Corbyn and May face questions in live TV interview

May 30, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , POLITICS , UK


Reuters/AFP photo



Hazel Speed


Having watched an unusual TV interview format Monday evening, it soon became apparent that the issues could be boiled down to weak (or even non defence) of the country vs theft from old people re the so-called ‘Dementia Tax’. What kind of a choice is that?

As the Prime Minister was not willing to have a political debate with Mr Corbyn directly, the format of debate firstly introduced the Labour Party leader to audience questions, followed by a direct interview with Jeremy Paxman, then similarly, Mrs May took her turn.

The same rhetoric, or some may term it ‘patter’, was spouted out by both political Leaders. When Mr Corbyn was asked to quote figures on some issues regarding exiting Europe, he offered no opinion but said he would get a good deal, then went off topic.

Jeremy Paxman then asked Mr Corbyn about his comments in respect of the Falklands War/Conflict when he said at the time that it was a ‘Tory plot’, and also why Mr Corbyn called many terrorist groups his friends. Mr Corbyn reverted to form that he believed in talking and striving for peace generally, and in respect of the Falklands War, he was working with others for international involvement to discuss peaceful resolution.

Jeremy Paxman asked Mr Corbyn a hypothetical question: if he became Prime Minister and was informed by the security services that an overseas terrorist was planning a bombing campaign in the UK, but a drone could take him out, would he go ahead? Mr Corbyn was concerned to ascertain if innocent civilians would be harmed? (What about the innocent civilians in the UK?). This is the man who is against Trident and will never press the button.

To sum up Mr Corbyn’s contribution both in this debate, and his political stance generally, Jeremy Paxman remarked that his Manifesto (booklet of which was held up), did not reflect any of his personal beliefs. Mr Corbyn’s retort was that the Manifesto was a consensus from within and of the Labour Party. Once again, does a ‘consensus’ press a nuclear button?

Then it was Mrs May’s turn. The audience challenged her about a number of issues, but two in particular related to the winter fuel allowance being retained in Scotland, but not England. The other was a most moving question from an older gentleman relating to the ‘Dementia Tax’, whereby people who worked hard all their lives to buy and own their own homes will lose the value of same (albeit capped at both ends), should they require social care, ie. they can retain £100,000 to leave to their families and the full cost of care will be subject to a Parliamentary Green Paper to determine (following consultation with charities and other groups), to ascertain the needs and means testing of each set of circumstances. What about those who rent?

An easy Government income if a property is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, but Mrs May stated it is to be ‘fair to the young’, however, who helped that older gentleman when he and his late Wife were young and bought their house? His facial expression showed his stunned sadness.

As for winter fuel in Scotland, they were devolved and could spend their money how they wanted to apparently.What about England becoming devolved then?

Jeremy Paxman then repeatedly asked the Prime Minister if she had changed her mind about Brexit, as originally she had voted against it and wanted to remain. She wisely said that the people had voted to Leave and they wanted their Government to listen and carry out their wishes, which is what she was doing.

The usual ‘Mrs May’ type of rhetoric was forthcoming on a host of issues, but unlike Mr Corbyn, the Prime Minister could quote facts and figures on all aspects put to her. She was applauded when Jeremy Paxman asked her about her willingness to walk away from a bad Brexit deal and she said yes.

The Prime Minister was reminded about the U-turns she had made regarding a number of former political stances in general, but those taunts did not have the intended effect, as Mrs May readily agreed to certain facts, which was to her credit.

One humorous point arose during some of the Prime Minister’s opening remarks to the audience, when she began with the comment that Mr Corbyn’s figures did not add up, and a member of the audience shouted out ‘what figures’ (as Mr Corbyn could not provide any when asked). Mrs May did not quite hear the comment though.

The audience, we were told, comprised of one third Labour supporters and one third Conservatives. The final third represented people who were still undecided for whom to vote.

Overall, based on performance of this televised debate, Mrs May won on points, with a far more polished performance, but given she is the Prime Minister, one would expect such professionalism in this type of situation.

So there it is, apparently, and as the saying goes, ‘better the devil you know’!





Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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