Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May visited Grenfell Towers today. Well, to be more precise, May visited the site and Corbyn visited the people – and in so doing encapsulated the difference between them, the leadership qualities of the one and their complete absence in the other.
Theresa May’s visit was so cloistered from the human reality of the tragic events that she did not meet a single resident, even though BBC News at first claimed that she did. This inspired outrage among residents, with one lady telling the SKWAWKBOX from the Maxilla social club where residents were being fed and sheltered,
Everybody here is absolutely disgusted. She hasn’t met a single person – what’s the point of viewing the building?! As for that Boris Johnson, I used to quite like him but now I think he’s a dangerous b**tard – it takes a clever man to play the fool.
Another local woman spoke to the Huffington Post and was barely less direct:
Jeremy Corbyn, in complete contrast, went immediately to the people – and the people embraced him. Literally:
Even the right-wing Piers Morgan couldn’t help but be impressed:
Unlike May, Corbyn didn’t hide. He didn’t offer platitudes. He didn’t turn up just for the sake of being able to ‘tick that box’ and then escape as fast as possible.
He offered humanity. Empathy. Time. And he listened:
And the reaction of the people to him told a story that will terrify the Tories and the Establishment. Ishmahil Blagrove, who can be seen in the video just above talking to Corbyn with other residents, was later asked by a reporter, “What do you want to happen now”.
His response – reported by Buzzfeed’s Fiona Rutherford – was pithy (warning: expletives) to say the least, but demonstrated perfectly why the Tories’ usual ‘divide and rule’, smear and fear tactics failed in last week’s General Election – and why Corbyn and his party now enjoy a solid polling lead over the Tories that has the Establishment party in a panic:
The Tories are struggling to reach an agreement with the DUP and have put word out to their activists to ask for candidates to come forward for a new General Election. But it’s a fight they desperately want to avoid – and no wonder.
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