Catherine Lloyd gives a run down of the various election gaffes that have been made so far.
Election season is underway. With hopes that a December general election will secure the Conservative party a working majority, a campaign marred by Monty Pythonesque gaffes has reduced their attempt to a parody of itself.
The starring thespians that grace our stage: Welcome Jacob Rees-Mogg, who suggested that Grenfell Tower victims lacked the “common sense” to flee the building against the advice of the fire brigade. Ah, here’s our current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson who crassly compared Corbyn’s proposed taxing of high-earners to Stalin’s massacre and deportation of the kulaks. Next the Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, who shared an antisemitic tweet stating “we can’t trust Jews”, from a Twitter bot falsely claiming to be run by a Labour and Momentum member, a grassroots network that endorses Corbyn. Taking to twitter, he called out Corbyn asking him to condemn the dubious tweet. With an ambition to tally up his political points and smear Labour by platforming misinformation, Gove unintentionally made himself look a fool.
Cleverly seems to be the leading man in this production as political gaffes seem to plague his career.
Succeeding Gove is Tory Chairman James Cleverly, who defended a doctored Conservative campaign video of Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit Secretary. The doctoring made it appear that Starmer had failed to answer a question on Labour’s Brexit position. Cleverly seems to be the leading man in this production as political gaffes seem to plague his career.
Sky News presenter, Kay Burley, ‘empty-chaired’ the elusive Cleverly after his live no-show. Her viral tirade consisted of her grilling an empty chair in lieu of the Chairman. Periodically, she went through each planned question whilst the camera lingered on the vacant chair. She demanded his thoughts on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments, his opinion on the government’s failure to publish a report into alleged Russian interference, whether Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns should resign due to his knowledge of an aide’s role in collapsing a rape trial, whether the Conservatives fabricated their estimations of how much Labour’s policies would cost and whether the transition period will be extended if there’s no Brexit deal by mid 2020. His absent response spoke volumes.
While it is disputed as to why he was a no-show, Burley stated live, “I’ve been in to see him during the break, he said he wasn’t due to come and talk to us today although they had said that they would talk to us.” Many will say the “empty-chairing” was ideologically loaded, a gimmick to taint the tory campaign, but it’s undeniable that his absence makes us question whether our elected officials can truthfully face the electorate.