2017 General Election Diary Day 14: okay with the events that are unfolding currently

I thought taking the day off this election to look back at 1997 yesterday would mean I wouldn’t miss much of what was going on. After all, it was a bank holiday and any political people doing things would have been to busy thinking about Thursday’s local elections rather than the general election. Of course, I forgot to factor in the German press in that equation so instead everyone spent yesterday discussing on just how much of a bad foot any post-election Brexit talks will be getting off on, after we discovered the details of Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May’s dinner last week. By now, it’s all turned into a round of he’s-said-to-have-said, she’s-said-to-have-said with a side order of David Davis as the world’s worst icebreaker, but I’m sure the topic will be thoroughly examined at the leaders’ debates and the regular press conferences that will…

Oh, alright then. Never mind, I’m sure it’s not that important. It’s not like she’s announced she’s going to go into a negotiation with our leading trading partner that affects where millions of people can live and work, plus the future security of everyone else with the attitude of being ‘bloody difficult’, is it?

Oh, she has.


Diane Abbott wins the award for the first high-profile brain fade of the election campaign, as she manages end up promising somewhere between ten thousand and a quarter of a million new police officers, each of them costing somewhere between £30 and £8,000 a year. It happens in election camapigns, and she likely won’t be the last time we see someone going through a nightmare live on air before June 8th, but that’s little comfort when you have to spend the whole day reliving it every time the news runs.

A further prediction is that sometime in the next few weeks, someone will steal/plagiarise/be inspired by someone else’s speech as that seems to be a trend now — Melania Trump borrowed some inspiration from Michelle Obama last year, while Marine Le Pen’s latest speech in the French election had rather a lot of similarities to one by Francois Fillon a few weeks ago. Place your bets now on who’ll be the first to do it here in the UK. I’m going for Theresa May’s ‘strong and stable’ message slowly changing into a call for ‘stability, unity and decency’ by around May 27th, but she’ll get away with it as no one in the Liberal Democrats will want to admit that they actually thought that slogan was a good idea in 2015.

Today’s Election Leaflet Of The Day is the first sighting of one of the heavy hitters of British politics getting their campaign team up and running, as we have a leaflet for Keir Starmer that’s hitting doormats somewhere in Holborn and St Pancras. It appears to be a generic Labour leaflet design, so we’ll no doubt see similar ones (with different pictures and some changes in the message, hopefully) turning up in other places. No word on if his London Labour colleague Neil Coyle has seen this leaflet, however, but in response to Simon Hughes not using his knighthood on a leaflet, he was happy to tell the Standard it was disrespectful, so I’m sure he’ll be rushing to condemn Sir Keir for the same offence.

And while we wait for that condemnation to come, it’s time to end this for the day.

Originally published at www.nickbarlow.com on May 2, 2017.

Many, many things. PhD student at QMUL. Councillor. Ran the 2019 London Marathon for Brain Research UK. @nickjbarlow on Twitter.

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