Theresa May is running scared of voters

The general election is still some weeks away – but the campaign is already gaining momentum.

The general election is still some weeks away – but the campaign is already gaining momentum.
This is of course a UK election, so the important business of the Scottish Government and Parliament goes on as normal.
But despite that, I’m determined to get out and speak to as many voters as possible.
Over the last seven days I’ve campaigned in Aviemore, Edinburgh, Stirling, East Renfrewshire and Glasgow, and today I will be in Aberdeenshire.
What I hear is a lot of anxiety about the future. People quite rightly want to know what Brexit means for them, for their jobs and their families.
No politician should ever avoid the voters they claim to represent.
And that brings me to Theresa May.
Since her announcement that she was calling a snap election, the Prime Minister seems to have done her very best to avoid any serious scrutiny. Her election events have been stage managed and designed to keep real voters out – even to the point of her turning up at a factory only after all the workers had gone home for the night!
Other political leaders have been visibly out speaking to voters and laying out their policy platforms – but the arrogant silence from Team Theresa has been deafening.
Even when the PM has ventured out of her Downing Street bunker, such as at the weekend in Aberdeenshire, she has ducked and dodged any serious questions.
She’s also running scared of taking part in TV debates, avoiding a chance to directly connect with millions of voters across the UK.
On the one occasion she was put on the spot last week, she deliberately avoided giving a straight answer.
Asked a direct yes-no question by SNP Depute Leader Angus Robertson at Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May refused to guarantee that she will maintain the Triple Lock, the mechanism which guarantees pensioners fair increases in their state pension.
We can therefore only conclude that voting Tory puts state pensions under threat.
Even on the most basic of issues, the Tories are arrogantly refusing to answer any questions.
When her office was asked who the Prime Minister wanted to win the French elections, they couldn’t even bring themselves to say she didn’t want the Far-Right National Front to seize control.
Theresa May has been Prime Minister for nine months, and I’ll bet that most people could hardly tell you anything about what her political positions are.
She no doubt hopes that the less she appears in public, the less attention she will draw to the Tories’ record in government.
This simply isn’t good enough.
The next few years are going to be some of the most important in our lifetimes – and the Tories want voters to give them a blank cheque to do what they want.
A hard Brexit, which is what Theresa May wants, will sever the UK’s economic ties with Europe – the world’s largest single market – and could see many thousands of jobs lost in Scotland, our economy shrink by billions of pounds a year and average incomes cut by thousands of pounds.
But Theresa May’s message is: vote now, worry later.
That just won’t cut it.
Over the next few weeks the SNP will lay out our plans for Scotland – standing up for Scotland, and standing up against Tory austerity, and against cuts to disability benefits and child tax credits and other punitive policies like the abhorrent rape clause.
Voting SNP will stop the Tories getting a free ride. It will strengthen Scotland’s hand at Westminster and ensure the Scottish Parliament’s voice isn’t silenced.
And my message for Theresa May is this – stop running scared of voters and start facing the questions ordinary people want answered.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.

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