I expected more.
Theresa May’s campaign “re-launch” was billed as the only way to regain control of a (clearly failing) Conservative campaign.
After failing to run an efective campaign on her previous two re-launches, Conservative HQ was hoping for third time lucky.
After a speech on Brexit aimed at striking a positive tone, Theresa May reverted to type in her closing remarks; again, choosing to emphasise “it’s either me or Jeremy Corbyn.”
Having spent most of her speech outlining a “12 point plan” for Brexit negotiations, she conveniently left-out any details, and later implied Jeremy Corbyn “has no plan for Brexit.” (One hour later, Jeremy Corbyn unveiled his Brexit plan, with detailed policy points around job protection, workers rights, investment, wages and immigration).
In a post-speech Q&A session, May refused to answer questions directly, leaving reporters such as Channel 4’s Michael Crick and Sky News’ Beth Rigby questioning their relevance.
But for the promise of “a brighter future,” Theresa May still couldn’t bring herself to defend her proposals.
Scheduled to appear on the BBC’s “Woman’s Hour” this morning, Theresa May has refused to attend, sending Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, instead.
Having refused to appear on the BBC’s televised debate earlier this week, Theresa May has now refused to appear on the same programme Jeremy Corbyn attended last week.
Maybe she didn’t fancy getting grilled in the way Jeremy did, for forgetting a figure from his 188 page, fully-costed manifesto. Or perhaps she simply doesn’t think Woman’s Hour listeners are important enough.
Whatever the reason for this Conservative no-show, one thing’s clear: the only leader worth having is one who is willing to be held accountable by the public, and willing to be examined and challenged on their policies.
Theresa May has failed this test on a number of occasions during her campaign and, as Yvette Cooper pointed-out last summer, Theresa May “hides when things go wrong,” helping her “survive as Home Secretary.” But, importantly, “if you are Prime Minister – the buck has to stop.”
I don’t want a Prime Minister who refuses to be held accountable. I don’t want a leader who avoids scrutiny at any cost. I don’t want someone who takes the public for granted; who would rather lose a general election than face the public.
Theresa May could send me to Disney World for a month and I still wouldn’t vote for her.
She is – fundamentally – unaccountable. And when you’re unaccountable – when you avoid scrutiny – when you are – clearly – scared of the public: You’re dangerous.
And I don’t want a dangerous Prime Minister leading Brexit negotiations. I want a Prime Minister who has the guts, decency and sense of responsibilty to negotiate a fair Brexit deal which protects our jobs, living standards and public services; a Prime Minister who will always be answerable to the public, who enjoys public interaction; who defends the journalists who interrogate them when they make a mistake.
I want Jeremy Corbyn to be my Prime Minister so that I know – no matter what happens – he has my best interests at heart: and he is not afraid to be held accountable by the millions of people who elected him.
So, vote Labour on June 8th. Not just because they have the policies to improve our lives – but because, even if you don’t agree with everything Jeremy Corbyn says – you can be sure he’s willing to discuss them, be challenged on them, and be answerable to you, the public. He will never shy away from scrutiny. Corbyn’s campaign – and indeed his 30 years in Parliament – have proven that.
This election is – increasingly – about who is willing to take responsibility for their actions – and who is willing to be held accountable by the voters.
So, on June 8th; vote for accounability, vote for responsibility and – above all – vote for change.