From Conservative U-turns to when Corbyn met the masses – David Schneider shares the moments he’ll remember from the general election 2017
1. Theresa May’s ‘strong and stable’ slogan
It’s like the Tories have gone ‘let’s pick a slogan and see if we can be the exact opposite of that slogan’.
The whole campaign has been so bad – which is unusual for the Tories. As someone from the left, one thing I always admire about the Tories is that they’re rigorous and so good at campaigning but this has been awful. It’s like Labour and the Tories have gone ‘shall we swap identities?’
The Tories’ only job was to convince people that they’re the people who can negotiate the Brexit deal and Theresa May can’t even take back control of the manifesto, let alone the country. Everything has involved being weak and wobbly or hiding. Is she going to hide from the Brexit negotiations?
Philip Hammond, who is now locked in a cupboard somewhere, came out at one point to say ‘you can’t trust Labour on finances’ – from the man who did a massive U-turn on national insurance after 6 days.
And Theresa May was very nervous in the Paxman debate, she’d forgotten how you swallow – if it was Bladerunner she would definitely have been exposed as a replicant.
2. Boris Johnson tackles Andrew Gwynne
Boris Johnson’s WWE move on Labour MP Andrew Gwynne live on Sky News was completely inappropriate. And that’s why all the Johnsons need to get together and form an intervention – it was not sane behaviour.
If I was a friend of his, which I hasten to add I am not, I would be worried about Boris’s health.
It must be difficult for him because he didn’t want to be here, he didn’t want Brexit to happen – it was a career move. But now he’s got to double down on it. You can see his desperation not to discuss any politics. If loved ones are reading this: I think it’s time for an intervention. He suffers from intense ambition and he needs to go to Ambitiousness Anonymous and calm down.
He said ‘Corbyn will never protect us against our enemies’ – that’s the man who put £350million on the bus telling us that we can’t trust another politician as the Tories cut police numbers.
3. Jeremy Corbyn meets the masses
You could talk about when his car backed over a BBC journalist – I thought ‘oh no, this is going to be one of those campaigns’ – sort of expected the car to lurch to the left.
Corbyn on stage at the Libertines gig was great. People were really behind him. But for me it’s someone on mainstream TV who is the leader of a mainstream political party who just answers peoples questions, not in soundbites. To have someone offering hope, offering a different solution and saying we need to look after the NHS and social care and schools – all things that are going to go down the toilet if the Tories get in.
4. Tim Farron gets it wrong
The Lib Dems put all their Brex in one basket with the anti-Brexit vote. It just hasn’t been the Brexit election. As well the stuff about gay sex being a sin – I’m sure Theresa May has some interesting honest opinions about it, she’s got a much worse voting record on LGBT rights – but it killed Farron’s campaign.
5. The Tories’ dementia tax U-turn
The social care U-turn showed that May does whatever she wants and doesn’t consult anyone. She called the election because she felt there was too much democracy. She didn’t consult on social care so it was put out there and it was a disaster. It’s like a test of ‘how incompetent can we be and still win?’ It exposes, without wanting to go all Trump about it, how rigged the system is.
They don’t cost anything, They’ve got magic money trees everywhere. It’s like foxes will read the manifesto and go ‘ok she’s going to bring back fox hunting and we’re going to be torn to pieces by dogs… but I just don’t know about that Jeremy Corbyn so I’ll vote for Theresa May.’ We’re all foxes voting for fox hunting.
6. Katie Hopkins gets the sack
I’m no Katie Hopkins fan, but I feel sorry for her. I think in the quiet of the night when she’s on her own and can’t sleep she goes: ‘What have I become?’
7. The Mays on The One Show
As Armando Iannucci said: ‘The only person May has debated live on air has been her husband.’
A slightly awkward chat that tried to show her as a human being, it was cringey. She’s so uncomfortable – as soon as she meets a real person she trembles. But I guess she would probably prefer to do One Shows forever and talk about who does girl jobs and boy jobs – that plays well to her electorate.
8. Paul Nuttall and the Burqa Ban
UKIP are going to win the election because the Tories are basically UKIP now – it’s very hard to tell the difference between policies. So UKIP have had to go further to the right. The burqa ban justification was incredible – that Muslim women don’t get enough vitamin D and they’ll still be able to wear carnival masks.
They have gone into La La Land – and that will be another place that now we’re out of the EU we can do a trade deal with, along with Cloud Cuckoo Land and all these other places where UKIP basically live now. But the biggest immigration movement is from UKIP voters to the Tories. UKIP has gone as a force, but, if we get any sort of Soft Brexit then they’ll be back.
9. The people turn on the Tories
Theresa May and the Tory agenda in general need to be very clear that they are being laughed at and ridiculed.
The guy who muttered ‘Bollocks’ as May responded to a question on NHS cuts.
The young woman who said ‘why is everyone so obsessed with killing millions of people?’ when Corbyn got cornered on the nuclear question, because he can’t say ‘I think killing people is bad.’.
And Amber Rudd saying ‘judge us on our record,’ which prompted the sort of laughter I would have dreamed of as a stand-up. They are laughable.
10. Tory advertising
Aside from the relentless pummelling of Labour from The Mail and The Sun – the way that they give people untruths and half truths – the other thing that we’re not aware of is the amount of money that the Tories have spent on Facebook and Snapchat advertising. A lot of dark adverts that no one sees but the people they’re targeted at.
It’s a matter of how much money you have that will swing it. Nevermind that they’re incompetent and that they’ve U-turned on manifesto pledges because they’ve got the money to do the targeted adverts.
David Schneider is a writer, director and presenter of the new political podcast Strong and Stable. The satirical podcast, featuring Rory Bremner, Dom Joly, Johnathan Pie and Jan Ravens, promises to ‘look at the election with all the delicacy and refinement of a Donald Trump handshake’.