Another week begins in the General Election campaign, and with it comes yet another lame attempt by the sycophantic Tory-supporting press to pretend that Theresa May and her fellow Tories actually give a flying foxtrot about anyone outside the top 5% of earners. The challenge of passing off the latest non-offer from The Blue Team has fallen to the most reliably obedient hacks - the Murdoch goons at the Sun.
"Tories in boost to rights of workers"? Yeah, right
To this end, the paper’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn has taken to Twitter to give a preview of the paper’s line, and soften up more of those unsuspecting Sun readers for the hard Tory sell. His first duty was to pretend that Ms May was not an uncaring right-winger, but a genuine, caring centrist politician. This proposition is, of course, total bullshit, but he’s had his orders from the 13th floor.
So, from his vantage point as one of the BBC Sunday Politics panel, Newton Dunn Tweeted “Theresa May's policy platform is that of ‘a centrist Democrat’ rather than mainstream Republican, says @FrankLuntz #bbcsp”. That means, Labour voters, you can safely vote for her, although when Brexit goes belly up and the economy tanks you then find that there is a get-out clause in the Sun T&Cs.
But Newton Dunn had another ace up his sleeve. Theresa May was now parking her tanks on the Labour lawn! “Red Theresa - PM makes major Labour land grab to boost workers rights, including a year's 'carers leave’”. Gawd Bless ‘Er! What was not to like about this outpouring of munificent generosity? Quick, obedient Sun readers, put that X against The Blue Team and send off your postal votes before anyone notices.
There was a catch? Dead right there was: Newton Dunn’s article previewing what will be announced today let the cat out of the bag. After promising “Work of heart Theresa May to offer ‘greatest expansion of workers’ rights by any Conservative’ in bid to woo Labour voters … PM's new manifesto offer is a major land grab onto traditional Labour territory”, he had to admit that this was a cynical way to con the electorate.
“Carers’ leave would be unpaid, and could last for between 13 and 52 weeks”. Many full time carers are right now either unpaid, or so badly paid that it’s difficult to recruit them. The Tories are offering very little. And Newton Dunn suggests there may be a further catch: “Ireland and other European countries already offer it, as long as employees are able to demonstrate they have an important need to take it”.
So there might not even be an automatic right to this already unpaid leave. But that does not stop Newton Dunn gushing “Mounting another traditionally leftwing stand, Mrs May will today insist that it is now time for flourishing businesses to give more back to their staff” and enthusing “struggling employees will lap it up”, the idea “that Mrs May is ‘a Red Tory’” is a cynical con job by a media empire with one very big vested interest.
That vested interest is to grease the wheels of the Sky takeover wagon, and stuff what the little people think. And in Theresa May, the Murdoch mafiosi has a Prime Minister in whom they can have confidence - to do their bidding. Red Theresa? My arse.