Anyone who follows me on twitter will generally see me angrily tweeting about a fella called Seamus Milne. He’s the head of Jeremy Corbyn’s communications team, which basically means he’s responsible for all the press relations, Jeremy Corbyn’s public image, and all the clever backstage stuff. Generally, he’s being doing a shit job, which results in me simultaneously crying myself to sleep, sassily staring at a non-existent camera like I’m on ‘The Office’ and screaming at my laptop (in no particular order). But, today, when we really needed it, he earned his pay check.
Previously to this morning, both Corbyn and May weren’t going to appear in tonight’s leaders debate (the place where all 7 party leaders basically just throw insults at each other). I didn’t understand why Corbyn wasn’t turning up and in my never ending, all consuming wit, I compared it to that time Chelsea were playing United and Torres had an open goal but just lazed the ball wide. It’s literally free air time to slag off the PM.
However, in true Hollywood fashion, Corbyn and his press team made a last minute decision to have the Labour leader turn up after all. It’s honestly such a great decision, partly because it means Dianne Abbott won’t be allowed anywhere near that stage, and partly because it transformed me from a consistently disgruntled teenage boy who was going to spend his evening reading about politics into a consistently disgruntled teenage boy who is going to spend his evening watching politics. Woo. Send help.
But it’s also monumentally screwed over Theresa May. Previously, she was getting away with not turning up because “neither is Jeremy Corbyn,” but now he is, the PM is faced with 2 equally embarrassing choices.
- She turns up after all. She performs another U-Turn, which would further damage her reputation as “strong and stable,” and make her look like she dances to whichever tune Jeremy Corbyn decides.
- She doesn’t turn up, which makes her the only leader of a party who isn’t willing to defend her abysmal record. She sends Amber Rudd instead, which has the exact same effect.
To top this great day off, May was literally wobbling today when she received a grilling from the press about her decision. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, who isn’t exactly known for being Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest fan accused the PM of being ‘frightened’ of Jeremy Corbyn, to which May responded by awkwardly laughing and sipping water. As she fumbled around in her pockets for an excuse, she said she was paying more attention to brexit negotiations rather than the election- which is weird because she called this election herself. She also said she’d rather take questions from members of the public- which is also weird, seeing as on her tour she’s had scripted questions from members of the public, she’s had factories cleared out of workers in order to avoid talking to them, and she even held a ‘rally’ deep in a small village hall in Scotland in order to avoid the public.if that wasn’t enough proof that she’s a farcical coward, she said she doesn’t see the point of trading ‘sound-bites’ and would rather discuss issues- which is weird because her campaign literally consists of “strong and stable” and “coalition of chaos.”
She’s running scared.
But for once, the Labour press team have truly got one over on the Conservatives. It’s a dream to watch. While leaders debates don’t often change anything, with the absence of the PM, this could go a long way in terms of denting her poll ratings.
If nothing else, this proves one thing. As Labour’s Angela Rayner said- “This lady is for turning, but not for turning up.”