Theresa May’s campaign was an insult to the British people. She should be ashamed.
Share This Article:
If Labour’s 1983 manifesto was ‘the longest suicide note in history’, what can we say of the Conservatives’ 2017 campaign? It was the most astounding feat of sheer lunacy. The most utterly pointless and elaborate lesson in self-sabotage. Something akin to inviting a game of Russian roulette and refusing to let anyone else have a go. I’m left to wonder whether it wasn’t deliberate. Surely no one could have accomplished so much havoc and chaos by accident. Dick Dastardly would have run a better campaign. One might have expected an apology after such a display. One might have expected some contrition, some humility. Theresa May began her tenure at Downing Street promising to deliver on the mandate afforded by our vote to leave the European Union. She had a small but workable majority and, with the exception of some token opposition from the Lords, faced few obstacles in Parliament. The decision to pass Article 50 was quickly ratified. She enjoyed an extraordinary lead in the polls, and yet presented herself as an unfussy, no-nonsense, serious, dull but dutiful political leader. There would, she said, be no snap election. She wasn’t there to make a point, she was there to do the job. And then, something happened. Some secret signal, some movement in the waters. She suddenly became concerned about opposition! Someone, somewhere, was trying to obstruct Brexit! (The most convenient of convenient excuses. The truth lies in the shambles created by Hammond’s attempt to raise NICs, when he ran into one of the many stupid commitments left over from the Cameron manifesto.) And so she broke her promise. She decided to go to the public. Thus began one of the most dispiriting, the most humiliating, the most risible election campaigns in British political history. We should all be offended. Who, exactly, does she think we are? What does she take us for? There were no ideas, there was no vision, there wasn’t anything bold or new or meaningful. We were told, by her surrogates, that she would not take us for granted. This despite the huge lead in the opinion polls. Yet how could anyone respectful of the intelligence and integrity of the voting public dare orchestrate such a squalid campaign? So complacent was the May Team that they thought they could win a landslide on the strength of an empty three-word slogan. Strong And Stable. Strong And Stable. Strong And Stable, on repeat, like an unreleased B-side from an old Daft Punk album. So confident were they that victory was guaranteed, that it would be a coronation, they scarcely bothered campaigning at all. In fact, no. It was worse than that. People made much, in the last days of the campaign, of Corbyn’s skill, his mastery of the unorthodox. But his campaign was relatively conventional, for at an election you expect political parties and their leaders to offer something new, something good, something people can believe in, or at least consider.
- Article continues below...
- More stories you may like...
- The BBC has betrayed over-75 year olds by scrapping free TV licences
- A look back at the record breaking Women's World Cup
- The only relationships on Love Island 2019 worth talking about are the girls' friendships