British PM Theresa May Shamelessly Exploits Terror Attack for Political Gain

Leading up to the British General Election on June 8, Conservative Party Prime Minister Theresa May’s once comfortable lead has gradually been disappearing, with the Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn closing down her lead in polls to within one point. She dodged a televised debate a few days ago to avoid worsening her downward trajectory. Now in the wake of a terrorist attack in London that has claimed the lives of seven people and injured dozens more, May has swooped in to try to revive her political campaign, exploiting the attacks and asserting that she is exclusively warranted to benefit from the politically.

Theresa May

All political parties in the UK have announced suspending political campaigning until June 5 due to the attacks, though local parties will still canvas. But the second half of Theresa May’s speech on Downing Street was political theatrics at their worst. “The prime minister moved from the realm of non-partisan opinion and warm platitudes to a political argument, going so far as to outline a series of policy measures in response to the attacks. The big items: further regulation of the Internet, more powers for the security services, a continuation of our military efforts to defeat and destroy the self-described Islamic State and a clampdown on supports of jihadism in the United Kingdom,” wrote Stephen Bush for the New Statesman. ” In moving away from the circumstances of the attack and towards what our response should be, May is effectively campaigning. She is offering a series of measures which can only be brought forward after 8 June if enough people vote for the Conservatives.” He added she is doing this while effectively prohibiting any criticism toward her policy ideas and solutions from political opposition.

May is also using the attack to propagate her long held policy stance that the internet should be regulated, claiming terrorists have safe spaces online. She anchored her speech with talking points from her political campaign, using her platform to instill fear and intimidation into voters for supporting her in the upcoming election. Establishment media outlets, like CNN, reported her political talking points from the speech uncritically, enabling May to propagate her campaign rhetoric as a non-partisan pseudo-patriotic response.

Its ironic she has the audacity to make the sweeping policy claims when the Guardian reported on May 31, “an investigation into the foreign funding and support of jihadi groups that was authorised by David Cameron may never be published, the Home Office has admitted. The inquiry into revenue streams for extremist groups operating in the UK was commissioned by the former prime minister and is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist jihadis.” May’s Administration is actively covering up her party’s role in aiding and abetting domestic extremist groups, likely because its release would be politically damaging, while simultaneously lying about the counter terrorism efforts her political party has undertook.

In an interview with SkyNews former MET investigating officer Peter Kirkham explained, “basically people alleging that are lying,” he said in response to Conservative Party claims that more armed police officers were on the street. May has cut security and intelligence funding and resources, and only promised to restore the police forces to 2010 levels by 2020. Diane Abbott added in an op-ed for the Guardian on May 28, “under the Tories, more than 20,000 police officers have been cut. The government was warned by experts, by police officers and, yes, by Jeremy Corbyn and others at the time that this could have grave consequences in the fight against terrorism. But with Theresa May as home secretary they cut anyway.” Despite this record, Theresa May is using the latest London Terror attack to sweep it under the rug, and try to suppress her diminishing popularity as Britain’s leader by using fear under the false pretenses of non-partisanship to give her own campaign much needed life before the June 8 election.

Originally published: Michael J. Sainato (Counter Punch)

Michael Sainato’s writing has appeared in the Guardian, Miami Herald, Baltimore Sun, Denver Post, Buffalo News, the Hill, Alternet, and several other publications . Follow him on twitter: @MSainat1

One Comment

  1. Why wasn’t Mrs May and the Conservative candidates being questioned on TV about the lifting of control orders? The police funding issue is going to be tit-for-tat between the 2 major parties as they have both messed with funding and numbers.
The lifting of control orders that allowed the LIFG members in the U.K. To travel is all down to Mrs May and her party, and is a serious issue we need real answers to, before 8-Jun. (Yes I know it’s never going to happen, as its a line of questioning that’s been shut down by the very establishment that allowed these people to travel).
Additionally how can someone that appears on a TV show about radicalisation and extreme views, then go on to successfully carry out such an attack, this stinks of incompetently or complicity in my eyes.
    President Trump, did actually raise some valid points, (ok it could have been handled better, but that’s his ‘style’). Why should we live with terrorism? Why should we accept these attacks as ‘part of everyday life’? I don’t remember being told that when the IRA were bombing London. In fact we were being told the exact opposite! What’s changed that our so called leaders now think we should accept such acts? Why aren’t Mrs May and Mr Khan being asked this?

    If Mrs May is re-elected what will happen when Saudi Arabia ask for support and help to invade Qatar in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’, far fetched? Maybe, but it was setup in her speech/statement from outside Downing Street after this latest attack. No safe spaces…..

    It’s official, ‘May Law’, will be imposed in the U.K. If they win tomorrow. Human Rights getting in the way? No problem, we will just scrap them. I don’t know what’s more scary her saying this or the people cheering at her saying it…
    Kiss good by to:

    * Life, liberty and security of person, (Article 3)
    * The right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law, (Article 5)
    * Equally before the law and entitlement without any discrimination to equal protection of the law, (Article 7)
    * Protection from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile, (Article 9)
    * Full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him, (Article 10)
    * Right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (Article 11)
    * Arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. (Article 12)
    * Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, (Article 18)
    * Freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, (Article 19)
    * Entitlement to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realised, (Article 28)

    So much for Article 30, (Nothing may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein).

    The terrorists have officially won.

    You don’t keep people safe by removing Human Rights. You keep people safe by following up on information provided by the public and other security services, and actually enacting existing laws.
    Which of course is far far too difficult for Mrs May and her government/security services!

    Internet providers, ISP’s and Tech companies operating in the UK, will be told to comply with the rules and laws that are now going to be forced through, no consultation will be allowed, if you fail to comply large crippling fines. The Great British Firewall project is full steam ahead. So the mock outrage over to name 2 countries, China and Turkey’s censorship of the internet etc will become a reality here too. Pushing people to use dead drops for critical communication will make it even harder to detect and intercept, even with total surveillance.

    There are a lot of hard questions for the candidates to answer and none of them were asked, mostly because the people who SHOULD be asking them aren’t allowed too, and the people that WOULD ask them are not allowed access to ask them.

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