A flustered Theresa May took to the stage in Wales to announce a u-turn in her so-called ‘Dementia Tax’ – a policy she announced in her Conservative Manifesto only four days ago – and the public pounced on her like hungry wolves on a lone sheep.
Here’s the Guardian‘s report:
Theresa May has said that the Conservative government would set an “absolute limit” on the amount that people pay for social care in a U-turn on the policy put forward in her party’s election manifesto last week.
The prime minister claimed that the inclusion of a cap was a clarification that she was making because of attacks by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, that she described as “fake claims” and “scaremongering”.
“So I want to make a further point clear. This manifesto says that we will come forward with a consultation paper, a government green paper. And that consultation will include an absolute limit on the amount people have to pay for their care costs,” she said.
May argued that the plans put forward by her party that triggered a controversial backlash were the “right funding model” – but the original plans made no mention of a cap.
Her announcement contradicts what Conservatives have been saying in the mass media all weekend. Here’s Jeremy Hunt, for example:
(He was talking about the Andrew Dilnot proposal to cap individual contributions to social care at £35,000.)
Mrs May was keen to lay blame on the Labour Party for “scaremongering” about her proposals – but look at her body language in the following clips:
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 22, 2017
Strong and stable? Or wobbly and twitchy? She got worse as her press conference went on:
May is absolutely shook, terrible body language. More blunders will be coming – only down from here for Tories. pic.twitter.com/hNlh7UUkhq
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) May 22, 2017
Can you imagine this woman negotiating Brexit with EU leaders? The result doesn’t bear consideration.
There was no hiding the fact that this was a woman at the end of her credibility.
“Nothing has changed”?
"Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed." pic.twitter.com/ztLUlykU00
— Colin Smith (@Colin_TBTAMC) May 22, 2017
This Writer was particularly amused by the following:
This headline has not aged well since Friday morning. pic.twitter.com/3u02wF452W
— Kevin Schofield (@KevinASchofield) May 22, 2017
But the strongest focus has been on the fact that this is yet another u-turn from the woman who claimed she epitomised “strong and stable” leadership, whereas Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour would head up a so-called “coalition of chaos”.
It is clear to everybody that the Conservatives are in chaos – and looking less electable by the minute.
— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) May 22, 2017
Strong and stable government?Strengthen my hand? Coalition of chaos? Safe pair of hands?
Yeah, right. pic.twitter.com/bgTPV0xRyZ
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) May 22, 2017
Here’s blogging veteran Tom Pride on Theresa May’s skill at driving the UK ‘forward together’ (that’s the Tory slogan of the day, remember):
If some of you still need convincing about what a disaster this is for Theresa May and her Tories, take a look at the following – it’s a list of just some of the u-turns Mrs May has made since becoming prime minister (by default – there was no election, remember) last summer:
The Prime Minister campaigned for Remain during the EU referendum, arguing that Brexit would risk “Britain’s future. Our influence around the world. Our security. And our prosperity”. You wouldn’t know that today – Ms May is now the face of Brexit.
In Theresa May’s first full Budget as Prime Minister, the Chancellor announced a rise in National Insurance for self-employed workers. The policy was panned as a White Van Tax by the press and it was pointed out that it broke a Tory manifesto pledge to never raise taxes. Days later, The policy was scrapped.
During her campaign to be leader Theresa May said she would speak for workers and work for a fairer Britain. She only outlined one policy to this effect: companies would be forced to put workers on boards to give them a say in decision-making. Shortly after she became Prime Minister it was reported that the policy had been dropped, following lobbying from businesses. Hey-presto, the Tory manifesto effectively says putting workers on boards will be optional.
The Prime Minister and Downing Street repeatedly said she wouldn’t hold an election, arguing that it would risk the stability of the country that was needed to deliver Brexit. Then, one day after MPs returned to Westminster after Easter recess, she called an emergency press conference and said she would be holding an election.
It’s an incomplete list. This Writer recalls her promise to force manufacturers to reduce the sugar content of children’s food – which magically transformed itself into a decision to ask manufacturers to change their ways, after discussions with the big businesspeople concerned.
It’s quite clear that Theresa May is very far from being the “safe pair of hands” she has claimed for herself. But show her these facts, and what do you think her response will be?Well, quite.
Vote Labour – for sanity’s sake! – on June 8.
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