Theresa – May you please take our questions?

After weeks of deafening silence — zero policy announcements whilst running away from journalists and dodging the public at every opportunity — Theresa May has finally given us an insight into her core beliefs and values. But if you were expecting anything tangible in regards to, for example, things that actually matter to the public, then you mistake her for somebody who actually cares. Our strong and stable leader has instead taken the opportunity to tell us something that she does apparently care about: the NHS? Mental illness? Poverty? Nope — the brutal and pointless slaughter of cute, innocent animals.

So, it looks like we can add foxes to the long list of things Theresa doesn’t care about, along with the disabled, the poor and the elderly. Nice. But regardless of your opinions on fox hunting, there is a wider point to be addressed here. Since the early general election was called, our Prime Minister has failed to publicly address any of the policies that have helped to ruin so many lives since her party assumed power in 2010, including the bedroom tax, public service cuts and the vast slashing of the vital benefits that so many of our most vulnerable people depend on. In fact, she has largely failed to address the public at all. It speaks volumes that when assurances are finally given, it isn’t to the general public who have questions about the privatization of the NHS, or the fact that they’re now living in poverty, but rather it is an assurance to a niche minority that while the rest of us suffer through crippling austerity, those too privileged to notice will at least get to watch a pack of hungry dogs tear a fox to pieces.

Despite what we know about the Tories’ contempt for the majority of society, Theresa May, after a Conservative byelection win in Copeland, had the nerve to suggest that the Conservatives will deliver prosperity for everyone, not just the privileged few. Oh really, Theresa? In that case, you might therefore assume that her and her party are keen to engage with the masses that they so faithfully serve. The reality is quite different. Here are a few instances of Theresa May and co.’s deliberate efforts to avoid the public sphere.

Factory in Clay Cross, Derbyshire

With little over a month of campaigning left, Theresa took the time to visit a place that she had likely never visited before — a factory. Because what better way to mingle with the working class than to visit their place of work, right? But what often helps if you want to talk to the workers is to turn up when they are actually at work, and if you’re looking at this picture and thinking it looks a bit empty in there, that’s because it is. There’s nobody there. Of course, our Prime Minister clearly went there for a photo opportunity as opposed to actually addressing the needs and worries of the workforce. It’s also interesting to note that this took place when she didn’t even know where in the country she was.

The Shine Centre, Leeds

It was here at a support centre for former prisoners that Theresa May thought would make an excellent PR opportunity. This would have been helpful as there are probably a fair few people with questions, for example, about why the government is systematically selling-off prisons to the private sector. The only problem is, you’d be hard-pressed to find any former convicts in this crowd; you would have instead found around 150 smartly-dressed Tory activists, who were there by invitation only. Those who were not invited to this private, after-hours event, included ordinary members of the public, least of all the regular users of the Shine Centre that Theresa May is evidently so terrified to face.

Housing Estate, Bristol & Factory, Cornwall

In another attempt to hide from the public, Theresa May avoided residents while speaking at a social club in Bristol, and banned some journalists from attending an event at a driving equipment factory in Cornwall. In Brislington, Bristol, those who lived on the estate were made to wait outside without the opportunity to ask questions whilst the Prime Minister addressed a small group of conservative activists. Thankfully, not wanting to be ignored, the people of Brislington made their anger known as she attempted to leave the event.

In Cornwall, Theresa took stage-management to a whole new level as reporters were literally locked inside a room and banned from filming. The lucky few who were deemed important enough to speak to were limited to just two questions each, her answers to which were not allowed to be filmed at all. That kind of leadership isn’t very stable when you’re supposed to be defending your record and it is the direct opposite of being strong.

To make things worse, it has recently emerged that Theresa May refused to take questions from the press that her and her team had not approved ahead of time. This is starting to look less like blatant stage management and more like North Korea. Her attempts to mislead the public through carefully managing her appearances is perhaps best-summarized in this picture, which shows Theresa May’s PR team desperately trying to convey an authentic public rally full of atmosphere and devoted fans. The reality is quite different.

Official Photo: a huge crowd of eager onlookers listen to Theresa’s policies in front of a busy warehouse
Reality: barely anybody there, in the middle of nowhere

Her lack of interaction with the public is telling; it is at best a reflection of her terrible social skills, or of her fear of being held accountable for years of devastating conservative policies, and it is at worst bordering on the dictatorial. We’re talking about staged events where public access is restricted, with questions having to be given the okay ahead of time so that our Supreme Leader can see if she feels like answering them. It’s almost as if she doesn’t understand the need to talk to real people, who have real questions, about real issues that actually impact the majority of people in our country. It’s no wonder that whenever she does try to do so, people like this woman are understandably very angry about their current circumstances and will react accordingly when given the opportunity. The solution? To tightly control who can attend, film, and ask questions at her various events.

Compare the scenes in that video and that of her other public appearances to Jeremy Corbyn, who has been scaling the length and breadth of the country actually listening to what the people have to say. Jeremy talks to crowds of adoring fans who are not restricted in any way; they are there of their own accord, asking whatever questions they want, to a man who will answer as many of them as he can in the time available. Below are a few direct comparisons.

Theresa addresses a less-than enthusiastic audience in Maidenhead
Corbyn’s fans are eager to meet and talk with him
Theresa speaks to an organised bunch of activists
Corbyn addresses a crowd of between 7,000–10,000 people in Liverpool
May attempts to engage with yet another bored crowd at a steel factory
People climb trees, walls and roofs to catch a glimpse of Corbyn in Leeds, and roads have to be closed

It’s no surprise that Theresa doesn’t want to debate Corbyn on live television, just as Cameron refused to debate Miliband in the 2015 election. She’s up against a movement; a mass of people who are furious at a Tory government who refuse to address the problems that they have caused. Put aside your views on Jeremy Corbyn for a moment and think about this: in these pictures, who looks to be the leader who is more on the side of the public and their needs, Corbyn or May? The answer is blindingly obvious, and i’ll give you a clue. It’s not May.