Coffee House General Election 2017

What the papers say: Jeremy Corbyn does pose a threat to the Tories

21 April 2017

8:27 AM

21 April 2017

8:27 AM

Theresa May is riding high in the polls and there’s much talk of a Tory landslide – but that doesn’t mean the Government should rest on its laurels, says the Daily Telegraph. It’s vital, the paper says, that the PM does her best to ‘create a sense of urgency among the voters’; ‘They have to understand the dangers of not coming out to support her,’ the paper adds. Of course, some might laugh at the prospect of Corbyn making it to Number 10 – yet it’s just that sense of ‘impossibility’ that the Labour leader ‘hopes to exploit’. After all, a Corbyn government ‘would make the country poorer’ – something confirmed in his first campaign speech yesterday in which he took a pop at ‘wealth extractors’ – mixing up ‘a few rotten apples, such as Philip Green, with the entire free market system’. Yet if the Labour agenda ‘sounds so mad that some Tories might be tempted to put their feet up’, the Telegraph issues a stark warning: don’t. If the Tories want to win, it’s time to put forward a ‘radical manifesto’, and make it clear how dangerous a Labour win would be, the Telegraph concludes.

Yesterday’s rally by Jeremy Corbyn was a masterclass in showing ‘why he is unfit for high office’, says the Daily Mail. His speech was ‘ riven with the politics of envy’, the paper argues – pointing out that Corbyn’s list of problems lacked anything in the way of solutions. Yet it’s clear, says the Mail, that Corbyn would be bad news for Britain. His £10-an-hour minimum wage ‘would destroy jobs’. ‘And on Brexit’, the Mail says, ‘we still don’t know where he stands’. Yet for all the chaos at the heart of the Corbyn campaign, the paper sounds a similar warning to the Telegraph’s message to the Government: don’t assume it’s already in the bag.

Migration is the hot topic in the Sun today, with the paper calling on Theresa May to bin the ‘tens of thousands’ target for net migration – calling the figure one ‘plucked from thin air’. For readers who think this is the Sun ‘going soft’ on immigration though, the paper has a clear message: it’s not and the total ‘has been far too high’. Yet setting a ‘rigid, low figure’ is ‘counter-productive if it leaves employers short of workers, as in some areas and industries they already are’. Most importantly, says the Sun, the Government should stop ‘wasting energy on a bogus target’ – and come up with ‘a sensible, managed system that works for Britain’.

In this summer’s snap election, ‘opportunity knocks’ for the Lib Dems, says the Times. The party is ‘well placed’ to oppose the government on Brexit. and compared to Labour’s ‘tortuous’ policy on leaving the EU, the Lib Dems’ view is simple: a ‘desire for a second referendum’. The Lib Dems are clearly capitalising on this already, with their membership having soared since the referendum. As things stand, the idea that Tim Farron’s party is the ‘natural home of Remainers has been expediently inchoate’. If the party can further ‘clarify its stance’ on Brexit, says the Times, the Lib Dems could well ‘cause Mrs May a major headache’.


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