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The general election juggernaut is rolling out

May 19th, 2009 Posted in UK Politics by

polling-stationI am suffering expenses fatigue. Nothing shocks me anymore. I am weary. My jaw cannot drop any further. We need to put these people out of their misery. We need a General Election.

But wait !….enter David Cameron on his white horse. He will save us. I heard it yesterday amid all the other noise – he will turn the campaign for the European and local elections on June 4th into a call for a general election as soon after that as possible. Delete – or at least downgrade – the promise of a referendum on Europe and insert a promise of a general election. (If the Tories get their way we will be back and forth to the ballot box so often we will all be declaring it our second home – without the allowances mind). 

A smart move. He understands the mood of the nation. He knows that people want change – the polls tell him people WANT a general election. And of course “his” petition – backed by The Sun (that always likes to back the winner dont forget) will get an avalanche of signatures. He also knows that Europe is a very tricky issue for his own party – so  a little distraction will not hurt at all. So kill two birds with one stone. Hats off. Canny plan.

But beware the Tories bearing gifts. We are in danger of missing the best opportunity of this generation to change the face of politics.   If democracy is to thrive we should be defending the rights of individuals and small and possibly important groups – to get themselves organised, recruit supporters, raise some funds, decide which seats to tackle. And all MPs expenses have yet to be laid bare…. And yes it would also be a nonsense for the important European and local election issues to be sidelined by a debate on whether there should be a general election. 

The Tories meanwhile are good to go.  Yes they are willing to gamble a few high profile Conservative MPs who will doubtless fall. But Cameron gave the not-so coded instruction to his local parties. If your MP stinks de-select him and get in a clean one – and hey presto the Tory advantage is back – with the party machinery ready to get out of the blocks fast. Oh these boys are not stupid. 

Talk that this cant happen, wont happen, is just that .Talk. (These people were saying that the Speaker would not go). We are living in extraordinary times.  So lets be right..The general election juggernaut is rolling out of the garage as we speak and it’s probably unstoppable. Gordon may get around to waving a parking ticket at it as it reaches Walsall…

So its down to Nick. He needs to find a road block , and fast, for all our sakes. Not to stop it mind you. Just to make sure everyone who should be on board is on board. A general election this Autumn strikes me as fair and reasonable.Enough time for all to get prepared. All MPs to be scrutinised fully and fairly. Close enough to be ring true. Any ideas how he can bring that one off?

9 Responses to “The general election juggernaut is rolling out”

  1. Mark Littlewood Says:

    Nick could name his preferred date now – say first week of September.

    On Newsnight last week night, he did get slightly skewered by saying he wanted an election soon, but not quite yet. This is actually a reasonable suggestion – but sounds rather too vague.

    David Steel was good on Radio 5 earlier – suggesting that a period of time was needed for local parties (of all 3 parties) to consider whether to ditch their present MP and choose anotehr candidate. he even used the delightful phrase “Go back to your constituencies and prepare for the sack”.


  2. Julian Harris Says:

    I was a bit torn on the Newsnight interview – yes, Clegg looked a bit evasive, but at the same time Paxman behaved like a arrogant fool. Jibing at politicians (“well thanks for outlining your grand plans for the world”) when they try to make substantial points is not impressive.


  3. Mark Littlewood Says:

    Agree that Paxman was OTT. Problem for Nick was that he didn’t really have a clear line on either backing a “no confidence in HMG” motion (surely the answer should eb “yes”, but it’s a stunt as it won’t actually force an election) or on his preferred timing for a General Election.


  4. Angela Harbutt Says:

    Mark. Yes i think early sept works. But as you say there needs to be a clear and simple rationale behind the choice of date – something that looks clear and all encompassing (perhaps as indicated the statement that we need time for people not in politics to think about getting into it and then getting their forces marshalled)… and preferably some promise/threat of dramatic action if it doesnt happen at that time.

    I dont have a promise/threat in mind just now …not quite a David Davies “I will resign and stand for re-election on the issue of a general election if this does not happen by X” – too gimicky and its been done. And not “all Lib dem MPs will simultanously stand down” (surely suicide) but that KIND of thing. Looks bold, shows purpose.


  5. Julian Harris Says:

    Yep, agree. I’d rather Nick spoke less politico-jargon too. He needs more “common phrases” in there.

    I blame Brussels.


  6. Ziggy Encaoua Says:

    May 6th 2010 I’d lay money on it

    I mean Labourr are going to lose whatever so might as well stay in power as long as they can.

    However elections never really change anything & if they did they’d be banned

    THE RIDER OF THE HORSE MIGHT CHANGE BUT THE WHIP NEVER DOES


  7. David Hodge Says:

    As Heather Brooke may say. “Hold on a minute. I have only done half a job, wait until I have finished.”


  8. Ziggy Encaoua Says:

    After the next election I’ll still be classed as a criminal for smoking spliff as it was the election before & as it will be the election after next.


  9. Nick Says:

    I think it’ll be the end of October – it won’t be early September, for the simple reason that no party leader wants to tell his supporters they’re not getting a summer holiday this year!

    And Brown can easily stop the ‘election now!’ calls – by resigning. He announces he’s going/won’t be leading the Labour party into the next election so they get to spend the summer choosing a new leader – and this time they’ll make sure it’s not a coronation.