Monday, 26 November 2018

Why is Theresa May suddenly keen on doing a live TV debate?


Theresa May's advisers have been briefing their chums in the press that Theresa May is considering a live TV debate with Jeremy Corbyn over her failing Brexit shambles.

Jeremy Corbyn's team have already indicated that he's up for it (because he's rightly confident that he'd win easily in a situation where May doesn't have all of her evasive non-answers written down for her).

Given that we all remember the way she spent the entire 2017 General Election hiding from TV debates (and any kind of unscripted circumstances whatever) it may seem surprising that she suddenly wants a live unscripted TV debate, but it's actually extremely revealing.

Back in 2017 Theresa May was so desperate to avoid debating Corbyn that she spent the election hiding in meticulously maintained Tory "safe spaces" and even threw her hapless and recently-bereaved subordinate Amber Rudd into the line of fire because she was coming from an 'everything to lose' position.

The Tories had a vast lead in the polls and the overwhelming majority of the mainstream press were vehemently on her side, so why on earth would she have risked a humiliating live TV defeat in front of an audience of millions?

Of course Theresa May's inner circle will have factored in the negative optics of Theresa May looking like a coward, but presumably they thought that they could deflect most of the damage with endless assertions of strength and stability, and they clearly massively underestimated the size of the negative social media reaction to her transparent cowardice.

They clearly screwed up, but the underlying reasoning for their screw-up was that they thought it didn't serve her interests because she was in a comfortable 'everything to lose' scenario.

The reason Theresa May's advisers have suddenly reversed position completely on the folly of allowing her into an unscripted debate situation is the dynamics have also completely reversed since then.

The result of May's vanity election was the loss of her majority and the necessity of using £1 billion in public cash to bribe the DUP bigots into propping up her government. Now the DUP have turned on her out of fury at her woeful Brexit proposals, and she faces the almost-inevitable prospect of losing the upcoming parliamentary vote and finally getting ousted from power.

So her advisers are suddenly willing to take the massive and obvious gamble of allowing her into an unscripted debate scenario because she's incompetently backed herself into this desperate 'nothing to lose' scenario.

Theresa May is drinking at the last chance saloon, and that her advisers actually think that allowing her into a live unscripted situation is their final option is an indicator of just how hopelessly and utterly desperate they've become.


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