Hello, Americans! You would be forgiven for not being aware—what with the colossal, orange-flamed garbage fire happening on your political scene at the moment—that there are Politics happening elsewhere in the world right now. Specifically on the little rainy island you call cousin (or, ‘Here, boy! Come here!’ depending on your mood), a few thousand miles across the Atlantic from you, where we are just over a week away from a general election—one which offers, for the first time in over a generation, an actual, genuine possibility for deviation from the horribly destructive cross-party neoliberal ‘consensus’ that has driven this country into a savage pit of free-market despair.
In the red corner, we have one Jeremy Corbyn MP—a lifelong peace campaigner and champion for social justice—under whose leadership the Labour party has released a quite wonderful manifesto featuring a plethora of sensible, well-costed social democratic measures that aim to redress some of the damage that the widening gulf of inequality in this country has done.
And in the blue corner we have Theresa May MP. Authoritarian, incompetent Theresa May, former home secretary under David Cameron, and last woman standing from the inner-party Tory squabble that ultimately resulted in the United Kingdom deciding to leave the European Union. Mrs. May is our (ever-more-unhinged) unelected Prime Minister, who now hopes to remove the ‘un’ from that adjective. With her in the blue corner is the cartoonishly right-wing British press, who have had the knives out for Jeremy Corbyn since the day he was elected leader of the Labour Party.
Theresay May, despite having the advantage of a potently conditioned population, has steadfastly refused to debate Jeremy Corbyn. Over the weekend, however, the two party leaders were both interviewed, separately, by journalist Jeremy Paxman. Paxman has long had a reputation as a pugnacious and confrontational questioner. He is also a self-confessed ‘One Nation Tory’. Despite this quite clear bias and Paxman’s markedly different approaches to the candidates—bullish, rude when it came to Corbyn; congenial, facilitating when it came to May—the Labour leader came across as relaxed, confident, and exuding human warmth, while Mrs. May on the other hand still appeared stilted, cold, and nowhere near as capable as her party would like her to be. There are those who still proclaim her performance a success, but that is only in comparison to some of the car crash appearance she has thus far made. Nevertheless, when this early election was called a few weeks ago, the Tory lead over Labour seemed an insurmountable chasm. Now, at five or six points depending on which poll you ask, there’s everything to play for. This, in short, is not going according to May’s plan.
As neither did, frankly, the weekend’s interviews.
There’s also this bloke whose mutterings should be inscribed in stone: