Crushing Dissent: What Theresa Erdogan May’s “Election” Really Looks Like 101

This taxi driver was the only member of the public who managed to get anywhere near Theresa May on her much publicised “meet the people” election visit to Bolton yesterday. As not one local person was allowed to speak to her, he is expressing his views in the only way available. He is also exercising his essential democratic right to make his views plain during an election.

This is a policeman from May’s escort immediately moving in to crush any sign of dissent.
The still below does not capture how aggressive the policeman on the motorcycle is. He repeatedly thrusts his pointing finger towards the drivers’ face in an aggressive gesture I have seen used by “law enforcement” in dictatorships all around the world. You get the full idea only by watching the video.

That May’s police escort see it as their job to prevent any expression of dissent says everything about the kind of Britain she is creating. It goes along with her failure, twice, to accept Angus Robertson’s invitation to distance herself from the Daily Mail’s “Crush the Saboteurs” headline.

Disciplinary action should be taken against the policeman for the harassment of that driver – who it should be noted had already been forced to halt and pull aside for a period of time to let May’s convoy pass, and had complied. That we have a police force who think you are not allowed to show dissent to the Prime Minister is deeply troubling.

Visiting Bolton yesterday, May arrived by helicopter, was whisked through town in an armoured convoy, spoke to a tiny audience of vetted conservatives, refused to answer any questions, and was whisked out again. In a precise example of what we have to expect in the next six weeks the BBC reported she had been to “meet the people”, and then gave us a series of vox pops from Labour voters in Bolton who were switching to Conservative.

The media picture with which we are presented is not just a distortion, it is the polar opposite of the reality. It was not a “meet the people” visit, it was an “avoid the people” visit. With not even other members of the political establishment being allowed to question her in debate, this is an Uzbek style election in the UK.

Hat tip – and link above – to Tom Pride.

UPDATE: For those having video troubles – here it is below

Direct Link

101 thoughts on “Crushing Dissent: What Theresa Erdogan May’s “Election” Really Looks Like

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  • B Jaworski

    And this is meeting the people, which takes precedence over tv debate, where there might be genuine challenge?

  • N. R. Murray

    I knew May would be a disaster for UK. The UK’s Donald Trump, a petty fascist.

  • Alcyone

    A. If it were that highly publicised, her visit that is, the news certainly didn’t reach me or here.

    B. I really don’t see the issue with the video at all. I think the fact that the country has been kept relatively safe of all kinds of jihadists and idiots is something that the security services should be complemented for.

    It would seem that you are just looking for stuff to be outraged by. Your comparison with Uzbekistan is beyond ludicrous.

    Btw, where can we hear your AJ dinner speech? Stay well and in peace.

    • fred

      You’re trying to underplay this very serious matter here Alcyone. One thing Britain has always been proud of is the fact we do not have fingered policemen on the beat.

      We can’t have the police openly waving fingers at the public like they did in Nazi Germany, if fingers are needed there should be a special highly trained Fingered Response Team ready to spring into action at a moments notice. This isn’t America where hundreds of people are pointed to death every day.

      • glenn_uk

        Nazi Germany – where you’d have us believe people were forever simply waving at something in the sky (with a straight right arm), Fred?

          • Iain Stewart

            That was very droll, fred. I apologise for being rude to you last night: I had underestimated the strength of my father-in-law’s hooch (which is no excuse).

      • Node

        If you turn the sound up you can hear what he’s saying to the taxi driver.
        “Pull my finger … go on … never mind why, just pull it …”

      • Alcyone


        I have the whole Universe to observe Craig. It’s about clarity, not just observing through all the thick of your conditioning, one’s own decades and the millennia of primal evolution.

        Btw, after stepping off the FCO treadmill you have had ample opportunity to observe your own conditioning, have you?

        • bevin

          We all have ‘all the universe’ to observe. It takes a special brand of myopia to reflect, after having done so, that:
          ” I think the fact that the country has been kept relatively safe of all kinds of jihadists and idiots is something that the security services should be complemented (sic) for.”
          The Policeman’s behaviour would pass unnoticed in Singapore, it ought not to do so.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        There’s not much on it here Whether this is due to our oppressive dictatorship or lack of interrest by our Londoncentric media, I cannot say. And I would be unastonished to learn that you don’t read the Daily Mail or Bolton News. But Ghana…not quite a model democracy perhaps, but they have one idea of which I can only approve –

        Candidates campaigning for office, meanwhile, have to prove that they are generous and sympathetic, and can be relied on to meet the multiple expectations of constituents once they are elected. They pay school fees for poor children; donate to church-building and funeral collections. Any group seeking support—whether it be a football team or a local hairdressers’ association—knows that the election campaign is, as Ghanaians say, ‘cocoa season:’ time for a rich harvest. On election day, when party activists try to turn out the vote, they may be met with simple demands for cash: politicians are assumed to reap rewards from office, and the public expects to share these.

        Institutionalised electoral bribery, subject to checks and balances…let the candidates all give us a sneak preview of their human side, eh?

  • reel guid

    The UK has come a long way from 1951. In the general election campaign that year Prime Minister Clement Atlee was driven around Britain to meetings by his wife Violet.

    Now a British PM is surrounded by menacing security folk and she seems to enjoy it enormously.

    • D_Majestic

      Reminds me so much of the Thatcher years. I recall the then Home Secretary, Brittan, escorted by more police than one could shake a stick at. Welcome to ‘The World of Tea Lady’ Part Deux.

      • reel guid

        She hasn’t quite got the voice right yet has she D_Maj? But she’s clearly working on it.

        • D_Majestic

          She needs a large pot egg in her mouth. Like my old next door but one neighbour used for his ‘Broodies’ in the ‘fifties when I were a kid. Also she needs to growl a lot more. Lol.

    • Habbabkuk

      Reel guid

      Well, I don’t know whether politicians in general and Mrs May in particular “enjoy” their police protection. Perhaps you could try writing to a few of them and asking (don’t forget to tell us what, if anything, they replied)?

      But your comment is both silly and meaningless. The sad truth is that in 1951 (or 1961 for that matter) in the UK at least, senior politicians ran a virtually zero risk of being attacked or worse when out in public whether in the course of business or in a private capacity. That – unfortunately – is no longer the case. Among other factors you can thank IRA terrorism.

      • reel guid

        Well I made a comment further down about John Major and his famous soapbox. That was in 1992 when there were – and had been for long – safety concerns about politicians. He still went about and engaged with people even if it might have been a little staged sometimes.

        Today’s Prime Ministers don’t have to be kept completely away from meeting the public. Unless of course like May they choose to.

    • craig Post author

      Many “converts” from violent extremism have found there is an extremely fat living in peddling these stories. Ed Husain and Nonentity Nawaaz literally made millions. I trust such “converts” not one jot.

      • Republicofscotland

        Who’s to say that a certain amount of these so called “terrorist video’s” aren’t Western propaganda.

      • Alcyone

        Yes Craig I agree, it’s very important to follow the money. So where has all the money come from for ISIS, AQ and their affiliates? Yes, yes, apart from the CIA of course? Where does all the money come from for all the conversions that take place in Europe? And who directs all these wahhabi-salafists? And who funded Pakistan’s nuclear programme? And what is the mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on their nuclear weapons?

        You were in Doha recently, a guest of AJ I presume, and indeed I hope they paid you a fee. Now to borrow a phrase from Dylan, ‘What did you see my blue-eyed son?’. And equally importantly, what did you tell them, why is your speech missing?

      • Sharp Ears

        Haras Rafiq was on Sky News earlier speaking of ‘global Islamic terrorism’ in connection with the Paris shooting.

        He is: ‘In 2015, at, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed criticised the UK government’s support of Quilliam and the Henry Jackson Society and alleged that Quilliam has close connections with the anti-Islamic conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney and Haras Rafiq, former head of the Sufi Muslim Council. Ahmed claims that the think tank is allied too closely with anti-Islamic conspiracy theorists and hate groups, and links this with the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, and Trump’s recent proposals to impose a mandatory ban on all Muslim immigration into the United States’

        He was described as the Chief Executive of Quilliam .

        Here is his biog.
        Well in with HMG who gave them £1m in 2009 according to Wikipedia. That was Brown presumably.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Compare the way Jeremy Corbyn customarily behaves. And in my opinion he’s much more likely to run into aggressive opposition than Theresa May is – cf. the attack on George Galloway.

    Corbyn’s courage and confidence in democracy and May’s cowardice could not be delineated more plainly. I hope that the public will take note. And I think that it will.

  • Alan Gordon

    I really feel for all the voters in England who do not want the Tories or Brexit. They do not have representation at Westminster. And must indeed present a dismal outlook. We in Scotland in many ways are also irrelevant to Westminster but we have hope and a vision of a positive future.

    • michael norton

      Almost all my friends and neighbours voted for Brexit, they want it as fast and as hard as possible.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s Gordon Brown’s closed shop speaking all over again. If you’re not on the invite list or show any dissent, it’s off to jail for you, after a ruddy good going over that is.

    I dread to think of what England will become if the Tories have their way long term. I have a certain solidarity with its people.

  • glenn_uk

    Not sure why this supposed “meet the people” exercise and appearing for a televised debate is supposed to be mutually exclusive. But the BBC was happy to explain away May’s unwillingness to have such a debate, on account of how she was going to “meet the people” instead.

    It was also very kind to her in the way it announced the election. It was being called, R-4’s “The world tonight” (22:00, Tuesday) in order to stabilise the country ahead of Brexit negotiations. Definitely not for personal advantage, nor was this a claim, no – this was the reason. End of.

    • Pyewacket

      If I may add Glenn, no mention by her saintliness, when questioned by the Beast of Balsover, about the potential prosecution of her MPs for electoral fraud. Just an anodyne statement saying that she supports all those members who are fighting for her cause, or words to that effect. No acknowledgment of the case or its seriousness whatsoever.

  • Seersuckers

    The great British public should not be underestimated, after Marine Le Pen we may see yet another surprise Trump election, only Corbyn MUST make clear to voters he will retain the English Channel as a WALL to keep out the tens of millions inundating the EU from Arabia,Africa and the East in the next decade(s). The Libya-Italy boat run will be a picnic compared to the reverse D-Day landing that may be expected from Calais. Its the curse of the English language a 100m wannabe economic migrant speakers would prefer to be in familiar language – we are already seeing hundreds of thousands of the stranded migrant Chinese of Hong Kong,Vietnam,Philippines moving here.

    CM may not be alive to see kebob hagis turned into Scotland’s national food by millions of Kurds fleeing civil war, after swamping its 5m population. And all because the migrant wife may accuse him of racism if he wants to keep out economically starved.

  • Soothmoother

    I don’t think it’s new for the Police escorts to behave this way. It’s standard practice. I don’t think you can blame the tories for this one.

    • michael norton

      In Zimbabwe a man in a village had the Mugabe speeding motorcade, crush is goat, so the goat owner stuck his fingers up to the disappearing Mugabe motorcade, the police motorcyclist stopped and beat him to death in the street for sticking his fingers up.
      At least Teresa hasn’t stooped to that yet.

  • Jeff Riley

    Thanks Craig. I saw the vox pop and could not believe what I was being presented with. There must have been 6 or so voices and only 1 was going to vote Labour. All of it of course focused relentlessly on the May vs Corbyn rather than policies.

    • Soothmoother

      BBC Five Live were in Corbyn’s constituency yesterday talking to Corbyn’s supporters. One gentleman said that he voted for JC because he was honest and trustworthy. He was asked twice why Corbyn was seen as a weak leader and both times replied that the Mainstream media misrepresents him.

  • Mark Rowantree

    Excellent analysis Craig! Which matches my own completely you’ll be totally unsurprised to find out matches my own completely.
    As someone who was brought up, probably like yourself on the mythical image of the apolitical ‘British Bobby’: an image which if ever actually true, was shattered forever by the events inter alia of the 1984 Miners’ Strike.
    This image struck me so forcibly as it seems to suggest that in the eyes of the UK establishment it is illigitemate to be seen to disagree with the prevailing political orthodoxy?

  • Sharp Ears

    Jeremy Corbyn’s speech has been received well. BBC and Sky jeering of course

    ‘Normal’ Smith on the BBC and Tamara Cohen on Sky give it the thumbs down. Cohen even had Fallon on from Estonia** to diss it. Now Sky have Rent a Tool on to give their message extra welly.

    Jeremy took 5 questions from journalists. May yesterday took none nor were journalists invited as Craig points out. That says it all. She cannot debate, only recite from her spinners’ scripts.

    ‘General election 2017: Jeremy Corbyn vows to ‘overturn the rigged system’

    Now the Guardian weighs in against Jeremy too. See how they are making it about personalities. Disgusting stuff.

    Jeremy Corbyn is gutless and feeble on defence, says Michael Fallon
    Defence secretary attacks Corbyn, saying Russian president Vladimir Putin would welcome Labour victory

    • D_Majestic

      I think we can safely dismiss Fallon. Some while ago I watched open-mouthed when he was more or less promising war with Russia within two years on the BBC News. Is this the Tory plan. then? Better reinvent the Gloster Gladiator PDQ.

  • Stu

    May’s attitude at PMQs yesterday was startling. She made it clear that she sees her policies as being completely aligned with the will of the ‘British people’ and that any opposition is therefore illegitimate.

    Cameron and Osbourne at least recognised that they were involved in a massive deceit. May is a true believer which is terrifying.

    • Sharp Ears

      I used to say that fascism was creeping in to this country of ours. Now it’s galloping.

    • john young

      What for me is terrifying stu is that so many in England cast their votes for her/them.

      • Stu

        It is indeed.

        A great deal of their support is down to appellation ie. individuals who are conditioned to know their place in the social order, feel anxious if that social order is threatened and in fact take masochistic satisfaction from considering themselves inferior.

        Sadly the Tories also seem to be benefiting from the cargo cult of consumerism which is our current national religion. Shy Toryism is on the decrease and we are now seeing Toryism being worn as badge of (false) affluence by many younger people. There is a sense of shame for some people in supporting a party that wants to include the unfortunate left behind members of our society that have been so vilified in the media.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    A motorcyclist, voice is muffled by his helmet, with only one hand free ( the other is holding the clutch out when halted) might just find it difficulty to convey any message at all without specifying the recipient. Instinctively, the finger is used. Even by non-police motorcyclists, as in (muffled) “Mmmph! You mmphing Lycra mmph! Yes, you! Mmphing cut across me again and you’re mmphing dead meat!”

    Wholly excusable, IMO.

    • Alcyone

      *Very* helpful perspective. You’d better take Craig for a spin on your bike when he’s back and then play him some Tabla Beat Science over a hot cup of chai. I think he needs some fresh air in his brain, connect with the beautiful green earth of Scotland and a dose of musical spirituality.

      “Send the whisky to the Qataris, Saudis and Pakistanis. Don’t forget the Caliphate.”

  • Anon1

    Can’t see what the big deal is here. The policeman merely pulls over and points a few times at the aggressive protestor. Not exactly Uzbekistan is it?

    Oh, and I don’t see why the PM should have to “distance herself” from a Daily Mail headline.

    • Chris Rogers


      ‘An aggressive protester’, what planet do you live on, the taxi driver was not Protesting, he was trying to do his job and was hindered in this by the charade known as May – if sticking two fingers up to our PM is construed as aggressive we really have ‘jumped the shark’ or gone down the u-bend of the bloody rabbit hole.

      • fred

        I think putting two fingers up at anyone is considered abusive isn’t it?

        Try putting two fingers up to someone in a bar in Glasgow and see if they consider you’re just exercising your freedom of expression.

      • Anon1

        Being pointed at a few times by a copper does not exactly make the UK Erdogan’s Turkey, does it, where opposition figures are rounded up and thrown in jail.

        • D_Majestic

          No-one said it did. Only that we can see pointers towards possible outcomes. But of course you would discount that too, wouldn’t you?

  • Chris Rogers

    When the entire Estates of the UK unite to denigrate the Leader of the Opposition in a democratic election, you really know you are entering fascist territory as they unite behind their Pawn to deny the majority a decent society. Still, the UK dispensed with a Free Press a generation ago as it applauded the neoliberal shit Thatcher imposed on us, carried over by Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and now the evil witch May – its like something out of a
    horror movie I’m afraid.

      • Peter N

        Craig has it fixed now – pointing to an external site. Try clicking on the video now and you can view it on the other site.

      • Clark

        This site apparently embeds it from tompride, where I can’t play it. Tompride embeds it from Twitter, which will let me play it only if I permit their codec to run.

        This is not free and open distribution. I am required to run software that I can’t be sure of, and I have no way of saving a copy of the video. If some entity in the chain decides to block it, no one will be able to view it.

  • Anon1

    Current odds for a Tory victory at the next election: “Put it in the building society”.

    Can’t wait for the excuses:

    “He wasn’t left-wing enough.”

    “It was the media.”

    Or Craig’s favourite:

    “The people are thick.”

    • Chris Rogers


      You must be chuffed at voting to see the destruction of your own community/nation – hope you fucking choke to death on all that coin, which, and lets be blunt, is all greedy fuckers and imbeciles care about – as they say, a special place in hell is reserved for fools like you.

      • glenn_uk

        You’ve got to remember, Chris, that the like of Anon1 are not satisfied just with the result they favoured. No – they take genuine pleasure from the anguish of others, out of people who are despairing at the wretched unfairness and immorality of the way the country is to be run.

        People like Anon1 not like you and me, who would be quite happy to never hear of a Tory in office again. They _want_ people to suffer and die. They are cheered to hear of thousands of excess deaths, suicides, broken homes, addiction and violence that occur in deeply unequal societies.

        People like Anon1 cannot be happy unless they can gloat at others who are suffering. This is what makes them truly evil individuals, not just someone who thinks the country can be run for the better in a manner that we disagree with.

        • Anon1

          Utter bollocks, Glenn. Taxing everyone to the hilt and running the country into the ground economically as socialists always do is to the long-term detriment of all of us. Your poor, elderly, sick and disabled can only get state handouts thanks to a strong economy. It is incumbent on those who care about such people to not vote for a regressive Labour government that will turn this country into the kind of economic basket case we saw in the 1970s.

          You are like an adolescent child, a typical leftist wanker pining for a magic money tree that will wipe out all inequalities, virtue signalling about how caring and compassionate you are without any understanding of where money actually comes from or who pays for your welfare state.

          Yes I laugh at you. And yes I relish seeing the left fail.

          • glenn_uk

            Your understanding of economics is limited to “I like sucking up to rich people”, Anon1. That does not benefit the country any more than it benefits the people suffering in it.

            Countries run on very much more socialist principles than ours (such as the Scandinavians) have a far higher quality of life, vastly more equatable societies and vastly better infrastructure than our run-down, third-world standards which are apparently good enough for us, in your blinkered view.

            It could well be dishonesty, but it’s probably just sheer ignorance when you talk about socialists running the country badly. The hated Thatcher got us into huge amounts of debt, caused recessions, threw millions out of work and destroyed our manufacturing industry.

            I don’t know about “virtue signalling”, a new phrase you’ve obviously picked up as readily as any of your bad habits, but your hate signalling is coming through loud and clear.

          • Clark

            “without any understanding of where money actually comes from…”

            Money comes from the human imagination. Coins, notes and credit have no value beyond that. Money doesn’t grow on trees because trees would never produce something that served no physical function.

  • Pyewacket

    Whilst the BBC report implies that she visited Bolton Town, thus taking her campaign into the post-industrial heartlands, the place she actually visited was in the Egerton & Edgeworth area which are on the extreme North-Eastern edge of the Borough. These two villages are situated in the sunlit, sorry rain lashed uplands of the West Pennine Moors, which are true Blue through & through. Although they may share the BL postcode, Bolton they are not ! Further mendacity was committed by the BBC vox-pops filmed outside Bolton Town Hall where a token Black man was interviewed and recorded as saying he thought that voting Labour was probably better for him. It is of note that they didn’t try to interview anybody having a fag outside Wetherspoons. Their reaction to her presence might not have been what they wanted to hear.

  • Stu

    BBC watch.

    The main lunchtime news. Gave us six minutes of Corbyn, went straight to a Tory MP punting the Labour/SNP/Lib Dem scare line then unbelievably jumped to Holyrood for five minutes to focus on the SNP. The correspondent mentioned a protest but didn’t actually say the words Rape Clause.

    We also got a nice little bit of war conditioning with multi racial rehearsals for slaughtering tens of thousands of Koreans known as Operation Maximum Thunder.

    BBC Scotland lunchtime news. The opening report focused on Ruth Davidson, she got three times as much air time as Sturgeon and when Sturgeon was talking the camera was on Davidson. No mention of any protest or the words Rape Clause. Kezia Dugdale wasn’t even shown…..

      • Stu

        BBC News has only been worth watching as a measure of propaganda for a few years now.

        I am up early for work every day. The morning after the Oldham By election at 5am the headline was ‘Labour suffer reduced majority in Oldham’ despite winning an election the BBC had been predicting them to lose all week. The headline changed three or four times over the course of the morning until it actually reflected reality.

        About 18 months ago Cameron had a nightmare at PMQs. It was reported on the lunch time news. By Six o’clock despite no urgent news stories having emerged in the meantime it had disappeared PMQs simply did not happen that day.

        Go back further and the BBC spend a week undermining Ed Milliband without a single Labour MP being willing to speak against him on the record. Thousands of people complained which the BBC just brushed off.

        As we have seen with Nick Robinson and Knuessberg being caught lying this isn’t unconscious bias, it’s coordinated disinformation.

    • fred

      Vote for Ruth or vote for Nicola what’s the difference? All the same as far as Theresa is concerned, her only opposition is Jeremy and any vote which is not for him is a vote for her.

      • lysias

        That’s the logic people used trying to get people like me to vote for Hillary, saying that a vote for Jill Stein amounted to a vote for Trump.

        By the way, that extreme anti-Trump commenter Ben seems to have disappeared from here. Is that connected with the evaporation of Russiagate after Trump was brought to heel and bombed Syria? Ben seemed particularly concerned to discredit Craig’s claim to know that Wikileaks did not get the emails from Russia.

  • Sharp Ears

    All that fossil fuel use for 15 minutes.

    The Prime Minister, who is facing criticism for dodging TV debates, arrived by helicopter and did not appear to meet any ordinary voters on the 15 minute visit to Bolton, apart from supporters in the hall.’

    For security reasons, we’ve been asked not to say exactly where in Bolton we are until the PM has left’

    From the local rag. Dire stuff.

    The readers’ comments are even worse. The Bolton News is owned by Newsquest part of the US Gannett Inc media empire.

    • D_Majestic

      Followed the link. Crikey- a lot of the comments seem to have been written by Seagulls, Great Auks and the odd Albatross. Guano absolutely everywhere.

  • lysias

    The mask has come off. Our lords and masters no longer feel any need to disguise the undemocratic nature of their rule.

    • Herbie

      I think you’ve found the key to the election campaign, Lysias.

      Just keep pointing up their fascist tendencies, their undemocratic nature.

      Really triggers them that.

      Time to get those memes out into the mainstream.

      Put these elite thieves on the backfoot, every single day.

      Tories should never win an election in these economic circumstances.

  • Manda

    “…Theresa Erdogan May’s…”

    Thank you for this image, it made my day.

    I find it strange photographs and video clips are on the internet of President Assad and the first lady, along with their children mixing with their citizens at Easter celebrations and other public events and with citizens who have lost relatives etc… todays ‘news’ is so confusing…

  • Habbabkuk

    ” As not one local person was allowed to speak to her, he is expressing his views in the only way available. He is also exercising his essential democratic right to make his views plain during an election.”

    By shouting and swearing and making what looks like a V-sign ?

    BTW, is that a shaved head I see? Looks like a typical loudmouthed yobbo to me; the copper should have belted him one with his truncheon.

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