Should we trust the Wicked Witch ?
The Times had this by its Political Editor, Tim Shipman: “Nervous Tories to relaunch Theresa May’s general election campaign after social care U‑turn – PM’s top two aides squabbled over manifesto“. The key points of the article are that Sir Lynton Crosby, the dreadful Australian who is the Tory election strategist, has ordered a return to what he considers to be the appropriate Tory “core message”:
- “only Theresa May can be trusted to negotiate Brexit“.
- the Conservative camp has been riven by divisions, with May’s chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, at loggerheads over the disastrous Tory policy on social care.
- a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times shows the Conservatives are on 43% to Labour’s 36%, enough for a Commons majority of 50 but only a third of the lead the Tories had at the start of the campaign.
Torygraph Telegraph had a rather different message: “Exclusive Telegraph ORB poll: Labour narrows gap to six points as women voters surge towards Jeremy Corbyn“:-
- The Orb poll has Conservatives on 44% and Labour on 38%
- The number of women planning to vote Labour has risen from 31% in mid May to 41%.
The Observer had this: “Tory nerves fray as Jeremy Corbyn narrows Theresa May’s lead in new poll”
- 37% of voters have lower opinion of prime minister than at start of month
- 39% have more positive view of Labour leader
The Independent had this editorial: “The Labour brand has strengthened, and the PM’s leadership weakened, during this fraught campaign – As the election campaign has progressed, it has become clearer that the Prime Minister is not as good at politics as some of her admirers thought she was“.
- Mr Corbyn’s ratings have improved on every subject surveyed over the past two weeks, while Ms May’s have mostly declined.
- Mr Corbyn has significant advantages on the NHS, on the interests of “hard-working families” and indeed of “people like me and my family”, and now on protecting “older people who are becoming more dependent on the social care system.
- Ms May is not as good at politics as some of her admirers thought she was. Her “strong and stable” mantra was already inviting ridicule for its banality when her U-turn on social care exposed its hollowness.
However, this morning’s Independent has this: “Conservatives cancel election campaign relaunch as poll lead over Labour evaporates – Tories decline to say why event was scrapped – a decision taken as news of major poll shift emerges“.
The Guardian has this: “Pollsters puzzle over Labour surge – and volatile electorate could keep them guessing – The election was supposed to be a coronation of Theresa May. Will it still be? After the pundits were criticised for getting it wrong in 2015, many are bewildered by figures showing Labour has closed the gap to within five points“.
Torygraph – Telegraph has this: “Theresa May to send out fleet of ‘ad vans’ amid claims her most senior aides are split over party’s strategy“. Apparently, the aim is to persuade the electorate that she is the best person to negotiate Brexit terms with Brussels. However, as the Telegraph article points out, this would not be the first time that the Wicked Witch has made use of ad-vans. She once tried them as Home Secretary – and that time the attempt was a total failure – just one person accepted voluntary repatriation – See this 3 year old Guardian article. The Torygraph – Telegraph article also asserts that the Witch’s team is to make more use of other cabinet ministers, notably Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary and David Davis the Brexit Secretary.
The Times has this: “May sets out Brexit vision to banish campaign wobble – £“. The article is behind a pay wall but for those who do not have free access, the substance is to be found on the Conservative Home site:
- Theresa May is to offer voters a vision of how Britain will prosper outside the EU as she seeks to put the Tory election campaign back on track amid claims of infighting.
- The prime minister will return to the themes of her Lancaster House address – that Brexit will free the UK to build a fairer, richer society – in a keynote campaign speech tomorrow.
- The more positive message is intended to halt the drop in the Tory poll lead since the party promised to cut pensioner benefits and force thousands more to pay for social care in its manifesto.
- The Manchester attack a week ago came just after Mrs May caved into pressure from panicking Tory candidates to cap care costs, having first ruled out that option.
The Independent has this: “EMB 9PM Majority of voters want Theresa May to spell out Brexit plans before election – Exclusive: Survey reflects concerns that PM is demanding a ‘blank cheque’ for EU negotiations“.
- Two out of three people believe that Theresa May should reveal her Brexit strategy more clearly before polling day on 8 June.
- Many voters share the concerns of pro-Europeans who claim the Prime Minister is seeking a “blank cheque” to take Britain out of the EU on whatever terms she decides.
- Six out of 10 people (59 per cent) who voted Conservative in 2015 want to know more about Ms May’s intentions on Brexit. So do 76 per cent of Labour voters and 75 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters at the last election.
If and when we get the Witch’s present view, it will be interesting to compare it with what she said a year ago on 25th April 2016: “Theresa May’s speech on Brexit: full text“.
The short point is that the Witch is not to be trusted.