Last Day of May as Covfefe Goes Viral
Today is the last day of May, not the PM, but of the month, and Jeremy Corbyn has made Theresa May an offer she can’t refuse. Corbyn is heading later today to Cambridge to take part in a BBC TV election debate and has challenged May to join him. Will she accept? Apparently not.
At his rally in Reading, Jeremy Corbyn invited Theresa May to tonight’s debate in Cambridge. He said: “It is very odd that you have an election campaign where we go out and talk to people all the time and the prime minister seems to have difficulty meeting anyone or having a debate. And so there is a debate in Cambridge tonight. I don’t know what she’s doing this evening, but it’s not far from London. I invite her to go to Cambridge and debate her policies, debate her record, debate their plans, debate their proposals and let the public make up their minds.”
A Conservative party spokesman said: “There are no changes to the prime minister’s plans. She is out campaigning today, engaging with voters about the issues that matter, not swapping soundbites with six other politicians. There is a clear choice in this election: either the Brexit negotiations are led by Theresa May 11 days after polling day, or they will be put at risk by Jeremy Corbyn and his coalition of chaos.”
Corbyn accused May and the Conservative party of treating “the public with contempt. Refusing to join me in Cambridge tonight would be another sign of Theresa May’s weakness, not strength.”
Speaking in Bath, in an election event, May urged people not to vote for any other party because, if they do, they will be voting for Jeremy Corbyn to become PM.
The BBC election debate will be on tonight at 7.30pm. Amber Rudd, the home secretary, will represent the Conservatives and Jeremy Corbyn will be there for Labour. The other participants will be: Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, Paul Nuttall, the Ukip leader, Caroline Lucas, the Green co-leader, Leanne Wood, the Plaid Cymru leader, and Angus Robertson, the SNP deputy leader and the party’s leader at Westminster.
Mishal Husain will moderate tonight’s debate which will be shown on BBC One from 7:30-9:00pm and livestreamed on Twitter. Each panellist will begin with a statement followed by answering questions from the audience.
May’s Q&A in Bath
Today, May visited a factory in Bath where she replied to factory workers’ questions. When a worried worker talked about freedoms in regards to terrorism, May reassured him that freedom of expression and of faith are important to her, but she wants to respond to situations where hate is perpetuated while reinforcing British values.
Asked about homelessness and food banks, May answered that the government will be putting over £500m into tackling homelessness, building new homes and dealing with mental health issues.
On the subject of the NHS, May said that the NHS is under pressure with 2m more operations per year than in 2010, and the situation will be improved by increasing funding.
When she was questioned by reporters, she adopted a lighter tone, jokingly saying that Corbyn enjoys being on TV a lot, while she is more worried about being prepared for the Brexit talks. She explained that she preferred taking questions from voters than appearing on a debate with Corbyn, adding that arguing on TV doesn’t really help people decide.
When she was asked about whether she would resign if she lost seats, as the YouGov model suggested, she replied that the only poll that mattered is the 8 June vote. She repeated that going out and meeting voters was the best choice during an election campaign.
According to the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, there is a “buoyancy about the Labour campaign at the moment, Jeremy Corbyn’s public performances have improved, and his team believe he has more to gain than to lose from taking part in this big set-piece campaign event.” In regards to May’s decision to avoid tonight’s debate, Kuenssberg said that this will make her “vulnerable to the charge that she is evading scrutiny, despite the fact that, like the other leaders, she has been taking questions from journalists.” As she pointed out, May, like Cameron in 2015 is refusing to take part in a head-to-head debate because as it happens the “frontrunner has everything to lose, the insurgent opponent, everything to gain.”
Anti-Theresa song and Trump’s historical covfefe moment
But apart from the uneventful campaign speeches, today has been an unusual day for two reasons. In the UK Theresa May finds herself the victim of an embarrassing situation. A song by Captain Ska called “Liar Liar GE2017,” labelling May a “liar,” has entered the Official Singles Chart top 10 this week. The song criticises May over the NHS, poverty, education and the Tories’ U-turns in social care policy and national insurance. It was the highest new entry in the Top 40 singles on Friday and was temporarily number one on the iTunes download chart. Captain Ska released the song a week ago and the song’s proceeds will go to food banks in the UK and to the campaign organisation The People’s Assembly Against Austerity.
In the US, Trump woke up today to a different world, indelibly marked by last night’s incomprehensible tweet. It cannot be good for you to stay up late tweeting cause things might happen. Like when you misspell a word and the next day your tweet goes viral. Donald Trump tweeted after midnight: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” No explanations, nothing. Many joked that maybe one of his aides pulled his iPhone away from him, but Trump’s misspelling of “coverage” has made “covfefe” the most talked about word of the day, with its own entry in the Urban Dictionary.
Hopefully tonight’s election debate would throw some light on some issues, and, to use the word of the day, offer some good “covfefes.”