I’ve always believed that politics should be about policies not personalities. Yet it seems this is a minority view not shared by many. Increasingly our elections focus on the person. This is particularly true in today’s social media driven world where an opinion about someone often bar no resemblance to the actual person. So let’s look at the two people who, relistically, have a chance to become PM tomorrow.
At the start of the campaign Theresa May tried to make this election about her. ‘Strong and stable’ leadership was the often touted mantra, mentioned at every opportunity. This and the original promotional material claiming candidates to be ‘Theresa May’s’ candidate not the conservative parties quickly framed the battle to come. It would be a flat choice between her or Corbyn.
Yet ‘strong and stable’ quickly became a millstone rather than a mantra. May ducked out of every oppotunity to debate with Corbyn. She refused to turn up to the leaders debate, refused to appear on numerous radio or to programmes. She even refused to speak to Jon Snow,a respected journalist who has covered at least 7 general elections.
Does this sound like a strong and stable leader?
It gets worse for May.
Every time she was asked a question she ducked it or obscured the answer. Even journalists usually sympathetic to the Conservatives were getting fed up.
Then finally she did do a televised debate. Although that’s pushing the definition of debate somewhat. More like one of those celebrity ‘an audience with’ type programmes. Without the funny anecdotes.
Did she show a strong and stable leader in action?
She did the usual grimace, bluff and avoidance tactic.
At one point an audience member, a nurse, said she hadn’t had a pay rise in 8 years.
Time for May to be human.
Except she wasn’t.
‘There’s no magic money tree’ was her not so sympathetic come back.
Hardly the answer of a strong and stable leader.
So what about Corbyn?
I’m going to start by saying I am not his biggest fan. He was luke warm at best in the remain campaign and if he had a plan during the article 50 negotiation it was very subtle. So subtle everyone missed it.
But Corbyn is everything May is not.
He remained calm during the leaders debate, even when the audience was very hostile and calling on him to agree to a nuclear first strike. He stuck to his principles.
He has denounced terrorism on numerous occasions, despite the lies and half truths about meeting with the IRA. He’s never sold weapons to Saudi Arabia , unlike May.
He answers questions calming and politely. There was one particular moment during the debate when a man asked why he should be trusted. Corbyns answer was very measured. He talked about respect of different views.
Corbyns whole campaign has been built on doing what’s right for the many, not the few.
On the 8th June we, the people, have a choice. We can vote for a PM who sells weapons to foreign powers who sell them to terrorists, who cuts police numbers leaving us vulnerable, who wants to bring back fox hunting, who wants to take away our human right.
Or we can vote for Corbyn, a man of principle, peace and respect.