BBC journalist John Pienaar asked Tory Party chairman Patrick McLoughlin yesterday if the party hands out Smarties to ministers every time they use the phrase “strong and stable leadership.”
“I’ve heard it so often it rings in my ears,” said Pienaar.
Had he listened to the Andrew Marr Show, he would have heard Home Secretary Amber Rudd utter the self-same formulation and double her sweetie prize by warning of the danger of Jeremy Corbyn being “propped up by the SNP and Lib Dems in a coalition of chaos.”
The Tory machine has narrowed down its general election game plan to posing Theresa May’s “strong and stable leadership” against Corbyn’s “coalition of chaos.”
This means portraying May as the guardian of a strong economy and strong defence policy while deriding Corbyn as intent on bankrupting the country and leaving it defenceless.
Quite why he would want to do this and why the electorate in Islington North would have voted in increasing numbers over three decades for a candidate committed to such a ruinous vista is not explained.
How could it be? The charges made against Corbyn are utter claptrap just as the claims of stability and strength are for May.
How strong can an economy be where workers’ incomes have not increased in a decade, where the government is squeezing funds for education and health and Chancellor Philip Hammond has revealed his intention to drop the Tory pledge made two years ago of no rises in VAT, income tax or national insurance?
Corbyn plans to use public funds to invest in modern industry and defend jobs, which, far from being a receipt for bankruptcy, meets employment needs and will increase tax revenues.
How strong is a defence policy based on an independent nuclear deterrent that is neither independent nor a deterrent?