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Mainly Macro - Simon Wren-Lewis - Theresa May

The Conservative plan for this election was for it to be about personalities rather than policies. Theresa May versus Jeremy Corbyn. The question that the Conservatives want people to be thinking about as they cast their vote is which of the two do you think will be better at negotiating a good Brexit deal for Britain. And the polls suggest that many have made up their mind the answer is May.

Making a choice based on personalities may not be a completely stupid thing to do. However people with little knowledge can be extremely poor judges of character. I shouldn't really have to argue the case for this, but simply point to the current POTUS. How anyone could believe that he would improve the healthcare system and sort out the financial sector is beyond me, but then I had read a lot about him so it is difficult for me to imagine what someone less interested in politics might think. But we know in other situations that brief contacts can be very misleading: job interviews are an obvious example, as are interviews of prospective students. We think we can judge character with very little information, and we often fool ourselves in that respect.

Or take, as an another example, Theresa May. Some of us may laugh at the endless repetition of `strong and stable', but good propaganda is always based on a half-truth, and the half truth here is that many voters do think she is a cautious operator and a safe pair of hands. It is likely most people get this belief not from a detailed examination of her past actions, but from how she comes across in sound bites and interviews on the TV.

The reality seems rather different. Her actions since becoming Prime Minister appear ill-judged and reckless. Take, for example, the pointless attempt to prevent parliament voting on Article 50. A strong and stable Prime Minister would (with a small amount of research) have realised that very few MPs within her party were prepared to be seen to ignore the referendum, and that therefore she would easily get her way. Instead she fought and lost a pointless battle in the courts. It had not been the first time she had wasted public money in this way.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 29th, 2017 at 03:14:20 PM EST
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