign she swore blind she’d never call. She hardly has a track record of keeping her word on anything – and her blundering approach to Brexit negotiations involved threatening the EU, via her Chancellor Philip Hammond, with establishing the UK as a low-tax haven on its borders – which is the opposite of cracking down on loopholes:
“But we’ll put workers in the boardroom!”
The SKWAWKBOX has created its own neon sign for this one:
Theresa May’s insult to our intelligence couldn’t be clearer. Does she really think we’ve all forgotten that she made this promise during her campaign for the Tory leadership – and then dropped it as soon as she was crowned?
Theresa May’s supposed bombshell to steal Labour voters suggests she and her keepers are flailing about wildly in the hope of finding something, anything, that will stop her appearing wooden, robotic and inhumane compared to Corbyn’s natural ease and humanity. They have failed – again.
But worse than that – for her campaign – her ill-judged announcement is switching off business owners, the one constituency where she might hope to cling to some semblance of credibility.
BBC News put up a mostly-Tory panel this morning to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the Royal College of Nursing, but they also touched on May’s announcement. One of the panel was the owner of a small plumbing business, who was absolutely livid at the idea that he could afford to have one of his trained plumbers off for a year, even unpaid.
The SKWAWKBOX talked to the owner of a medium-sized technology business today, who asked not to be named but told this blog,
Theresa May is in cloud cuckoo land if she thinks we could afford to do without someone for a year while keeping their job open. It couldn’t be clearer that she’s never run a business and if she’s chasing votes with this kind of foolishness she certainly won’t be getting mine.
No doubt May’s alienation of the business community will be airbrushed out by the Establishment media, but that won’t change the reality of today’s incompetence. She is alienating her core support for no gain by trying to fool working people who are now sick and tired of being taken for mugs by a party that’s not only nasty but busy shredding its unmerited reputation for competence.
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