One displays competence, the other chaos. One has vision, the other venom. One shows compassion, the other cruelty. But which is which?
As a Scottish Green Party member, I hold no loyalty to either the Tories or Labour. However, I recognise only two people stand any chance of being elected prime minister come June the 8th.
Let’s break it down, bit by bit. Who really has the skills for the top job?
May’s handling of Brexit has been an absolute trainwreck. Take her first dinner with EU leaders: her speech was shoved to the end, capped to a few minutes, and welcomed by awkward silence. The second, she was not even invited to. The third? The worst. Along with her Brexit Secretary, David Davis, she made clumsy stumble after clumsy stumble, greeted with frosty response after frosty response. In the words of Jean-Claude Junker, European Commission President: 'Theresa May is living in another galaxy, she is deluding herself'.
Talks haven’t even started yet they are already breaking down. At this rate, what are the chances they’re going to give us a generous deal?
As Opposition Leader, Jeremy Corbyn has had less responsibility with regards to Brexit. However, what role he has had, he has performed better than May doing significantly better. In February he hosted a mass-conference of European socialist parties in London - getting them all on side. Real leaders with real power, holding a combined seven key seats on the European Council - now more likely to give us a good deal, because of Corbyn.
On the economy, there is little competition. Since the PM took office in July, prices have almost tripled. Real-terms wage growth has plummeted, now in the negative. Already two years overdue, she has just delayed balancing the books until 2025. She cannot even find the competence to come up with a costed manifesto: not a single Tory spending pledge mentions where the money’s going to come from.
We were promised stability. This is chaos.
Corbyn on the other hand, has matched each and every policy with a funding source. £48.6 billion raised, £48.6 billion spent. He has not even factored in the economic growth his mass-investment would create, giving the party billions of leeway for error. Economists are endorsing his proposals.
He has had significant leadership problems in the past. Anyone denying that is kidding themselves. However, having cemented his position with an overwhelming second election victory, the dissent seems to fizzled out. Of the sixty-eight radical policy pledges he fought on during that campaign, by my count, approximately ninety-six per cent have either fully or partially made it into the final manifesto - a document Labour MPs would not have touched with a bargepole just two years ago, but now unanimously endorsed by the National Executive Committee.
If that is not a stamp of authority, then what is?
May’s leadership skills? A total mess. She could not even run the Home Office without it descending into a culture of discrimination and bullying, let alone a country. The Deloiite memo leak revealed all - she’s a control freak in office, completely out of her depth, presiding over a divided cabinet. Her relationship with Phillip Hammond is virtually non-existent, following their clash on the National Insurance hike.
The dementia tax was only the latest catastrophe. She kept her ministers in the dark, and made the surprise announcement only to find her own Tory candidates fighting back against her. The subsequent U-turn bore the hallmarks of a weak and wobbly leader - maybe even the first ever time we’ve had a manifesto promise broken before the election has actually taken place.
We do not even need to get into her negotiating ability. She does not have the guts to face opposition leaders in her own country. What chance does she have against twenty-seven EU Governments?
Corbyn has his flaws, just like any leader. However, May’s are not even in the same league. The spin and speeches scarcely hide it. Under her leadership, we have been moving backwards on Brexit. Even in opposition, Corbyn has been moving us forward.
Do we go with the socialist of stability, or the conservative of chaos?
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