June 23, 2024

TV fight in Great Britain: surprise attack and ambiguous positions

As of: June 5, 2024 5:42 PM

Prime Minister Sunak took on challenger Starmer in an unusually aggressive manner in the first televised fight before the British general election. He did not find an antidote. What does this mean for the election campaign?

Many Britons were expecting an answer that the Tories and Labor wanted to reduce the exorbitant cost of living because that was their most pressing issue at the moment. An example of this is visitor Paula, who said she cooks all week on Sundays so she only has to turn on the oven once.

But neither Chung nor Starmer could answer the question of what would happen next. Sunak has repeatedly said his plan for the economy is working — despite the Observer reporting the opposite. He promised further tax cuts, but could not convincingly explain how the welfare state would function less.

But Sunak hit Starmer with a perennial Tory favorite and put him on the defensive: the charge that Labor would raise taxes sharply after the election.

Starmer had a hard time denying this and, for his part, tried to portray the very wealthy Sunak as aloof – someone who did not understand the situation in which the British found themselves.

In the end, the debate about this question is not the only one with little certainty behind it. Perhaps this was due to the format of TV fighting, which only allowed short answers. It was only partially clear what the two candidates stood for.

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Main topic of migration

Sunak did not focus solely on the issue of migration during the election campaign. A year and a half ago, he promised to stop “small boats”, meaning asylum seekers coming to Great Britain via the English Channel. So far he has not fulfilled his promise.

Today that number has peaked. People die along the way. That’s why Sunak relies on blocking. Asylum seekers must be flown to Rwanda so that their applications can be processed there. A very controversial scheme in Great Britain and so far repeatedly stopped by the courts.

Astonishingly, Starmer recently showed himself open to negotiating applications from asylum seekers in third countries, and confirmed the change in a televised spat – with the caveat that the plan must be compatible with international law. But this is doubted by many advocates.

Sunak, on the other hand, received open applause when he announced that he would withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights if it stood in the way of his plans for Rwanda. Sunak no longer wants to be held back by international agreements – at least part of the audience supports that.

But as prime minister, Starmer won approval for his promise to uphold international agreements because Great Britain should not be an outsider on the world stage. This is why he wants to work so closely with the European Union – the differences between the adversaries were evident here.

A question of origin

The question of appearance and living conditions plays a significant role in this election campaign, not least because of the great wealth of the Sunak family, whose wealth exceeds that of the king. Both politicians try to emphasize their origins from humble backgrounds. But is it convincing?

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Sunak studied in an expensive private school. Starmer, on the other hand, can speak credibly about social hardships and the fear of warnings when the postman arrives. His father worked in a factory and his mother was a nurse. When asked if he would consider private treatment for a sick family member, he responded with irritation but calmly – his wife, sister and mother all worked in the NHS. He does not use private medical insurance.

On the other hand, Sunak answered the question with a yes, which is not surprising. This does not apply to attempts to appear close to people. The devastated NHS will be a key issue in the election campaign.

Open resistance

Sunak and Starmer aren’t enemies, they’ll have a cozy beer together later – there’s an obvious animosity between them. This was also evident in the televised fight. Sunak believed in an aggressive strategy, constantly disrupting Starmer and getting on his nerves until he rolled his eyes at one point.

But Starmer was rarely able to go on the attack and counter Sunak’s charges. When he attacked Tory’s entire record in recent years, Sunak attacked him personally.

at one o’clock Flash poll by YouGov At the end of the debate, the latter appears to be the case: 51 percent of those surveyed thought Sunak had done well. Starmer got 49 percent. Considering the Conservatives are miles behind Labor on Sunday’s questions, this is quite an achievement for Sunak.