Although early October is not normally considered part of the Silly Season, those in charge at the Observer, Sunday sister paper to the Guardian, are doing their level best to give that impression today as they host an Op-Ed by Theresa May in which she appeals to what she assumes to be “Labour moderates”. “Labour voters should look afresh at the Conservatives” is the title, which suggests someone at King’s Place is having a laugh.
The sub-heading is yet more mirth inducing: “We have great plans to build a country with opportunities for all”. With what? Carry on with Brexit and we’ll be so skint that building anything of any significance will be out of the question for some years to come. But let’s look at her pitch, which is basically to slag off Jeremy Corbyn.
“Millions of people who have supported Labour all their lives are appalled by what has happened to a once-great party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Antisemitism has grown, the party’s response to threats to our country’s security has become equivocal, and moderate Labour MPs have become targets for deselection and harassment. These are all alien to Labour’s best traditions“. And to that I call bullshit.
By any measure, Labour members are less likely to be anti-Semitic than Tory ones. The claim about “threats to our country’s security” is merely hypothetical, and a bit rich coming from the Government who have cut back the armed forces, border security and Police to a level which is now causing widespread concern. And as for deselection - One, there haven’t yet been any, and Two, does she not remember Tim Yeo?
In any case, why should anyone “look at the Tories afresh”? “They will find a decent, moderate and patriotic programme that is worthy of their support”. Decent? She appointed as Foreign Secretary someone who can’t keep his trap shut and his trousers zipped up, and her International Trade Secretary is a disgraced spiv. Moderate? Moderate, with all the cruel and draconian welfare cuts? Moderate my arse.
Patriotism? Now she’s appealing to the far-right, who think “patriotism” excuses attacks on Scary Muslims™ and threatening those who don’t agree with them. Nothing decent or worthy in that. Still, there’s room for a few whoppers about the economy.
“Over the past eight years, we have brought our economy back from the brink”. F*** off. Just f*** off. Has she seen the size of the UK’s debt recently? The level of poverty and homelessness? Oh, look out, here’s another highly creative claim: “Our public finances are in much better shape and we have helped businesses create jobs”. Your finances may be OK Prime Minister, but millions of Brits’ aren’t. Also, what kind of job are these? Zero hours, gig economy? Less security, fewer rights, those kinds of jobs?
The paper even devotes a follow-up article to this drivel, telling readers “Theresa May today delivers an extraordinary appeal to wavering Labour supporters to switch to the Conservatives as she attempts to portray her party as the only option for moderate and patriotic voters … Writing exclusively in today’s Observer”.
Theresa May is just taking the piss. She will persuade no Labour voters, partly because she’s not credible, and partly because they’ve given up on the Observer.
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