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. They 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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  • michael norton

    Israel bombs Syria, again and again
    What has been done up to now with a degree of ambiguity, not to say discretion, is now being done for all to see.
    Syria confirmed on Thursday, in a report from its official news agency, that the Israeli airforce struck a military compound next to the Damascus airport before dawn.

    The a BIG question is:

    why is Russia not retailiating towards Turkey, Israel or anyone?

    • michael norton

      While Donald Trump goes mental, Vlad stays calm and modest.

      It would seen Vlad is playing the long game,
      which I believe is the unification of Syria with Russia
      similar to The Crimea.

      • Joseph MELLON

        > unification of Syria with Russia similar to The Crimea.

        I want a pint of what you’ve been drinking…

        > why is Russia not retaliating towards Turkey, Israel

        Because long term Russia wants to replace the US as the super power of choice with these two countries.
        The calculation is:
        – the US is increasingly seen as incompetent and unreliable
        – both these countries are strong enough to be players, but weak enough to need a strong and effective partner
        – this also lets Assad know how much he needs Russia, increasing the leverage

        Clearly Israel has gotten assurances from Russia before risking their planes.
        Turkey has got more limited assurances, and acts in a much more limited way.
        The US would just love Russia to shoot down Israeli or Turkish planes, but they aren’t that stupid. They will however vary what anti-aircraft defense give to Syria to let both Israel and Turkey know that they can act only with the tolerance of Russia

  • adams

    We need to Make Votes Matter . The FPTP voting system is responsible for this unacceptable situation and like T Bliar , May is heading for an undeserved huge majority . Millions of votes are wasted including in my constituency where Liebour are always elected .
    Time for a proportional voting system . The only way to neuter the Lab/Con seesaw .

    • michael norton

      you may recall adams that during the coalition period a referendum was held
      the answer was keep the status quo.
      People did not want what the Libruls wanted.
      They are now history.

      • Bayard

        You may recall that proportional representation was not on offer in that referendum. What was on offer was so close to what we have now there was little point in changing.

  • Mark Cunliffe

    It’s an entirely stage managed election campaign. Why do a televised debate and face the truth when you can fake it ’til you make it? She started this by flingy into a Bolton golf club filled with 55 Tory councillors shipped in from elsewhere, and she’s not going to change this tack any time soon. What irks me is her constant statement of ‘A vote for me will strengthen my hand in the Brexit negotiations’ Remember when you used to vote for someone because of what they promised to do for you, not what you can do for them?

    • Habbabkuk


      “Remember when you used to vote for someone because of what they promised to do for you, not what you can do for them?”


      Yes, but one could argue that if the electors do something for her (ie, strengthen her hand) she will then be able to do something for them (ie, negotiate a better exit deal).

      More generally, though, it is refreshing in these cynical times to find someone who still believes politicians ought to make promises….promises….promises. 🙂

      • Lynsey

        In what way would her hand being strengthened (presumably that means returning her with a mandate?) help her negotiate a better exit deal?

        • Habbabkuk

          Have you ever been in a political negotiation?

          It seems fairly clear that if the party one is negotiating with believes (or knows) that you do not command the full backing of your own political “apparatus” (for want of a better word) then that party is less likely to agree to one’s particular demands in the negotiation. In essence, one’s negotiation position is weaker than it would otherwise be.

        • Proud to be a NAT!

          In what way would she be able to negotiate a better deal, the EU have said, no matter how many Torys she has backing her up, it makes no difference to them! They also said she is deluded! I agree with them!

        • Mary

          In what way would she be able to negotiate a better deal, the EU have said, no matter how many Torys she has backing her up, it makes no difference to them! They also said she is deluded! I agree with them!

      • Mark Cunliffe

        I take your point, indeed it occurred to me every time I baulked at her me me me statement, but it’s an argument full of holes when you consider she’s happy to walk away with ‘No Deal’ – an option that the Tories haven’t even bothered to research. I feel like we’re all lemmings heading towards the cliff on this one.

        I love how you referred to me by my surname, it feels very Etonian haha!

        • D_Majestic

          Indeed this Tory campaign could aptly be described as ‘Lemmings off a 2km. cliff’. And certain commenters here think this is a step in the right direction. They must have clockwork-mouse brains.

  • Aubrey

    It is funny that they are trying to show that the electorate are stupid and do not pay attention to elections. We do pay attentions and we want a change! Tired of you!

  • Chris Rogers

    I wonder if the GCHQ Bunker Boys who inhabit this Blog will be having a word or two with both the BBC and ITV following this mornings ‘kid glove’ interviews with the PM, Ms May, perhaps they’ll moan that she was given the third degree as she repeated ad nauseum her catch phrase for this crap election, namely Strong & Stable. Of course, had it been Corbyn in interrogation seat he’d have had matchsticks pushed under his finger nails to elicit a response Marr and Peston desired – not so with Her Royal Highness May.

    Again, my head was turning a full 360 degrees several times over as I retched projectile vomit all over my living room – seems we are back in the late 50s, very early 60 in a time prior to That was the Week that Was as far as interviewing Tory Grandees go. Sickening, just sickening and to think idiots are going to vote for he. Here’s a fact, I’d rather vote Le Pen than ever cast a vote for the bloody Tories.

  • Habbabkuk

    After a brief morning without pre-moderation I now appear to have been put back on it.

    Any particular reason?

      • Alcyone

        Usually, being ‘in moderation’ means deleted–unless it’s due to the controlled J word, in which case it’ll appear at some stage. If it is being deleted, why can’t they just say so?

        Anyway, since you’re back on, please repeat it.

        • Habbabkuk


          Perhaps writing “Mr Corbyn” with a hyphen between the two sylables is now sufficient cause for deletion.

          I shan’t repeat it in extenso but essentially I said that there seemed to be far more discussion on here of the French Presidential than the forthcoming UK general election ( in terms of political policies); that the discussion of the UK election on here seemed to focus not on policies but on media-related aspects; and I wondered if that was not because commenters realise, deep down, that Mr Corbyn’s policies will lead to a crushing defeat for his party at the election.

  • Francis Stevenson

    Plenty pf dissent here on Deeside, thank you very much! We’re not all forelock tugging peasants or golfing refugees from Surrey. There are, however, far too many people who genuinely believe they have rights to tell their employees or tenants what to think or vote, the sad thing is that they get away with this.

    • Richard Berry

      So in effect they are sheep,can’t think for themselves,do they not understand that your vote is private do what your master tells you goes out the door when you enter the voting booth,no one but you sees that vote so being bullied by the master is their choice.

  • nevermind

    This is another lesson for the Green party in Scotland and here, when you play their game of leadership and pushing red nuclear buttons, you are sitting down to sup with the devil and his advocate.

    It was the main reason why I resigned my membership and started campaigning with and being part of a movement of Independent candidates. problem is, you split the vote in an unfair disproportional game of cheats, which ends up promoting the largest cheat, not an ideal circumstance.

    Our regional newspapers are also devoid of printed readers comments, so the only direct mood, debate and emphasis for the varying policies of parties is happening online.
    The polls are increasingly rigged by leading questions and those who pay for them do have too much control over the range of questions asked, so scrutiny and reality are absent, torn out of the election continuum.

    Bar a few sites like this, I expect Craigs readership to go up into 5 figure sums soon.
    I went leafleting for Labour yesterday and had some very good comments. People from rural communities are noticing the changes in the major towns they frequent, the increase of homelessness and rough sleepers in doorways, some very aimless youngsters and the hardship that the Conservatives are spreading, and they note the change in social care structures NHS structures and the creeping privatisation of services in general. I’m not disheartened and every attack on Corbyn is amplifying these perceptions, lets hope that this will all be noticed.

    Now I shall disappear into the garden and make some pizza’s in the oven I build some weeks back, see how they come out.

      • Alcyone

        And zero people have listened to your recent speech at the Al Jazeera ‘Gala’ Dinner. Are you censoring yourself on this occasion?

        Btw, people watching Theresa May intently at her meeting means effective listening. Just clapping and cheering for yourself has no meaning.

        Is Corbyn holding a major rally for May Day?

  • Mike Parr

    “May meets nobody except ardent Tories or those in no position to argue”
    Sorry Craig but you are wrong – “the ardent tory” did argue & I suspect might not be quite so ardent – indeed with the right organisation the lib dems could pull off something intersting in Maindenhead

    I do hope the above link gets a much wider audience – May is a nasty piece of work – as this article shows

    • giyane

      The Lib Dems pulled off getting Cameron into 10 Downing Street.
      If a tomato had been genetically modified by some useful ingredient from pigshit, would you still eat it?
      The Labour Party was genetically modified by Blair from being a party for social justice into being a party of the same evil shananigans as the Tories. Instead of a government and an opposition, we have a government with a GM opposition and a GM LibDem party and a GM UKIP.

      So it isn’t democracy is it?

    • Robert Standing

      Hardly a brawl and only one side of the story. Where I live bistro owners are more worried about the number of new posh burger joints and bistro’s that are opening because of the extra disposable income people have.

  • Michael McNulty

    When Craig said the above crowd was not voluntary I assumed they’d been told to report there by the DWP or lose their dole. That’s not too dissimilar from an election some years ago when the war criminal Blair was still our fuhrer, when some unemployed actors said they were forced to appear in party political broadcasts for parties they did not support. That’s a new kind of slavery however you dress it.

    The Tories are taking us back further in time. Losing the NHS takes us back to 1948, losing workers rights and social protections takes us back to Victorian times, and now being compelled to attend a meeting by your landlord takes us back to the medieval feudal barons.

  • Mrs Duncan

    OMG someone who was there has just posted on Facebook they went there for a party for their youngsters and they were made to stand there and listen to her spouting off, and if you look at the video you will see the ones who were not happy nor were they applauding her…..For god sake Roothy and Mazy you will have to get up a lot earlier than that to fool the Scottish people of course I forgot the Torys have already told us in no uncertain terms that the Scots are uneducated… dare you try and trick us with all this fairness…….is there no end to your desperation to keep us uneducated people from Scotland.. May I just remind you please go to this site and you will see just how uneducated us Scots really are…you Patronizing gits so you are.

  • Richard Heron

    No wonder she is being renamed Kim Jong-May practising the techniques of the beloved leader. After all, if you want a model of Strong and Stable leadership where better could you look? We may not have gone so far along the path of starving ordinary people while the elite of the Party and the military thrive but with a 40% increase last year in the need for food banks, we are well on our way. Her minion, Fallon – renowned for a racist libel on the Tooting Imam last May, has announced her joining the beloved leader in a new doctrine for UK of a pre-emptive nuclear strike. I suppose we should be thankful she has no progeny otherwise they could hold power for over 65 years. But she is another in the string of ‘Sons of Thatcher’ – Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron -so well described by Simon Jenkins who seem to be able to endlessly regenerate while the rest of us politically degenerate.

    • bevin

      I suppose that you don’t recognise the contrast between your original and relevant observations of May and the total re-hash of rancid MSM memes on Korea (most the products of South Korea’s propanganda mills) with which you lard them.

  • Roger Hyam

    The video of that meeting is one the scariest things I’ve seen in a long while.

  • Mary Brown

    There are many people on Deeside who would cut off their hand rather than vote Conservative. The Tories around here would love a return to feudalism but thankfully we have a secret ballot – and an SNP MP!

      • glenn

        Erm… maybe I’m missing the point, but how does this relate to Mary’s remark? Or do you simply hit “Reply” to any message at random, and type out whatever just entered your head?

        • michael norton

          glenn I have twice tried to point out, perhaps, a little to subtly
          that you would have to be MAD to cut your own hand off
          just for political reasons.

    • Francis Stevenson

      Sadly the Tories think they can overturn the SNP majority here, I hope they’re wrong!

  • Jill Green

    I am horrified by the absolute arrogance and disdain for the people and for genuine democracy in this Tory election campaign. How do they think that constant repetition of the same mantra about strength and stability is sufficient to convince us to vote for her or them?
    Put nothing in and get nothing out

  • Hugh Bryce

    It is wrong and undemocratic to refuse to have all the leaders of all the party’s in the STV leaders debate.

    • Clydebuilt

      I’d like to see the SNP complain about this. It’s anti democratic, and the debate is unbalanced.

  • Mike Wood

    Actually there are two sadder things than the media complicity which Craig refers to. First Labour’s inept opposition and utter failure to expose May and her lunatic Cabinet’s determination to condemn Britain to years of oblivion. But secondly, the ease with which the Tories seem able to sell their message to all but the sentient Scottish public.

  • Sharp Ears

    Theresa May faces fresh accusations of ‘hiding’ after Scotland rally publicly listed as child’s birthday party
    ‘It’s quite pathetic really,’ says voter who attempted to track down remote event

    4 hours ago|

    ‘Theresa May is facing fresh accusations of “hiding” from voters after a campaign event held in Scotland was publicly listed as a children’s birthday party.

    Bemused locals in Aberdeenshire had been unable to find the location of the Prime Minister’s visit, which was not advertised in advance.

    It was only after Ms May spoke to assembled supporters at Crathes village hall that they discovered it had been booked out as a “child party” between 10am and 5pm.’

    Channelling Craig.

  • Jane mcCann

    Complete media con!!!
    Crathes Royal Deeside – as Tory as it comes!
    La la land! Most people in there re employed on Balmoral Estate!!!
    How dare May? Why didn’t she come to George Square in Glasgow?
    Strong n stable! Where? I suspect she and sychophantic Ruth will be yesterday’s women before too long. Their dishonesty is breathtaking!!

  • BJ

    YouGov, set up and managed by two Tories: Stephan Shakespeare, curent CEO and late of Conservative Home and the Tory M.P. Nadhim Zahawi, the man who thought it appropriate to charge the taxpayer to keep his wife’s horses warm.
    With the Tories’ recent efforts at influencing democracy, being investigated and doubtless ignored by the police and the CPS, why would anybody put any faith in a polling organisation run by them?
    Not the only polling company with Tory/government connections.

  • Leo Smith

    True what they said about TM’s appearance at the community centre in Harehills,Leeds I know someone who works at that community centre they were all told to leave before 6 before they bussed in Tory supporters which is blindingly obvious to anyone who knows the area the majority of Harehills residents are either of Asian or Caribbean origin and have been for decades pathetic unfortunately it’s not people round there who will decide the election it’s always been solidly Labour it will be decided in the marginal constituencies on the outskirts where pensioners who read right wing newspapers are the biggest voting demographic

  • michael norton

    The Deep State Stooge must be rattled.

    France election: Macron says EU must reform or face ‘Frexit’

    Ministry of Truth

  • michael norton

    At least 352 civilians have been killed in U.S.A.-led strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria since the operation began in 2014, the U.S.A. military said in a statement on Sunday.

    The military’s official tally is far below those of other outside groups. Monitoring group Airwars said more than 3,000 civilians have been killed by coalition air strikes.

    Anyone noticed since the 59 Tomahawk missiles fell in Syria, things are not being said.
    For example, how many of the 59 missles hit their targets.
    Did Syria take out any of the Tomahawks.
    Was the airfield degraded out of use.
    Has the chemical attack been conclusively proved.
    Is there an agreement between Israel and Russia, to allow some bombing of Syria by Israel
    What are the Russian plans for
    The Golan.

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