THE final furlong of this sprint election and Brexit still looms large on the political horizon but it is the dark cloud that the horrific events in Manchester have cast that I believe will weigh heavy on the minds of the electorate on June 8th.
Yes, we have seen a battle of leadership styles between May and Corbyn. However the Manchester attack has brought into sharp focus the issue of security and the reasonable question, who do we trust with our national security?
Firstly, on the global stage, it is hard to remember a time where there was so much tension and volatility. The world has a seen the rise of nationalistic leaders that have no qualms to posture and flex their testosterone fuelled rhetoric – and to be clear we are talking about
Russia, North Korea and the USA.
In this tense environment the United Kingdom has and will continue to have a significant role when it comes to international diplomacy and security. We will need pragmatism, steady
calmness, and a leader who can build bridges.
Mr Corbyn is not this type of leader. It is clear he is bound to a dated ideology that could negate his ability to be both effective, let alone influential. His belief in nuclear disarmament is laudable but not in sync with the world’s current issues.
He is untried, untested and frankly, with his limited leadership skills, he could easily be seen as the Mr Bean of Britain by other international leaders – out of touch and out of his depth.
Alternatively, Mrs May has been the longest serving home secretary for over sixty years and as the PM has shown a steady hand when dealing with the ego of President Trump, the early salvos with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and even her handling of the recent G7 gathering, whilst in the midst of an election and a terror incident.
Whether you like Mrs May or not, she has demonstrated the calmness and authority that is the hallmark of all good leaders.
But there is more. Leaders need support and when it comes to security, a home secretary needs to be able to step up and this is nearly always in times of tension and crisis. At those moments when people are scared and want answers the person entrusted with our national security must be able to deliver the messages that will make people believe that the right decisions, actions and choices are being made for the safety of us, our families and our country.
I do not believe Diane Abbott could be this person. Her track record in politics gives no indication that she could deliver when the chips are down – from recently “misspeaking” when try to explain policies to waffling through serious questions about her and her leader’s previously held views on the IRA, MI5 and Al-Qaeda. She seemed to align the fluidity of their views to be as significant as changing hair styles. It is hard to argue that she has the credibility or political capital required to lead our police, secure our borders and direct the security services.
On the other hand, the current home secretary, Amber Rudd, despite being a relative novice has been sure footed, competent and has not brought any such baggage to her office.
I appreciate there are weighty arguments for and against individual politicians, their characters, their history, their party’s policies and even, whether they are just all the same.
But the number one priority of any government is to keep its people safe. To defend its country’s interests and also to ensure fairness and a sustainable relationship between the state and the citizen. With this in mind I will vote Conservative, not because a ‘strong and stable’ slogan has attracted my vote, but my desire for a safe and sustainable future.
Views in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.