Friday, 2 June 2017

Unmasking the myths- The Myth of Good Leadership- the “Strong and Stable Leader"

Many in this election won’t decide how they vote based on policy. They either find it all too confusing or irrelevant. They don’t trust politicians to do most of what they say anyway. Instead they will give their vote to whoever they think seems will be the “best” leader for the country. And in this pivotal moment in British history many will vote for the leader they think has the skills to get us the best Brexit deal. I think policy really does matter. However, I can totally understand why some will vote on the leader’s personality rather than policy. But what I would say is to judge who is a better leader we need to look behind the act- behind the make-up, the posturing and the sloganeering. We need to try to get to the real heart of the leader behind the façade. No matter how many times someone tells you they are a “strong and stable” leader does not make them a strong and stable leader!

But in assessing who is a better leader what are the qualities we looking for? As a Christian, I would say that as in all areas of life we need to be guided by the principles we see in the bible and the person we see in the ultimate good leader- Jesus Christ. The sort of attributes that God looks for in a good leader are not necessarily the same as most of the world looks for, certainly not our media. Too often in politics the “good leader” is portrayed as the one who acts the best leader, i.e. who comes up with the more polished performances, the cleverest quips and soundbites and who looks good on the telly. Against those standards Tony Blair and David Cameron would probably be considered our country’s greatest ever leaders. Yet one of those leaders ended up misleading the country into fighting a disastrous illegal war in Iraq which has brought on us much of the terrorism we suffer today. The other led the country into the potential economic disaster of Brexit despite his strong opposition to it.

Jesus's background marked him out as "the wrong sort" to be a leader. He was untrained and inexperienced as a teacher- not schooled as a rabbi and with the wrong background; an illegitimate son of a simple carpenter from Nazareth. As one of his critics said, can anything good come from there? Interestingly, being the “wrong sort” is something they seem to share with most of the greatest leaders in the bible God chose. Abraham, Moses, Gideon and David all appeared to be the wrong sort to be leader when appointed; too old, too young, too inexperienced etc. In fact, very often it is the people who in human eyes seem the least likely sort to be leaders are the right sort in God’s eyes . “People look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart”. 1 Samuel 16 v 7

We also need to recognise that in choosing our leader that no man or woman is going to be a perfect leader. We are all broken, sinful people. Jesus Christ is the only perfect leader. I believe he will one day return to be leader of the whole world, to bring true and lasting peace, prosperity and justice for the poor and for all. In the meantime we have to settle for mere fallible men or women as our leaders. Yet as a Christian I believe in choosing a leader you need to assess how both their character measures up against him. (They will all fall short of course).

So what qualities does God look for in a good leader? Being a “strong and stable” leader matters but if you look at the bible these are not the key requirements in God’s eyes. It’s the characteristics of the Messiah, the perfect leader to come predicted in the Old Testament vision (see eg Isaiah chapter 11) and that we see displayed in the life of Jesus Christ, the man who would be that leader. In one sense what God requires from a leader is what he requires from all us;
 “…and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6 v 8)

If we unpack that into the principles of good leadership extolled across the bible I would suggest the key characteristics we should be looking for are:

  •        A heart for the poor and needy
  •      A peacemaker
  •     Of good character
  •     Able to teach and reach people
  •           Humble
  •           Wise and listening to good advice
  •              Strong and stable
 So how do Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn measure up to those characteristics?

A Heart for the Poor and Needy

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31 v 8/9)
“…with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.” (Isaiah 11 v 4)

Jesus saw his mission particularly to “bring good news to the poor” (both spiritually and materially). (Luke 4 v 18) and when Jesus returns as the ultimate leader he “will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited”. (Isaiah 11 v 4) Jeremy Corbyn as a politician makes it very much his own mission to support the poor and needy. For example, speaking out against welfare changes that have doing such great harm done to poor and needy in our country and speaking out for the plight of refugees. Theresa May's own record in standing up for the poor is rather more mixed. To her credit she has maintained the government's pledge to devote 0.7% of GDP to help the world's poorest. However domestically whilst she has certainly talked about helping those who are struggling the policies of the government she has been part of have greatly harmed the situation of society's poorest especially the cruel welfare benefits cuts and sanctions (see my previous blog).

A Peacemaker

“…blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God…” (Matthew  5 v 9)
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with everyone.” (Romans 12 v 18)
“Now a leader must be… not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome.” (1 Timothy 3 v 2/3)

Jesus was the ultimate peacemaker, reconciling men and God through his crucifixion. In his earthly mission he demonstrated this by reaching out to reconcile those considered to be beyond society’s pale, “the sinners” such as prostitutes and tax collectors. Indeed, he was much criticised by the establishment for even eating with such outcasts.  He also spoke out against armed violence “Those who live by the sword will died by the sword,” he warned Peter. His was a peaceful revolution of heart and mind. You will also hear much criticism of Jeremy Corbyn for having associated with his own “sinners” like palestinian terrorist groups or the IRA. Yet he appears to have done so only in order to try to bring reconciliation and peace. Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn has strongly spoken out against the use of violent force in Iraq and elsewhere and instead encouraged more peaceful means of resolving conflicts. He is someone who enjoys engaging and talking with people even those he strongly disagrees with.  On a personal level colleagues and even opponents all testify to how well they get on with him. Whilst he argues passionately for the causes he believes in his tone is generally quite gentle and respectful and he generally avoids personal criticism.

By contrast  Theresa May likes to style herself as difficult and combative in order to get her way rather than a peacemaker. Indeed, she prides herself on being described by her former colleague Ken Clarke as a “bloody difficult woman.” This was illustrated in the rather hostile and unproductive Downing Street meeting she had with EU leaders just before the election. She has also shown herself rather too ready to resort to personal abuse of her opponents. She has voted for every proposed military intervention since she has been a MP including in Iraq and Libya. Peacemaker is certainly not an obvious quality you would ascribe to Theresa May.

The qualities of peacemaker could be very important when it comes to leading Brexit negotiations. Our Prime Minister will be dealing with a bigger and stronger party and trying to browbeat them into submission is just not going to work. Any experienced negotiator will tell you that is not how you best negotiate with a stronger party. Taking too forceful an approach is likely to risk the door just being slammed in our face.

Of Good Character- faithful, righteous, self-controlled, respectable, sober and  hospitable

“Now a leader must be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, …, not given to drunkenness.”  (1 Timothy 3 v 2/3)
Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.” (Isaiah 11 v 5)

 It’s rather difficult to compete with Jesus over “good character” as he was and is the perfect, sinless son of God. However, good character is very important in a leader. Jeremy Corbyn exemplifies key points of good character that the bible says should be looked for in a leader. He is indeed temperate, gentle and self-controlled in his speech and does not do “personal” sniping and insults (but sticks to the issues). Anyone who has met him even if they strongly disagree with him speaks about how “nice” and decent and hospitable he is, for example offering to share his sandwiches with them on the train. Whilst he strongly disagrees with Donald Trump he commented he would look forward to inviting to Downing Street to share a cup of Yorkshire tea and try to persuade him why he was wrong over climate change. Far from being a drunkard he is teetotal (and a vegetarian).  Without being perfect he appears to be about as honest as a politician can be. In fact, many would criticise him for being too honest and at times saying his first thoughts aloud before he’s thought through how they be interpreted. He has been accused of dishonesty over trying to cover up his previous alleged dealings with terrorists. However, an examination of the facts does not bear out the allegation that he ever condoned terrorist violence. He merely spoke with certain groups associated with terrorists to promote dialogue and peace. The worst he can fairly be accused of is naivety.

Theresa May professes to be a Christian and she may well be.  Not knowing her personally I would not presume to judge how genuine her Christian faith is. Generally there seems to be nothing obviously immoral about her own personal character or conduct that makes her unsuitable to lead. However, I would raise some question marks over her honesty. Such as her repeated election pledges since 2010 to reduce  immigration to 10,000s whilst doing nothing really to bring that about when she had the power to do so as Home Secretary and then Prime Minister. Her spurious reasons for breaking her promise not to call an early election because of opposition faced on Brexit when Parliament had already given her the authority to trigger article 50. (The real reason was because she had a huge poll lead). Even in this election campaign she clearly seemed to be lying when she tried to deny that her major immediate change on social care funding was not a u turn. Looking in her eyes you could almost read she knew she had been caught out there.

Of Good character- not a lover of money?

Now a leader must be… not a lover of money.” (1 Timothy 3 v 2/3)
 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.” (1 Timothy 6 v 10)
By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” (Proverbs 29 v 4)

Jeremy Corbyn is certainly not a lover of money. He is no champagne socialist but lives quite simply, wearing ordinary (sometimes slightly scruffy) clothes. With no flash car, he rides a bike and uses public transport. He generally makes the lowest expenses claims of all MPs.  Most importantly, there is no hint that he is open to any sort of bribe

By contrast Theresa May does  lead a rather more lavish lifestyle and is well known for her fine clothes and chique shoes (witness her Vogue shoot). Her husband Philip is a multi-millionaire investment banker with one of the largest investment houses in the world and who make much of their money from helping multi-national tax avoiding clients like Amazon. Whilst such an association by her husband does not per se make her unsuitable to be the country's leader it does raise a question mark over how influenced she might be personally be by the love of money and by wanting to preserve the position of the super-rich against those they may exploit. After all. she herself through her husband is part of that rich elite.

There is nothing particularly egregious about Theresa May's character or lifestyle but nothing particularly to commend her either and there is some cause to question her character as less than fully honest and not entirely untainted by the love of money. If she hadn't told us she was a Christian it would certainly not be obvious she was by her conduct. By contrast if Jeremy Corbyn hadn't told us he wasn't a Christian we might well suspect he was one.

Able to Teach and Reach

Now a leader must be…able to teach” (Also 1 Timothy 3 v 2/3)

Jesus was brilliant at this- able to communicate his message to people from all walks of life from the highest to the lowest. We can’t expect our own leaders to be as good. However, it is very important that they be able to teach and reach with their own particular messages; both to make themselves and their policies understood to the ordinary citizens they serve and also to get their points across to and persuade those they need to deal with to carry out their policies. This applies especially of course to the EU leaders with whom they must negotiate Brexit terms.

Neither Jeremy nor Theresa are great orators, although both are pretty articulate. In terms of polished prepared speech making Theresa is possibly slight better. However looking beyond the superficial polish and sound bites who does communicate better with ordinary people? All the evidence now suggests Jeremy wins that hands down. Many are still wary of him for various reasons but there are also many who have been won over by his down to earth message and his more ordinary less polished human touch. He is very much a people person who thrives on being out there communicating with ordinary people even ones he disagrees with. This was seen in his leadership election campaigns where thousands flocked to hear his message. That same message is now inspiring many other. By contrast Theresa seems often very fearful of contact with other people and quite ill at ease. She generally shies away from contact with the ordinary public unless it is well controlled and stage managed. And, of course, she was unable to face up to debating with the 6 other part leaders on live TV- a great opportunity to convey her message to a wider audience. Rather than justifying her positions with evidence or even articulating detailed policy she mostly resorts to rather bland soundbites whose  meaning is at best unclear; “Brexit means Brexit” “A red white and blue Brexit  “no deal is better than a bad deal" “strong and stable leadership.” This does not really teach and inform the electorate as to what she really wants to do or why she is doing it.

So, what about their ability to get their points across to other fellow leaders? With Jeremy it’s very difficult to know because he's never sought or held high office. Some will point to the massive vote of no confidence in him by his own MPs as evidence that he is incapable of persuading other politicians to his point of view. However that's not strictly true, because his leadership challenger had himself been persuaded to adopt Jeremy's policy ideas almost entirely (save for Trident) And this is now reflected in Labours manifesto now warmly endorsed even by the MPs who rebelled against him. If he has failings as a leader it’s not because of being unable to persuade others of his position.
Theresa May by contrast has held high office but how has she done with persuading other leaders to her point of view? Rather badly I think. As Home Secretary from 2010 she pledged to reduce net immigration below 100,000 and even though most of our immigration comes from outside the EU free movement zone she singularly failed in making any progress with this target. In fact, at one immigration was over three times this level. Even more recently we have seen her immediately pull back from her own new policies once met with opposition-  on raising national insurance for the self-employed and removing caps from social care. Despite these clear failures to bring others round to her position she would say she has a great track record in getting what she wants out of the EU. She will point to her success in 2014 when as Home Secretary she persuaded the EU to let the UK opt out of the Lisbon agreement on policing and criminal justice and then cherry pick just 35 out of 110 measures that she liked and where she opted back in. She would like to think she can do a similar a landslide carte deal with Europe over Brexit- just tell the EU waiter what we want and as long as you shout loud enough he'll bring it. However, the strategy of “exit then cherry-picking” worked with the Lisbon treaty only because Tony Blair in 2007 had set this up as an “exit plus cherry-picking” deal in the Treaty itself. It is a colossal error to think that the same approach can work in the case of Brexit – a negotiation of phenomenally greater complexity, and where opt-outs have not been negotiated by existing treaty provisions. Her dealings over the Lisbon treaty whilst successful are nothing very remarkable and do not overcome the concerns arising from her failure to persuade on other matters.


[Jesus] being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant …he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2 v 6-8).
You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…” (Mark 10 v 42-45)

Humility is too often devalued as a leadership quality, but it should be a key characteristic we look for and was exemplified in Jesus’s life. Like Jesus Jeremy Corbyn does not seek leadership for his own personal advantage but only to fulfil a mission for the good of others. If he wanted to grasp at personal advancement he would not have spent over 30 years as a backbencher, speaking up for often unfashionable causes. He is noticeably uncomfortable when asked by interviewers to sell himself as a leader and will instead gravitate to the policies that he wants to promote. Contrast this with Theresa May who tried to style her whole election campaign around what a great leader she claims to be ; the strong and stable leader which she contrasts with the poor leadership of her opponent. She also has something of a fondness for showing off fine clothes especially those shoes! She does not display very obvious humility.

Wise and listening to advice

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding” (Isaiah 11 v 2)

“Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.” (Proverbs 11 v 14)

Many have questioned Jeremy Corbyn's political judgments over the years as foolishly extreme. I'll admit I haven’t shared all of them but looking back I have to say he was very often proved right when many were wrong:

·         Calling for sanctions against apartheid South Africa when our government was still treating them as a friend
·         Calling for talks with Northern Irish terrorists to bring about a lasting peace
·         Opposing new Labour's continuing Tory privatisation of the running of our public services
·         Opposing disastrous military interventions in Iraq and Libya that have exacerbated the conditions that breed poverty mass migration and terrorism
·         Opposing savage and economically self-defeating austerity and welfare cuts.

Part of being a wise leader however is listening to and working with a team of wise advisers. In this election Jeremy has rightly talked about a good leader listening to advice. However, I’m afraid he has not always put this into practice. In his time as Labour leader he too often ignored the advice of his cabinet colleagues and went it alone and seemed to sometimes make up and announce policy on the hoof without consulting his colleagues. This came to a head during and immediately after the EU referendum where he had failed to co-operate with the Labour remain campaign and immediately afterwards without consultation called on the Prime Minister to trigger article 50 straightaway. It was this not his policy positions that ultimately led to his MPs rebellion (See my earlier blog last year explaining why I would not be voting for him in the second Labour leadership election). I think it is understandable how a man who had previously devoted his whole political career to being a lone backbench rebel has struggled to work with a cabinet of colleagues. Has he learned from, can he learn from those mistakes? Frankly I don’t know. There have been positive signs in this election campaign where he has been more measured in his words and has tried to avoid contradicting his colleagues. Only time will tell.

I have to say I’ve not seen a great deal of wisdom on Theresa May’s part. As Home Secretary with responsibility for immigration supposedly her big policy was bringing down immigration to 10,000s. Nearly all economists warn that for the near future this would be economically disastrous. Thankfully she singularly failed to achieve that target. However, the setting and failing to reach that target greatly stoked up the fire of fear over immigration levels. It therefore massively contributed to the vote to leave the EU, something which Theresa May herself had firmly if quietly opposed. She became Prime Minister on the back of the leave vote and overnight converted herself from a quiet if firm supporter of the EU to an evangelist for a hard Brexit which placed full control of immigration and our laws as the red lines and free trade and economics as an afterthought. Most economists believe her priorities for Brexit will lead to the imposition of serious barriers to EU trade which will be economically disastrous. (See my earlier blog article on the Brexit myths). She also appointed leading Brexiteer MPs into the key cabinet positions dealing with the EU including probably the most unsuitable and undiplomatic Foreign Secretary ever Boris Johnson who has promptly set about upsetting as many of our near neighbours as possible. None of this strikes me as very wise. Nor her decision to increase national insurance on the self-employed (in breach of a Tory manifesto promise) which when opposed she almost immediately withdrew nor her surprise announcement to remove any cap on funding of social care costs in the new manifesto (“the dementia task”) which again when opposed she almost immediately changed.

Generally, I would say that she has shown she can and does work alongside colleagues who advise her. She had after all been a government cabinet member for six years before she became Prime Minister and a shadow cabinet member before that. However, a number of those she has appointed to her own cabinet I would suggest are not wise advisers to have around you, e.g. Boris Johnson. And her “dementia tax” debacle by all accounts was a policy she came up without any detailed consultation with her cabinet colleagues.

A strong and stable leader?

“…the Spirit of counsel and of might…” (Isaiah 11 v 2)
“… the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-,minded and unstable in all that they do.” (James 1 v 8)

Theresa May has styled her whole campaign around being the “strong and stable” leader that our country needs to negotiate the best Brexit deal we can with the EU.

But on the available evidence how strong and stable a leader has she proved to be? And how does she measure up against Jeremy Corby for strength and stability?


Theresa May certainly talks “strong” and “tough”. For example, the hard line she proposes towards immigration- to reduce it by 1/3rd to 10,000s. Similarly, past cabinet colleagues have even described her as being a “bloody difficult woman.” She would say she has the strength of character to put to the British people the tough choices we need to make like how some people having to pay more in tax or how we fund social care for our growing number of elderly. She will say by toughing it out with the EU as Home Secretary she was able to force them to accept the cherry-picked opt ins she wanted to the Lisbon treaty on police and crime. She might even cite how she stood up to the EU leaders in the Downing Street meeting at the start of the election in setting out her Brexit demands which got Jean-Claude Junker so wound up.

The trouble is her “tough talking” has actually got her or the country nowhere. This is the third election in a row where she has proposed slashing net immigration only to fail spectacularly badly and do nothing effective to prevent it rising further (It is now falling finally but only because of Brexit). She made tough calls over taxation and funding social care by raising self-employed national insurance in the recent budget and by proposing in her budget uncapped social care contributions from people’s homes. But as soon as these proposals faced any vocal criticism in days or even hours she reversed those policies. That is surely a sign of weakness not strength. The opt out/in to EU crime and police measures might be seen as a sign of her “strength” succeeding. However as noted above she was only putting into practice what Tony Blair’s deal on this had set up for her. And as for her “tough talking” with the EU leaders over Brexit so far all this has done is get their backs up. As a result, even her supposed conservative ally Chancellor Merkel warned (in rather more subtle language than Mr Junker) that she was being “illusionary” over her Brexit expectations. This certainly was evidence of her being a “bloody difficult woman” but not in a way that is likely to be at all helpful when negotiating with a stronger party.(See my comments above re “peacemaking”)

And then what about all the causes and people that she has not stood up for or stood against?  What about standing up against the richest and most powerful to help the weak?   Jesus was no respecter of the rich and powerful and was prepared to challenge them directly. Jesus warned “woe to you rich”, who would find it very hard to get into his kingdom and he often encouraged them often to give away their wealth.  He tackled head on the hypocrisy of the religious establishment- the Pharisees and Sadducees, speaking out against them - “woe to you Pharisees.”

 Theresa May talks quite a good talk about standing up for the just about managing and seek a country that works for all and being prepared to intervene to do this. She has more recently proposed certain policies that in limited ways seek to do this eg adopting Labour's policy in fuel capping (but then watered it down in her manifesto) and even her controversial removal of certain pensioner entitlements some might view in that way. However overall as a member of the government since 2010 she has mostly very much stood up for the interests of the rich and powerful against the poor e.g. the choices to reduce taxes for rich individuals and corporations whilst slashing welfare spending for those most in need. And what about standing up to other world leaders when they are clearly in the wrong? Instead of criticising Saudi Arabia for its involvement in the Yemeni bombing of innocent civilians she supports selling arms to help them do it. Or what about standing up to President Donald Trump and some of his policies that threaten the world? She was about the only European leader who refused to sign the recent letter condemning his foolish and damaging decision to pull out of the Paris climate change deal. She just said it was “disappointing” but it was “up to him.” Again, that is weak not strong leadership. And then in this election campaign we see her running away from the live BBC leaders’ debate, sending Amber Rudd instead (even though Amber had just lost her father that week). This is weakness not strength.

Compare this with Jeremy Corbyn. He generally has a gentler, friendlier style (for which many in his party have criticised him). However, politeness and gentleness should not be mistaken for weakness. He has stuck very firmly to his core political beliefs and policies, even when it seemed all the world was against him. He was therefore fully prepared to vote against his party’s own government on numerous occasions when he disagreed with them. (Perhaps rather too much but we’re taking about strength not wisdom here.) And after the EU referendum we then saw most of the country (including myself) and most of his MPs join David Cameron’s call, “God sake man go”. He stood his ground and fought off his leadership challenge because he was still convinced he had an important job to do.

And unlike Theresa May but like Jesus Jeremy does have the inner strength to take on vested powerful and rich establishment interests. Time and again he has spoken out against individuals and governments who act unjustly and spoken for the poor and oppressed. Even if you think some of that was naïve it shows strength not weakness. And he continues to stand up to the powerful when he believes they do wrong. Witness his very clear condemnation the other day of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. And unlike Theresa May, Jeremy has also shown his never afraid to engage with anyone in debate and discussion.

Jeremy beats Theresa hands down when it comes to real strength.


Jeremy Corbyn has been pretty consistent and stable in sticking to the principles and policies he believes in, especially to bring about a more peaceful, just and equal society and world, This is what led to him being a serial rebel as a Labour back bencher over 30 years. It is also part of what landed him in trouble with many of his own MPs as leader eg his firm opposition to airstrikes in Syria and his opposition to Britain’s own “independent” nuclear deterrent. He has however shown at times that he is prepared to listen to other views and take account of new evidence that have changed his standpoint. For example, having been an advocate of leaving NATO as an archaic organisation post the cold war, in the light of more recent events he has accepted it still has a role to play On the EU his position has also changed but has been rather more consistent than some politicians. He was never more than lukewarm about our membership of the EU, having supported our withdrawal from the EEC in 1983. Subsequently he did accept there were greater benefits than losses from being an EU member but even in the Remain campaign he had his doubts and said he was 7/10 for staying in. From being a lukewarm remainer before the Referendum to seeking a medium soft Brexit after it is a broadly consistent position I’d say.

Before she was Prime Minister Theresa May was a loyal MP and front bencher who nearly always supported and followed the party line. In that sense she also can be said to have been stable in her political positions (albeit in an opposite way to Jeremy Corbyn!). However since becoming Prime Minister a year ago, and especially recently, she has shown a rather worrying tendency for major  policy wobbling and even completely backtracking. Examples include:

·         Her sudden conversion from quite but firm EU remainer to hard Brexit, evangelist happy to have no free trade deal in order to have complete control of immigration and law
·         Promising to give workers a place on company boards- massively watered down in the manifesto
·         Promising to cap energy bills-again massively watered down in the manifesto
·         In the last budget increasing national insurance contributions on the self-employed (in breach of a Tory manifesto commitment) only to reverse it days later following the string adverse reaction
·         Declaring seven times that there would be no election until 2020 to ensure a period of stability before suddenly announcing this snap election
·         The “dementia tax” fiasco. Proposing in her manifesto to remove any cap on funding social care from people’s home. Within hours following adverse reaction the policy was reversed to put back a cap.

One cannot escape the impression that Jeremy Paxman was right when he described Theresa May as a “blow hard who collapses at the first sight of gunfire.” As was also pointed out. with such a record isn’t the the EU is likely to regard her as a weak rather than a strong negotiator? She likes to style herself as the Iron Lady number, like Mrs Thatcher known for wielding her handbag with the EU leaders in order to get her way. But Theresa May rather seems to be all talk and no hand bag!

Despite the rhetoric I would suggest the evidence indicates that Jeremy Corby is a far more strong and stable leader than Theresa May.


Against all these key biblical characteristics of what makes a good leader I believe neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn perfectly fulfil them. On most of them I suggest the evidence indicates both of them partly fulfil the characteristics but on each of them Jeremy fulfils them rather better (although they are possibly closer on wisdom and following advice). However, it’s on the very quality that Theresa May extolls in herself - being “strong and stable”- that she performs particularly badly and Jeremy particularly well. If you want a strong and stable leader in the true senses of those words then he is the one. He is also the one who seems to best have the gifts to be a successful negotiator for Brexit, as he appears to have rather better personal communication skills and be a much better peacemaker.

If you are deciding your vote on the character of the leader alone I would suggest you should certainly be voting Labour.

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