May’s day? More like m’aider as disaster-prone PM blunders YET AGAIN

Cartoonist (and friend of Vox Political) Gary Barker produced this cartoon, explaining prime minister May's policies in a few brief words.

Cartoonist (and friend of Vox Political) Gary Barker produced this cartoon, explaining prime minister May’s policies in a few brief words.

Theresa May tried to cover up the Conservative Government’s appalling record on housebuilding with a weak, scripted joke at Jeremy Corbyn’s expense – and made a bad situation worse.

At Prime Minister’s Questions today (September 7), she was trying to defend against Mr Corbyn’s assertion that the Conservatives had failed in their promise to build one new replacement council house for every dwelling sold under their ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.

It is possible to quibble about the inaccuracy of the answers given. As Mrs May said “housebuilding has been up under a Conservative Government by comparison with a Labour Government”, she is wrong – because the total number of houses built under the last Labour Government was around 42,000 more, every year. Had she stipulated council houses/housing association dwellings, Mrs May could have won the point – but she didn’t.

As for the claim that the Tories haven’t made good on their replacement promise, well, 38,479 council houses have been sold since the Tories made their promise in 2012 and only 4,594 started – that’s roughly eight sold for every one started – so Mr Corbyn is right again.

However, the devil is in the detail, and the Tories do include little stipulations that give them wiggle room. They only promised to start a council home within three years of selling one – and to count only homes that were sold as a result of their 2012 discount. By this standard, they are ahead, as only 3,054 houses were sold in 2012 under the “additional” heading.

If you’re not convinced by the Tory reasoning here, you have every reason not to be. Does anybody really think they’ll still be hitting their target in three years’ time – or that they have hard and fast rules about what constitutes “additional” sales?

So it seems Mr Corbyn wins on factual accuracy, if only for the time being.

Mrs May came thoroughly unstuck, however, when she tried to attack Mr Corbyn on his own ground. Commenting on his habit of using tweeted questions from constituents at PMQs, she mentioned the first tweet that arrived this week:

“I thought I would look to see what sort of responses he had received. I have to say that the first one was quite good. In fact, he might want to ensure that he stays sitting down for this. Lewis writes, ‘Does she know that in a recent poll on who would make a better Prime Minister, “Don’t Know” scored higher than Jeremy Corbyn?’ What we do know is that, whoever wins the Labour party leadership, we are not going to let them anywhere near power again.”

Unfortunately for Mrs May, she didn’t do her homework.

It turns out that ‘Lewis’ is a very unsavoury individual whose Twitter timeline is full of comments such as this, on hate crimes against Polish people near the site where another Pole was murdered:

160907-lewis-collins-tweeter-quoted-by-theresa-may

Coming only a matter of weeks after Mrs May expressed her own horror at hate crimes directed at Polish people, her use of this man’s comment in an attempted put-down of Jeremy Corbyn is nauseating.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. See here, here and here.

It’s one catastrophic error of judgement after another with this pathetic excuse for a prime minister.

As for her parting comment – “whoever wins the Labour party leadership, we are not going to let them anywhere near power again” – it is clear that Labour cannot kick the Cons out of office soon enough.

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11 thoughts on “May’s day? More like m’aider as disaster-prone PM blunders YET AGAIN

      1. John

        From a theatrical standpoint, Cameron was better than May, but the level of evil and lies is just the same!

  1. John

    Thought I’d watch PMQs, seen as it was the first one after the hols.
    Same old, same old!
    Not sure i’ve ever seen a PM stumble so much!

  2. Linwren

    If you thought Cameron & Osbourne were bad..look see what she thinks she’ll get away with. TM wants to make it illegal for anyone to boycott Israeli products. Not in my name will you support Apartheid or Genocide. This women has to go and take all the Tory lapdogs with her

  3. Dez

    Thankfully she leaves the political point scoring speaches to obvious lazy lame brains who do little research into the information/background they are feeding Mother T. Long may they continue spoon feeding her total kack.

  4. Dez

    Housing debate …. seems like local government have delivered on the promise with regard to allowing planning for the houses however Cons chum seem very slow in delivering same houses either because not enough skilled building staff or just waiting for the prices to risesupply crisis

    Published: Thursday, 8th September 2016

    Latest research claims councils have granted enough planning consents to meet the government’s target of building one million new homes by 2020 but developers are failing to build them…

    Councils have granted enough planning consents to meet the government’s ambition of one million new homes by 2020 but developers are failing to build them, latest research from independent think-tank Civitas has claimed.

    New analysis from the think-tank has highlighted that:

    Planning permission has been awarded in England for 2,035,835 housing units between 2006 and 2015. That is an average of 204,000 new homes a year, an annual rate sufficient to meet the government’s housebuilding target for this parliament of one million homes by 2020
    Starts recorded by the government during the same 10-year period numbered only 1,261,350, however: an average of just 126,000 a year. This means that there have been 774,485 more permissions than starts, equivalent to 77,000 a year for the period
    This shortfall has been growing wider over the past five years. A significant increase in the number of planning permissions granted since 2011 has not been matched by a comparable increase in starts or completions;
    In the past two years (2014 and 2015), some 500,956 units have received permission, in line with the 250,000 homes a year that most housing economists think England needs as a minimum. In neither of those two years did recorded starts get above 140,000, however, little more than half of what has been approved
    Last year (2015) there were 261,644 homes permitted for development, but just 139,680 recorded starts. This is a deficit of 121,964, the biggest by far over the 10-year period analysed and almost twice the level it was in 2010.

    Daniel Bentley, editorial director of Civitas, said: “Local authority planning departments have been under enormous pressure in recent years and are frequently blamed by developers for holding up housebuilding.

    “But what these figures show is that councils are issuing planning permissions in greater numbers than at any time for at least a decade. The bigger problem, and what lies at the root of our housing shortage, is that landowners and developers are not getting approved sites built out quickly enough.

    “The answer to this must lie in changing the incentives for landowners and developers, including the imposition of contractual obligations that ensure residential development proceeds within a certain timeframe.

    “This in turn will mean giving local authorities much greater bargaining power in negotiations with builders over new developments.”

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