Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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.

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.

More articles by:

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

May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
Brian Saady
How the “Cocaine Mitch” Saga Deflected the Spotlight on Corruption
David Swanson
Tim Kaine’s War Scam Hits a Speed Bump
Norah Vawter
Pipeline Outrage is a Human Issue, Not a Political Issue
Mel Gurtov
Who’s to Blame If the US-North Korea Summit Isn’t Held?
Patrick Bobilin
When Outrage is Capital
Jessicah Pierre
The Moral Revolution America Needs
Binoy Kampmark
Big Dead Place: Remembering Antarctica
John Carroll Md
What Does It Mean to be a Physician Advocate in Haiti?
George Ochenski
Saving Sage Grouse: Another Collaborative Failure
Sam Husseini
To the US Government, Israel is, Again, Totally Off The Hook
Brian Wakamo
Sick of Shady Banks? Get a Loan from the Post Office!
Colin Todhunter
Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset
Ralph Nader
Trump: Making America Dread Again
George Capaccio
Bloody Monday, Every Day of the Week
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Swing Status, Be Gone
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail