Apart from some desperate spinning by the Tories and their pet media – including an email from party chair Patrick McLoughlin criticising Corbyn’s lack of enthusiasm for incinerating millions – there’s a huge consensus that Jeremy Corbyn won last night’s BBC Question Time special by a distance, in spite of aggression by a number of Tory plants in the audience who were allowed more questions than anyone else.
Even some right-wing commentators agreed:
Theresa May was unable to do more than repeat slogans – even in answer to a questioner who said she always answered with slogans – and looked wooden, insincere and callous.
Corbyn looked measured, intelligent, unflappable, compassionate and above all genuine. He also finished the session eager more, whereas Theresa May couldn’t get off-stage fast enough.
But Theresa May wasn’t merely unconvincing and awkward. Her desperation to retrieve her awful campaign was so great that she broke the law during her answers.
May claimed that Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott,
wants to wipe the records of criminals and terrorists from the DNA database. That would mean that we could catch fewer criminals and fewer terrorists.
This is an outright lie.
Ms Abbott has spoken in the past about allowing innocent people’s DNA to be removed from police databases, because it’s an obvious infringement of civil liberties that disproportionately affects people from ethnic minorities. She has never advocated the removal of records of ‘criminals and terrorists’.
This is not a small matter. The Tories routinely lie in their promotional videos and literature, but Theresa May lied on national television about an opposition candidate – to millions of viewers and to the readers of the rags who are repeating the lie this morning.
Here’s what the Electoral Commission website says about it:
Point 1.7 makes clear that this is an offence, not just breaching a guideline.
Nobody could credibly argue that claiming Diane Abbott wants to help criminals and terrorists commit their crimes is not a ‘false statement about the personal character’ of the Shadow Home Secretary – nor that Theresa May didn’t do it ‘knowingly’.
Tories lie. It’s what they do – it’s in their political DNA. But the depth and frequency of their desperate personal attacks on Labour figures – even to the extent of breaking the law on national television – betrays not only their complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy but also their real, growing terror that their pride is going to see them out on their ear come the morning of 9 June.
Let’s make sure it happens.
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