Wednesday, February 10, 2016

David Cameron has worked out how to deal with Jeremy Corbyn's emailed questions

Election campaigns throw up characters who are famous for a day and then forgotten.

Remember Gillian Duffy or Jennifer and her ear? Only just.

The US Presidential campaign of 2008 produced such a figure in the shape of Joe the Plumber.

He was Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, who questioned Obama's economic policies at a neighbourhood meeting in Ohio.

The Republicans and the media painted him as the epitome of blue-collar America and he was often mentioned during the campaign.

In November 2008 I blogged about the way that Barack Obama dealt with this:
This is how you win elections. 
In today's Spectator Fraser Nelson describes how Obama dealt with Joe: 
"Joe’s cool," Mr Obama said. "I got no problem with Joe. All I want to do is cut Joe’s taxes. But Senator McCain isn’t working for Joe the Plumber. He’s working for Joe the Hedge Fund Manager."
Today David Cameron used the same tactic at prime minister's questions when Jeremy Corbyn used one of his emailed questions. It came from Rosie who was forced to live with her parents because she could not find or afford her own place to live.

As Lloyd Evans tells it for the Spectator:
He co-opted Rosie’s identity and began putting words into her mouth. Rosie wants this, Rosie wants that. He said ‘Rosie’ half a dozen times. Rosie wants a strong economy. Rosie wants lower tax thresholds. Rose wants a prosperous Britain where the young can purchase their homes thanks to the help-to-buy ISA. 
Rosie – the way Cameron told it – is such a passionate supporter of Tory policy that she might as well declare herself a leadership candidate.
I think we may see fewer emailed questions at PMQs in future.

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