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Manchester Terror attack - its General Election Impact

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 25 May 2017

This is a human tragedy, it is a mass murder, the story is of shattered and broken lives. However there is still going to be a General Election on June 8 and it is a legitimate question: will this attack make an impact? The answer I suspect is that it will though folks may consider it tasteless to speculate about it, it cannot be ignored. Terror attacks are just not good news for Jeremy Corbyn.

A number of Labour campaigners including the son of Corbyn's campaign manager have gone online to suggest that the Tories either staged the attack or have upped the terror level to critical as part of an election game. Official Labour has distanced itself from such obvious nonsense but the general impression that some of those surrounding Corbyn are stupid, sinister or just plain nasty will not be diminished by this. I suspect this is of minor import but I note it anyway.

More important is that Theresa May and even the useless Amber Rudd were seen to be calm, determined and competent in their handling of the crisis. They did the right things. They did them without show or as if they were seeking credit and they appeared competent. I like neither woman but they came out of this with credit. As they consider whom they back on June 8th many voters will remember that and will ask themselves how Comrade Corbyn and Diane Abbott (Rudd's shadow) would have coped. There can be few who think they would have done better and many of us would assume that Corbybn and the clownish oaf Abbott may well have bollocksed it all up in some way.

Finally there is simply the question of our attitude to terror. This was not the first time Manchester has been attacked by the men of violence. Last time it was the IRA and the quotes showing that Corbyn, Abbott and shadow chancellor Semtex John McDonnell refusing to back such terror and on occasion condoning it, are legion. Corbyn is on record as saying IRA fighters were heroes. So if Irishmen who blew up innocent civilians in Manchester are the good guys, his condemnation of ISIS bombers doing the same thing just rings a touch hollow. It does nit help that Corbyn has stood shoulder to shoulder with other Islamofacist groups such as Hamas.

Every time the subject of terrorism comes up between now and June 8 folks will be reminded of those pictures of Jezza standing arm in arm with a grinning Gerry Adams or with the late Butcher of Londonderry, Martin McGuinness. They are men with blood on their hands and Corbyn stood arm in arm with them.. This link will cost Labour votes.

Until the bomb the Tories were slipping in the polls because of the badly handled Dementia tax proposals. Folks were starting to buy into Labour's Money Tree non-solution to a problem that needs fixing. May had done a U Turn. But that is all ancient history now. That narrative is over. Instead it is steely Theresa who has always stood firm against evil terrorists and Jezza who er...has not.

I doubt anyone has done anything as tasteless as commission a field poll yet but they will soon and I suspect that the Tories will have bounced by 2 or 3 points while the party lead by an IRA supporter will have slipped by a similar amount.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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