Theresa May’s Fake “Meetings” 285


The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that many of those forming the “audience” for Theresa May’s speech in Crathes looked even less enthusiastic than usual.

The real Tories are very obvious to spot. But when you look at the BBC video from which this picture is taken, you can see that the others not only do not look enthusiastic, they do not join in the clapping. Do not take my word for it, watch the video – the body language, apart from the obvious Tories, is more of hostages than supporters.

My contacts in Banchory tell me that this is because, in a weird Tory return to the 19th century, it was made clear to tenants of the Crathes estate that they were expected to turn out to support strong and stable leadership. The heir to the estate, in whose name the hall was booked, is Alexander Burnett, old Etonian and Tory MSP. Which century are we in?

The area, “Royal” Deeside, is a magnet for rich retirees from Surrey and had the highest UKIP vote in the Scottish EU elections. It is perhaps the only part of Scotland in which May could truly feel at home.

The popular theory among election advisers is that the electorate are stupid and do not pay attention to elections. There is therefore no point in trying to discuss detail or make any intellectual explanation of policy dilemmas. All the electorate will notice are simple slogans, which can be repeated infinitely because most voters don’t pay attention and will only hear them two or three times.

The Tories are testing this theory to destruction in this election. Shielding May from any “real” encounters, from any debate with opponents, and from any questions except a very few from picked right wing media, they intend to coast to victory. In Scotland this approach is so at odds with the active citizenship that was inculcated by the referendum campaign, I believe it will fail badly. We will see.

So what did May say in Crathes? Well, according to the Guardian

“she had told her supporters that she was the only leader capable of providing “strong and stable leadership” for Britain as the country headed towards Brexit.
“At this election, people will have a clear choice between five years of strong and stable leadership with me and my team or a coalition of chaos led by Jeremy Corbyn,” she said.”

Which funnily enough is exactly what she told her supporters in Leeds at her last “meeting”. That was remarkable because, in one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the UK, she spoke to what looked exactly like a Broederbond gathering.

I was delighted that the Metro newspaper conducted a sober appraisal of my statement that Tory policies are identical in most important respects to the BNP manifesto of 2005, and found I was right. You might imagine that might cause May’s advisers at least to try to make her meetings not look like BNP gatherings. But evidently they have decided it is more important to continue to prioritise the racist vote. The are banking on it being all white on election night.

May meets nobody except ardent Tories or those in no position to argue – employees of companies in their workplace or tenants. It is appalling abuse of power.

May is simply refusing to participate in democracy – which involves candidates being open to question and debate. There is really little point in having an election of this kind. Which presumably explains this question being asked in YouGove’s current political poll.

It is all extraordinarily sad, and I suppose the saddest thing of all is media complicity in this non-election – of which the latest and dreadful example is STV’s decision to exclude the Green Party from the Scottish leadership debate.

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285 thoughts on “Theresa May’s Fake “Meetings”

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  • Ann Ford

    Disgraceful woman. She deserves to lose this election, she has no policies other than to CUT Social Care, destroy the NHS, cut funding to Education as they are fiscally irresponsible with public money, give away billions to people who are rich enough already. There are record levels of fraud in this government including by the Prime Minister herself.

    I do not trust this government to give a Brexit that favours everyone it will only benefit them and the other rich.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    I speak with some knowledge. I lived literally on the border of the Crathes Estate for many years.
    The ‘laird’ is James Burnett who is related, i believe, at one or two removes, to the Cecil family. He is not a descendant of the original ‘Burnett’s’ but changed his name to Burnett to create the impression of some ancient connection. This charade is not uncommon among the gentry.
    The foundation of the current fortune is the City of Aberdeen Land Association-or CAL:A homes. This property company included Burnett/ Crathes Estate as a member, and along with the relatively small in-house Building contractor company (Banchory Contractors), Crathes Estate land forestry land, which was planted largely with public funds in the form of grants, in mainly Scots pine originally for the Telephone pole market. Probably around the sixties.
    When the oil industry came to Aberdeen, Banchory was an attractive rural area, rather sleepy, which had been dominated by some local mafia rural business types, retired tea planters and fish merchants who typically built their holiday /retirement villas on the south facing hill to the north of the village. Banchory was just about commutable from Aberdeen, with quite good road access, so became popular with itinerant oil executives. This led to a succession of property/building booms in the area.This has now probably come to a halt, due to the downturn in the oil industry. Banchory was also a popular ‘day out’ destination for day trippers from Aberdeen so for a while there was a thriving cafe/ice cream and soda type of mini economy.

    This property /building activity in Banchory was almost certainly one of the main foundations for the expansion of CALA homes into other areas of Scotland and CALA is now a decent sized player in property and development throughout Scotland.

    I was always surprised by the way that the influence of the gentry was expressed.It is quite interesting that local political parties(tories) seem to have so much inbuilt deference to the natural ascent of Etonian educated arbiters to positions of power and infl;uence. There was a widespread local impression of the ‘gentleman’ referred to above, as rather pompous, vacuous, and overweight, although the social connections that come with Eton, no doubt function somehow in mysterious ways but it beggars belief that this shred of feudalism persists and he is elevated to the position of MSP and reminds us of one of the original criticisms of the Scottish parliament that it would likely descend into parochial insignificance. . Actually it It is the ‘money’ and ‘privilege’ that defines this. The feudalism is just the style of the thing.

  • michael norton

    Macron jumps on Frexit bandwagon ‘because EU so unfashionable among French’
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/386744-france-macron-election-eu/
    The image of Emmanuel Macron being a golden boy from Brussels, the banker, is too strong, and he cannot get rid of that image, which will not help him gain extra points ahead of next week’s presidential election, says Nikola Mirkovich, political analyst.

    ——-

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of the French voters are fe-up-to-the-back-teeth
    with the European Union.

    We are led to understand that Macron has it in the bag, that may be so
    but the pent up aggression towards the European Union just keeps rising but not in Germania.

    Probably because the Germans are quids in, while everyone else is quids out.

  • D

    To be fair Corbyn can hold open meetings an rallies because Tory supporters are less prone to behaving like violent yobbos. Indeed I attended an interesting Corbyn open air rally, and though I’m sure many passers by and locals would have been strongly opposed to him and his message, it was of course an entirely peaceful event with nary a heckle. A great exercise in democratic campaigning then.

    Tories are now in the ‘nazi fascist’ category according to many on the left and therefore fair game for violent disruption. Had May held an open air rally in the centre of Bristol I’m sure the city’s many raggle taggle bands of prestige ‘radicals’ would have created merry hell.

    • D- see me after class.

      Actually pal, Tories are in the “subhuman filth” category now. That’s what happens when your politics consists of coded racism and trying to murder disabled people through starvation or driving them to suicide – and no matter how much they delude themselves, people who vote Tory are endorsing their policy platform in its entirety, ESA cuts, ATOS, motability car theft, UKIP-pandering anti-immigrant rhetoric and all.

  • Maren

    May also did the same in Mawdesley, a Tory safe seat. Did not meet the locals who according to these Twitter posts by a local are Tory voters who felt incredibly upset at being excluded from yet another village hall meeting.

    https://twitter.com/KelodyMelody/status/859084615218319360

    It looks and sounds as if she is indeed having her support brought in if even staunch Tory voting areas are treated like a liability.

  • Tony

    About fifteen years ago I used to work for a company that put on events at various National Trust castles around Scotland, Crathes Castle being one of them.

    At the time Crathes Castle was run by an ex-naval man, and one of the gardeners, let call him Geoff, told me about the time he first met him.
    Ex-naval man had been there a couple of weeks and hadn’t been round to meet any of the gardeners as yet, when Geoff spotted him walking through the garden.

    Thinking this would be a good moment to say hello, he approached him, held out his hand and said “Good morning Mr ***** I’m Geoff one of the gardeners here”.

    Ex-naval man, stopped, looked him up and down and said “Staff at Crathes shave everyday” then turned and walked off.

    Sadly this was typical of the staff at Crathes in those days (no idea about now) as they were the snobbiest and most unfriendly bunch of anywhere we went.

  • Tony

    In America, there are organisations that actually pay people to attend rallies so that it looks like the speaker has more support than is actually the case.
    It could be that these people have been paid to come and listen to ‘Mushroom Cloud’ May.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Cornwall Live claimed its reporter was shut away while Ms May visited the Water-Ma-Trout industrial estate in Helston.

    In a live blog, the site said: “We’ve been told by the PM’s press team that we were not allowed to stand outside to see Theresa May arrive.

    “Theresa May is being introduced to company representatives on the shop floor, but journalists have been kept away. We’ll be allowed to ask her questions later in a separate room.

    Read: Theresa May tells Devon a vote for Tories is a vote for strong government

    Reporter Lyn Barton, who asked two questions of the PM, said: “Having covered several high-profile politicians’ and royal visits over the years, the level of media control here is far and above anything I’ve seen before.

    “We’re not even allowed to show you her visiting the building.

    “Media were locked in a room. Conservative party press officers continue to refuse Cornwall Live access to film an interview with the PM.”

    The site’s deputy head of content, Steve Smith, said on Twitter: “Never known a visit like this. Our reporters banned from watching PM walk around a factory by @Conservatives PR team.”

    His colleague, Jeff Reines, added: “We weren’t allowed to film her and our reporters were even locked in a room. Democracy in action that is.”‘

    Five questions we would ask Theresa May if she showed up in Exeter
    http://www.devonlive.com/five-questions-we-would-ask-theresa-may-if-she-braved-exeter/story-30307843-detail/story.html
    2 May 2017

    • Sharp Ears

      and the same in Bristol.

      ‘Theresa May accused of hiding from voters on Bristol visit
      Criticism follows similar complaints in Cornwall that reporters were shut in a room and banned from filming the prime minister
      General election 2017 – live updates

      British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) delivers a speech on the campaign trail at the Hungerford Community and Social Club in Brislington, Bristol, Britain, 02 May 2017.
      . Photograph: Geoff Caddick/EPA
      2 May 2017

      Theresa May was accused of hiding from residents on a Bristol housing estate and shutting reporters out of a factory visit in Cornwall, as the tightly controlled stage management of the Conservative election campaign came under scrutiny.

      The prime minister addressed at a social club on a housing estate in Brislington in the Labour-held seat of Bristol East, where she urged voters in the south-west not to return to backing the Liberal Democrats.

      However, residents of the estate were not invited and gathered outside waiting for a glimpse of May, while the audience inside was made up of Conservatives activists from across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.more

      It came after a furore over May’s earlier visit to the marginal seat of St Ives in Cornwall, where the county’s biggest news website was banned from filming the prime minister’s visit to a factory.

      Reporters from Cornwall Live complained that they were shut in a room to enforce the video ban while the prime minister was visiting a diving equipment factory in Helston.’
      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/04/theresa-mays-fake-meetings/

      Surrounded by adoring Tory puppies here in Brislington.
      http://news.sky.com/video/digi-185612tu-may-on-abbott-osborne-and-fair-electionsm2t-10860867

  • Richard Stevens

    Sad indeed. And now with ‘I will be bloody difficult’ she’s turning into a truculent teenager. Can this be what anyone wants for our PM???

  • Lee

    Thanks Craig. This is hilarious. I am Scots and a strong supporter of independence, so I dont claim to be unbiased. But this has been the situation for decades, probably generations. It began when Thatcher came up to Scotland and treated us as serfs, almost instructing us what to believe. Then there was Tony Blair…well, the Scots have abundant reasons to detest Tony Blair. Still, he was even more insulting with his spiv speeches and appalling narcissism. Poor Ed Miliband gave it a try. We felt largely sorry for him, a hopeless misfit, but probably not a terrible person. Cameron, who is sharper than the rest, put his toe in the water and said never again. He handed over to Gordon Brown who was delighted to conduct Tory business.

    Theresa May may be the most dim-witted of all the recent English political leaders who have foolishly rolled across the border to lecture, instruct, and lie to the Scottish people. Why doesnt someone tell them that we Scots are actually quite smart, smarter than their English constituents, and we dont suffer fools gladly. You would think they would know by now.

    Theresa May is the perfect symbol for why the people of Scotland want independence. We dont mind her living next door, but we would prefer that she stay within her garden fence.

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