Theresa May is finding it increasingly hard to hide away from voters as the general election campaign intensifies. This evening, Tuesday, she arrived at BBC headquarters in London to appear on the One Show.
Protesters gathered outside from groups including Stand Up To Racism, Palestine solidarity groups and Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac).
There were also protesters with EU flags protesting against Brexit.
Paula Peters from Dpac told Socialist Worker, “The BBC don’t report our issues and never have. We are protesting against seven years of austerity.”
Aysar Shamllakh was there to raise awareness of the hunger strike in Palestine. He told Socialist Worker “The Israeli government has lots of support from Britain.”
There were chants of, “Say it loud, say it clear – refugees are welcome here” as Theresa May sped past into the delivery bay.
Earlier in the day May visited Morley, in Leeds. An earlier visit to Harehills in Leeds saw her come under fire for avoiding talking to ordinary people.
So this time she was forced to meet some workers at the Bi-Fold doors factory. Unlike previous staged events, this one didn’t go so well.
One worker pointed out that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour. He said bills would go up and that parents are finding it hard to work due to childcare costs.
“Jeremy Corbyn is saying to put wages up to £10, that’s the only thing that is going to help us out,” he said. “We need money. We need help now.”
May refused to say she would increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour – and instead attacked Corbyn. She claimed a Corbyn government would “wreck the economy” and lead to “fewer jobs”.
It’s sheer hypocrisy – the Tories have slashed over a million public sector jobs since coming to office in 2010. May’s planned cuts, in particular in schools and the NHS, will slash thousands more.
And the Tories have imposed a 1 percent pay cap on public sector workers – driving more into the kind of poverty the Morley worker described.
Corbyn got a much better reception in Morley, which he visited a few hours later. Hundreds of supporters turned up with signs reading, “For the many, not the few.”
Earlier in the day Corbyn launched Labour’s election campaign in Manchester. He said, “In the last year Britain’s 1,000 richest people have seen their wealth rise by 14 percent to £658 billion. That’s nearly six times the budget of our NHS.
“Imagine the outcry if public sector workers put in for a 14 percent pay rise. But it’s no surprise that the richest have got even richer after the tens of billions the Tories have handed them in tax cuts.
“That’s what we mean when we say the system is rigged for the rich.”
Corbyn is right to attack the fat cats. A radical Labour election campaign, involving mass rallies and events, can win Labour more support.
A round-up of workplace struggles
A round-up of transport workers’ struggles